Orlando–odds and ends

It’s over.  We’re done and gone, checked out and moved into Susan’s house in downtown Orlando.

The tournament was fine, if you like playing lousy bridge.  That’s nobody’s fault but my own, but I don’t have to like it.

I noticed some flashy fingernail work on opponents, and got a few pictures:

The social side of the game becomes more important to me each year, finding friends from home at the table is alway pleasant.

Hotel prices are always inflated, just like the movie theater.  Sometime, though, they are just absurd:

 

In general, this was a nicely run tournament at a decent location.  The hotel gave us good service, and had a variety of food choices from the very cheap Picabu “buffeteria” to the very expensive Bluezoo.

The playing spaces were well lit, the air conditioning was well moderated without hot or cold zones, most of the cards were new and not sticky, the games started on time and with one exception ACBLLive got me results just a few minutes after the last hand was played.  I thought this was a very well run tournament from the league side.

The hotel, though, had a few glitches.We didn’t even have a car, so it doesn’t matter to me, but the parking situation was a disaster, and that has to be all the fault of the hotel.  It was taking people up to 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot after the game.  The facility has a convention of some kind every week, why haven’t they come up with a better system to get people home?  I’m sure some of the locals didn’t come back after facing the fiasco at the gate.

The league fell down, however, by pricing the national events insanely.  A regional game is $16/session, the national events were $25.  That’s $100/day for a couple to play the senior mixed pairs.  Too damned much.  Then they went overboard and decided that teams must pay by the player, not the team.  So a 6 man team is paying $150 PER SESSION to play.  I guess the theory is that billionaire sponsors won’t care, but I’m not Nick Nickell or Bill Gates and that’s an idiotic amount to charge.  The league is just trying to soak the players to pay for the ACBLScore disaster that has cost us millions, and run smack into the law of supply and demand–there is damn little demand at these prices.

The last night, we skipped play and had dinner at Shula’s with Susan.  We got creative with the menu, ordering a 20 oz Prime Rim and an 8 oz lobster to share among the 3 of us.  Three of their great side dishes completed our meal.

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Perfectly medium rare roast been, almost 2 inches thick.

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My plate with prime rib, lobster (at the top), roasted corn and creamed spinach.  We also split a huge baked potato.

Something that peeves me about good restaurants is the frequency that I finish a meal and find out that they have some wonderful dessert that takes 20 or 30 minutes to prepare.  Why didn’t they tell me this earlier?  I never want to wait that long.

Fortunately, I was aware that Shula’s has an excellent soufflé, so I ordered it with at the same time as everything else.  It was the perfect ending to an excellent meal.

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Souffle, ice cream, whipped cream and creme anglaise.

Sharing the dishes the way we did we had more than enough food and it was reasonably priced, considering the quality of both the food and the service.  A perfect way to cap off the tournament.

It doesn’t look like I’ll be at another NABC until Toronto, since none of my friends are interested in Kansas City in the dead of winter.  See you in Canada in July.

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