Sunday, November 30, 2008
This Thanksgiving was more of a whirlwind tour than a break; whenever friends asked about my plans I summarized: "I'll see 4 states in 4 days." Kyle and I wanted to spend time with each other and with our families but this required a lot of driving. Since Kyle had school until Wednesday at noon I stayed in Charlottesville until Wednesday morning, which meant I got to meet Sabrina's mother and their dog TeAmo. To be honest I was initially apprehensive about having a half Husky half Golden Retriever running wild in our small house. On one level I adore huskies: not only did I want to own a husky when I was younger, but two of my major childhood dreams were to compete in the Iditarod and play basketball for the UConn Huskies. But I've since met several completely crazy huskies, and golden retrievers are usually only a little less hyper. TeAmo was incredible though, possibly the calmest, friendliest dog I've ever met. Even though she was emerging from an 8 hour car ride into a strange place filled with strange people she didn't bark once, just happily let us pet her and then flopped on the floor to nap. Part of her reserve was probably due to age, but Sabrina's mother said she wasn't much crazier as a puppy. Perhaps if we choose very carefully Kyle and I can adopt a husky after all (don't tell him that I'm giving in yet though).
After bidding goodbye to Sabrina, Anna, and their families I headed north to Frederick and spent the day with Kyle. Then Thursday morning we headed to Lancaster to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. It was the usual delightful drill: catching up with relatives, watching football, playing video games and ping pong, and consuming excessive quantities of delicious food. Also my aunt brought her teaching assistant who is applying to the Spanish Literature graduate program at UVA, so we had a nice time talking about literature and the university and I was able to help her with her personal statement. Kyle and I also tried to teach her to throw a frisbee, which was going quite well until Kyle tapped it to me and managed to break it in half. Looks like my cousin will be getting a replacement disc for Christmas...
Friday morning (there would be no sleeping this break) my parents drove Kyle and I up to Binghamton. My parents planned to spend some time with Kyle's family and then leave us in Binghamton for a day or two while they continued on to their favorite vacation destination: Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. While it may seem ridiculous since Kyle and I have been together for almost 6 years, this was only the second time that our parents have met each other, so it was good that they had time to get to know each other more. The other reason that we brought the families together was so that the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom (known affectionately as MOB and MOG) could get some planning done face to face. My mother was thrilled to have someone helpful and receptive to talk to about the wedding. I've been rather burned out on the topic lately and Kyle often turns into the stereotypical groom with no opinions. With the mothers leading discussion we decided on tuxes for the men (mostly for convenience, since I'm a bigger fan of suits), finalized the reception menu (which will be yummy, I promise), planned out the rehearsal dinner (small, lowkey, and picnic style), found a potential ring bearer and flower girl (it turns out Kyle does know people under the age of 12), and further refined the guest list (though finalizing it is still way in the future). It was a nice and productive discussion, because that's the way mothers are.
While I still think it's weird that my family vacations yearly to upstate NY, there are definitely things I love about the area. There's the food: this trip we had square NY pizza topped with spiedie style chicken and also wonderful pasta at an Italian restaurant that Kyle's father built. And there's the wilderness: Kyle's house is built into a hill that slopes down into acres and acres of forest. Not only was nearby nature a dream for adventurous little Kyle, but nature often comes to them. They've been visited by bears and foxes in their driveway, and Saturday morning we found three deer leaping gracefully through their side yard. Best of all the time at Kyle's house gave us time to legitimately relax. I read in the bear chair (I don't know how to describe it any other way or I would) while Kyle worked on the website and then we joined his parents to watch Iron Man (which I quite enjoyed, but then again I'm partial to Robert Downey Jr and his quirky cadence). We also ignored the fact that we had just indulged in Thanksgiving dinner the day before and sampled delicious baked goods pretty much whenever we entered the kitchen. It was wonderful. I really wish we lived closer to Kyle's family so that I could see them more often. (Although that would mean being closer to upstate NY weather; I was very confused when snow started falling on us, since nothing is supposed to freeze until at least December.)
I had a rough time of it on the drive back to Lancaster and then to Frederick, 5 hours total, but we finally made it back and crashed into bed almost immediately. Now it's Sunday and Kyle and I are spending the day in one of downtown's many coffee shops. For the first time in a long time I don't have homework breathing down my neck (only half of a play to read for Tuesday and a final in over a week) so I can sip my latte, catch up on website blogging, and ignore the 3 hour drive that waits for me tomorrow morning.
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