Another Thanksgiving in the books, and this year there is lots to be thankful for. And not:
The flights. Generally ok, though we got caught by Thanksgiving rush/weather craziness over Charlotte, NC (we left on Thurs at dawn, due to insane price-gouging on Wed-Sun airline ticket pricing). Apparently, it was nice up the entire Eastern Seaboard, but fog over Charlotte shut down that airport. We diverted to Greenville/Spartenburg, SC, and sat on the runway while they refueled us. Three and a half hours later than expected, we arrived at the Levin family gathering. Completely stressed out, though in time for dinner. But just.
The airline fees. I know this has been noted many many times, but the ticky-tack price fees that airlines charge are just hard to fathom. What a short-term fix for a long-term structural problem. In the case of USAirways, $20 per bag. $25 if you don’t check it online. And on their helpful pre-check-in online, they tried to charge us $10 each to choose a seat assignment. Not a great one, mind you. Any seat assignment. When I declined at multiple points (Wanna seat? $10. What about now? $10), the system finally gave up and assigned us the exit row seat that it had tried moments earlier to sell us for $20 each. Niiice.
The food. Delicious. Nuff said, thanks mom! I contributed Grandma Sylvia’s famous Mondel bread, the Jewish biscotti. Ask me for the recipe sometime, it’s delicious.
The kin-work. For the most part good, I had an opportunity to spend quality time with two brothers and a parent (out of 3 brothers, and 2 parents). The usually drunk-at-Thanksgiving brother got drunk the night after, but didn’t get thrown out of a bar or into any fights with sister-in-law. On the other hand, the family tradition of the kids going out for a long, late drink and bonding session didn’t happen this year. Alas.
The fat. (plate of Thanksgiving dinner + matzo ball soup + salad + pumpkin pie + chocolate chip cookies) + (hotel breakfast + more cookies + soup + giant, needlessly sauced up fish + ice cream) – 5-mile run – 2 hours tennis + (hotel breakfast + more cookies + soup + fajitas + ice cream) – basketball + beer = 3-4 pounds gained.
The prison toilet. My mother, bless her soul, purchased a sleek, modern, gorgeous, stainless steel toilet for the guest bathroom at their house. Excuse the imagery here, but there is no possible way to stand up and pee in that toilet without noticeably splashing the bowl. With father + 4 male children + 3 male grandchildren, this is something that is a massively funny joke to 8 of us and completely over the head of my mother.
Back and back to work. Hope all yours were as good or better than mine.