Entry for September 12, 2008: Virginia visit

Friends, I hope you've had a good week. After Labor Day, I took a few days off from work. In addition to doing yard and housework, I met former co-worker Brian F. for lunch at Conrad's in Norwood, Massachusetts. I also picked up my subscription at New England Comics and stopped by the new Newbury Comics in Norwood.

Janice and I drove down to my parents' home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While flying might be quicker and a train would be more pleasant, it was a bit cheaper and more convenient for us to take Janice's car, since we had various places to go to in Virginia. We checked out my folks' newly renovated kitchen, talked about politics, and stayed the night before continuing toward Washington D.C.

On Friday, 5 September 2008, Janice and I treated my parents to a nice lunch at Tadpole Cafe in Warrenton (their birthdays were a month earlier). We then stopped by the Sugarloaf Craft Festival in Manassas. The fair was quieter then it would have been if we went during the weekend, but we wanted to beat the tropical storms.

In addition, I made a detour to an old haunt, the Game Parlor in Chantilly. I enjoyed perusing the shop's wide selection of role-playing supplements, comic books, and miniatures. Janice and I had time to check in at the Holiday Inn Express Fairfax, where we stayed because my younger brother Peter was hosting some of his friends, and we didn't want to impose on any of my friends this time around.

Janice and I met several friends for dinner at Cee Fine Thai Dining near our hotel. Former college roommate John Z.G. and his son Mark G. were the first to arrive. John's wife (and fellow City of Heroes player) Kim A.G. and daughter Vicki had other engagements. Corbin A.Y. & Andria K.Y. also joined us, recently returned from their Alaskan cruise.

Steve M.R. & Aleece M.R. and their young children Connor R. and Lauren R. met us both then and later at our niece Liliana R.D.'s baptism. Hans C.H. & Carolyn M.P. rounded out the party. Unfortunately, Ken P.S. & Karen, David A.H. & Katy A.L., and Cecil R.W. and family, among others, were unable to join us. The dinner conversation was wide-ranging, and it was good to catch up with friends whom I haven't seen too often, especially after seeing my circles of acquaintances in metropolitan New York just a few weeks earlier.

On Saturday, Sept. 6, Janice and I went to Peter & Kelly's home, where we played with nieces Ava and Lili. Although their flights were delayed, Peter's friends Chris D'A. and Todd O. eventually arrived from Florida before going out for a night on the town.

On Sunday, Sept. 7, we met at Peter & Kelly's before going to the Church of the Nativity in Burke, Virginia, for Lili's christening. Chris (who has triplets at home with wife Gail) served as godfather, and Father Richard B. Martin, the Roman Catholic priest, was patient with the children to be baptized. Lili was a little angel, as was big sister Ava. My parents and Kelly's mother Maureen also attended, as did the Rothandlers and other famly friends.

Later that afternoon, we returned to Chez Demaitre for a veritable feast, including shish kebabs prepared by Janice and Kelly and grilled expertly by Chris. After the reception, we tried to walk off some of the meal through the suburban neighborhood.

Back at our hotel, Janice and I watched the series premiere of HBO's vampire potboiler True Blood, which was OK. On Monday, Sept. 8, we drove back to Massachusetts, where we began catching up on recorded genre television. I also watched the second season premiere of the cyberpunk Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which was decent, even if we shouldn't need to worry about robots when there are more than 6 billion people in the world and trainable animals such as dogs that can do work.