The Mega day has arrived and 2008 is going out with a bang!

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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The big day was here! Alex, Anna, Devi, and Wendy can all back me up when I say this party seemed like it was in the planning stages FOREVER, from the time it started out as just an idea to the night we were putting up decorations in the boat. And then, like a vapor, it was over before we could catch our breath. Luckily, we have the memories, the pictures, the new friendships, the rekindled friendships, and....video! Well, the video is a whole other story. When I traveled to Europe I packed all my video equipment and tripod so that I could video throughout the night. But, when the night was halfway over, only then did I remember my video camera! I am so disappointed about the lack of video. I did, however, take a few clips with my digital camera. And Sylvie also captured a clip of our toast to NYE.

NYE TB Meet-up in Amsterdam 2008-2009 The fireworks show

Okay, let me tell you about this special night, and some of the fond memories I have of co-organizing this huge event....

It was sometime back in May of 2008 that this idea of a NYE meetup was first born. Lauro, Devi, Wendy and I were chatting back and forth on one of the forums about doing a NYE bash in Amsterdam that would break all meetup records; hence, the name mega-meetup. Once we all agreed on committing to co-organizing this meetup, Lauro started a forum. Within a few days we already had dozens of confirms and maybes. And then some bad news hit...Lauro found out he would not be able to attend the meetup and relinquished his organizer status to Alex.

NYE in Amsterdam...Too much wine makes for a bad emcee! haha
But the silver lining in this cloud was that Alex was a perfect fit since he lived in NL and could do the leg work that I couldn't do. I started up another forum and we also included Anna into the mix to take over some of the accounting duties from Wendy (Wendy was a little preoccupied with her Africa trip).

I believe the credit for such a successful meetup goes back to the fact that our organizing team meshed well together. From recruiting and promoting to keeping the books and planning the events, the team worked hand in hand in every facet. And something else that I hadn't given thought to...every one of us had already met each other in person, so there was also a chemistry working in this co-op! As the saying goes..."It's not rocket science, just good chemistry!"

On the big day we went to the boat early to begin setting up and decorating.

The sign-in sheet...a few did not sign and I am still attempting to get a complete guest list.
We put up TB posters, balloons, and streamers; set up tables for the wonderful food that Anna brought and tables for all the party favors; we also prepared all the miscellaneous things for when people would start coming in: we had a sign-up sheet, wristbands from Dennis, name tags, TB buttons-compliments of Eric, and the Farthest Traveler shirt that everyone would autograph. While we were doing all of this, the DJ showed up to set up his equipment and the boat staff was also there preparing the bar. After a couple of hours we were ready for the big night! Now it was time for me to go back to the hotel and put on my "sharp-dressed man" attire.  haha

The walk back to the Movenpick hotel was quick and brisk. Swimming would have cut half the distance off, but I wisely decided not to get wet.

NYE TB Meet-up in Amsterdam 2008-2009
I returned to the boat sometime around 9:30. A few more TBs had shown up by that time. The official start time wasn't until 10:00, but a few were anxious to get it started!! I spent some time outside weathering the cold as I greeted people coming in...and the steps down into the boat were just a bit tricky to navigate, especially for the ladies with heels. So I also tried to assist with that, although I'm not sure I did any good. But at least no one fell and broke their neck! Eventually, I went inside and ordered a wine. It was time to start mingling and meeting, not to mention taking pictures.

The DJ kicked off the music, and by this time the numbers were growing! It was quite exciting to see friends I had met before, as well as those who I only had talked to on TB.

NYE in Amsterdam 2008-2009 The fireworks at midnight from atop the boat!
When Jim and Joy arrived, I made sure to give Jim his license plate from Zimbabwe Africa. He had asked that I look for one last summer, so now I finally gave it to him. The poor plate had crossed the Atlantic twice already! haha At around 11:30 the DJ was turning the microphone over to me for some announcements and opening ceremonies. I admit, after a few glasses of wine, I was fearful I would forget what I was supposed to say! But having all the co-organizers at my side put me at ease. The ceremony included introductions and our farthest traveler award...Mike (from Singapore) won a signed NYE shirt and certificate.

By the time midnight came, we had over 70 people! Many went to the top deck for the countdown, and to light the sparklers that Anna brought, as well as to watch all the fireworks going off around us. After the New Year was ushered in, we took a group photo in the parking lot by our boat! Sometimes it is difficult to organize such a large group for a picture, but this went off so smooth! I appreciate the cooperation to get this picture.

wanderlustbohemian says:
Ahhh
So that is how it was done.
Great!!!
Fun to read and watch. Thank goodness for video on our digital cameras eh. Very cool indeed!
Posted on: Jan 27, 2009
kendramerenda says:
Nice job with the meetup, Jamie! I promise to make it to your next one!!! ;~)
Posted on: Jan 21, 2009
pearcetoyou says:
Thank you, Margie! But it wouldn't have meant much if all of you wonderful people had not put effort into coming!
Posted on: Jan 21, 2009
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NYE TB Meet-up in Amsterdam 2008-…
NYE in Amsterdam...Too much wine …
The sign-in sheet...a few did not …
The sign-in sheet...a few did not…
NYE TB Meet-up in Amsterdam 2008-…
NYE in Amsterdam 2008-2009 The f…
Were all set up and ready for the…
We're all set up and ready for th…
Devi, Anna, Lieke, and Wendy
Devi, Anna, Lieke, and Wendy
Organizers
Organizers
They are starting to come in
They are starting to come in
Anna taking a picture
Anna taking a picture
Oussama, Ket, Erin
Oussama, Ket, Erin
Erin
Erin
Jim and James
Jim and James
Kim
Kim
Ket and JC
Ket and JC
Wendy
Wendy
Me and Bill
Me and Bill
Viewing fireworks from the boat
Viewing fireworks from the boat
Bas!
Bas!
Christophe!
Christophe!
With the adorable Margie
With the adorable Margie
Marina...From Russia, with Love!
Marina...From Russia, with Love!
The midnight kiss!
The midnight kiss!
With Anna!
With Anna!
With Melissa
With Melissa
Smile for the camera, Sal!
Smile for the camera, Sal!
With Devi and Kim
With Devi and Kim
With Dennis
With Dennis
Party favors and food!
Party favors and food!
Anna did a super job with the food!
Anna did a super job with the food!
Our fearless doorman!
Our fearless doorman!
Me, Anna, and Alex
Me, Anna, and Alex
Lynnie and me
Lynnie and me
Cheers, Joy!
Cheers, Joy!
With Devi, Sylvie, and Lynnie
With Devi, Sylvie, and Lynnie
With Ape! Thanks Nic...I stole thi…
With Ape! Thanks Nic...I stole th…
With Lynnie
With Lynnie
My great friend, Ashish!
My great friend, Ashish!
Thanks Marty for the cup!
Thanks Marty for the cup!
Alex giving some instructions in c…
Alex giving some instructions in …
Mike winning the farthest traveler…
Mike winning the farthest travele…
Anna and me preparing!
Anna and me preparing!
Its empty now...but not for long!
It's empty now...but not for long!
Devi
Devi
Im signing the shirt...thanks Lie…
I'm signing the shirt...thanks Li…
Down below...
Down below...
Our DJ
Our DJ
Anna and Dennis
Anna and Dennis
Margie, Alex, Marina, and me
Margie, Alex, Marina, and me
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou