Thanksgiving Recap 2017

“+Best Thanksgiving EVER!!” Always words you want to hear from your kids. We enjoyed an early Christmas with the kids and headed to visit extended family this year.

I was super excited because I got to enjoy my favorite kind of Thanksgiving–a California one! It was great to be surrounded by family.

Our first stop was a trip to my Dad’s grave and Grandma and Grandpa’s. The kids got to decorate with flowers. We chose a bird for my Grandma and Grandpa. Growing up my Grandma had a fake tree she would cover with a plastic trash bag every year. And every year she would take it out of the plastic bag still decorated. Her tree always had fake birds on it.

cremation decorations

My Dad just got pinecones and berries. He was kind of a scrooge on holidays. The minute your birthday party was over he would pop your balloons and tear down your decorations. On Christmas he would tear down the tree and decorations as soon as Christmas was over. Just to irk him I made sure I found pinecones and berries covered in glitter. I’m sure I can see his mouth twitching and he’s probably rolling his eyes and muttering some wonderful saying about the glitter. Ha.

cremation decoration

Second stop…my aunt and uncles house. My youngest has been so excited to see her aunt and uncle and the tortoise. And when she got there? Disappointment. The tortoise was in hibernation!

But that didn’t stop her!

No, she batted her eyes, begged please and my uncle dug that poor tortoise out of hibernation.

And when it woke up, she tried to feed it some watermelon.

tortoise hibernation

The tortoise decided to go back to where it had come from and went back to sleep.

We loved all the thought and detail my aunt put into the lunch. It was delicious! And she was so sweet to make sure all the sides were gluten free and even got me a gluten free cake!

family thanksgiving

And then it was off to aunt and uncle #2. It was so fun to catch up with cousins! I miss my family so much and hate that I live so far away. So it was so fun to be able to catch up with them. I’m excited our schedules were able to match up this time. And I loved the fish my aunt served. The salmon was amazing! Of course we had turkey and BBQ too. A little bit of everything.

The youngest loved the dogs.

thanksgiving with family

But so did my oldest. She also loved her two boy cousins. Their five and six year old antics kept her laughing pretty hard.

The next day it was off for our early Christmas present.

I gifted them with a trip to Universal Studios.

universal studios

My youngest wasn’t too excited at first. She was worried about all of the scary and fast rides.

universal studios

But she warmed up pretty quickly and had a great time. She was a trooper and went on every ride that wasn’t scary. And hated the ones that we dragged her on that were.

universal studios

The scary rides only cost me a stuffed animal!

gidget dog

My oldest was excited to visit Harry Potter World. We had to stop to get her a butterbeer slushie.

butterbeer slushie

They were delicious. Get the slushie though. Still sweet but not as sweet as the butterbeer. The kids did not fight over it at all.

butterbeer slushie fight

My son wasn’t a huge fan of the butterbeer. So he opted for the donuts.

simpsons donuts

But I told him if he wanted “the best” donuts, Randy’s is the best.

randys donuts

We had to stop and sample of course. I had a few bites, and thankfully enough to get sick. Yeah! When will I learn?

randys donuts

One of the best parts of the trip was relaxing at our house we rented. I loved being able to read A REAL BOOK!! (not a psychology book!) while the kids played in the hot tub.

the glass house

It was also fun to show them what Christmas meant to me growing up.

A lit up pier.

manhattan beach pier

And Christmas lights wrapped around palm trees. Mmm…the smell of the ocean and flowers! on Christmas!!

california christmas

And then it was off to home. We stopped at cousins and grandparents on the way home.

Okay, we also stopped at my favorite store…Snackin’ Free. I needed snacks too! The brownies…awesome!! The pumpkin was amazing. And I got the Wheat Free Thins which tasted incredible. I’m not sure how she makes allergy free food taste so amazing, but I’m okay with it. I just hand her my card and go shopping. 🙂

snackin free

It made for a LONG 16 hour trip home that usually takes us 10 at the most. But it was a great weekend and so fun to have some time with my family before remembering I had a ton of homework and grading and work to do. Back to work!


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