November 28, 2005

meeting friends, new and old

SO: Last Saturday night was Prattbunnymallcon. The other revelers gathered at noon at the Pratt house to see the bunnies. I'd have liked to see them and Mrs. P's lighthouses, but we'd gotten in at 2 AM the night before. My brother had picked us up (useful sometimes, having relatives who are nocturnal) and we'd stayed at his place. Since we were going to be out for dinner with friends our first two nights in Philadelphia, I figured we'd better stop in to visit with Mom and Dad before heading out to King of Prussia. The mall is easy enough to find, and the brother, who's only had his (first) car for a couple of months, did well driving out there. We found the brewpub with no problem and the rest of the group tore themselves away from the bunnies and met us there:

From left to right, that's Wolf, Bozoette Mary, LA and Mike, me, Mrs. Pratt, Mary's Joe, Rudder, Deb, Pratt's forehead, and my brother's right cheek. Art the waiter took the photo. (He wasn't much better at waitering.) The dinner was good as reported elsewhere; the JournalCon alumni were as easy to talk to as before, and none of the assorted spouses, kids or siblings seemed to feel too out of place. I didn't get to talk to Mike much because of the layout of the table, but my brother was at his end of the table and reported that he'd been telling some fascinating stories of his life. I think Deb's son felt a little out of place with all the grownups, but it didn't phase Wolf, who was being charming and so interactive with all the adults (pretty typical, at his age) that I would not have recognized him as the same kid in LA's descriptions of his early years. Mary's Joe was likewise charming and very funny and the attractive Mrs. Pratt put herself out to be a gracious local tour guide (possibly with thoughts of lighthouse gatherings in future compensation!)

Funny, none of us are really the type of female to go to the restroom in herds, but LA, Mary, and I sort of ran into each other there:
. Yes, I have special powers and my true self shows up in mirror reflections.

After the meal, Deb and son had to leave (I thought that was a shame at the time, but reading her explanation I'm sort of glad they did. Kids who mention the possibility of vomiting make me nervous too.) but the rest of us walked around the mall for a while. It was already full of Christmas regalia:

though I don't think Wolf found any toys he liked better than his camera - what a great way to keep a kid busy:

though he did like the rocket ship ride.

Sunday, Rudder and the brother and I met up with an old friend of mine from college days (I was in college, he worked in one of the labs there). I'd wanted the bro to meet him for some time. It was sort of funny: one of my sibling's less endearing traits is a tendency to brag about all the people he knows (many from SF cons) and all the things they've done. One of the cooler things about his apartment is the library he's somehow managed to fit in there. This friend has him vastly outclassed on both counts: the bro got very quiet (rare!) on first seeing his nineteenth-century West Philly house with the mahogany and cherry wood trim, and again when he casually mentioned a conversation with a Big Name Author. (I don't think the story was meant to have that effect, actually). But the best part of the evening was the restaurant he took us to: a high-end Italian place in a small town across the bridge in jersey. The owner hugged him when we walked in. The local Italian teacher (possibly the owner's wife) hugged him. The server hugged him. The service was about as good as you'd expect from those reactions. And the meal was phenomenal: all the authenticity of an Italian place in an Itallian neighborhood run by a guy from Italy, along with the cooking skills of a master chef. My friend brought the wines, plural, carefully picked to go with the various things we might order, and the owner, wife and server sampled each one as well. The conversation sparkled as well, and though I wasn't entirely pleased with either when my friend and brother went out to smoke - I liked that they seemed to bond over the cigs, but the bro was my partner in nagging our Dad to quit for most of our llives, so I hate to see him smoking himself now, and the friend has health conditions that make it seem like a bad idea. I tried not to nag much, but when I did say something they both took it in good part, and I was touched when in response to my comment that I didn't have big-sister nagging rights over him, the friend commented that I had at least little-sister rights. Beautiful place. Great dinner. If you're in the Philly area and you want an excellent Italian meal (fancy, not cheap), I have the restaurant's card somewhere.

Also, while I'm here: voila, the socks I finished on the way home from the marathon, the scarf I finished in Philadelphia, and the blanket I finished just before this last trip with the hat I started on the flight home. The blanket and hats are for twins; they'll have to share the blanket, but the second hat is on the needles now.

Posted by dichroic at November 28, 2005 05:31 PM

I love those socks!!! And boy, that Italian restaurant sounds lovely. And I really think that picture of LA and you and me is amazing. Such powers you have!

Posted by: Bozoette at November 29, 2005 07:44 AM

It was great seeing you all for dinner.Thanks for the xmas tree photo.

Posted by: Pratt at November 29, 2005 02:18 PM

A blinding goddess! And we mere mortals in your umbra. Sure, it's fine my kid is up here. I've put up pics of him myself. ~LA

Posted by: LA at November 29, 2005 03:42 PM
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