I'm still rolling myself around from all the Thanksgiving food I ate, but I have to say that it was one of the best holiday trips I've had. Didn't miss any flights. Wasn't delayed. No traffic. No drama. Just a lot of moving around.
I was in Chattanooga, TN with my dad's side of the family again this year for the big turkey day. We kicked off the feasting Wednesday night at a BBQ place downtown called Sticky Fingers (my little sister, Leslie, bought a tshirt that says "Come Lick Our Bones" to prove it) before heading over to Aunt Doris' (Dad's sister) for coffee and way, way too much decadent dessert.
My parents don't believe in sleeping in, so up we were with the sun on Thanksgiving day, back over to Doris' with our cousins Mark and his daughter Sydney for a light breakfast and to watch the Macy's parade - one of my sister's high school friends was in the Towson marching band this year. For the big meal, we were joined by a bunch of Doris and my Uncle Ival's sisters and friends for Thanksgiving, Southern Style: Turkey, beef brisket, ham, creamed spinach, sweet potatoes, three different kinds of rolls, stuffing, green beans, and so on and so forth. Not to mention two countertops of desserts. All chocolate.
At one point in the afternoon, I was charged with playing with my 5-year old cousin Syndey, who I convinced coloring quietly was much more fun than playing 'loud growling cats.' Here are snippets of our conversation for your enjoyment...
"It's a French bear. You can tell because it has a mustache."
Sydney: "I don't like pink. It's waayy too girly."
Me: "I don't like pink either."
Sydney: "Well then you can't use the pink marker because you don't like it either."
"I want to practice writing now. Tell me what to write. Only three-letter words please."
"How about... 'cat'?"
"That's to easy!"
"How about... 'dog'?"
"That's too easy!"
"How about... 'cow'?"
"That's too easy! Here, I will write them so I can teach you things."
"I want to show you my hair ties! (She pulls out a huge box of hair ties and sorts them by color and amount of sparkles. She picks up a extra frilly hair tie). This one is my favorite even though it's way too pretty and fancy."
"Sydney, how old are you?"
"I'm 5 and a half."
"Oh yeah? Well, I'm 23 and a half."
"Uhh that's not a real number. You're too old."
Our last full day in Chattanooga was on Friday. No, we did not go Black Friday shopping, I mean not really. We did see people camping out the night before in front of Best Buy, and two car wrecks outside of the Wal*Mart parking lot. Insanity.
We spent the day at my older sister Kate's house with her husband Brian and my niece Sara Jane, who is only 6 and already reading Harry Potter (I know because I was asked to 'please, please, please' sit and listen to her read. I was actually really impressed). We eventually loaded up and meandered down to a sort of art district where we "Black Friday shopped" a small street fair and a few boutiques. The evening was wrapped up with eating dinner at the (prepare the snooty accent) fabulous Chattanooga Country Club and watching the Christmas-light decorated boat competition on the Tennessee River.
I think Leslie said, "We never said what we're thankful for," half a dozen times this weekend, but we never did. I'll tell you that I'm thankful we came home on Saturday and not tonight so I had all day to lay around, eat Thanksgiving Take 2 (my mother couldn't resist cooking her own T-day dinner and we weren't complaining) and help my parents get the house ready for Christmas.
No, in all seriousness, it's been a hectic year for me and I couldn't have gotten through it without my fabulous, and always supportive friends, and forever loving family. It's hard to believe we're pretty much half way through the holiday season and it's only going to get fuller, faster and crazier from here and I'm grateful for it all.
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