What we agreed to and paid for (back in September 2006):
A week-long celebration of Chad's birthday, lots of booze, and a room in a big house.
What we got:
A baby shower
3 birthday parties
A math problem*
We did have a great time, and watching Alastair play on the beach was nothing short of heaven. He had so much fun covering himself in sand and letting the surf wash over him. We played in the waves, crushed sand-castles, sifted for stones, played Where's-The-Baby, and frolicked like champions.
I watched my little man eat crabcakes and pickles, discover a deep love of NASCAR and motocross, and obsess over dirt and basketball.
Amanda and I got some much needed time together without household responsibilities (although we did wash all the dishes in the house one night since nobody else seemed interested).
And we got to spend a week with Susan, which was a lot of fun.
Amanda reconnected with an old friend from college, and our little 'uns played together for a good while.
It was fun, but the traffic and the attitudes detracted from the experience. Will we do it again? Sure, as long as we know in advance what we're getting into, and those plans are protected from change.
*The house cost $7400 for the week, and featured 8 bedrooms. We bought one bedroom for $900 for the week, and assume that the other bedrooms went for similar prices. 7 bedrooms were fully occupied for the whole week, equaling $6300. Another bedroom hosted a number of "floaters", or people who may not have chosen to stay the whole week, or who came by themselves. Floaters paid $65 / day, and at least one paid for the whole week: $455. At least three other groups of folks came on Wednesday and stayed thru Saturday: $585. Shana's parents stayed two nights, and assuming they paid $65 as a couple, that raises us to $7470. All of this does not add up to the total number of people who stayed in the house. At least 2 or 3 other folks showed up during the course of the week, and at least one of them did not pay to stay. At an inside estimate, assuming Kent and Raleigh were only there for 2 nights ( can't remember if they were there for the wedding or not), we have a total financial contribution of $7730, for a profit of $330. I say it's an inside estimate because Grandpa didn't sleep in a room. Did he pay, or was his share donated by the family? I'd say it's easy to assume closer to $1000 was collected in overpayment, even with the freeloader(s). Did my overpayment go to paying for the wedding, or did it get pocketed? If my estimates are even close to accurate, and considering the weight of a full-room share as opposed to a single-share, I figure about $100 should be coming back to us.