Crank up Bruce Springsteen on the radio, we're heading to the hip and trendy Asbury Park! This year's Holiday party really did feel like a break from the mundane winter with temperatures reaching into the 50s (But don't worry, there is still plenty of 'Mall Snow' to be seen).
We had 30 people in attendance and even 2 DeLoreans managed to briefly wake from their winter slumber! We started out with dinner at Robinson's Ale House right on the ocean front boardwalk. Although no one really had a moment to enjoy the view, there was too much excitement going on inside socializing with plenty of conversation to catch up on since the last event.
Time was running tight, so we decided to kick off our classic White Elephant game while waiting for our food. With plenty of running around picking numbers, coordinating choosing gifts and loud laughter, it certainly felt like a fiasco of excitement and no shortage of bringing obnoxious attention to ourselves ;)
As the gifts were slowly opened one by one, you could really tell some people had tried to up their game in gift quality since last year... Come on people! This is white elephant... you're trying too hard! ;) It started to get pretty brutal as the stealing picked up when some pretty desirable items were unwrapped.
Daniel couldn't manage to hold on to a single item without it being stolen from him at EVERY turn, but luckily he ended up with a pretty cool Mr. Fusion charger for his car by the end. 10 year old Zachary was eager to pick an item from the table to unwrap, but it turned out to be wine glasses! Luckily, Charlyn managed to steal that from him as she wanted them for herself. Zachary decided to steal the neat DeLorean laser cut key ring holder, but we ALL know it was daddy who put him up to it ;) Shari managed to steal it from him a few turns later, presenting the opportunity for Zach to steal what HE really wanted without parental influence. I found out later Sue quietly picked the gift she brought, but TECHNICALLY it's not against the rules. Everyone has their own strange strategy for this game.
Everyone managed to get some mild amusement or was happy with the gift they ended up with.. and if not, hey, that's white elephant for ya! There's always next year.
As we 'wrapped up' dinner after our gift exchange (pun intended), we slowly headed down the boardwalk to Silverball Pinball Museum. We had a group rate for 3 hours of 'open play' to all the arcade machines in the facility. There were rows of pinball games from all eras –vintage, modern, one with a projection screen, air hockey, skee-ball, the original Pong, and plenty of the classic cabinet games like Frogger, Ms Pacman or Galaga.
A few of our members were quite competitive.. Sue Wolters managed to top the high score for the World Fair pinball and Josh Souders topped the high score for Medieval Madness pinball!
We managed to get a fair mount of time to play before succumbing to calloused fingers and visual overload from all the flashing lights. We said our goodbyes while anticipating the rumored delicious BBQ that will be at the next event. Just a few more weeks of thawing out and we'll see you all at the Spring Social!