After spending 2 days white water rafting George and I made it to the hotel. Upon entering, the first person I saw was Bob Hearn. A always, I ran up and gave him a big hug. I checked in, got the bags to the room, changed quickly and went down to the founders dinner. I wandered around quite a bit saying hello to old friends and handing out hugs and kisses all around.
I hear there was food, but as always, I was more interested in the boys and talking than I was eating. The exhaustion of the earlier week and all the activity wore me out and I called it an early night. The next day was the exchange and i had an early meeting about the post IPP trip for next year.
This year my exchange partner was Eitan Cher. It was his first time exchanging and I'm pretty sure he learned a lot about both IPP and Rox. He seemed to get on just fine on his own, and unlike past years greenhorns that I exchanged with, he already knew a lot of people. He was tickled by my little talk about my puzzle. This time around I was thrilled to have a puzzle that was designed by Fritz Gobel. He designed a packing puzzle that I was able to make myself using a laser cutter supplied by my dear friends over at Hanayama. (After we made the prototype, I realized it could be made into a 4 color map so more material was ordered and off to the cutters I went.)
As always, we walked around the room for about six hours giving and receiving puzzles. I really love the Christmas in August aspect of IPP. This year there were 88 exchanges made on the day, and a few more made after. I've been so busy since I've been back that I haven't had time to really play with any of them and filming them is probably a no go this year.
That evening was the banquet and I enjoyed that as always. There were interesting table puzzles as is normal, and good company. We chatted with many about the puzzles exchanged earlier in the day, and a few more as always. I made an early night of it as I really was exhausted from the earlier part of the trip. (Note to self: do post-IPP trips instead of pre in future.)
Saturday was the puzzle party! The event of the year (most years). I'll clarify my addendum. I walked around the room and realized that I have almost all of the puzzles that were on display. Ok. not all but there were none that really appealed to me this year so I didn't purchase much. No. I lie. there was a lot of wood that I just loved, but HK humidity and all.....
Saturday evening was the night of the Twisty Puzzles dinner and as always, it was filled with loads of fun and puzzles. John Haché set up the meeting and a group of us headed over to the Three Brewers for dinner, drinks, and puzzling. When there, we ran into another group of puzzlers and bid them all a good evening across the wall that was dividing us. We puzzled away for about 3 hours then headed back to the hotel to see a fireworks show that was going on in the city. Beautiful as always, but living in Asia, and seeing the Macao competitions, I decided a shower was needed and snuck away for a while. The booms from the hotel room were tremendously loud, from the viewing room, we couldn't hear a thing.
After a quick shower and when the fireworks ended, we met again in the lobby and had another hour or so of puzzling. I mentioned to Bob that I was having some prolonged leg cramps that had been diagnosed as shin splints (after a year of this, I know it was a misdiagnosis) He brought me to his room to try on his pants! Wow what a feeling! See, it's not all puzzles.
Sunday was a free day and because I had brought my golf clubs with me (who does that!), Bill Ritchie, and George Miller and I went out and had a game. The two gentlemen had a major handicap. They were only using a 7 iron, I had full use of my set. Needless to say they still did better than I.
That night was the awards banquet and as always, it did not fail to entertain. I'm always thrilled to see the diversity of puzzles that are put up and the winners of the awards. This year our own Ayi won an award and I dutifully brought it home for him. Again it was an early night for me. Perhaps the human tornado is slowing down, or maybe she just had too much activity pre-IPP and was catching up. But all in all, it was a great IPP again as always.
The only downside? Oskar wasn't there, but through the use of modern technology, he made the rounds at the puzzle party, joined in a bit of the exchange and came to the Twisty Puzzles dinner with us. (sorry about the red wine Bob!)
Monday saw me heading back to Chicago to pick up the kid from her grandfather and on to HK for a night.
Only 342 days until the next one! And yes, George will be there with me again.
|puzzle photography group|
|Metagrobologists (former Renegades)|
|Three Puzzlers and their buddies|
|I love bearded men!|
|The two Hanayama chess sets|