But, as you would imagine, a railroad-themed restaurant, in a magnificent railroad station, situated next to not one, but TWO major railroad lines, would be quite a draw for folks attending the show. And it is - so much in fact that I think the wait to get in was originally somewhere between one and two hours.
So, sitting there, enjoying our after-dinner beverages it occurred to us: The Steaming Tender has an ex-New Haven Railroad parlor car next to the restaurant that is used for "special parties." Well, we figured we'd qualify as a "special" party at least, so we plopped down a deposit that night, reserving the car for the next year. And we've had it firmly in hand ever since.
As wonderful as it is to be able to sit in a much quieter environment, surrounded by such lavish beauty, it's especially nice to know we have reserved seating - and there's no wait. Best of all though, we get to invite anywhere from 25-30 of our best friends to join us. YOU try getting a table that large! "Party of 30 - table 4." Not. You can freely move around and visit with all your buddies. The car is fully staffed and drinks and food are brought right to the car. I don't mind admitting it's a pretty sweet setup,
But like I said, the best part of all is being able to really spend some quality time with folks you probably only get to see once a year - and you don't have to worry about catching them during the show itself. Here are some quick pics of the "special parties" that showed up to the party this year...
|(You'll only get this if you listen to the "A Modeler's Life" podcast)