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Tired after Thanksgiving

It’s been an eventful few days.  I set out on Tuesday to drive the 500+ miles to the family Thanksgiving gathering, and it was horribly rainy the whole time, much more so than the weather forecast suggested.  I almost decided to turn back and try again the next day, but it’s just as well I didn’t, since it was still rainy Wednesday — though not as bad.  I only made it four hours Tuesday before the rain started to get even worse and I stopped at a motel, but on Wednesday I managed to make it to cousins Barbara & Mark’s house just around sunset, and in time for dinner, which was my first experience with jambalaya.  Now I know what that is.

Well, if I remember.  The subsequent couple of days have been kind of a blur.  A big group breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, then the huge dinner, which was very early in the afternoon so we could wait a while and then have pie.  In addition to all the various traditional fixings at dinner, including roasted and smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, creamed pearl onions, cranberry relish, etc., there were four kinds of pie — pumpkin, apple, mincemeat, and pecan.  I had a half-sized slice of each.  Quite an impressive feast.

And then we had a lot of it again at brunch this morning, which was an even larger group than the 11 we had last night, since one more cousin and her husband and son dropped by.  That included turkey hash and pumpkin coffee cake.

This afternoon, to burn off some of those calories, a half-dozen of us went on a bike ride, for which I brought my bike with me in the car.  I haven’t ridden in a while, so I’m out of shape, but I actually managed to complete two rides — a one-and-a-quarter-mile “warmup” ride with lifelong cyclist Uncle Harry, and then another ten miles with the group, mostly on a hiking path through the woods.  There were some rough patches that scared me a little, but I only almost fell down twice.  It was a much more challenging ride than I’d anticipated, and it was exhausting, but I’m impressed at myself that I pulled it off.

And it’s good that I burned off a lot of calories, since we had another big group dinner (only 9 of us this time) tonight, consisting of turkey stew (or maybe a very hearty soup) and bread with brie.  And then more pie.  That was good.

But it’ll be a relief not to have a big organized breakfast tomorrow.  And some of us will be eating out for lunch — at something Spanish called a tapas bar, which will be my first experience with that — followed by a museum visit.  Then another big meal, apparently, to celebrate cousin-in-law Mark’s birthday (though I think it’s being celebrated early while the folks are in town).

I’ll probably be setting out for home again on Sunday — and the forecast calls for more rain for my ride home, even though it’s been beautiful and sunny since I arrived.  Well, the forecast on the way up greatly underestimated the precipitation; hopefully this one is overestimating it.

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