For the first time in its 78-year history, the conference is leaving the state of New Jersey. Admittedly it is only a baby step in crossing the Delaware but when General Washington did it on Christmas Day of 1776, it changed the course of the Revolution and our nation. We are moving from our stodgy secure encampment in Atlantic City to the Philly Sonesta, which is an extremely centrally located, 25 story modern hotel ( www.sonesta.com/us/pennsylvania/philadelphia/sonesta-philadelphia-rittenhouse-square ) at 18th and Market. There is excellent (albeit pricey) parking within the building. We recommend public transportation over driving, but we will offer some creative solutions to offset the pricey parking.

One can walk diagonally across the street to a Suburban Station entrance and take a frequent Septa train for $6.75 and exit by the baggage counter of every PHL terminal. The Sonesta is extremely easy to access via Septa, Amtrak, PATCO, Megabus and Greyhound. One can buy a Septa convenience pass ($9 for 1 day, $18 for 3 days) and get on any bus, subway, or trolley to easily access every major Philly attraction, including the free ones in Independence Square and the nearby Rivers Casino on the riverfront.

One can easily walk to the Christmas Village at City Hall, Chinatown, a myriad of restaurants within a couple of blocks, and the somewhat macabre Mutter Museum. (The latter is somewhat unsuitable for children, but it fascinated my kids during their misspent youth.) Consider bringing your family for a mini vacation as our Sonesta rate is valid for both surrounding weekends. If you’re a football fan, the Army Navy game is the Saturday after the conference. If you’ve never been to Philly, attending our conference is a must even without our usual superb program that I’m sure we’ll have. Stay safe and healthy

– Walter R. Young Conference Chair