Wow! The trip to a different city was definitely worth it to play against some people over-the-board! It was the club's first meeting, so there was a handful of people there, but that number is expected to rise quite substantially over the next few weeks. My son had a really good time, and really enjoyed trying his tricks against other people than his good old Dad. The club runs sanctioned tournaments every month, so me and my son will be registering with the Canadian Chess Federation and get an actual chess rating, I will keep you posted on our progress on that front.
The difference between over-the-board and online chess is amazing, and I am glad that I purchased a tournament set for us a month ago so we could practice with the real thing. While definitely the same game, seeing lines and tactics is a bit different with the real pieces than a totally top-down perspective on a computer screen.
If anyone hasn't tried an over-the-board club but really enjoys playing chess online, I definitely recommend it! We are fortunate in that the club we are joining doesn't have any fee's other than tournaments, but from what I can gather most chess club fees are pretty low anyway, and I can tell you first-hand that it would be worth it!
I am going to start getting my son (and myself) transcribing out our over-the-board matches, and will share some of them on YouTube as we get comfortable with things.