Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 Thanksgiving On The Road

John and I gave our new-to-us RV a real test for the Thanksgiving holiday. In the span of 12 days, we drove almost 3,000 miles round trip from our home in Washington State to Southern California. The RV ran like a champ, but is a real gas hog at an average 10 MPG.

Prep'ing for the trip ... 2001 Adventurer by Slumber Queen, 20' Class C
We were typically on the road by 11 AM and at a campground before dark. We spent our nights at a variety of places – a National Forest Service campground, 2 Oregon State Parks (Champoeg & Valley of the Rogue), a Riverside County Park, Seven Feathers Casino, and a private RV park.  We even got a chance to overnight with a traveling friend near where I grew up in Orange County (thanks VJ!). John preferred driving while I served as the navigator, and the cheapest-fuel-and-campground finder.

Traveling Dog Gretchen, sleeps except when on the
lookout for John and I when we leave her to watch the RV.
We need to work with her some more to help her with
separation anxiety.
Birdie traveled amazingly well ... she's
happy as long as she's with her flock.

My family (brothers and cousins) celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on the Saturday before in Southern California. About 20 of us gathered at the home of my 2nd cousin Donna. This is the first holiday where my generation is the eldest after the passing of Aunt Opal in August. We remember those that came before by using their serving dishes and vases from past Thanksgivings. We continued their traditions of silliness and laughter – debating just the right amount of vanilla for the whipped cream salad, throwing the dinner rolls, and a newer tradition of initiating new attendees with large spoon fulls of whipped cream.
A Vase that my Mom would put out for special occasions. 
One of many ceramic pieces made by Great Aunt Minnie
 for her nieces and their families

Loading the table with food ... with the
famous whipped cream salad in the fore.

Initiation of 2 new attendees ... a large spoon full of
whipped cream salad each delivered by cousin John

On our way back north we had an early Christmas with 9yo Grandson Jasper in Klamath Falls. It was fun to watch him and 3yo Shay open their gifts, share some pizza, and catch up on hugs, pictures and hear about some of the fun stuff that they've been doing.
Cool pic of Jasper with one of the drivers from the monster
truck show in Klamath Falls.  It was fun to watch the
videos and see the pictures of the event.
(picture from Dad Cameron's facebook page)
We made it back to Yelm, WA where we celebrated Thanksgiving Day with John's family and had lots more yummy food. We were able to park the RV outside of John's parent's home, drive it over to his sister Laura's for dinner, and then overnight again at John's parents so that we could take a leisurely drive back home the next day.
A tradition to visit Fall City Farms for
pumpkins and gourds for
Thanksgiving Centerpieces
All in all I feel very blessed to spend so much time with family, very full of good food, and very happy to be traveling with John.

Fall City Farms