We rolled back in from a visit to the old stomping grounds last night. We had a lot of fun and it was great seeing everyone again.
We left Tuesday night and spent the night outside of Syracuse, New York. Actually, not far from where I lived, in Corning, as a wee tot. Then Wednesday we completed our trek to Cincinnati. For those planning on traveling through New York and Ohio, be advised that every square inch of roadway there is under construction. Also, there are approximately twenty-twelve squillion semis in Ohio, all traveling in packs of seven.
We got to Cinci and dropped in on Anne, Stewart, and Sydney. It really hadn’t been that long since we’d seen Sydney but she was huge! It was very sweet how she refers to Stewart and Anne as “Daddy-o” and “Mommy-o”. Stewart busted out some Dance Dance Revolution, but we mostly took it easy. It was good to see a lot of Stewart, since his busy schedule meant we hadn’t seen much of him in a while. They’re headed to Las Vegas soon, and I’m sure we’ll lose track of them as they descend into a nightmare of booze, hookers, and blackjack.
Thursday we continued on to Champaign and arrived at April and John’s in the evening. We ate at an old favorite: Dos Reales, and then went by our much-missed old bookstore, Pages for All Ages. (Pages was having a “scratch and dent” sale and I picked up some comics TPBs for pennies on the dollar, which was sa-weet!)
Friday I actually went into work and got to see some of my co-workers for the fist time in a while. It was great to see John, Nate, Shelley, and others I email to on a regular basis but hadn’t seen in a while.
For lunch, I went to Steak and Shake with Vicky and Dave, who I had missed terribly. Dave and I used to meet for lunch on a regular basis and it was one of the things I really missed, so it was nice to be able to do this again. All that was missing was a lunchtime trip to Wal-Mart to check for toys.
My workday was filled with meetings, mostly, the last one of which was with the Oracle group in TGI Fridays. That’s the downside of working from home — you can only get drunk by yourself.
Friday night I was going to drop in on Dave, Brian, Rob, and Topher, who were gaming at Brian’s place, but time was not kind to me. We ended up playing an interesting Lord of the Rings boardgame with April and John, and looking at their photos from their recent trip to the Netherlands.
Saturday was Dave and Vicky day! We went to Zorba’s for lunch (mmm…gyros) and then hung out at their place a bit. We saw their London photos, Dave showed me Star Wars Galaxies (tempting!), we discussed politics and other subjects, and we played San Juan. For dinner we went to Jupiter’s for pizza, and Dave and I went over to my old game store, the Dragon’s Pile. (Not the actual name.) Oh, and it’s still SUCH a pile. After wading through all kinds of junk on the floor to search through the unorganized used gamebooks for an In Nomine book (unsuccessfully) while John, the owner, played City of Heroes and cussed out Wizards of the Coast, it made me sooooo happy for my current game store!
Sunday morning we all met at Original Pancake House, a traditional breakfast spot for our gang, and after a couple of games with April and John, we headed back to Cincinnati. Once there we visited with Anne and Stewart a little more. Monday was spent driving all the way back home, where we arrived a little before ten p.m., making excellent time.
It was so good to see everyone, and we thank them for taking time out to hang with us. It was great to visit some old haunts. We did go by our old house and saw that the new owner had NOT put up a fence (we had bet that this would be the case). We were glad to see that it was well-maintained, and the flowers Becky had planted were still there. There was a moving van in the driveway for the duplex next door, home of Lois and Johnny, and it looked like it was pulled up to their place. We didn’t see any activity, though, and I can’t imagine them being able to hire a truck (they couldn’t drive) so I’ve no idea what the story is there. I’d love to know.
All in all, a very nice trip. Some selected photos have been added to the photo section. Thanks to everyone for helping to make it easy for us to visit, who put us up, and who put up with us. We miss you all and you’re welcome to come drop in on us anytime!