A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

Drew and I have so much to be thankful for this year.  We both have jobs that not only pay the bills, but we truly enjoy them (99% of the time!)  We have a large network of family and friends that loves and supports us, our dream home, and overall health and happiness.  I often find Thanksgiving as a time of reflection, as I’m sure most of us do.  While this year has not been without its difficult times and emotional roller coasters, our blessings far outweigh the bad.

fireplace pic

Last Tuesday, we headed to Kentucky to celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents and extended family.  While traffic wasn’t bad, it rained pretty much the entire way.  Theo had fun playing in the snow and even though I’d much prefer it closer to Christmas, I can’t argue that it looks beautiful.  Drew and I made the famous chocolate ganache praline cake, which is no doubt a labor of love.  We actually had to make the ganache twice since the chocolate hardened too quickly the first time.  It takes about three hours from start to finish, but one bite and it all becomes worth it.

us by the cake

It’s hard to pick a favorite Thanksgiving dish; everything is delicious and holds its own unique memories.  My Dad’s deep-fried turkey is always a hit, and my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese recipe hasn’t been tampered with for generations.  We have our twists on traditional favorites (oyster stuffing anyone?!) but definitely serve the usual suspects – sweet potato casserole, rolls and pecan pie.

the bird

After dinner, we always gather in the family room to watch football and let our stomachs settle before it’s time for dessert.  At least 3 or 4 people end up falling asleep, whether on the couch or sprawled out on the floor.  While I don’t brave the crowds and venture out on Black Friday, it’s fun to still pick through the ads.  But what’s even more fun? Sleeping in the next day and then eating a slice of cake for breakfast.

cousins

With this being the last year that my parents will be living in Northern Kentucky, the week was a little bittersweet.  We may very well be eating turkey on the beach next year, or Drew and I may even offer to host.  That being said, I made extra sure to take in all the traditions and memories: making Uncle Doug’s fruit salad, eating lasagna the night before, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade over breakfast, looking for the turkey coloring contest in the paper, pre-Turkey day spinning class with Mom, grabbing “just one more” slice of cake at 8 p.m.  Wherever we celebrate Thanksgiving next year, no doubt we will once again be counting our blessings.

A Weekend Getaway

feet

Several months ago, Drew came across an offer that was just too good to refuse.  We’ve used Scoutmob numerous time in the past, saving money on local restaurants and discovering new favorite places that we otherwise wouldn’t have known about.  Drew saw a posting on their website for a discounted weekend at a bed & breakfast in Savannah, which we jumped on it almost instantly.  Sure, we’re going to be doing a lot of traveling this summer for weddings and a weekend visit to my parents’ house in North Carolina, but we didn’t have anything planned for just the two of us.  Since June is shaping up to be one heck of a busy month at work for me, last weekend was the perfect time to pack up the bags, drop of the dog at camp, and make a beeline for the highway.

statue

It has been a long time since I’ve been to Savannah.  I went with my parents years ago, and though I remember certain things like the amazing pralines from a shop on River Street and the haunted ghost tour in the middle of a thunderstorm, I’d forgotten just how charming the city is.  Even though a tropical storm threatened to dampen our plans–no pun intended–the weather turned out to be sunny the entire trip.  We spent the majority of our days exploring downtown, walking the streets and popping in and out of the shops.

us

It was incredibly freeing not having any concrete plans.  After breakfast in the mornings, we’d walk around the streets, meandering about and playing tourists.  We stumbled upon a 10k Saturday morning, followed by a farmers’ market.  We ended up canceling our formal dinner plans at a five-star restaurant Saturday night in favor of a Cajun joint on River Street.  Followed by ice cream of course.  The entire weekend was casual and very low-key.

courtyard1courtyard2

The bed & breakfast we stayed at was almost a mile from River Street, so it was very quaint and quiet.  Even though we were out and about so much we didn’t really get to enjoy the room, we took several afternoon naps.  I’d forgotten how nice those are, especially when your feet are tired from walking around all day! The courtyard in the back was beautiful and we ate breakfast on the deck Sunday morning before we left.  The inn had 4 or 5 cats that roamed around, and I tried making friends with one of them but she didn’t seem interested.  I’ll blame the heat.

The weekend was short, but it was very sweet.  It’s nice to get away from the “real world” every so often without having to worry about following a schedule.  Now that we know it’s only a little over a three hour drive, I have a feeling another trip to Savannah is our near future!