Editor's Note: This post is from Rebecca
I wanted to let everyone know WAY in advance about a party that we are having as a “Welcome Home Patrick, Happy Belated 40th Rebecca and ‘It Really is Patrick’s Birthday’ Party”. OK the name needs some work, but you get the idea. It’s on Saturday May 3rd (which really is Patrick’s 43rd birthday) at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) down the beach from the Hotel Del Coronado. I am trying to reserve a block of rooms at the Navy Lodge for Friday and Saturday night… the rooms will be about $77/night.
The original idea was to book the deck pictured below, called the “Breakers Beach Deck”.It’s a lovely venue; new and right on the beach with nice Trek decking and glass wind protection. I went to sign the contract on Thursday and found out that this would cost over $3,000 for 4 hours with 75 people… and we would have had to do it on Sunday afternoon. There was $600 just to have the deck and a minimum of $18 per person catering charge, plus a mandatory 20% gratuity on anything that we ordered to drink or eat. They only allow paper and plastic and there were all kinds of rules that you have to agree to enforce. Honestly the last straw was when I was checking the prices of a keg beer. They charge $225 for a keg of Miller Lite (it’s $90 at BevMo and Beer King).
SO when I went over to the Navy Lodge to check out the hotel rules; the lady behind the desk was also aghast at the price list I showed her and she suggested reserving “The Old Chief’s Deck” on the other side of the Navy Lodge. It’s not very classy (but VERY Mangano…and I can put beer in buckets for you guys so you can pretend it’s The Cape… sorry, inside BC joke here), and it’s old and a bit decrepit BUT it’s free to reserve, there is no limit to how many people we can invite, and I can bring all of my own food and drink. (Mark, I need your Mai Tai recipe; Keith and Robert I need your Long Island Ice Tea one) . There was no mention of rules other than “No Glass Containers”. I called the place to reserve it and they said that I couldn’t reserve it until 30 days out. When I asked how I would send out invites and explained our situation, the woman on the other end of the phone said to me: “Are you the woman who was just talking to Lissie at the Navy Lodge”? When I said yes, she said that Lissie said that I was a “good egg” and she took my name, number and when we wanted to reserve the deck. I asked her if that meant it was ours or if I could be bumped by a Navy Function, and she said it was ours, we are in her book... I just have to confirm 30 days out and give her a list of guests to give to the front gate. So thanks Dad for always teaching me to be polite and friendly to everyone no matter their station… I have Lissie to thank for saving me a lot of money and being able to book this so early. I asked about the electrical hookup (at the other deck they charge $50 to hook-up electrical for a band or DJ) and she said I would have to check with security. If I can get a hook up, I am going to see if Brehon’s Law (Irish Pub Band) is available to play for a few hours. My friend Roni said that I could rent a generator if necessary. I’ll need to rent or borrow some umbrellas and stands – there’s not a lot of covered areas and maybe I’ll ask a few people to bring some extra chairs… I may be able to rent them too. SO – that’s the plan for now, I’ll let you know when I formulate a solid plan. BUT save the date, it will be fun!