Ahoy, lads and lassies! We're back. This was the first Thanksgiving spent away from home. It was different but still lovely. Different in that we didn't have anywhere from 20 ("oh, you know, just the family") to 100 people ("well, we just invited a few of our friends") to host, socialize with, feed, and clean up after. Our usual Thanksgiving weekend schedule consists of Mom getting up at an ungodly hour and starting the turkey while the rest of us gradually awaken and get assigned various chores and tasks. Take out the extra chairs! Set the table! Make those puff pastry thingies! Then, the guests begin streaming in. This time, I actually got to sit down and eat my turkey and 'taters and fixin's without having to leap up to offer someone my seat or refill a glass. I missed sharing the weekend with the BIG family (i.e. aunts, uncles, cousins, and all of those close friends whom we've pretty much adopted or absorbed into the family too), but I was happy to be with the core four (now five).

The day after T-day was usually spent doing several loads of dish-washing, laundry-washing, and floor-washing. This time, Mom, Dad, and LB braved Black Friday and hit the mall for new tires (which came with a $50 gift certificate, yay Sears!) and a new TV (which we didn't get, stupid Sears!), while TP and I worked on some home improvements and went for a stroll around the golf course to lounge around by the club house pool and then scare off the cowardly neighborhood alligator sunning himself on the banks of the nearby pond. In the afternoon, instead of continuing the clean-up project or shivering our way to the stores in frigid winter weather, we went to Venice Beach. It was a little disconcerting to spend the end of November in balmy 80 degree weather, walking along a sunny path lined with palm trees and live oaks dripping with Spanish moss on our way to beach, but I got used to it pretty quickly. So, that's a recap of our holiday weekend. What did y'all do?

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