i think i played more games this christmas than i have ever played in that short of a stretch of time before in my life. pictured above is one of the many new (for me) games that i learned–ticket to ride. i’ve known about this game for awhile, but for some reason, i’ve been reluctant to try it, thinking it was going to be too complicated. on the contrary, this was probably my favorite new game of the vacation. i loved the relatively fast pace (you can only do one thing each turn, so, unless you’re realllllllly pensive (ahem, ed) turns come around quickly), i enjoyed thinking about different ways to build paths across the board, and well, of course i loved the cute little train pieces!
let’s see, i also played:
power grid (not a huge fan of this one. maybe i needed to play it longer, but i managed to get through a whole game without really understanding what was going on.)
fluxx–special monty python edition (this was one of my christmas gifts to mr. happy stuff. it’s a very fun game–the nonsensical nature of fluxx lends itself well to combining with the nonsensical nature of monty python–but best played with fans of monty python, especially the holy grail.)
yahtzee (wow. old school flashback. still love this game. we even got to use score sheets that looked like they might have been printed in the 70′s.)
boggle (continuing the classic games streak–another personal favorite.)
in the car on the way home from washington d.c. i played spider solitaire and free cell solitaire with my mom on her laptop. (haven’t played those in awhile!)
i learned a domino variant called mexican train. although i was vaguely uncomfortable with the name of this game (is it a slur? are there other names for this same game?) the game play itself is quite easy to learn and fun to play. (see “shuffling’ technique above)
five crowns. this is one of my favorite games to play because it’s easy enough that you can chat about things other than the card game and still enjoy playing.
hand and foot. a big favorite card game at my in-law’s. we’ve been known to play this game for 12 hours straight. i had amazing luck at this game this visit. i can’t remember ever, ever winning this game. i’ve come close (the winner is the first to break 10,000 points. i’ve occasionally broken 10,000 points, but someone else always broke it higher than me.) but this time…. oh. my. goodness. i actually won two games in a row!! the family kept teasing me that i should go buy lottery tickets. the hand shown above is actually from an earlier game that i ended up losing, but this was the first hand and i actually created books out of every number that i had stacked up. (that’s pretty well unheard of.)
baseball–a card game that i can’t seem to find a link for. this one was taught to us by mr. h-s’s aunt and uncle and is played with skip bo cards (or at least, that’s what we used). that was a fun one too, but had a lot of random rules–like wilds, 7′s and 11′s were good cards to have. i kept wanting 3′s to also be good because they seemed to fit in with that pattern somehow, but… i didn’t have any luck convincing anyone else.
i probably forgot some…. (hey family–what did i miss?)
i love this picture of mr. h-s’s family. mr. happy stuff himself took this photo, so he’s the only one not pictured. even his two year old nephew is there–sitting in that giant chair at the head of the table, playing animal dominoes.
i can’t think of a more fun way to relax and interact with a group of people than sitting around in our pajamas all day, playing games. i love that this is growing into a family tradition on both sides of my family.
p.s. i’m playing with a new photo size format. throw in your vote–are these too small? do you like the other sizes i usually do better? in the automatic choices, this is considered “medium” and the “large” is so big that it’s off the page and i have to manually re-size each photo. so… this is faster, but they look sorta small to me. your vote will help me decide!