Mary told me the other day that Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday of all. She likes the big family gatherings, and spending time cooking with her sister Annie.
Mobile dance party outside of Tehran, Iran, November 2008.
What I like about this holiday is that it lasts longer than many holidays what with that Friday in between that everyone takes off. I thought about some of my Thanksgivings of the past and for this I did what I often do, looking at my blog archives to see what I was writing about.
For the past two years I’ve been home for the holiday. This marked a departure from the years 2008-2011, when I was traveling to various parts of the world. I remember almost every time I set up a trip or got a last minute invitation having to explain myself and say I was sorry for missing the holiday.
In 2008, I was invited to Iran, and I went. I mean, I had to go, even though I would miss everything. That trip turned out to be one of the most interesting journeys I have ever been on, with Persepolis and Isfahan being the highlights.
The Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny field, Tuscaloosa AL, November 2010.
In 2009, I went to New Zealand’s South Island, and it was a trip full of action–helicopter hiking, great culinary exploration and a trip out to a very remote inland sea and into the Tasman sea to catch cod.
In 2010, Paul Shoul and I went to Alabama to watch the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn. Then we spent the rest of the week hunting, fishing and meeting interesting locals in what is called the Black Belt of the state. No, it has nothing to do with the citizens, it’s the color of the soil.
Kauri trees in New Zealand, November 2011.
In 2011, I returned to New Zealand, but this time I went all by myself, and on Thanksgiving I was driving up north to an absolutely stunning part of the country. We spent time in a forest of Kauri trees, towering specimens that were nearly all cut down save just 4 percent of them.
I’m happy though, that this year I’ll spend the holiday with Mary’s family in nearby Amherst. I hope to watch some football, snooze a bit, and not spend any time working.