Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgivings past

This is me in 2007.  Solo trip around the Southern Hemisphere.  I had been traveling about a month at this point and found myself at odds of how to spend Thanksgiving.  It is a holiday that I attempt to celebrate annually.  I like the idea of being thankful and enjoying food with family, friends or a combination of the two.  And somehow, I have managed to work in places that agree with me that you should celebrate with family and friends.  For the most part.  There are exceptions.  Last year, for example, I worked every holiday.  It was part of working at the establishment.  No exceptions.
 I went wine tasting on Thanksgiving near Blenheim, New Zealand.  I arranged a bed and breakfast for a few nights and treated myself to flash packing as opposed to back packing. I didn't want to stay in a hostel for the few days around the holiday.  The bed and breakfast had a bike I could borrow and so I toured the vineyards.  It was awesome.  Gorgeous day and ample wine.  For dinner, I found a pub where I thought I would be able to  eat mashed potatoes or bangers and mash.  An English pub that would offer traditional fare.  I had nachos for dinner.  Unconventional and delicious.
In 2009, I decided to sign up for a half marathon.  I trained with three girls that were training for a full marathon and so I changed my race to run the full.  In the process of training, I started following run inspired blogs to see how other people dealt with the rigors of training.  I met this great girl, Morgan, who happened to be in Denver in 2010 to visit family.  I had made plans to spend the holiday at a gorgeous hotel in Colorado Springs with a guy that I was dating.  There were many red flags leading up to truly dating this guy.  However, not the focal point of this story.  It was wonderful to meet Morgan in person and sort of celebrate the holiday.  She ran a turkey trot and I met her afterwards.  It was freezing that day.  I did manage a light run later in the day at Garden of the Gods.  Amazing.  And it was great prep for one of my final training runs before the marathon I ran in Vegas that year.
While in Phoenix, I always spent the holidays with my friend, Lisa.  She always had amazing wine choices and catered the majority of the meal from an upscale market.  Cut down on a lot of the b.s. associated with the holiday.  There was always ample mimosas, burgundy, tokai and conversation.  I had a great photo of me and the Mini from my stint in Phoenix, somewhere on my phone.  I headed over to co-workers, post-Lisa's, one year and met up with Kristina.  I think that was the beginning of our friendship and understanding that we both love, love, love travel.
As noted earlier, I worked last year.  Although, we were treated to a lunch to kick off the shift which was lovely.  It didn't hold.  I was starving after the ten + hour shift and there was nowhere to sate my needs.  Everything shuts down early in Santa Fe. I think I had chips and salsa for supper.
This year, I will head to my aunt's house for a wonderful meal.  I have spent several thanksgivings with her family.  I have wine and cheese to contribute.  Afterwards, I might stop by Tiffany's for some brunello before picking Maghan up from the airport.  I have a few sides to prepare for his dinner.  And wine.  Lots of wine to inspire him liking the roasted cauliflower and haricot vert. 
However you choose to celebrate--with family, friends, combination of the two--take the time to enjoy the moment and create a memory.  In spite of the disaster of my Colorado Springs trip due to the guy, I still remember enjoying meeting Morgan, my run at the state park and even dinner with the guy.  I had a phenomenal meal.  He would have been happy with kraft mac and cheese.  It's not like I didn't recognize that his food choices were far more simple than mine as I experienced at a few meals prior to us committing to the thanksgiving trip.  He had this way of holding the fork which was interesting, too.  I should have seen the red flags and run.  Not treated him to a holiday with me.  Oh well, it's still a memory. 
Today, I am thankful for being home in Denver.  It took me a while to identify where home is....but I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  Happy Holidays!

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