First Half Of Thanksgiving (or Hanukkah Gifts And Birthdays)

Thanksgiving this year was held in San Diego. That’s where my grandparents live, and it’s easier for the rest of us to travel to them than for them to travel to another location. I only had Thanksgiving Day off from my box office job, but I had shortened hours the day before and after. So I figured I could work from the house that my mom rented for us and spend a couple of days with my family.

I started my drive right after my work shift ended on Tuesday. It should have been just before rush hour started, but the traffic was horrible the second I got onto the freeway.


What should have been a 2 hour drive ended up being over 4 hours (I have a history of that drive taking a long time). But I was better for me to be stuck in traffic but making progress than to be sitting at home waiting for the traffic to die down.

When I got to the rental house, my parents were there along with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle (my aunt, uncle, and cousin were also staying at the rental house with us). My brother arrived shortly after (he flew in to San Diego but my sister-in-law had to stay in San Francisco and work). We spent some time catching up as a family and then my aunt and uncle drove my grandparents back to their place.

While it was just my parents and my brother, I decided that it was the perfect time to give them the Hanukkah presents I brought with me. My brother got a gift that was from me, my parents, and my sister-in-law and my dad got a gift that was from me, my mom, my brother, and my sister-in-law. They both got awesome (and pricey) gifts so they were group gifts.

For my dad, we all chipped in and got him a custom chair and foot rest that is made from old skis. It’s being made right now and hopefully my dad will get it sometime this month. It’s going to be for Tahoe, and my mom had to do some spy work and measuring to make sure it would fit there. But it will and I can’t wait until it’s delivered so my dad can enjoy it!

And for my brother, we all chipped in and got him a GoPro. He loves to do videos while he is snowboarding and he usually makes my dad film him. But this way, he can do the videos himself. And from the look on his face when he opened the gift, I think he loves it.


As for my mom, I got her a gift certificate for Shutterfly. She’s going to be getting a new iPhone soon and she likes to make custom photo cases. I would have loved to have made a case for her, but I don’t know what phone she is getting. So this way, when she upgrades her phone, she can make the case that she wants.

After presents, we sat around and relaxed. I was trying to hang out with Tucker, but clearly he was missing my brother more than me and I was getting ignored.


I don’t mind too much. Ross gets to see Tucker pretty often where as I have only seen him a handful of times.

The next day was a relaxing family day. My cousin Adam arrived in San Diego and all of us spent most of the day hanging around the house and enjoying the view.


I had to work in the morning, but I set up my laptop and phone in the kitchen so I could still be a part of the conversation. Fortunately, it was a very quiet day at work. We also made a quick trip to the dog park for Tucker to burn off some of his energy.

That evening had such a wonderful sunset and we were spoiled with an amazing view.


And once the sun was down, it was time for us to head out to dinner. We celebrate my grandma’s birthday on the evening before Thanksgiving. We went to an Italian restaurant that we go to as a family often as they have a private room that is the perfect size for us.

At the restaurant, my other aunt and my cousin and her family were there. It was great to see my cousin, her husband, and her 3 kids again. I hadn’t seen them since last year and all of her kids are so much bigger! I got to sit next to her son, Dalton, at dinner. And he kept me pretty entertained with all of his stories and craziness.

And of course, there was cake for my grandma.


After dinner, we headed back to the rental house so we could get some sleep to be ready for Thanksgiving the next day. I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow how Thanksgiving went. It really has become one of my favorite family memories ever.

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