Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Dinner on the Road...

 With Thanksgiving approaching we were up in the air about what we wanted to do this year.  We were so indecisive.  I was indecisive.  My husband was just waiting to see what I wanted to do.

Our soon-to-be parents were staying in Northern Idaho and sharing dinner with their orphaned friends.

Our newest newlyweds made plans to be here... 
Where they were celebrating their honeymoon like this...  and apparently hadn't considered inviting parents...  (sniff)

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Our older son was working through the holiday weekend.  Their late building start and getting organized in Bliss means now as winter weather is imminent the work load increases to 6 and 7 days a week.  His wife and son would be spending the day with her family.

With my work schedule I am scheduled the day after Thanksgiving.  I'm not a Black Friday shopper.  Had no major desire to be out with the crowds.  When enough of the surgeons turned in their block time and the schedule was emptying, I knew I could have the day off. 

My waffling continued...  "let's just stay home".  Mike didn't want me to be depressed if we ended up spending the day along.  I couldn't promise not to be sad.  I love spending time with my family.  Having them scattered in the winds, it would probably not be my favorite day.

Decision made.  We were going on the road.

We made a hotel reservation for our favorite overnight place in Cascade Locks, Oregon along the Columbia River and headed over when I got off work Wednesday.  Feeling good about the holiday we asked a surprised drive-thru clerk if we could pay for the dinner of the car behind us.  I'm sure they would have ordered more if they thought that was a possibility. 

The trip was uneventful...  we stopped to switch drivers.  I should have guessed as I started to drive and the chilly sky was spitting moisture, it would only get more intense.  Driving from La Grande to Pendleton was like special affects from a Star Wars movie.  I could barely see the road, trying to follow a car in front of me when the tire tracks were disappearing.  At times with the snow coming at the windshield it felt like we were standing still. Once through the Blue Mountains we were again blessed with clear sky and stars.  Our arrival to our hotel was rewarded with a bottle of wine.

Paper cups?  No worries.
Thursday morning we woke to cool temperatures to start our Thanksgiving day.  We enjoyed our breakfast and coffee and headed for our first stop of the day.
Happy Thanksgiving!
We scheduled a morning visit in Troutdale with our niece Jorgan and her daughter Savannah, as well as my "sister-friend" Kevin.  We just don't get to spend enough time together.  Definitely need to plan a Portland weekend soon. 
Crossing Columbia River from Oregon to Washington

Some of the Oregon Shaws - my sister-in-law Kevin, niece Jorgan and great-niece Savannah
Our daughter-in-law Debbie is co-owner of Centralia Deli, Steak and BBQ in Centralia, WA.  She started serving Thanksgiving dinner to folks last year.  When we first saw the reminder on the Internet we knew it was an option we had to seriously consider.  As the pieces of our Thanksgiving holiday fell into place we knew dinner at the Deli would be a reality.  We met our good friends Mike & Linda Palomino at the restaurant to share our Thanksgiving meal.  It was a perfect meal.  Favorite dishes.  Chatter with friends and familiy.  No dishes to clean up!  It is so neat that Debbie, Tim and their employees provide Thanksgiving dinner for the locals.

I think next year we will just go over and help serve meals to people who come to the restaurant.  Perhaps this would allow an employee to spend more time with their family too.  It seems so often when Thanksgiving approaches we wait to know what our families are doing and work around other's plans.  It's not possible to go to be with my folks.  I want to do something meaningful.
Centralia Deli - the calm between the crowds
With our DIL Debbie and good friend Linda
Our Thanksgiving Day "family" - Mike, Linda, Mike and Debbie

We drove north of Seattle to spend the rest of the day and night with our friends.  It was amazing to see people standing outside of stores already in the middle of the afternoon, waiting for the Black Friday sales. Ridiculous.

After a restful evening and the camaraderie of friends, we enjoyed breakfast Friday morning at an Irish Pub (where we will definitely have to return) and headed for home.  We stopped again at the Deli for a better visit with Debbie and then started our trek home.  It rained.  And rained.  And Rained.  We were through Portland and I wondered if we should consider hunkering down for the night and driving after the storm passes.  Mike double checked the weather.  It looked like we could get ahead of the rain by The Dalles.  Fortunately it did.  The rest of our drive home was "dry and dusty".

It was a whirlwind trip over and back - filled with very special time with family and friends.  You just have to take advantage of every opportunity.

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