Babies: Packed up. Old Ladies: Grabbed.

Mom and Dad enjoyed the Neil Diamond concert a great deal. I’m told he did a two-and-a-half hour set with two encores and no opening act. Mom says that he’s “still got it.” I was also informed that he dresses very well. Maybe next time Mr. Diamond is in town I’ll get five tickets so Laura, Laura’s mother and I can go, too (my father-in-law has indicated that he’s not interested).

The rest of the weekend went down something like this…

Thursday evening, we ate dinner at Willoughby Brewing Company. ((Willoughby Brewing Company shares a rather small parking lot with Gavi’s, a popular Italian restaurant. As a result, parking spaces are often at a premium. To make the experience a bit more painless, both restaurants offer valet parking, for a small fee. I had no intention of taking advantage of the valet, particularly since a woman parked three spaces from the door of the Brewing Company got into her car just as I was coming around the end of the aisle.

So I waited for her to pull out of the space.

She started the car and made a call on her cell phone. I waited. She didn’t move. I waited some more.

In a parking lot, a minute seems like an eternity to wait for a space. As I loathe the creature I call the “Parking Lot Vulture” and do not like to “vultch” (yeah, I made that up) myself, I pulled forward to the valet. The woman was still sitting in her unmoving car when we entered the restaurant.

Fast forward 90 minutes or so. I had a brief moment of panic after dinner when I couldn’t find my keys, until I remembered the valet. I handed him my ticket and he dashed off (valets always run when they’re fetching your vehicle, and they should) to retrieve the MVoD.

He didn’t have far to run. The MVoD was parked in the very space that I’d been waiting for earlier. Thirty feet away from the front door.

Money well spent.)) Dad and Laura sampled seven or eight beers, while Mom and I stuck to sours (brandy and whiskey, respectively). We all split the Brewer’s Platter, a tasty assortment of sausages, cheeses and other appetizers. The meal was excellent and afterward we went home and watched Sideways.

I had planned to leave work at 1:30 Friday afternoon but didn’t hit the road until 3:30. Laura’s niece and nephew were still at our place when I got home. Mom was reaching the end of the last book she’d brought and we didn’t want her going into withdrawal, so after dinner (leftovers) we went to Half-Price Books and Barnes & Noble in Mentor. I grabbed a copy of The Once and Future King, Dad got a couple of books about the Great Depression, Laura picked up some smut a historical romance by Bertrice Small, and Mom got a couple of suspense/thrillers and some kind of feel-good novel along the Ya-Ya Sisterhood of the Travelling Bees veinEDIT: I almost forgot the booze book. Dad bought Mom a copy of Playboy: Bartender’s Guide from Barnes & Noble. Quite the handy guide, the book covers everything from glassware to the proper use of ice and contains rather a lot of drink recipes (including the Chumbawamba, which contains whiskey, vodka, lager and cider). I expect that this ten-dollar purchase will eventually translate into Dad building a wet bar in the basement (and needing $2K worth of new tools to complete it). Time will tell..

Bob and I did almost 13 miles on the bicycles Saturday morning. Bob pulled a Knievel heading down a long hill near the turnaround point, but escaped without serious injury. I returned home to a very subdued house and much of the afternoon was spent napping and reading. After dinner (burgers), we stopped by Noosa for dessert (they’ve got the best crème brûlée Laura and I have come across) and then visited my in-laws at their new hacienda.

Dad wanted to see the pipe organ at the Painesville United Methodist Church, which he may or may not have read about in a woodworking magazineWhether or not Dad read about a pipe organ in a woodworking magazine isn’t up for debate. Whether or not it was, in fact, this pipe organ remains questionable.. Mom, Dad and I drove out to Painesville intending to sit in on the 10:30 service Sunday morning. The service, however, was being held in “the Circle Room,” so we had the sanctuary all to ourselves. We wandered up to the balcony and Mom took some pictures of the pipes (there are 2,871 in all) as well as a couple of the stained glass windows. Afterward, we bade God a pleasant morning and stepped next door for a bite to eat.

During the pre-concert napping, I destroyed many humans with an alien death ray and then attempted to atone for my deeds by saving the world from time-travelling super villains. Oh, the dichotomy.