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Friday night 12 readers and I met at Guelaguetza Restaurant near downtown Los Angeles for the first ever MileValue dinner. Eating, drinking, and socializing lasted the better part of three hours.

Before, during, and after the dinner I had a chance to talk with everyone about their upcoming trips, miles-redemption strategy, and miles-earning tricks.

Amazing tips were circulated by readers. One person brought a pen and paper to take notes, and I think we all wished we had. Two tips in particular stood out to me. One that I’ll blog later this week, and one which is not suitable for blogging because it’s a mistake that would be fixed upon being identified.

Because of how fun and informative the dinner was, I will definitely be hosting more in the future. (I’m looking at December 1 for the next one in LA.)

I encourage everyone to try to meet other travelers in person. Beyond the fun, the interchange of information is fantastic and qualitatively different than what you get in a forum or blog.

And if you’re a blogger like many of my readers are, why not host your own meet up in your city? You’ll be glad you did.

Here are a few pictures of the evening. I’m not much of a photographer.

Not sure what it is exactly, but I want one!

The most popular dish was the restaurant’s famous chicken mole, and the most popular drink was the house margarita made with mezcal instead of tequila.

We were at a Mexican restaurant during the Mexico-Costa Rica World Cup qualifying game, and a Spanish-speaking LA-based TV station was filming the patrons watching the game. Presumably it was for a piece on the game, and they wanted reaction shots of Mexico’s goals.

Later a reporter interviewed some of the diners, but I had no luck being interviewed. It’s a shame because I would love to add an “As Featured on Telemundo” to this blog’s header.

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