TBT: Thanksgiving 2015 and a 2016 Update

Greetings, gentle readers, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all. I’m reposting last year’s Thanksgiving entry below, as I thought it would be interesting to revisit where we were last year and, also, to post some thoughts about what makes me thankful.

This year, we’re home in New York. We live literally at the staging area for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Our street was closed off last night with all kinds of activity; in fact, I think that some of the high school bands were sleeping in buses just outside of our building. We heard them warming up this morning, just before they turned the corner onto Central Park West to join the parade. I guess it’s a big deal.

When we’re in town on T-Day, I do the cooking, soup to nuts (although we serve neither soup nor nuts.) We have a wonderful extended family who, year after year, join us to celebrate. I have this thing covered and am very organized, thanks to my handy spreadsheet which tells me what to do. I don’t even have to think, just tick off the items one by one and – VOILA! – Thanksgiving!

Here’s our table set and ready for action:

table
It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving

And here’s our bird, just before going into the oven:

turkey-pre
My 15⅓ pound beauty waiting to be roasted!

And here she is, post-oven:

turkey-post
Just 2 hours, 40 minutes later!

Starting off the festivities with a chilled aperitif, I think:

dom
The holidays are a time to cherish and celebrate with good friends and family

Oh, and here’s what we had to eat:

eats

So, that’s what we did today. Just finished the dishes and putting our feet up and relaxing – turkey sandwiches, anyone?

And here’s my TBT blog from last year:

Greetings from sunny St. Maarten. And happy Thanksgiving to those of you who observe/celebrate it. AAC CPA and I went into town for all of 15 minutes to purchase some Belgian chocolates as a gift for our wonderful concierge, Jola. She has taken such good care of us. Then we got back on board as quickly as possible. The ship is fun today because most of the passengers are off exploring and we have the run of the place. Woo-hoo!

St Maarten
A gorgeous St. Maarten beach

Our butler, Alex, has already been here to start setting up for our Thanksgiving feast, as we’re hosting our group chez nous. We’ll be 8 for dinner. Alex did a preliminary setup, and he’ll be back later to put the finishing touches together. We’ll start with cocktails and hors d’eauvres at 7:00, followed by the all the Thanksgivings fixings at 7:30, served buffet style, as I want everyone to have as much or as little of everything that they desire. Pumpkin pies for dessert, natch. I, of course, have already started my prep work and the turkey just went into the oven. (Truth or dare?)

Celebrity Child
True or false: Is this me prepping the turkey?

So is Thanksgiving a day of reflection for you? Do you take stock and count your blessings? Or is it just another day where we all eat too much and pay for it on Friday?

For me, I tend to be overly-analytical about everything in life so today’s just another day to do more of the same.

However, in these dark and dangerous times, I think it’s a good idea to consider who and where I am at this point in my life. Am I measuring up? Do I have what it takes? Am I headed on the right path?

Here’s where it stands for me:

I have AAC CPA and we both have our health. That’s first and foremost. Added to that, we’re extremely fortunate to have the resources that allow us to live this lovely life (which, in turn, provides fodder for this blog) which we never ever take for granted. We have the added blessing of getting along famously with both of our families (I think that may be a rare thing), and a circle of friends, who keep us amused and on our toes. And, I think, there’s real affection there, too.

We have very good and dear friends in London – they know who they are – who just had a bit of a close shave in the London tube. Thankfully, they’re all right and nothing really terrible happened. But they wrote to tell us about it and to ask if we were having 2nd thoughts about our upcoming trip to London. (Yes, gentle readers, we’re somehow returning to London – our 3rd time this year!! More on that very soon.) I replied with no hesitation whatsoever that we wouldn’t dream of cancelling our trip. We love London and the thought of spending Christmas there is simply irresistible.

And herein is the real thing for which I’m most grateful today: AAC and I live in NYC and were there on that terrible day in September 2001. Then and there, we made a vow to each other that we would never put off anything that we wanted to do, whether it was to read that book, see that play, try that new restaurant, or get on a plane or ship and hit the road. In these uncertain times, we try not to live in fear but, rather, to live our lives fully and enjoy them to the best of our abilities.

I didn’t mean for this post to turn into any kind of sermon, so mea culpa if it came off that way. It’s just my way of saying how truly lucky and blessed we are.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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Friday: Thanksgiving Recap and Another Day at Sea

So, how was your Thanksgiving? Like us, did you eat too much and live to regret it? Have seconds on everything and cap it off with a turkey sandwich at midnight? We weren’t quite that bad, but pretty bad nevertheless.

Before our Thanksgiving feast for 8 was served up in our beautiful cabin aboard Celebrity Silhouette, we spent the day on St. Maarten. That is, to say, AAC CPA and I spent about 15 minutes on the island. (We’re such bad tourists, you know.)

We decided we’d be terrible people if we didn’t at least make an effort. So we traipsed off the ship, ducked into a Belgian chocolate store, picked up some candy for our favorite on-board concierge, Jola, and came right back on board. The ship is so delightful when everyone else goes ashore. And that was that.

However, here’s AAC CPA communing with an Island celebrity:

St Maarten AAC
AAC CPA has a little Island chat with Pieter Stuyvesant

By late afternoon, it was time to set sail and move on.

St Maarten Departure
Departure from St. Maarten

A bit later on, we had a lovely sunset

Celebrity Sunset
Is that a beautiful sunset or what?

And then it was time to get ready for our little Thanksgiving fête. Our superb butler, Alex, had already set up the cabin for the turkey feast:

Celebrity Big Table
The big table

Celebrity Little Table
The kid’s table for AAC and me

Celebrity Alex
Our butler, Alex, pops the cork 

And I set up the bar:

Celebrity Bar Setup
My domain: Negronis, anyone?

The guests arrived right on time and the Negronis were flowing along with the assortment of hors d’eauvres that Alex had provided. A little later, at the perfect moment, the food arrived and we sat down to the main meal. The food was delicious and we were all grateful for the meal and for each other’s company. After we’d polished off the turkey and trimmings, dessert was served: pumpkin pie AND a lovely chocolate pecan pie. Good thing we were all wearing elasticized pants, if you receive my meaning.

We all went our separate ways around 10:00 PM.

Around midnight, there was some shipboard drama: we made an unscheduled stop on the island of St. Thomas. A couple of passengers were escorted off the ship; not sure why. Of course, everyone is gossiping about it this morning.

Today we learned that the captain has taken the ship slightly off its designated course due to some rough waters. As I sit on the veranda typing this post, I can feel the motion of the ocean, but nothing too serious. In fact, we like it – it reminds us that we’re on the ocean, after all.

And now we’re coming into the home stretch of the cruise: sea days today and tomorrow and then they throw us off the ship on Sunday morning. As you know, we love sea days – we just lollygag around and take advantage of what the ship has to offer: food, food and more food. Maybe a trip to the casino or a wine tasting this afternoon. And there’s that champagne tea to which we’ve been invited. So many choices, so little time. 

Oh, and it’s the last formal night this evening. On this ship, however, anything goes and I DO mean anything.

All in all, it’s been a lovely time.

Thursday: St. Maarten, Thanksgiving and Why I’m Thankful

Greetings from sunny St. Maarten. And happy Thanksgiving to those of you who observe/celebrate it. AAC CPA and I went into town for all of 15 minutes to purchase some Belgian chocolates as a gift for our wonderful concierge, Jola. She has taken such good care of us. Then we got back on board as quickly as possible. The ship is fun today because most of the passengers are off exploring and we have the run of the place. Woo-hoo!

St Maarten
A gorgeous St. Maarten beach

Our butler, Alex, has already been here to start setting up for our Thanksgiving feast, as we’re hosting our group chez nous. We’ll be 8 for dinner. Alex did a preliminary setup, and he’ll be back later to put the finishing touches together. We’ll start with cocktails and hors d’eauvres at 7:00, followed by the all the Thanksgivings fixings at 7:30, served buffet style, as I want everyone to have as much or as little of everything that they desire. Pumpkin pies for dessert, natch. I, of course, have already started my prep work and the turkey just went into the oven. (Truth or dare?)

Celebrity Child
True or false: Is this me prepping the turkey?

So is Thanksgiving a day of reflection for you? Do you take stock and count your blessings? Or is it just another day where we all eat too much and pay for it on Friday?

For me, I tend to be overly-analytical about everything in life so today’s just another day to do more of the same.

However, in these dark and dangerous times, I think it’s a good idea to consider who and where I am at this point in my life. Am I measuring up? Do I have what it takes? Am I headed on the right path?

Here’s where it stands for me:

I have AAC CPA and we both have our health. That’s first and foremost. Added to that, we’re extremely fortunate to have the resources that allow us to live this lovely life (which, in turn, provides fodder for this blog) which we never ever take for granted. We have the added blessing of getting along famously with both of our families (I think that may be a rare thing), and a circle of friends, who keep us amused and on our toes. And, I think, there’s real affection there, too.

We have very good and dear friends in London – they know who they are – who just had a bit of a close shave in the London tube. Thankfully, they’re all right and nothing really terrible happened. But they wrote to tell us about it and to ask if we were having 2nd thoughts about our upcoming trip to London. (Yes, gentle readers, we’re somehow returning to London – our 3rd time this year!! More on that very soon.) I replied with no hesitation whatsoever that we wouldn’t dream of cancelling our trip. We love London and the thought of spending Christmas there is simply irresistible.

And herein is the real thing for which I’m most grateful today: AAC and I live in NYC and were there on that terrible day in September 2001. Then and there, we made a vow to each other that we would never put off anything that we wanted to do, whether it was to read that book, see that play, try that new restaurant, or get on a plane or ship and hit the road. In these uncertain times, we try not to live in fear but, rather, to live our lives fully and enjoy them to the best of our abilities.

I didn’t mean for this post to turn into any kind of sermon, so mea culpa if it came off that way. It’s just my way of saying how truly lucky and blessed we are.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Tomorrow: We’re back at sea!!