So last Thursday, I got to fly in a spaceship

This is a review of Thursday Adventure Nights, happening every Thursday starting at Martins.

Unexpected Nerdvana at Martins

Unexpected Nerdvana at Martins

I showed up at the Martin’s on Monticello last week not knowing what to expect. I was running late due to having to work late (it was a crazy day). I ran home, changed, and grabbed a can of Glory blackeyed peas for dinner (actually pretty alright and very filling.)

So anyway, I walk into Martins and turn right where their little food court / dining area is. and there are about eight guys at a long table. I think to myself, Oh lord Crystal, what have you gotten yourself into now? But they greet me, and make a seat for me at the table, and are very welcoming and pleasant.

Turns out some of them go (or went) to the same church together and they have been hosting these nights for about a year now. They saw a dearth of free / low cost fun things for people to do around here and so they decided to make their own. The group is organized by a guy named Scott, who comes up with many of the ideas of things to do and posts to the Facebook page. It sounded like some of the more popular events have been:

A couple of girls did eventually show up- they said that in general, the crowd tends to be more “mixed” when the activity is something outdoors, or at least not confined to the Martin’s food court. But I mean, if you are a woman deciding whether or not to go- the gender balance power is in your hands!

So anyway- this particular Thursday was Game Night! We were encouraged to bring a favorite board game, and in my family we have this game we call “the dice game.” But it takes a few minutes to explain, so I picked up some UNO cards instead, thinking that would be simpler. When it came time to start the game, one of the guys pulled out this game he was really jazzed about, but I had never heard of it. Apparently he had just ordered it in the mail after hearing about it from a friend- it was called “Space Cadets.”  And we start unpacking this game, and there are about a billion dice, most of which have weird symbols on them instead of regular dots (I’m thinking, whaaaa. . . ?). After about 45 minutes of figuring out what this symbol meant, and what happens if this happens, and frequent consultation with the rulebook (I thought my game was complicated!), we start playing the game. And y’all- it was awesome.

It was basically like playing Star Trek. Everybody had a panel they were in charge of (navigation, weapons, shield, targeting, power), and then there’s an engineer (essentially a de facto captain) who rolls the dice that dictate what the team is able to do. Then you as the navigation person, or whatever, you get to roll your weird symbol dice as many times as you want until you get the result you want. And there are no turns. So the effect is the constant rattle of dice clattering and shouts of “Give me a torpedo in the side chute!” and “I need threes!” and “Full targeting achieved!” and finally, “Firing!” upon which word everyone stops and you roll to see if you missed, and if not, how much damage was sustained. It ended up being a lot of fun. I felt like Chekov or something. It was cool.

Space Cadets II

So, even if the activity is “board games at the Martins on Monticello,” don’t worry, it will be fun. Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention. If you get there before 6:30, just be aware that they have  a little devotional with a Bible verse and a reflection. Nothing super-hard-core, just, like, trying to be a better person-type stuff. But at 6:30 that part is over and they don’t bring it up anymore out of respect for those that aren’t in to that. Bottom line, this is a fun group of folks who are very welcoming and I highly recommend checking out a Thursday or two. Here are their upcoming events (meet at 6pm each week at Martins on Monticello):

– Thursday 12/4, Grand IlluminaTAN:
Join us in an evening of Christmas light viewing, culminating in a drive through Newport News Virginia’s “Celebration In Lights.” You won’t want to miss this award-winning display, a two-mile drive-through of spectacular animated scenes!

-Thursday 12/11, Ginger Bread House Competition:
Best Ginger bread house wins! Structural supplies will be provided. Decorative supplies will be purchased by competitors. After dinner, we will set up in the upstairs cafe at Martins. People will divide into teams and purchase supplies. Bartering for supplies with other teams is allowed and encouraged. 3 prizes will be awarded: -Most Adventurous -Best Architecture -Most Likely to Withstand Blizzard Conditions

Thursday 12/18, Christmas Caroling:
We will be heading to Colonial Williamsburg to spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear! Bring warm clothing. a flash light, and a few dollars for hot chocolate at the end of the night. Feel free to make any song suggestions at

Thursday 12/25, No Meeting:
Merry Christmas!


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