Monday, May 23, 2005

Chillin' With the Family

Having little else to do this weekend, Brandi and I decided to make the trip down I-75 to my hometown of Troy to stay with my parents for a couple of nights. This was the last open weekend for such a trip for the next few weeks, so we took advantage of it.

Friday was a pretty low-key evening. We got into Troy and to my parents' house a little after 8:00. Mom had ordered pizza, so there was food waiting for us when we got there. We spent most of that evening just hanging out with Mom, talking about some of our wedding plans. We did go out for ice cream later on, but that was the extent of our out-of-the-house activities for the night.

Saturday was our busy day. At 4:00, a good deal of my extended family met for an early dinner at the Bamboo Grill in Troy. I hadn't seen most of them since last July 4. I'm generally pretty close to them, though, so I really wanted to get everyone together for a while. I had already announced my engagement to Brandi to all of them, but it was sort of an announcement party. It turned into a dual announcement party, actually, as my cousin Mike took the gathering as an opportunity to announce to everyone that he and his girlfriend Lisa are engaged as well.

A post-dinner photo: Brandi, myself, Aunt Billie, my cousin Mike, his fiancee Lisa, Uncle Mike, Aunt Sissy, Mom, Uncle Clarence, and my sister Monica. Aunt Louise took the photo, and Dad had already taken shelter from the heat in the air-conditioned comfort of the car.

Afterwards, several of us (everyone except Dad, Mom, Aunt Sissy, and Monica) wandered around downtown Troy for a few minutes. The city is putting up a display of bronze sculptures around the downtown area, and this was our chance to see all the sculptures in one place before they were scattered. We checked those out, and then we all went our separate ways.

This is the one thing that I hate about living in Bowling Green. Most of my family is still concentrated in Troy, and I don't get to see them as often as I would like. Most of my childhood was spent with Uncle Mike and Aunt Bill and with Uncle Clarence and Aunt Lou. I've got a ton of great memories with everyone that was there on Saturday evening; and now, if I'm lucky, I get to see them two or three times per year. I miss them, and hopefully a move back to Troy is somewhere in my future.

At any rate, Brandi and I went back to my parents' house, and Mike and Lisa met us there to hang out for a while. Monica and Aunt Sissy were there, as were my parents, so we spent more time talking about wedding plans (and various other topics, to a lesser extent).

Eventually Mike and Lisa had to leave, and then Brandi and I went up to Piqua to spend the remainder of the evening with our friends Amy and Doug, who had gifts for me. There was some Star Wars-related merchandise, including a Darth Tater, which is cool in a goofy kind of way. There was also a decent collection of Trojan football memorabilia, which Amy had apparently decided to part ways with while cleaning their house. I still can't quite figure out why she decided to get rid of it, but I'm glad she found it a good home instead of just chucking it out.

We had a lot of fun there, just hanging out and playing video games. Oh, and eating. I don't know what our problem was, but it seemed like all of us were extremely snack-happy. It was a good time, though. Brandi and I finally left around 2:00, when Amy was falling asleep in her recliner, and headed back to my parents' house.

Our next trip home will probably be for the July 4th weekend, which also happens to be my birthday. That will entail another family get-together, for a cookout at my parents' house and also at the fireworks later that night. Brandi and I also have tickets for a Reds game that weekend, so I'm really looking forward to it.

One other cool thing about the family get-together. Afterwards, Uncle Mike and Aunt Bill invited Brandi and me to join them in Virginia Beach this coming August. They rented a house on the beach for a week, so they asked us, along with Mike and Lisa, if we would like to come as well. I haven't been at my job long enough to have any official vacation time yet, but I'm hoping I can just take that week off without pay. I used to go with Uncle Mike and Aunt Bill on family trips a lot when I was younger, and it was always a lot of fun. I would love to be able to do it again.

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