Gregg was in Europe on a business trip for two weeks just prior to Thanksgiving. David was even able to meet him in Madrid for a long weekend of father & son time. I am so happy and thankful that this worked out! I wanted to accompany them, but to match Gregg's complicated ticket, involving stays in three cities in two different countries was out of our travel budget. Way, way out. So I enjoyed the visit vicariously and through the miracle of Face Time video chats. (Thank you, Apple!)
I have no photos of their time together. I know they exist - in a camera, somewhere in Florence, with David.
On the day before Thanksgiving (David's 20th birthday), he flew to Scotland with a group from G.U. It looks & sounds as if they had a wonderful time. If you can't be at home for your birthday, why not spend it with friends overseas - and maybe throw in a visit to a James Bond film location? They did just that, visiting the Scottish Highlands and taking a photo near the fictional property "Skyfall."
On that same day, Maribeth arrived to help me prepare for our joint family feast. Since my brother and his family needed to switch places with us this year and spend Thanksgiving in Palm Desert with our parents, Gregg and I stayed at home - without David. It was odd. I kept thinking, "I need to pack my suitcase!" because our tradition is to spend this holiday in California with my parents, celebrating David's and my mother's birthdays, along with Thanksgiving. It's a tradition we love, and we have only broken it once in the past decade (in 2006, the year that Katie was in the hospital). So it was extra special to have our beloved friends and their family as our guests on Thanksgiving, while we were missing my parents and David.
We set the table, made the side dishes and caught up on each other's news. The next day, her family and friends arrived, making up a party of 15 (including Gregg and me). We had a wonderful, potluck feast. I wish that more of my photos had turned out well (still hoping for others to share theirs):
|Taylor, Jamie, Austin & Alan with MB's famous Strawberry Pretzel "Salad"|
Over the weekend, Gregg and I tidied up, relaxed, ate too much and finally took ourselves to Port Townsend to hike in the park and have a picnic.
|Gregg made awesome turkey-cranberry sandwiches for our picnic|
|Stopping for a moment to snap a photo|
|View from the bluffs|
|View from the bunker at the beach|
|Barracks (recognize this from "An Officer & A Gentleman"?)|
Now, I'm going to make soup, work on blankets for the hospital, catch up on correspondence and start the preparations for Christmas...and send wishes that you will have a great week.