We just got back from our Thanksgiving vacation. Ger flew to St. Louis for baby showers (see the pregnancy update below) and I followed on Wednesday. Ger and her parents picked me up at the airport and we drove straight out to their country place called “The Farm”.
I love The Farm. It’s a large plot of land near St. James, Missouri (about an hour and a half outside of St. Louis), owned by Ger’s family (mainly her parents and her aunt/uncle). They have three small houses near a man-made lake that’s probably about 400 feet across at its widest point. There’s a beach and a fishing pier on the lake, both of which look out on a small island and diving platform. In the summer, everyone swims, fishes, or goes boating if they’re down at the water, else they sit in the barn and enjoy happy hour, which starts around noon and lasts until dinner.
In November, though, it’s cold and you just get to enjoy the view (which is quite beautiful) or walk along the beaten path running around the parameter of the lake. Still, I love going to The Farm for Thanksgiving, as we do every other year (alternate years are spent with my family in Tulsa). I like walking around the lake, and I like visiting with the family. When I’m not doing one of those two things, I get a heck of a lot of reading done. I finished three books this last trip.
Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family is also great. Thanksgiving with my family is an equally enjoyable, but on a much more intimate scale. With Ger’s family, it’s pure Americana. There’s usually a couple dozen people crowded around makeshift tables, passing giant plates of home-cooked food and telling each other who made what dish. Dogs run in and out of the house, as do children. Everybody talks VERY LOUDLY, and we all eat until we’re about to barf. Then we have pie.
I’ll tell you, Norman Rockwell couldn’t paint a better picture with his best brushes.
This year, though, we only stayed at The Farm until Friday afternoon. We came back and had dinner Saturday night with my friend from graduate school, Gary Hunt. His fiance Jennifer also joined us, and we had an awesome meal at Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill. We scoped out Gary’s new house near St. Louis Hills, which was very nice. Can’t wait for their wedding next June.
At any rate, we’re back and we had a dandy time. With the baby on the way we won’t get to travel for Christmas, but Ger’s parents are coming to pay us a visit instead. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well.