I just left a comment on Binky's blog, celebrating an evening we shared when I was home.
It was a perfect summer evening in the backyard. My sister & bro-in-law, Binky & Shan, Richard, and the 2 little ones: Action Girl and Super Girl.
All we did was hang out and play soccer. Oh and in a dash of surrealism that only Richard Spenard could provide: a drive in the Porsche. Nothing else. Really modest, and it was perfect. Perfect.
No movies, no TV, just background conversation and laughter. My realization is that these elements were at each house (and cottage!) I visited, and are there almost every time I visit anyone back home.
Maybe people hit the mass media more when we see each other often, routinely. I don't know. But for the trip it was wonderful to talk to people.