Tonight is our Thanksgiving. This year, we’re celebrating with my husband’s family in Missouri. Being both from nomadic families, we trade off families between Thanksgiving and Christmas ever year. Christmas will be in Arkansas.
I got off work and we left before dawn yesterday morning. We ate donuts I purchased the day before on the road somewhere in Conway. I tried sleeping through St. Joseph, but failed miserably. Kathryn started expressing some nausea and about 2 miles south of Harrison, she openly expressed it into a plastic bag that I happened to have handy. Within minutes, however, she was happy again, running through the aisles of a local grocery store and was telling us she was hungry. She ate enough for two meals.
On the way, through Springfield, we stopped at Caribou Coffee. Sadly, this establishment does not exist in Arkansas.
Based in Minnesota, Caribou is Starbucks’ biggest competitor north of the Mason-Dixon line. The north views Caribou much like the east coast views Dunkin’ Donuts. There simply is no better. With my Caramel High Rise in hand (my fourth cup of coffee in as many hours, by the way), we made it to my in-laws around noon. At this point, I’d been awake for 27 hours straight. Planning around my work and sleep schedule, we opted to wait until Friday to have our Thanksgiving meal. (Incidentally, Kathryn, George and myself went to bed at 6:30 last night.. a full 37 hours since I had last slept).
My father in law isn’t the biggest fan of turkey. Thus, on the menu tonight are baby back ribs, beans, monkey bread and a pecan pie that I made this morning. I’m a firm believer that Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be turkey, dressing, and all the cliche trimmings.
My best Thanksgiving memory was made eight years ago. It was just George and me in our little two-bedroom apartment in Savage, MN. It was probably going to be our last holiday with just the two of us… ever. I was seven months pregnant. For dinner that night, we made crabcakes, lobster tail, broiled shrimp, cheddar bay biscuits and salad. It was magnificent. I even did the forbidden and had a (very) small glass of red wine. I couldn’t travel. I didn’t want to make anyone need to work on the holiday in order to serve me and so, we divulged and spent the entire day cooking a meal that we would have spent nearly $100 on at Red Lobster. To this day, George and I still relish that memory.
This year, we’ve already made our own new memories, including a carsick kid, insomnia and Razorbacks on the big screen. Hopefully, you’ve made your own as well. For some, it may be the first holiday without a certain relative (My thoughts are with my cousins this year, as this is their first without their mom. I remember spending a few Thanksgivings with her family). For others, it may be the first with a new relative (a shout out goes to former fellow Democrat-Gazette employee Matt Keene. He and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Mo Keene, who was born Wednesday afternoon). Either way, I hope it was happy.
In honor of the first official day of the Christmas shopping season, Little Rock Mamas is giving away Rave movie tickets as well as tickets to the River Market’s Ice Rink. If you love movies and skating, why don’t you comment on Kristina’s Blog to for a chance to win?