I haven’t been with my family for Thanksgiving for over 10 years. Most of the family lives in sunny Arizona, while I’m in South Carolina. That’s a big trip, especially at the holidays. This year I started planning early, and I planned big. I let all my siblings know I was coming and I hoped that we could all be together at Thanksgiving. I talked dates with my husband, and we both requested time off from work. We planned and packed, and finally the day came: time to leave for 2 whole weeks with my family!
Day 1: Travel
We got up at the crack of dawn and drove 18 hours our first day. It was exhausting, but worth it. We hit 8 states that day, and spent the night in Amarillo, Texas. I brought a sweater with me as travel knitting.
Mississippi (where I did a little sweater surgery)
Day 2: Travel
On day 2 we spent about 10 hours on the road. We were wiped out from the previous day, so we stayed the night in Flagstaff, Arizona. As we went further and further west we started seeing red rock and cacti. It felt like home.
Day 3: Travel + Family Time
We drove the 2 hours from Flagstaff to Phoenix, and spent the rest of the day resting and enjoying being with my family.
Days 4-5: Family Time
We laughed a lot and made Christmas cookies. We were also able to spend some time with friends. My husband made us all eggnog (pro tip: homemade eggnog is way better than store bought).
Day 6: Thanksgiving Day
We made even more cookies, and cooked Thanksgiving dinner as a family. We decorated my mom’s house with Christmas lights. All my siblings and even some adopted siblings were able to make it. This was such a pleasant, homey day. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Day 7: Travel
My grandma lives in California, so we headed over to see her, as well as my aunt, uncle, and cousins.
Day 8: Sightseeing
My husband and I went to the San Diego Zoo, then watched the sunset at the beach. 10/10, would recommend!
Day 9: Family Time + Thanksgiving 2.0
We spent the morning with my grandma, then had a second Thanksgiving dinner with the California branch of the family. This was the first time my husband got to meet this side of the family.
I had brought my sourdough starter to make bread for the family, and expose it to some different yeasts/conditions, and this is the day I made sourdough bread (for the record, I don’t think my sourdough bread tastes any different now that I’m home).
Day 10: Travel
Back to Phoenix for one last day with my family.
Day 11: Family Time + Packing
Getting ready to leave is always bittersweet.
Day 12: Travel
No matter where you’ve been or who you’ve been with, there’s something satisfying about heading home.
Oklahoma (it was dark and we were tired)
Day 13: Travel
Home again, home again, jiggedy jog.
This was the best Thanksgiving I can remember. Thanksgiving is a hard time of year for my family, and it was so good to make some truly spectacular memories of this holiday. I am so glad we went, and very thankful to my husband for driving us 5,000 miles/60 hours across the country (I tried to drive, but he wouldn’t let me).