Like a lot of couples, we switch holidays back forth between Tom’s parents and mine. This year, it was Thanksgiving in Oklahoma and we’ll be heading to New Jersey for Christmas to spend time with Tom’s family. It was a little tough to swing the flights this year, after all of our travel in Brazil and then a visit home in September but thankfully we found a way to make it work.
The trick was to fly out on Monday and leave Friday – not the most convenient of travel dates, but it actually ended up working out perfectly since we left right before an ice storm hit the state. Another bonus was that the cheapest flight option we found left from Reagan National, just a ten minute drive from our place. We usually drive around an hour to fly out of either Baltimore or Dulles, so it was nice to have the convenience for once.
Apparently Reagan has overhauled much of the airport since we were there last. All of the restaurants and snack bars are now completely automated with individual iPads from which to order. It was a little annoying at first, trying to figure out the system with limited time, but being the savvy millennials that we are(n’t) we made it work. Nothing gets between me and my pre-flight wine, after all.
We got in near midnight on Monday, but my wonderful sister-in-law was sweet enough to pick us up from the airport despite having to work the next morning. We gabbed for a while until we all realized we were exhausted and headed promptly to bed.
The next day we went to visit my grandma in the town where I grew up, which is always at the top of our list of things to do while we’re home. My aunt and uncle and dad and stepmom stopped by as well, kicking off a week of quality family time. I’m so thankful that we’re able to visit as often as we do and that everyone goes out of their way to gather together so I can get my family fix.
Later that night, we went out with my mom, brother and SIL to Whiskey Cake, a farm-to-table restaurant in Oklahoma City. We’ve been before and have always had solid food. Tom took the name seriously and ordered a whiskey flight, ensuring that I couldn’t kiss him for the rest of the night (whiskey is gross).
The next day I did some cooking in the morning, and then we went out to lunch. We wanted to keep it light since our first Thanksgiving feast would be that evening, so we went to The Drake for a billion oysters.
Okay, not quite. We split two dozen between five of us, along with a light scallop ceviche and it was the perfect amount of food to tide us over until Thanksgiving #1, of which I have no photos because… wine. You have to wine with oysters, it’s a must. And you must have wine when watching your sister-in-law cook, obviously. She really outdid herself with a delicious meal, and we all had a fantastic time with much food and drink, ending with an Ashton photo shoot because he was high on turkey and acting even cuter than usual.
The next morning we were up and at it again for Thanksgiving #2. I had more of my wits about me and managed to snag a few shots of the beautiful table and my heaping plate of food.
It really is all about the sides for me at Thanksgiving. I like turkey, but it pales in comparison to everything else. I had to go back for more corn and green beans, and then I couldn’t breathe for three hours.
Saddest sad thing: I never eat dessert at these family meals. I’m just too into the savory foods that when dessert time rolls around I can’t stomach it. Then I get home and lament the fact that I didn’t eat pie. It’s hard to be me.
In true Thanksgiving style, I was too full to eat for the rest of the day, until evening rolled around and my brother, Tom and I went to a nearby bar for a few beers.
I’ve really been into sour beers lately, something I discovered at Bluejacket Brewery here in DC. This one was über fancy, served in a champagne-style bottle and very light and tart. Basically if it tastes like vinegar and/or kombucha, I love it. Most people are not with me on this, but I’m used to the weird looks.
Our trip was almost over already, but we had one more adventure to tick off the list on Friday morning.
Tom has been dying to go to Waffle Champion in Midtown for over a year, but it’s so popular that there’s usually a line down the block. The weather was absolutely despicable that morning, cold and rainy with the promise of ice on the way, so we managed to sneak in a little after nine with next to no wait.
He had the fried chicken and waffle while I went more simple with an egg and cheese version. Fried chicken in the morning is just a little aggressive for me, but Tom was a definite fan. It was a good thing we’d stretched out our stomachs during the previous days, so we were able to fit in one more indulgent meal.
Speaking of stretched stomachs, a random aside. It bothers me that I rarely take any photos of myself with Tom and my family. Part of it is that I forget (but never forget a picture of my wine), but more so it’s that I’m overly self-conscious about showing pictures of myself at my current weight. My dad, stepmom and I were talking about weight loss and getting older while I was home and my dad asked me why I needed to be thin. It was a good question that I’ve been thinking a lot about. Although I do still want to get down to a healthier weight, the bottom line is that it’s not that important.
I woke up one morning while we were home and my Facebook Timehop thingy revealed to me a bunch of pictures from a half marathon I ran in 2010. At the time, I was hesitant to share those pictures online because I felt that they were unflattering and I looked heavy. Now I see them and yearn for that body. It’s ridiculous that I can never be pleased with my appearance. I’m glad now to have those photos to look back on and remember that time in my life (my running days are o.v.e.r but it’s sure nice to remember them while sitting comfortably on the couch).
This has been an amazing year, getting settled more deeply and happily into my marriage and living abroad for the first time. I know I’m going to want pictures to look back on from this time, regardless of how round my face looks. I’d also like to get to the point where I have a photo taken of me and not grab the camera and declare “I look so fat, delete that!” because that’s nothing but annoying and a waste of energy.
So that’s my completely random diatribe for the day. I don’t know what else to say to wrap this up, so I’ll just thank you for reading. Until next time!