New York/New Jersey Trip: Day 8 (or, cards and home)

Bryson and I spent the morning chilling while waiting for Donald to come up from Philadelphia. Yes, I'm that cool that I can get a techie friend that somehow ended up in law school that I hadn't seen in a year to cross state lines to catch up ( ;> ) and share why and how this transition to law student is going.

Catherine returned home shortly before Donald was due to arrive, so the three of us picked up Donald from the train station and promptly went for lunch, on the way having intermittent awkward conversation because it was late and we were too hungry to think enough to be good conversationalists. It was good seeing Donald again and how he's changed: for instance, law school has made him dress more like a professional. (Not that he didn't dress fine before; it's just a change.) Lunch was a cute deli / market / cheese shop called Marianna, a short walk into downtown Metuchen. (It also has a restaurant / tapas bar / wine bar attached, but we didn't go there.) I had a amazingly large sub called "The Gallina," consisting of a pretty decent and substantial breaded chicken cutlet, the largest and more tasteless slice of mozzarella I've ever had (almost the size of a pounded chicken breast; I removed it after two bites), and some roasted red peppers that added some nice sweetness to the sandwich.

With happy stomachs, conversation came easier. As we talked, we headed back to the apartment and continued talking while playing Crates. Crates is a crazy-eights-like card game on steroids that I played in high school, briefly played with these friends in college, and hadn't played since. It was fun to play it again, and to try out the new deck of cards I specially designed and printed to make playing Crates easier. This served as a good play-test to help me revise the deck. (The end goal is to make the game easier for people to learn so I can convert more people to players.)

Anyway, after a too short time of talking and games, I had to leave to catch my flight and Donald had to leave to head back to catch the train for his evening events. My flight home was uneventful. Like my flight out, the plane was packed and I had a middle seat. Like the flight out, I ended up being perfectly comfortable -- this time seats A and C were taken by a parent and child (a well behaved one at that) that wanted to sit next to each other. So I got promoted to the window seat. :)

I should take vacations more often. And spend more time with friends, regardless of the physical distance separating us. What a great way to spend a week! :)

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