December 8, 2018

Weekend Recap: Thanksgiving

After getting back to the car post-turkey trot (race report here), it took a while for my hands to warm up. But warm up they did, and by the time everyone else got to the car, I was done feeling sorry for myself for how cold my hands were. And I was psyched to head to my brother’s boss’ house across the street for post-race brunch!

My brother’s boss, Julie, lives in a classic and beautiful Victorian house right off Broadway in Saratoga… and when we stepped inside, I saw that not only had it been beautifully updated, but it was also decked out to the nines. Julie and her husband had gone all out with a Christmas tree in every room.

This candy tree was one of my favorites. I liked Elisabeth posing by it like she was going to eat the whole thing post-race 🙂

And they were equally all-out with an amazing brunch of pancakes, hash, and some really unique ice cream shots. Although I was trying to eat lightly in preparation for the big meal later, I couldn’t resist trying a butterscotch shot, which was delicious!

How stunning is Julie’s dining room? Like a magazine photo!

After brunch, we headed home… but not till we stopped at Stewart’s so I could pick up a coffee! Stewart’s has amazing coffee and ice cream, and I try to go as much as I can when I’m back in upstate New York. How this store hasn’t expanded beyond that local area yet, I don’t know.

When I got back to my brother’s house, I showered quickly and then hightailed it out of there. For simplicity’s sake, I always refer to my brothers as just “my brothers”, but they are actually my half-brothers, and they were having their mother over for an early Thanksgiving dinner, then my mom and I would be joining them for a second Thanksgiving later in the day.

So while my brothers were starting to feast, I drove down to Albany, where my mom and I had made plans to volunteer with Project Equinox for their annual Thanksgiving event. Project Equinox is one of the largest and longest-running holiday traditions in the Capital Region; they serve over 10,000 dinners to the homeless and housebound. As a kid, I remember volunteering with my mom and driving meals around town to ensure that everyone had Thanksgiving dinner; this year, when I realized I would be home for Thanksgiving, I thought it would be wonderful to resume the tradition.

Most volunteers arrive to the Empire State Plaza and wait a few hours in line that morning to pick up their meals. However, my mom and I had volunteered as “emergency on call drivers” – we went directly to Equinox headquarters and took meals to those who had gotten the wrong number of meals, been skipped, or otherwise needed last minute help to ensure they had food. This worked out perfectly with our schedule, and we lucked out in getting four homes right in downtown Albany, making it easy to deliver everything quickly. (Some meals need to be delivered as far as 40 miles away.) I was so glad we got to spend our afternoon doing this – it was really easy for us, but a nice way to ensure that everyone in the community could enjoy Thanksgiving.

My mom had me pose for a pic before our final delivery.

With volunteering done, we stopped home to pick up a pie my mom had made, then drove up to Saratoga for our own Thanksgiving with my brothers, sister-in-law, and nephews. We got up there with lots of time before dinner, so I took some time to finally write a blog post about my recent experience with Defy Ventures (please go read it if you haven’t already). And then, it was time to get ready for dinner!

Thank you to my nephew Breckin for ensuring my glass was full.

While there is never any part of a Thanksgiving spread that isn’t amazing, this year’s winning dish was my sister-in-law’s fabulous crockpot mac and cheese. It was soooo cheesy and flavorful and delicious, and I loved every bite! And loved it just as much the next morning when I ate it for breakfast, ha.

Happy happy family 🙂

The leftover mac and cheese for breakfast really set the tone for the next two days – which were delightfully lazy and relaxed. I got to spend some quality time with my nephews watching movies, playing their Nintendo Switch, and just hanging out, which was great. And Friday night, my nephew even curled up with me in the guest bed for a slumber party! I loved it… even though I did not love his cold that I picked up from the experience, which lingered for a week. C’est la vie!

My sister-in-law and I spent a while on Friday morning poring over the Black Friday deals on (a site I proudly introduced her to a few years ago), and I picked up a ton of stuff I needed for the ski house in the mountains I finally just closed on buying. In hindsight, I probably spent a little too much time worrying about what furniture / dishes / bedding I was getting, and I wished I had abandoned the deals for more time with my family… oops 🙁

My brother, me and my two nephews, and my sister-in-law, in one last pic before I had to leave Saturday night. This wasn’t enough time!

But speaking of shopping: my sister-in-law and I also went on a fun adventure that afternoon to a thrift store she loves, and when we arrived, we discovered that they were doing 50% off everything for Black Friday. However, they were also closing in just 20 minutes! We went into high gear picking stuff out and trying stuff on, like an episode of Supermarket Sweep, and I ended up leaving with two bags full of new-to-me clothes… all for about $30. I had no idea how I was going to get it all into my already-jam-packed suitcase, but I was still super psyched by my finds.

Unfortunately, Saturday afternoon I did have to pack up to fly back to Colorado. I hated to leave my family, but was also happy to get home to catch up on things there, especially before Tuesday, when I’d be sworn in as Town Trustee. That travel home was a bit of an adventure, though. While I managed to get through my connection in O’Hare without hitting any bad weather, I arrived in Denver to find a full-on snowstorm… and the wait for an Uber at the airport was more than 30 minutes! It ended up taking me two hours to get from the airport to my house in an Uber Pool, so I arrived home after 1am, completely exhausted even though I had slept on the plane.

Between that sleep shortage, the cold I was developing, and the fact that I had barely eaten a vegetable in several days, I woke up Sunday feeling pretty gross – but tried to rally to get some things done. Remember that shopping I had done on Friday for my ski house? After a bunch of other errands, I spent a solid three hours at American Furniture Warehouse on Sunday afternoon comparing the things I had found online to their real life versions, making a lot of changes, and ultimately, ordering an entire house worth of furniture. It definitely hit my pocketbook hard, but I was glad to have everything ordered and on the way for me to take possession the following weekend.

And with that – Thanksgiving was over and the holiday season has begun! I think it’s going to be a little bit of a crazy month, but I’m really excited for a lot of fun things throughout.


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