Hrm, I do seem to procrastinate rather a lot, don’t I. Sherman, set the wayback machine for the week AFTER ConCertino. 🙂
Monday morning we got up (after me getting much too little sleep), packed everything, and headed down to the lobby to check out. We hung out with several other Monday morning departures, including filkerdave, cadhla, ladymondegreen, bardling, Ben Newman, and some other folks I can’t recall now. Eventually, persistalismum came by to pick us up, as we were staying with her and Spencer for the next few days. Persis was very tired, so I offered to drive. We made it back to their home in Milford around 1 pm. After a short period of hanging out with tarkrai, katyhh, folkmew and Ed, we decamped towards the theatre to take in an afternoon showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Wow, what a *fun* movie. We had all had a great time, and afterwards went next door to Newbury Comics (a store named, no doubt, for the vast number of comics they don’t sell) to see if they had the soundtrack album. They didn’t, as it wasn’t to be released until the next day.
We reconverged on the house to figure out dinner plans. SJ and museinred had arrived by this time, and we eventually decided that dinner should involve large aquatic insect creatures, and headed off for a lobster feast.
After dinner, SJ and museinred went south towards Baltimore, and we all headed back to Milford to crash into bed.
We had originally thought to hook up with Paul and Lois Mangan to tour some historical sites, but with dark skies threatening rain again, we decided to spend the day around the house. Eventually, guitars were broken out and tarkrai, katyhh, Ingrid, and I played for a good long while, and persistalismum even led a song (I don’t recall ever actually hearing her sing — it was nice to be surprised!)
Eventually, Steve and Katy left to meet up with their planes, by which time Paul Mangan had dropped by to take me and kitanzi around to their place en route to dinner out somewhere. We got the grand tour of Chateau Mangan, then headed out for dinner at Outback Steak House.
I really enjoyed spending time with Paul and Lois, especially since Paul and I had struck up a lengthy correspondence over the last year (and at this point, i should say that, yes Paul, I do owe you e-mail. I hope to have my act together by Labour day or before *G*). After dinner, we were dropped back off at Spencer and Persis’s and soon afterwards to bed.
Paul came around again on Wednesday morning to drive us into Boston. We were transferring our base of operations to Mystery House in Malden, where we would get to spend some time with teddywolf, tigerbright, and browngirl. Alas, browngirl was departing for Cleveland the next day, but we did at least get to see her briefly.
We got to Mystery House around 2 pm, ate a yummy little pasta lunch prepared by teddywolf, and then played some Munchkin. Somewhere during the first game, jadasc joined us, and played in the second game. Gingi left to go to class, and Kit and Wolf and I went to a nearby Japanese steakhouse to have dinner with noghri, someone I’ve known from JediMUD for almost a decade but never actually managed to meet in real life. He lives quite near Mystery House and has some similar interests to the denizens there, so maybe he’ll find some value from the overlapping of my odd social circles as well. 🙂
I think it was somewhere during Wednesday that tigerbright took some pictures of Kit and me for a class assignment of hers. She gave us two prints by weeks end, which she nicely scanned for me as well. Here’s me being silly, and here’s Kitanzi and me together.
Thursday morning was largely spent hanging out with browngirl in the morning, and making plans for Friday on the phone in the early afternoon. bardling was to be back in town after her foray down into New York, and we had planned to go bookstore crawling in Harvard Square months prior, and I also desperately wanted to see ladysprite, since I see her not nearly often enough. We made arrangements to meet up with ladysprite for lunchish things in Harvard Square. Around five, maedbh7 came by with her boy B, and we all went off to see “Pirates of the Caribbean” again. (It was the first time for H. and B.) I enjoyed the movie just as much the second time as I did the first (and those who’ve known me for a long time will know how rare it is for me to see a movie in the theatre once, let alone twice!). After the movie, we swung by Pizzaria Uno for dinner, and then back to Mystery House. Gingi had been feeling unwell and went to bed early, but the rest of us stayed up and talked. And talked. maedbh7 and I outlasted everyone else (she is very cuddlesome and whole lot of fun to talk to), and I finally went to bed sometime around 4:30 or 5 in the morning, after seeing her and her sleepy boy off.
We had arranged to meet bardling outside of the Harvard Coop at 10am, and so set out from Malden at about 9, in order to catch the bus to the train station. It was a good transportation day, with the bus arriving no more than five minutes after we got to the stop, and both trains we had to take pulling up to the platform as soon as we got to the top of the stairs. As such, we were actually a little bit early to the rendezvous point. We sat and peoplewatched for a while, and then, when it started getting a little late, I took a walk around the block to make sure bardling wasn’t waiting by a different entrance. When I got back around the block, I saw that she had arrived, and snuck up behind her to do the whole guess who thing. 🙂 Then we went around the corner for a quick breakfast before starting the bookstore shopping.
First stop was the Harvard Coop bookstore, for the simple reason that they had bathrooms. After answering nature, we went down to the SF section, meeting up with maedbh7 and B. on the way down the stairs (I had invited them along the previous night), and surveyed what they had, making notes for things to come back for if we couldn’t find them in the used sections elsewhere. I found out that bardling had never read “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”, one of my favourite books from when I was a kid, so I bought her a copy. (The kids section is right next to the SF/F, and they had a table full of awards winners).
After the Coop, we headed down to the Garage to visit Pandemonium books, but it was closed. Oh, cruel fate, oh hard, unkind world. Oh well. Next door was another Newbury Comics, which sold just as many comics as the one in Milford (which is to say, almost none), but they did have a lot of CDs and DVDs, and Bardling was able to complete her Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer collection along with a number of other things.
It was getting close to one, now, so we headed back down to the center of the Square to meet up with ladysprite and her beau A. Since we’d had a late and fairly substantial breakfast, we all decided that ice cream would be dandy for lunch! Back to the Garage for Ben & Jerry’s. Ladysprite then led us to her favourite used book spot, the downstairs of the Havard Booksellers. I bought way too many books, including the first two Age of Unreason books by J. Gregory Keyes, and Jasper Fforde’s “The Eyre Affair”, which I’m currently halfway through (and more on which later), amid other acquisitions. I also found and pressed upon Bardling a copy of Tom Deitz’s “Windmaster’s Bane”, a book I rather liked and thought she would enjoy as well.
Ladysprite and A. had to leave us at this point, so we toured back through Wordsworth’s (both adult and kid sections), and then back to the Harvard Coop again. I managed to grab a copy of “The Twenty-One Balloons” in the kids section, a book I had not owned a copy of in a long time (and which Kit had never read), and also picked up a copy of the reprint collection of the first half-dozen issues of The Incredible Hulk, which maedbh7‘s boy B. had been coveting while we were in the store earlier. I gave it to him when we got back upstairs, and he seemed quite delighted with the unexpected gift.
Having conquered the bookstores, or at least having bought as much as we could carry, we decided to see about possibly catching a movie. I had been told that “A Mighty Wind” was still playing at the Sommerville Theatre in Davis Square, and since neither Kit nor Bardling nor I had seen it, we decided that would nicely fill out the afternoon. (maedbh7 and B. had to leave us to make it in time for B.’s swimming lessons). The Sommerville Theatre is a neat old theatre, and I had a great time snuggling two gorgeous girls (for the second time in a theatre in as many days) while watching a wonderfully silly movie about folk musicians. I don’t think it was as consistently funny as Christopher Guest’s previous mockumentary “Best In Show”, but I still enjoyed it immensely and will probably buy it when it comes out on DVD. (I was also amused, though not surprised, that many of the songs are actually not bad songs at all. Christopher Guest is my hero. Really.)
When the movie was over, we headed back to Malden, arriving home only a little bit late for dinner, which was ok since dinner was running late too. Since dinner wasn’t going to be ready for at least a half-hour, bardling and I retired to the back for me to give her the massage I had promised her. We then had a marvelous repast including swordfish and roast potatoes and a lot of other marvelous things I don’t actually recall now, but enjoyed eating. This was my first chance to eat one of teddywolf‘s serious dinners, and I wasn’t disappointed.
After dinner, we played Munchkin Fu, a game which bardling eventually won. filker0 had dropped by to give bardling a ride back to Milford, so we all traded hugs and said goodbyes, and then headed to an early bed.
R&J were heading off to Western Mass. to meet up with her parents for lunch and activities, so we decided to take them out to breakfast. J. would be returning later in the evening, but R. was staying with her parents until Sunday evening, by which time we’d be gone, so it was the last chance to spend with her before we went home. We tried one little place, but it was too crowded, so we went somewhere else and had a lovely dinner. They then dropped us off in Davis Square to hit another couple of used bookstores before heading home. I managed to find books 3 and 4 in The Age Of Unreason series, which is I think as far as they go, and also the third book in Spider and Jeanne Robinson’s Stardance trilogy, which Kit remembers as not being as good as the others but we were missing it, so I grabbed it anyway. We then headed to Downtown Crossing to shop for Luggage.
You see, the suitcase we’d come up in was fairly small, and only barely fit all of our clothes. And we’d acquired a large number of books, between the one’s we’d bought over the last two days and the ones that bardling had brought us over from the UK. So we decided that one big suitcase was better than two little ones, and rather than….oh wait, wrong story. Anyway, we arrived downtown and the first thing we noticed is that Fileen’s was having a One-Day Sale. Bonus! We made our way inside and up to the sixth floor, where the luggage department was hidden.
We picked up a 26″ Suitcase, one of those big serious black suitcases with wheels and a handle on every side that People Who Travel A Lot have. This was a piece that was on clearance already, and then after adding the One Day Sale discount, we ended up getting a $300 suitcase for just a fraction over $100.
We metro-ed home with our new purchase, having decided that it was now time to give serious consideration to rest and relaxation for the rest of the day. Eventually, J. came home and took us off to see Trader Joe’s, which we’d seen referenced so many times on alt.support.diet.low-carb. Neat store, but there aren’t any where we are. Of course, we have Harry’s Farmer’s Market, so fair is fair. After grocery shopping, we went home, got everything packed and ready, and got a good early start on sleep.
Time to head home. The taxi I had arranged arrived right on time at 5:30am, in order to get us to the airport by 6 for our 8am flight. The cabbie was a really nice guy who actually had a “no smoking” cab. He told us that you can actually request a no-smoking cab from Malden Cab Co. and they’ll try to send you one. Nice to know for future visits.
We had a nice bit of adrenaline-rush wake-up when we arrived at the curbside check-in for Delta. After giving him our ID and flight number, the porter told us that he didn’t have us listed for that flight and couldn’t check our luggage. We went inside to the Delta counter who promptly found us on the list and got us squared away, but any residual sleepiness was long gone!
Having finally arrived at our gate with over an hour to kill, I discovered that the book I had set aside to read on the plane (Newton’s Cannon) had been left behind. I’ve been trying to read this book for five years and something keeps preventing me. So I consoled myself with Charles DeLint’s “Jack of Kinrowen” instead (tough life I’ve got, I know) while Kit read the new Harry Potter book, which I had finished on the trip up.
The plane arrived. We got on it. It flew to Atlanta. We got off it. We met telynor at baggage, collected our stuff, and went home, with a brief stop for a late brunch at J. Christopher’s.
What a GREAT vacation. Usually, when I get home from vacation, I need another vacation to recover from it, but I think I got just the right amount of rest and relaxation, just the right amount of warm hugs, just the right amount of snuggles and smooches from all my friends and family and loves. There are some people I wish I had gotten a chance to see (especially magid — next time, you’re number 1 on my priority list, D!), and I really didn’t do any of the sightseeing that I had wanted to, but still, you can’t ask for anything more from a vacation than a chance to hold people that you love close to you and tell them how much you love them.
I love you guys. All of you.