Now that we live within driving distance of two sets of grandparents, we’re into our second year of alternating holidays. For Thanksgiving that meant our first major road trip with Roman, and a new trial for our potty-trained Elena. We had a great time, but even with lots of people to help out, Roman and Elena kept us fully occupied. I’ll spare most of the details and only touch on some of the highlights of the trip.
- Frozen Yogurt: We hadn’t been to a self-serve frozen yogurt place in a long time, because there isn’t one close to us. We always enjoyed them back in Texas, and it was nice to do that again at the Sweet Frog.
- The Bike Ride: I may have been the only member of my family to keep this tradition alive. Thanksgiving morning was perfect for riding, with blue skies and cool temperatures. It was my first ride in the area, and I loved the scenery but could have done without some of the hills that were steeper than I was prepared to handle.
- The Thanksgiving Feast: Jenny’s mother did most of the work, and everything was delicious. My meager contribution was a chocolate pecan pie, which did get good reviews.
- Black Friday Shopping: Jenny argued was that we were probably going to be up at midnight anyway because of Roman’s feeding schedule, so we should go out looking for deals. I went to bed early in protest, but she woke me up when it was time to go. The lines outside of Target and Best Buy were unbelievable, so we ended up at Kohl’s. The speed of their checkout line impressed me, especially since it’s always been a weak point of shopping there.
- Date Night: I don’t feel bad saying that it felt great to take a break from both children at the same time. We went to see The Help, which is probably out on DVD already, but there’s nothing like seeing it on the big screen with a bag of theater popcorn. I wish we had a second-run theater around here.
- Peaks of Otter: We threw lots of rocks in the water and saw a heron while hiking at this lovely recreation area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. After our picnic lunch, Elena and I played by the stream. The weather was too cold for wading and splashing, so we threw sticks and leaves in the water and followed their routes as the current carried them along.
- Game Time: The grown-ups played Settlers of Catan, but Elena found some other things that were more her speed. Once she started to play Hungry Hungry Hippos she didn’t want to stop and had no problem handling multiple hippos at once. Another time we sat down to a couple of rounds of Dora the Explorer-themed Memory, and I was impressed by how well she was able to remember and make matches.