As with many Fleet events, this was a great opportunity to reconnect with people I've only met once or twice, meet a bunch of new people, and see a few friends. The Canadian contingent was a pleasant surprise; nice to hang out with them for a bit. Niagara really has a great group of people from what I've seen. They seem to average 10-20 years older than Accord does. Though they do have a few kids and teens aboard, they seem to be mostly a 30s-50s crew with a handful on either side, while we're a 20s-30s crew with a handful on either side.
Captain Glen Diebold's wife Ruth has spent the last few months making some spectacular Fleet uniforms for many of the crew members, so I was really one of a handful of people not in uniform. I took the suit and tie approach, as I usually do at Fleet functions, though I did have some insignia and such on it. (Photos later.)
Dinner was at Kahunaville, an island theme restaurant at the Walden Galleria, a huge Buffalo area mall. Tasty food and a fun jungle atmosphere! Glen did a good job of assembling some pomp and circumstance, probably better than nearly any other event I've been to. Brief speeches and presentations, including Glen handing out small plaques to all of his command staff members, a few promotions, some group photos, and even a custom cake.
All told, it's been a nice (and mostly offline) weekend.