Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving, a true American holiday

We were eager to experience our first Thanksgiving the proper American way, best summarized by various people at work as "you eat a whole pile and stuff yourself, then sit around with your family and watch TV." Sounds like a NZ Christmas!

So we called our friend Onita down in San Jose, and she invited us to her 'mom's' house in Hollister for Thanksgiving dinner.

We thought the traffic would be atrocious so we left early... we needn't have bothered. The road was pretty quiet the whole way down. It was more busy on the 101 when we came back.

So we drove to Onita's in San Jose, and she drove us to her mum's house in Hollister, about another 45 minutes or so south of San Jose (beyond Gillroy). It was a sleepy little town with a quiet main street. Onita's mum owns her own boutique out in Gilroy, but she commutes because it's less expensive - people now commute from Gilroy to San Jose and San Francisco. That's like commuting from Eketahuna to Wellington every single day - exhausting!

We've been out a few times with Onita's mum, Marie, including our tour of San Francisco when we'd just moved to San Jose. She's really lovely. She and her partner Calvin have 5 chihuahuas, and one baby one that was a week old. I spent most of the time there patting as many of the chihuahuas as I could lay my hands on at once! Onita's brother James and his girlfriend Alex also came. So it was fun. We had a 20-pound turkey and cranberry jelly (it was the colour and shape of sliced beetroot) and mashed potato and beans and pumpkin pie for dessert. Yum. I even had a slice of turkey, even though I'm actually fully vegetarian now - no fish except salmon once in a while. And even then I don't really like it.... (I can hear Brendan's screams in the background... he tried so hard to get me to like fish, he really tried.)

James and Alex had another dinner at 3pm, since we had dinner at 12.30 - they must have been sooooo full afterwards! So we left almost immediately after dinner there and went back home, to have a lazy day. Even Onita said "Mom kicked us out pretty early! Usually I have to make up an excuse!" Her mum is pretty sweet and lovely though - Onita originally wasn't going to go anywhere for Thanksgiving, until we called. Her mum had been asking her for two weeks to come for dinner there, and she didn't want to. So when we called, she asked Stefan if she should buy a whole turkey at Safeway and cook us a dinner! Then she decided to just take us to her mum's house, which was really lovely. Her mum was actually going to bring her dinner up in San Jose if she didn't come down, which we think was sweet. (Onita was complaining.)

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