We first went over to Sacramento Post-Acute to visit my sister for a while. Kuma Bear was concerned that he might sneeze on Kelli, so he kitted up properly. Kelli was happy to see us as usual. Having the rain come through has made her (and the other residence of the home, who are mostly respiratory issues) literally breathe vastly easier, as it has washed all of the smoke out of the air.
We had some other plans for the trip between Sacramento and Santa Rosa; however, because of the heavy rain, we stopped only once, in Vacaville for a coffee for me and some chocolate milk for Lisa. Even having to go slowly due to the rain and taking the shorter-but-slower CA-12 route to Santa Rosa, we got to the hotel around 2 PM.
Whew we tried to check in, I discovered that I'd goofed on my hotel reservation; they didn't have us arriving until tomorrow! Fortunately, they were still able to give us a room at the convention rate. I would have been embarrassing and inconvenient to find somewhere else for tonight.
We moved in to our room. This is an older hotel, and doesn't have enough power outlets, and the ones they have are in inconvenient places. We do, however, bring extension cords and plug adapters/multipliers. It does take a little while to get the hotel room adapted to our needs. We advised housekeeping that we're probably not doing to need the room serviced, partially because of how much we end up spreading stuff around the room to make things work the way we want it.
After dealing with the hotel move-in, we hung around the lobby chatting with Lea Farr who was running Registration and with other convention members as they were arriving. When the Con Suite opened at 4 PM, we went and and looked around. Kuma Bear found this among their supplies, and discovered that they must have known he was coming.
For an early dinner, Lisa and I drove Linda Deneroff, Lisa Deutsch Harrigan, and Cliff Dunn down to an Italian restaurant about 1 km from the hotel. To partially offset the high carbs of that dinner, I walked back to the hotel while Lisa drove the others back. Then it was what you would expect of SMOFCon on the night before it starts, with the early arrivals (lots of them!) socializing and smoffing.
Because Santa Rosa is slightly challenging to get to by air, and getting here from SFO means a relatively lengthy surface transfer by bus or by renting a car, a larger-than-usual number of people arrived early. The schedule looks good, and I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead. I'm also happy that my hotel room turns about to be just around the corner from the room where the Probability & Statistics Seminar is scheduled for Saturday night, because it means I don't have to carry the heavy cases of poker chips very far.