After our Disney adventures, we embarked on part II of our Thanksgiving Holiday! Yes, how can it already be December 12th and I am only sitting down now to write about the second half of Thanksgiving Week? Such a delinquent mommy blogger over here. Please feel free to unsubscribe now, because you know mommy-ing and working and life-ing is hard and I swear I thought I would write down these memories like three weeks ago! And a part of me was like, didn’t I compose this part of our story a dozen times in my mind, that counts for something, no?
So David’s dad lives up in Northern Florida and after checking out of our hotel in Orlando we began the three hour trek to visit with him and David’s extended family in the woods. As a true city-girl/”city-idiot,” heading into the woods is never a comfortable experience for me. There is dirt, bugs, potentially snakes, and so much more. But, through exposure therapy of going, I have gotten over a number of my hang-ups with living close to nature. It is okay, if the kids get dirty, eat the dirt, or bring the dirt home with them. It is good them and me and good for making ridiculous memories.
A few of my absolutely favorite parts about visiting with David’s family are their traditions that surround this particular holiday. How do you cook your turkey? Probably you grab a roasting pan, lay down the bird, season it, and slowly roast it in your oven. A delicious option. But, have you ever roasted your turkey outside in a beer keg? It might sound odd or you might be asking how, but I promise you however David’s dad executes this task it is always delicious and enjoyed by at least 17-32 people around multiple tables. The turkey is so juicy, the skin is crisp and amazing, and it is by far the best turkey I have consumed in my almost 33 years. After the turkey comas wear off, the family heads to a cousin’s home to hop onto a hayride. This quaint activity is super sweet and I love the way Henry and Owen experience this. They sit excitedly in the hay, wave glow sticks and clap and sing along to the adults crooning out bits and pieces of Christmas carols. When we arrive back from the ride, we sit around the camp fire and drink hot chocolate and eat way too many cookies. The next morning the entire family group reconvenes at David’s dad’s place for a campfire brunch cooked in cast iron pans. You have to be ready for this one because there is never a piece of bacon remaining! Even when he cooks 5lb+ of the stuff the feeding frenzy starts as soon as he calls “Brunch time.” Add to this an adventure in pecan picking and Henry and his cousins running wild through the woods at night for literal hours on end carrying lanterns and laughing and you have a pretty magical visit. These moments always remind me that slowing down and sitting by the fire needs to be more incorporated into our life and to stop sweating being in the woods. Going country has a lot of benefits.