cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 02:47pm on 21/04/2006 under ,
I'm here in Livonia, Michigan, at the Holiday Inn which is the site of Penguicon 4.0, that infamous combination of SF convention and Linux show which was co-founded by my friends [ profile] landley and [ profile] treebones.

Officially, the con doesn't begin for another 2 hours or so, but we've already had plenty of fun. Last night, we attended the GOH dinner at a local Ground Round restaurant. Many of the attendees (including GOH Chris diBona and Frank Hayes) are also our friends, and other friends showed up as well.

After the dinner we headed back to the hotel for fruit and cake, and talked and folded pocket programs till nearly midnight. (Well, I left at midnight, anyway.)

Today, Eric and I had a leisurely breakfast with a large subset of friends, including [ profile] landley, [ profile] mirell, [ profile] vakkotaur, [ profile] jmaynard, and others. After breakfast, I took a walk with [ profile] mirell to a local drugstore, and spent a stint working on the Chaos Machine. [ profile] landley came by, and remarked that he has more fun at a Penguicon before the con starts than he does at other cons throughout the entire length of the convention. He's right.

The convention, once it officially starts, will be fun. I can just tell. If you're reading this and can get to Livonia for the weekend, do come! It's not too late!
Mood:: 'happy' happy
cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:49pm on 04/07/2005 under , ,
I've spent the entire weekend driving around the area, seeing friends and doing fun things.

Saturday morning, a friend of Eric's, David Wheeler, stopped by. We took him to brunch at our favorite place, Chester County Book and Music Company, which is a huge independant book store near us that also includes a good, breakfast-all-day restaurant called the Magnolia Grill and a large CD/DVD shop under one roof. Our brunch took about three hours, during which time he told us all about some of his current projects relating to enhancing computer security.

After brunch, we telephoned another old friend of ours, John Desmond, who is in the process of moving out of his apartment, and invited him over for dinner, gaming, and collecting boxes. He left around 11 P.M. Unfortunately, his car's transmission started to die after he got about a mile or so from our home, so he telephoned us and we retrieved him from where he was stranded with his car and brought him back to our house to spend the night.

Sunday morning, I followed John while he drove his ailing car at a snail's pace to the garage of my favorite auto mechanic, Jay Larkin of Larkin Automotive Service in Paoli. Leaving the car in Jay's capable hands, I took John to the train station, and then headed with Eric back to Chester County Book & Music Company for another long brunch. After brunch, we headed to Eric's mother's new home in West Chester for a family dinner outside in her small, but pleasantly jungle-like backyard. We dined like kings on grilled trout, pulled pork sandwiches, carrot slaw and tabooli, among other things, washed down with home-brewed mint tea and lemonade, and followed by homemade carrot cake for dessert. (Eric's mother is, and always has been, a wonderful cook.)

After the dinner party broke up, we telephoned [ profile] shakati, who happened to be home alone, and volunteered to watch a DVD with him. We chose Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow which, among its various failings of plot logic and acting, has the peculiar property of being set in 1799 but costumed as though it were set in the 1760s or 1770s. (Yes, I notice such things.)

Today, we had another brunch, guessed it...and then drove to Lancaster County to visit [ profile] dedrell. We ended up driving from [ profile] dedrell's house to Strasburg and riding the famous Strasburg Railroad, a restored historic steam engine train which has had a theme park built around it. There is a Railroad Museum across the street, but we had to settle for the theme park because the museum was about to close by the time we got there. We chose to ride, and dine, in the train's dining car. With its stained glass windows, ceiling fans, and cherry wood paneling, I felt as though I should be wearing a sweeping skirt and high-collared blouse as they did in the 1890s. Unfortunately, the food consisted entirely of mediocre modern sandwiches that didn't justify the $9-$15 "entree" price, which was charged separately from the $11.75 train ticket. Yes, I know, all hallmarks of the classic Tourist Trap, but we had fun anyway.

On the drive home from Lancaster County, Eric did a radio interview for a station in Ecuador. After we'd checked our respective email queues, I made a few phone calls and learned that a local steakhouse chain, Charlie Brown's, was still serving, so we headed over for a late, light dinner. We arrived to find the parking lot full of people in lawn chairs, watching a huge fireworks display that was plainly visible over the trees from somewhere west of Route 202. So we sat in the grass and joined the crowd for about 20 minutes until an impressive barrage ended the display.

Now we're home, and I'm wishing I had a good excuse to avoid work tomorrow. :-)
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased


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