Railfair 2003

What a busy weekend! I think the curse of Railfair has been lifted. You see, for years, the universe conspired against me to prevent me from attending the Railfair for on reason or another for many years – the closest I got before now was two years ago, when our Golf died just as we were getting onto the Queensway to head over. It was maddening. However, this year I found out well in advance and set my schedule to make certain that we could go. I also now know when next year’s (2004) Railfair will be – October 16 and 17th, and I’ll be sure to make it there.

Railfair 2003 was at Algonquin college’s Woodroofe campus. Unfortunately, *finding* the event involved a bit of guesswork due to the number of buildings at that campus. Fortunately, we found it within 5 minutes of arriving.

Once we had paid our $7 admission fee, we entered, and suddenly it all came back. I haven’t been a model railroader in almost 20 years, but I have to admit that I remember the hobby so fondly that I look forward to when I will have the room to dedicate to this.

The room was very well laid out with vendors along the outer walls and the displays in the center. There were quite a few layouts, including HO scale (what I used), O scale (which my grandfather had in his basement – that was a nice set up as well), a number of N scales and a Z scale, which I had never heard of before. A real treat was the ParLUGment layout – a LEGO train set – well, its a whole city. I was surprised to see just how fast the lego trains could move!

I also came across a working model of the 1201 – a steam engine I fondly remember from my youth.

Somehow, I managed not to walk out of there with a new train set of my own.

Once we finished up at the Railfair, we were off to the OMEDA Gala, celebrating 25 years of the Ottawa Middle Eastern Dance Association. Tracey performed of course, much to everyone’s delight as did many others who I know. It was a night full of meeting people and catching up with people who we hadn’t seen in some time.

Overall, the evening went quite well – the dancing was interesting, the company was good, and the food was tasty.

We went home around 11pm, went to bed to prepare for Sunday, the eighth Dancer’s Bazaar.

Sunday we got up (Tracey before myself, as usual) and went over to Immaculata high school and started to set up. The day went off really, really well thanks to everyone who came early to help out (and get an early chance to look everything over, I would imagine).

My only gripe about the location was the way the rental had been handled. Quite some time ago, Tracey had reserved space at the Patro D’Ottawa, but about five weeks ago, they told her she couldn’t have the room, which led her to hunt around until she came to Immaculata. They quoted her between $40 and $60 for the room in question the cafeteria. It took weeks to get a final price – which she found out days before the Bazaar – $80 per hour plus some additional costs, well beyond the original budget. Needless to say, I am less than impressed with the Catholic School Board. Then again, who else but Catholics would charge $80 per hour for a cafeteria. [Grrr..]

Back to what happened… Tracey was interviewed twice, once for a local radio station and then by CHRO. CJOH had also shown up earlier in the day but didn’t talk to anyone.

Once 4pm rolled around, everyone packed up and then a bunch of us (16 or so) went to Peach Gardens on Main Street for supper for a good bye supper for Donna, who is moving back to North Bay after being in Ottawa for at least the past year. I think that they handled the large group of us as well as they could.

I also made an interesting observation – hungry belly dancers are far noisier than fed belly dancers. After supper, we went home, unpacked the car, and went to bed and slept, exhausted.

Since about 11:30 there has been a really great on and off thunderstorm outside which has started to rumble again to make its presence known. I love thunderstorms. I should get a UPS one of these days. ;-)

Music of the moment – Stopwatch Hearts by Delerium, featuring Emily Haines, on the second CD of Chimera. Very catchy!