The reunion was great, actually. It was funny – the whole thing was conceived and hatched on Facebook, so that’s where all the pre- and post-discussion was, I have never seen my FB feed explode as it did that weekend. Every time I went in there were a zillion new notifications or messages.
Whenever I felt at loose ends or wasn’t sure who to talk to, I walked around and took photos of everyone. Then I posted them right away. This proved to be a successful social strategy and useful too, as it made sure everyone was photographed, kept me busy, and provided documentary for people who weren’t able to make it. I think I ended up getting more photos than anyone else; I only saw two pictures of myself that weren’t on my own phone (from the times when I took a picture, then someone grabbed my phone and said “Now you get in the shot”.
January is definitely Not a Good Time for a reunion. At least one person didn’t come specifically because she didn’t want to travel to Philadelphia in January (she lives in Hong Kong and does travel a lot for work and fun). Several people who intended to make it couldn’t, due to flu. And we all got marooned at the hotel Sunday morning when there was an ice storm that shut down major roads and bridges. Luckily it warmed up enough so we could leave by noon or so.
I think the state store system has done horrible things to Pennsylvania’s drinking habits. For context, the reunion was held in a Fraternal Order of Police Lodge that, in addition to the function rooms, has a restaurant / bar for its members. We had a cash bar. So it ought to be fully stocked, right? The actual conversation went:
Me: What kind of red wine do you have?
Bartender: It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Me: Cool, I’ll have that. Just curious – what kind is it?
Bartender: You mean, like, what brand?
I’m having a hard time imagining that happen in Portland. (At the very least, they’d ask what winery; more likely they’d have a selection of local wines.) At the hotel bar later, they at least did have several types of red wine, though only one of each.
Anyway, it was unanimously agreed that it was a great reunion. It was a different kind of good time than Ted’s college reunion that we went to in January; there we got to have long conversations with good friend over the course of the weekend; here I connected to a lot of different people but there wasn’t really time and space to talk much. Mostly we talked just about the reunion itself and about high school. I think everyone felt that a bit, and the locals are arranging some more outings together.
It was also good to see Mom, and my brother, SIL, and nephew. Mom seems to be very happy and active in her new place, and is making friends. The place had a very nice jazz brunch – the last one of those I went to was in the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans, so it obviously wasn’t quite on that scale but it wasn’t on that pricing scale either! But the food was excellent and there was plenty, including a Shrimp Louie that did have some spice to it, as well as real bagels and good lox (not a specialty in New Orleans but a brunch requirement in Philly!) and the band was good as well. My nephew is 3 and a half and is still convinced that the world should bend to his will if he only says “I want it!” enough but I think he’s starting to realize it’s a forlorn hope. (“Sorry, kid, they don’t have apple juice here.” “But dey do! Dey do have dzus!”) He protests but doesn’t throw a tantrum when the adults are cruel enough to make him go on the potty or drink the wrong kind of juice or whatever. It was good to spend time with all of them.
Last weekend we went down to the lake house, hoping to get some rowing done in the unseasonably warm temperatures. (Oregon winters are rainy, but when you get nice days they are REALLY nice days!) Unfortunately the mornings were very windy, and then when we got out in the afternoon all the powerboaters had the same idea, and the wakes were pretty bad. Oh, well. It was still nice being there, especially being warm enough to eat on the deck (with a gas heater, but still.)