On Wednesday, November 23rd, The Brit and I celebrated a major milestone in our relationship — our first trans-Atlantic flight together. Hooray! I’m sure you weren’t expecting that, but this was a big deal for us! We’ve had a few short European flights and domestic U.S. flights sat beside each other. We’re both so accustomed to long flights alone that we joked about how after this flight we might just end up purchasing different flights from here on out.
The verdict is in. And, I’m sure everyone is surprised to know that we really enjoyed being together! And actually, we had separate flights coming back to the UK on Sunday (it’s complicated) and I missed having him next to me. I had a few hours in Heathrow waiting for him to arrive, so when he walked through the arrivals door into the terminal, I was smiling from ear-to-ear. I’ll take that as a sign this guy has my heart. Sorry for the soppy-ness! (Here’s a fun language tidbit…I have always said ‘sappy,’ but in England, they often use ‘soppy,’ which is what the Brit says, and it’s definitely stuck for me.)
Anyway, back to our second Thanksgiving together celebrated with my family…my brother and his fiancée were nice enough to pick us up from the airport. Lucky for us, the brother took one of his ‘shortcuts’ and we missed most of the holiday traffic through the city. The Brit and I crashed not long after arriving at my parents’ house, and we were up early for the Turkey Trot 5k in my hometown. We were thankful it wasn’t freezing rain and gusting wind like last year. As usual, our super fans (aka Mom and Dad) were there to see us cross the finish line.
After the race it was back to my parents’ house to help prepare for the group of 16 friends and family that was due for Thanksgiving dinner at 1 PM. Growing up, we spent Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents’ house and Noni (my grandmother) made such a crazy amount of food. She is 100% Italian and my grandfather was 100% Ukrainian, so not only did we have the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce, BUT we also had ham, lasagna, and pierogies. As my grandparents got older, the tradition shifted and Thanksgiving dinner is now always at my mom and dad’s house, which I absolutely love. Granted, our dinner is based mainly on the more traditional Thanksgiving fare (this includes a regular cooked turkey and a deep-fried one), but we are still left with so many leftovers. It’s quite funny to see the Italian trait of making WAY TOO MUCH food passed down from generation to generation. I even catch myself doing it. I mean you don’t want to run out of anything now, do you?! Dinner was fabulous — the food and the company. It was great catching up with people we hadn’t seen since summer.
Friday brought nothing other than the Brit’s FIRST Black Friday shopping experience. I have to say that he voluntarily went along with Mom and I, and the three of us had a really fun time! Not only did we get some great deals and save loads of money on Christmas gifts, but because most of the crazies had been out at midnight when the shops opened we didn’t have any crowds to fight. It was a win for us! We were happy to have the Brit along, not only because he’s great company, but also because he was our ‘male model’ trying clothes on for my dad and brother and he was happy to help us carry shopping bags. It was a great morning that we wrapped up with lunch before heading home.
That night, we were lucky enough to visit with one of my best friends from home, her husband, and their little boy (who both the Brit and I love to pieces). He is the sweetest. As the Brit always says, “Find out what store they got him from because that’s the kind of kid I’d love to have.” It was great to just sit and chat. It has been hard for me going from seeing them nearly every week when I was living in PA this summer to just once every few months, so I loved catching up with them.
Saturday was fairly low key for us. Prior to flying home, I had suggested to Mom that we take a family photo as I had known she had wanted one for awhile. So, I arranged the photographer (the self-timer on our camera), we determined the location (Mom and Dad’s house), and I informed the brother and ‘sister’ of this. We actually had such a fun time (mostly it was everyone laughing at me as I ran back into the frame after setting the self-timer) taking the photos as you can see below….
After our marathon photo session, we chilled and played games. We’re a wholesome family like that…until I mention that we simultaneously taste tested the pear brandy that my brother and his fiancée had made! Delish. That night, the six of us had dinner at the local Italian restaurant. I think it’s becoming tradition as the six of us went there for dinner last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s just a nice time for us to all sit and chat after the busy-ness of the holiday.
Sunday, we had to say our goodbyes. However, it was easy leaving (well, until my mom started to cry at the airport) since we know that we only have 4 weeks until we’re back again for Christmas! This trip back for Thanksgiving truly epitomized what the holiday is about — spending time with your loved ones and making the most out of that time. Although the trip went quickly, I’m so grateful the Brit and I were able to be in Pennsylvania to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.
I’m a very lucky girl.