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The 2008 Marina Motel Sleepover

-By BitterGrey

I'd wanted to host an AB/DL slumber party for a while, but didn't have the space for it. After much procrastination, a plan started to take shape: have the sleepover party at a motel. We'd get together Saturday evening, and separate the following morning. It turned out to be a new and learning experience. I hope to do it again in the not-too-distant future. Thanks again to everyone who pitched in and helped the event work out so well!

Preparation

The first step was to find a location. The selection of Marina, California wasn't that hard. It is a small beach town that, in the off-season, wouldn't be crowded. It was far enough from the bay area to be 'out of town,' but not too long a drive. Flare volunteered to look at motels, and found a great one with adjoining rooms. It was inexpensive and not far from the beach.

The next step was to email the invitations, collect RSVPs, and arrange carpools. The detailed invitation helped to avoid disappointment.

The invitation:

CARPOOLING

Marina is roughly an hour's drive south of the bay area, so carpooling might be a good idea. I'll be heading south after the party, and will have luggage and a bicycle packed in the car, so there won't be much space with me. Also, there is a group that is getting together early to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium before the sleepover.

THE MEET

The current plan is to meet at the motel some time between 5PM and 5:30PM, Saturday the 15th. ( Quality Inn at Marina Beach, 280 Dunes Drive, Marina, CA, US, 93933 ). At 5:30, we'll head out for diner. Suggestions for restaurants are welcome. The current default is Sarita's Mexican Restaurant ( 342 Reservation Rd Marina, CA 93933 ), but suggestions would be welcome.

People should bring:

For themselves:

To share:

And maybe:

THE PARTY

After diner, we'll return to the motel. Then we put the "do not disturb" sign on the door, start changing, and set up games and video players. I've reserved two adjoining rooms, so if we only need one for games and videos, the other can be used for changing. The second might be needed to provide floor space for sleeping. (I plan on sleeping on the floor, in traditional sleepover fashion, but you don't have to.)

Babyish apparel will then be OK, but not mandatory. (Covered diapers, shortalls, sleepers, nightgowns, T-shirts, etc. will be OK. Leather, chains, etc. will not be OK for this event. Bare diapers or just diapers and a T-shirt wouldn't be OK for this event, and might be too cold anyway. ) Wetting will be OK, as long as reasonable precautions are taken to prevent and control leaks. No messing this time, please.

Then we'll pick out a game or two, and play for a while. The evening might involve childish play, but not structured roleplay. There won't be any parental figures there. Let's try to hold to a G or PG room rating.

After that, we'll watch a movie, assuming we we're able to patch into the TV. Then maybe we'll close with a bedtime story.

In the morning, people should try to be quiet until an hour before brunch or until everyone is up. We'll watch cartoons and/or talk as people take turns changing and showering.

We'll try to restore order to the motel room, carry out designated disposables bags ourselves, and maybe leave a tip for housekeeping. We might need to set the AC to vent the room. Then, once again in street clothes, we'll head out for brunch and conversation. During brunch, we might complete a worked/didn't-work/maybe-next-time table.

The Party

Given the detailed invitation and good guests, the actual party wasn't hard to manage. Everyone had something to share. Footed sleepers were shown off. Games were played. Hot chocolate was consumed. Coloring books were colored. A movie was watched, and books read aloud. An unscheduled fort was built. Post-con blues were bemoaned.

Apparently, I wasn't alone in not wanting it to end.

What Worked and What Didn't

Worked

  1. The motel: Easy access from the freeway. Adjoining rooms permuted us to move between rooms while dressed up, and some leeway in the sleeping hours. For changing, the doors between rooms could be closed.
  2. Coloring books and crayons: Those who woke up early could go to the other room and color quietly.
  3. Storybook reading
  4. Games: Intentionally interactive and simple, such as Uno.
  5. Invitation only: The group knew each other from the South Bay BRiDgE munch, and so could be comfortable with each other overnight. Indirect invitations might have worked also.
  6. Local sights: Guests who were in town early visited the aquarium, and those in town late visited Denis the Menace Park, both nearby in Monterey.
  7. Group size of 4-8 (again, for a familiar group).
  8. Closing activities: The movie provided a time to wind down. A bedtime story was replaced with reading earlier in the night.

Didn't Work

  1. Lack of discipline: While the invitation specified that the lights-out time would be agreed upon at diner, this was put off until later. This caused some frustration.
  2. The town: Marina was a bit of a drive. Since it was a quasi-BRiDge event, a few assumed that it would be in the Bay Area.
  3. More structure: The events could have been been laid out in more detail. Who would bring what could also have been better planned.
  4. Incongruous age ranges: The guest's ages differed by a factor of two. As a result, their nostalgic childhood associations differed.
  5. Incompatible headspace plans: Some guests might have been hoping for either a more or less regressive event.
  6. Lack of a sitter/parent figure: This limited the regressed ages to childhood, excluding babyhood.
  7. Lack of carpooling handouts: printed handouts with directions to the motel, diner location, and brunch location would have been helpful.
  8. Short notice on the carpooling email: This list of those who were coming was sent to those who were coming less than a week in advance.

To Try Next Time

  1. Earlier start time: Group events could have been planned for Saturday afternoon.
  2. Competitions: For example, the person who brought the coloring books could pick the best colored page at the end of the event, and give an inexpensive reward.
  3. More/different kid's games, such as Twister.
  4. Open activities the following day: Sleepover attendance is limited, but there is no reason that there can't be an open event Sunday morning.
  5. Maybe consider suites/divided events: Some factors limiting attendance could be overcome by a larger room, suite, or a block of rooms ("BRiDgECon+")
Level: Intermediate | Status: Finished | Last Update: 13 December 2009 | First: 2 December 2008


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