Charlie and my dad went to high school together in New Jersey. Best buds. Forever. Gail has been in the picture nearly the whole time. They're our closest 'extended' family. They started inviting us to Thanksgiving after they moved to Steamboat over a decade ago, and we gladly accepted.
I love going to Steamboat and staying with Charlie and Gail. Love, love, LOVE. They were so kind to have already hosted us once this year, in July. We had a great time venturing out, hiking, horseback riding, and tubing the river. The pups came, too!
Summertime trips don't evoke as much emotion and nostalgia for me as these Thanksgiving trips. When I imagine being there, I can smell it, I can see it, I can feel it. I cannot wait to get there and experience it live. This week is absolutely steeped in tradition. More so than any other holiday for me, I dare say.
Things have changed a little bit over the years, and we won't be traveling with my parents, but most of these traditions will stay the same, and I can't wait to do them all in a few days.
- Driving through the night, arriving in Steamboat early Tuesday morning, and meeting Charlie & Gail for breakfast at Winona's. (Driving through the night doesn't happen so much anymore since we're no longer in school, but Winona's does!)
- Scrabble. Gail and her father are absolutely impossible to beat.
- Skiing opening day at Mt. Werner the day before Thanksgiving. Some years they have to make all of the snow, and only a small portion of the mountain is open. Others (like this year!), they have more snow than they know what to do with and we get to be among the first on the brand new powder. The best part? Lift tickets are only $20 and benefit the ski & board club's scholarship fund.
- My mom's leg of lamb for dinner Wednesday night.
- Gail's pies. She's a master baker. And she taught me to make pumpkin pie with real pumpkin. There's no other way. You'll never go back.
- Morning sunrises over the mountains from the hot tub with coffee in hand.
- Cozy slippers and warm fires.
- Pictionary - Nick and I are out to beat C&G this year!
- A brisk walk between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert. Gotta make room!
- A dependable Turkey Day menu, made lovingly by Gail and my mother. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, wild rice with mushrooms, spinach salad, cranberry sauce. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie.
- Sandwiches made with all the leftovers.
- Glazing pottery at Gail's studio.
- GIANT spin art.
- Old stories that never get old.
- And cheese. Every day with the cheese.
- Nova lox on bagels.
- Gail's waffles. With or without chocolate chips.
- Strawberry Hot Springs - natural and just on the other side of the mountain, yet such a long drive to get to. Go at night and clothes are optional. FYI.
- Happiness. They say Disneyworld is the happiest place on earth, but boy are they mistaken.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I guarantee it won't be as good as mine.
It'll be better. heh heh
P.S. You can follow our antics via twitter - @carlyklock.