Friends, I hope that you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Janice and I left Massachusetts after work on Wednesday, 21 November 2007. We reached the Holiday Inn Express across from Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, around 10:00 p.m.
The next morning, we enjoyed the complementary breakfast and drove the rest of the way to my parents' home in Virginia by lunchtime. We were joined by my younger brother Peter, his wife Kelly, their young daughters Ava and Lili, and Kelly's mother Maureen. The tasty holiday dinner consisted of turkey and the usual fixings, as well as my mother's egg rolls! We also took advantage of the relatively warm weather to go outside and pet horses in the neighboring field.
Janice and I spent the night with my folks, then drove to Washington D.C.'s suburbs on Friday morning. We played with our nieces, picked up lunch from Chipotle, and helped erect Peter & Kelly's new Christmas tree. We pre-exchanged presents, which we'll open on Christmas.
After that, we visited Steve M.R. & Aleece Z.R. and their toddler Connor in their new home about three miles away in Burke, Va. The Rothandlers were very hospitable, sharing numerous appetizers and other leftovers from a hiking club dinner. Since it was getting late, Janice and I stayed with Peter & Kelly before returning to my parents. Janice got to watch a rebroadcast of the dog show that we had missed on Thanksgiving morning.
On Saturday, we went for a long walk, helped rake leaves, and of course, ate very well. We also caught up on my parents' recent travels to Belgium, the French Alps, and Minneapolis, as well as on politics, local and international news, and our extended family.
The next morning, Janice and I left Virginia and visited Janice's paternal grandmother Thelma M. in rural Pennsylvania. Since we don't get down to see family as often as we like, it was nice to see "Mammy." She took us out to lunch at Saville's Diner. We've been watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network because there are few such affordable and hearty restaurants in our area.
Not including the side trip to see Janice's grandmother and dinner at the Blue Colony Diner in Newtown, Connecticut, the drive home took us about 10 hours because of end-of-weekend traffic, mostly on the approach to the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and the intersection between Interstates 84 and 90. Otherwise, we could have stopped to visit Damon F.P. and the rest of the "Westchester crew."
Fortunately, we had yesterday off to recover from the long drive. We spent it catching up on newspapers and catalogs, recorded genre television, and sleep. We also had lunch at Bertucci's. Speaking of TV, I recommend this Doctor Who charity video, first forwarded by Thomas K.Y.; fellow blogger Ken G.'s report on the Super MegaFest; and NBC's time-travel drama Journeyman, which is reportedly in danger of being canceled.
We avoided the malls on "Black Friday," but I have some shopping yet to do, and I'm already behind a few friends in sending cards. They'll have to wait, however, as I get back to work and as the D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands: the Broken Chains," "Holy Steel," and City of Heroes games resume….