Recapping My Thanksgiving (or A Few Days In Sacramento)

I’ve already written a bit about my trip for Thanksgiving, but I haven’t really said more than my flight there and my workout on Thanksgiving Day. I wasn’t in Sacramento that long (I got there late Tuesday night and left Friday afternoon), but I managed to pack quite a bit into my trip!

When I arrived, I got there so late that all I did was get to the hotel and go to bed. And the next morning, I had to work a few hours (it is nice to work remotely so I could work from the hotel) and the original plan was to try to make it to Tahoe so I could see the house. I haven’t been there in quite a while so I was excited to see what the house looks like all done. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t that great so we decided to try for a Tahoe adventure on Friday when we were hoping it wouldn’t be as bad.

Since I had finished with work early because we only had a half shift the day before Thanksgiving, we had a lot of free time. So my parents and I went to visit my grandma. She lives in an assisted living facility there and I wanted to see where she was living now. I had seen her home in San Diego (both in independent living and assisted living) so many times and it was weird to think my grandma was living somewhere for almost a year and I hadn’t seen it yet.

She had just moved to a new room recently so I never got to see the first room she had. But I still wanted to see where she was living and what amenities the new facility had. When my parents and I got there, my mom had to ask the staff something about my grandma’s mail (the birthday card I mailed to her was never delivered) so my dad gave me a quick tour. This place is significantly smaller than where she was living in San Diego so it was easy to see the various places there that my grandma uses. I got to see the hair salon, the library, and the living room area. We looked at the courtyard too, but since it was raining we didn’t go out there.

Then we went to where my grandma is. She was out in a common room when we got there so my parents took me to see her room first. I really liked her room and it felt much more spacious than where she was living in San Diego. I’m glad I got to see it so I can picture where she is when I call her and we talk on the phone. Then we found my grandma sitting with a bunch of other residents and I got to take some time to talk to her. My grandma isn’t as chatty as she used to be and it can be tough to see her be confused and not how I remember her, but there are still lots of moments where she seems like herself and we can have some fun conversations. We were there for maybe an hour or so before heading back to the hotel because my brother and sister-in-law were arriving.

Thanksgiving Day started with the family workout and then we all went back to the hotel to get dressed and ready. My grandma was going to be picked up later than the rest of us arrived at my aunt and uncle’s (we didn’t want to exhaust her too much) so when we got there the cooking was happening and I tried to stay out of the way the best I could. My mom brought family movies to watch and it was really fun to see movies from when my grandma was growing up. And when my grandma arrived, we had started watching movies that had 3 generations of us in it (my cousin’s kids were the only generation not in the movies) and my grandma was really enjoying watching them and commenting on random things. She made a really great joke about how my dad looked weird because he had hair in the videos and he’s bald now.

When dinner was ready, we had a pretty incredible spread.

I had a little bit of everything except the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauces. And it was all really delicious! I probably ate too much food, but I think that’s a pretty common thing on Thanksgiving. And my family was having a great time sitting at the table enjoying all the random conversations we were having.

After dinner, we tried to get a family photo. My uncle was using his nice camera but the self timer didn’t seem to want to work. He ended up also setting his phone to video so we could see if we could get a good still shot on it while he attempted to make his camera work. We didn’t really get a great photo, but when he sent me the video I found some amazing moments that I love more than a staged, smiling photo. This one is from one of the last times he attempted to use his self timer and it went off before he could get in place.

I love how we are all laughing, even if I don’t love how I look in the photo. But it’s an honest and genuine moment from all of us and I think that makes it so special.

The day after Thanksgiving I had to work, but I had made an arrangement to work limited hours so I could spend time with my family. My parents and I were trying to get to Tahoe, but again the weather didn’t work in our favor so we didn’t make it. Hopefully I’ll get out there next year because I want to see the house and spend time with my family. So I ended up working my entire work shift (plus an extra hour because I mixed up what day it was) and then we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house for some leftovers before I had to get to the airport.

It was nice to have some more family time even if it wasn’t that much time. But I don’t usually get that very often so I value whatever time I do get with my extended family. And after spending a few hours with my family it was time to head back to the airport for my flight back home.

I did have a few panic attacks on my flight back to LA, but they were pretty minor compared to the attacks I had on the way to Sacramento and they weren’t as frequent or as long. So I’m guessing my panic attacks were brought on by not flying for a long time and not that my panic disorder is back when I thought it was gone. And before I knew it, I was back in LA and back to my normal life.

My trip to Sacramento was quick, but it was filled with lots of great things. Even though I had to work 2 of the days I was there, that’s pretty routine for me for Thanksgiving and it didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. My parents were hanging out with me while I was working so I wasn’t alone. And work was slow enough that most of the time I was working was really just talking to my parents, helping them with random computer things, or helping my dad find some great deals online for new shoes.

I won’t get to see my extended family like this again until next Thanksgiving, but I will hopefully see them randomly throughout the year. I might be seeing my aunt in March and my cousin and her daughter in February. And there’s always time to plan for more in the coming year.

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