On Friday, 29 July 2011, Janice and I met Valery M. and his family for dinner in Boston's North End. We passed the parade for the feast of Saint Joseph on the way into the traditionally Italian neighborhood. Valery is a colleague I had met at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco last year, and we hit it off immediately. He and his family spent a few weeks in the U.S. before returning to France.
We ate dinner at La Famiglia Giorgio's, a family-style restaurant. The food and conversation were good, and we had lots of leftovers. It was great to have homemade pasta Bolognese, worthy of the "food porn" on The Phantom Gourmet or TV Diner. At other points in the past few weekends, we've eaten at some favorite chains, including Wild Willy's Burgers, Comella's, P.F. Chang's, Farm Grill, Chipotle, and Stone Hearth Pizza.
I noted to Josh C. at lunch recently that after visits by friends and family (including David I.S., Damon F.P., Erik B.L., and my brother Peter) in the first half of 2011, Janice and I are the ones traveling in the latter half of the year. We've already been to Maine, Upstate and downstate New York, Chicago, and Northern Virginia, with more trips to New York and Virginia still to come! I look forward to celebrating various birthdays, weddings, and reunions, but I'll be glad for the occasional quiet weekend at home.
Last week, I met fellow CW alumni Michele L.D. and Jacqui D.B. for dinner at CK Shanghai. I had the sizzling eggplant pot with beef, and it was very good. Michele got Jacqui's and my leftovers because we were both traveling the next day.
This past weekend, Janice and I flew down from Logan to Dulles Airport. We had dinner with Peter and his family at the Dogfish Head Brewpub, where I had grilled salmon and the Chateau Jiahau. Like Peter's sweeter Midas Touch Ale, the rice-based beer was recreated from an ancient recipe.
Before going to the Lego BrickFair the next morning, we met my parents for brunch at Eggspectations, where I had a good frittata. We later played Wii Sports Resort with our nieces and watched The Green Hornet, which was a bit disappointing. While I enjoyed stoner comedy Pineapple Express, the high body count and sense of humor wasn't really a good fit for the superhero.
The Green Hornet started more seriously in radio as a descendant of the Lone Ranger and is best known for Bruce Lee's (subject of recent documentaries) U.S. debut as Kato in the late 1960s television show — with the possible exception of a crossover with Adam West's Batman. While I haven't been able to keep up with the various spin-off titles, Dynamite Entertainment's Green Hornet comics have been pretty good. I'm glad I waited to see Seth Rogen's version on video.
On Sunday, 7 August 2011, my family and I, plus Peter's mother-in-law Maureen, went to Old Town Alexandria. We explored the art galleries at the Torpedo Factory and had a birthday meal for my parents at the Chart House on the waterfront. I had excellent crab cakes and shared a decadent chocolate lava cake (Is there any other kind?).
We later all played Uno before my parents returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Later that night, Janice, Kelly, Peter, and I watched Will Smith and Eva Mendez in the romantic comedy Hitch, which was better than I expected. Hitch reminded me of a classier Boomerang.
Even with traveling nearly every other week, I hope to resume my regular Pathfinder/Skype: "the Vanished Lands" telecom fantasy and FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: "Vortex" space opera games soon. We'll see whether the July hiatus has made my role-players more eager, stirred potential Game Masters, or caused more delays. I'll post more about various RPGs next!