Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lots of catching up to do here

Originally tried to write this last November, and never finished it:
Wow. It's been a month since my last post. I may talk a lot, but those occasions are certainly infrequent here.

A few weeks ago I loaded my brood into the car for a weekend trip to Pennsylvania. On Saturday, October 18, 2008, we drove to Reading to attend the Too Many Games videogame festival/exhibition. We didn't get our act together and pull out of our driveway until much later than I'd have preferred, and arrived at the show maybe an hour or hour-and-a-half before closing. When we arrived, there were only 2 stand-up arcade games, the LAN-gaming section was deserted and being disassembled, and the hall was mostly empty. I was disappointed, but I did get myself a copy of Katamari Damacy, new, for $15, so that was some consolation.

While Nate & I checked out Too Many Games, Jessica took Maren to a nearby outlet mall. Once the TMG show was over, Jessica returned to pick Nathan & I up, and then the 4 of us drove to Philadelphia to meet my extended family, where we were celebrating my cousin Chaim's son, Shmoel's, Bar Mitzvah on Sunday morning.

We met everybody for a late dinner in Philadelphia. My cousin Lisa (Chaim's younger sister), whom I hadn't seen in many years, was there, and greeted me with the question "So you just turned 40?" Aaaiggghhh! But it was still fun to see her. Also there was my cousin Jeff, Chaim's older brother. I think I hadn't seen Jeff since my wedding almost ten years ago. We had a lot of catching up to do, and do it we did - The dinner ended at about midnight. We returned to the hotel, and hung out in the lobby talking until 4am!

I went to bed, and at about 8am we drove to the synagogue for the Bar Mitzvah. Once the Bar Mitzvah and ensuing luncheon and photos were finished, we piled back in the car to return home, and possibly arrive only somewhat late for Nate's soccer match.

On the trip out of town, we'd stopped at a McDonald's so Maren could use the facilities, and while there we all grabbed a bite to eat. Once back on the highway, I realized I'd left my sunglasses at the McDonalds. I called them, and they said they'd put the sunglasses aside for me, and I could retrieve them the next day on my way back home. About 30 minutes into the car trip home, Jessica realized something problematic. We had left West Orange, driven to Reading, and from Reading gone to Philadelphia. Philadelphia to West Orange didn't take us anywhere near the sunglasses!

-- Picking up where I left off, three months ago. Will try to recall the events as best I'm able to. --

You can imagine the route from home (West Orange), to Reading, to Philly, as forming the top two lines of a diamond, and the direct route from Philly back home as forming the bottom two lines of the diamond.

In order to get back to the McDonald's, I essentially drove from the bottom point of the diamond, near Union, NJ, straight up the state, right through the middle, on two-lane state highways, to get back to the McDonald's, located at the last exit off of Rt. 80 before leaving NJ. The drive took most of the day, and was very scenic, travelling alongside the Delaware River for a while. We stopped for lunch in a neat little town along the way. It was small, had lots of antique shops and restaurants, and was near a railroad bridge and, I think, Rt. 31. I *THINK* the city was Phillipsburg, and I *THINK* we ate at Rocco's.

After a very nice drive, we made it to the McD's, I retrieved my sunglasses, and we headed home, arriving about an hour later.

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