Thanksgiving Trip

I am in the middle of exams, I have a wedding to update (I’ve written snippets here and there, but I need to link them all together into something coherent), I have various other side projects demanding my attention – life is BUSY, yo.  But I still managed to squeeze in jotting off this description of Thanksgiving:

We piled into the car and started our drive at around lunchtime on Tuesday.  I attended two morning classes beforehand, which started us a little later than usual.  Despite tons of pretty bad rain, we made great time, and got to the in-laws’ place about 9.5 hours after we’d left.  When we walked into the house, we couldn’t believe it.  They’d just had an astonishingly awesome renovation done, which expanded the family room and added a master suite downstairs.  It was like stepping into an issue of Southern Living.  The added square footage was not huge, but the difference in opening up the family room was awesome.  We spent many hours in that room – plenty of space for the boys to play, for everyone to sit in front of the large flat screen tv or in front of the gas fireplace on the other side of the room.  The wall that looks on the backyard is totally windows and French doors.   It’s a lovely, light-filled room.

Playing in the new room - Jack loves cousin Ella's Princess computer

Anyway, back to the recap.  The boys had a hard time going down that first night – it was so late, they were so worked up.  But they made it down.  We enjoyed a glass of wine in the new room, catching up with family, and then we made it to bed, too.  Wednesday was a “kick it around the house” kind of day.  We did go out to lunch, but that was about the extent of it.

Liam playing at the family room train table - an excellent addition to the room, if you ask him!

The boys played at the new train/toy table with their cousin, we watched the tv and played games and read books with the kids, and my brother-in-law and I stuffed a trio of mirlitons for dinner. (Mirliton is a sort of squash that looks like a pear and tastes like a bell pepper – also called chayote in the Southwest.)  At one point, The Professor and I took Jack on a long walk around the neighborhood, and he was totally enamored of the mailboxes.  We don’t have a mailbox – nobody does in the city.  It was cute.  He kept trying leave Bear in somebody’s mailbox.  We also explored by the nearby lake – he and The Professor (and I, in my tall fashionable non-hike-friendly boots) tramped around in the grass and brush near the water’s edge.  Jack was ready to dive in.

Thursday was more of the same – dinner was at 3, and it was the traditional thanksgiving turkey and trimmings.  Liam slammed down turkey and stuffing like it was going out of style, though he sprayed the rejected cranberry sauce all over my face.  Jack, being Jack, ate none of the traditional foods, though I made him a little plate.  I made him politely refuse it, and then got him some peanut butter or something.  His loss!  That evening, we watched football and had a couple of glasses of wine, and went to bed early.

Friday was an adventure day – we went to a small alpine town in nearby Georgia where every storefront had a mannequin in lederhosen, and every building was wattle and daub.  It was cute, and kind of kitschy.  I carried my 3 year old niece in a backpack carrier thing (the Ergo), and at one point she began holding my ponytail up in the air, in order to help lighten my load.  We had a great lunch at a large pub-like restaurant, with the kids sitting across from one another being silly.  Then we did a little shopping, before hopping in the car to go to a beautiful nearby mountain for a brief hike.  I haven’t hiked in forever – it was so excellent to get outside, in the semi-wilderness.  The path was paved, so we were able to push the boys up in the strollers.  It was super steep, and they were heavy.  By the end, the boys were getting antsy, and hopped out and decided to walk the final leg themselves.  Both of them, even wee Liam, walked a pretty far distance at a very steep grade.  I was proud of their little sturdy bodies!  The exercise was a great way to clean out the brain, which was getting muddled from too much drinking, eating, and lazing by the fire.  The view at the top was stunning.  But I have no pictures of it, because my camera died.

Friday night and Saturday were set aside to catch up with friends in the area.  We went to a bar Friday for a few drinks, and then I had a great ladies lunch with mah ladeez, while The Professor went off and did boy stuff.  I’m really glad I got that chance to plug back in to what’s going on with the girls.  Although I’ve never lived in Clemson, it is for me a more stable hometown type of place than anywhere else in the world (with the possible exception of my former home in North Carolina).  It’s the only constant I’ve had for 8 years, during which time both my parents and I have moved twice.  (And I’m about to move again!)

Anyway, Saturday night we watched a depressing loss to our in-state rival, USC, and then we all cried ourselves to sleep.  Sunday was a long, once again RAINY drive home, although we did get to stop and check out lots in the neighborhood where we want to build our new house.  We drove around a bit, saw the local grocery and shops, and then finished our drive home.

And now we’re home and exams suck.  The end.

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