Friday morning the crew (A and her hubby R, myself and hubby J) rolled out of the home of A's parents at 5am. You haven't seen attitude until you've seen Long Islanders in line at Best Buy at 5am for the biggest sale of the year. There was a lot of swearing, pushing, rushing, and at one point customers formed a human chain to stop new customers from entering the store ahead of those that had been in line since 2am. It was intense and a lot more physically aggressive than similar Black Friday sales events held in Virginia. After Best Buy we popped into Home Depot, ToysRus and Sears. A lot of great deals. The only thing that was disappointing was the sales tax. 8.6% for NY state and another 4 or 5 % on top of that for local taxes. Ouch! Some things I really don't miss about living in NY and sales tax is definitely one of them.
By 9am we had completed 3/4 of our Christmas shopping for the year and we headed to a diner for breakfast. A quick breakfast and review of our purchases was accomplished then we headed back to the house for a nap.
Mid-afternoon I was awoken for -what else- tea and snacks. It was also decided we needed to do more shopping so A and I took her mother and her mother's friend back to the mall. We dropped into Lord and Taylor where I picked up a fabulous new winter coat for 50% off. Long, elegant and beautiful- it's perfect. Then we went to Marshall's and I collected a few more presents for friends and family while A picked out some clothes.
We returned to the house after the boys called us to inquire about dinner, stopping at a Chinese place to put in an order on the way back. A and R went out to pick up the dinner about 20 minutes later while I chatted with J and A's father and enjoyed more tea.
Dinner was fabulous and another evening of socializing with family was the order of the rest of the evening.
Saturday morning we woke up in time to be packed and out of the house (after a breakfast of tea and snacks of course) by 10am. There were lots of kisses and hugs goodbye and A's mother gave me some beautiful skirts she had bought.
The four of us (A,R,J and myself) headed to Glen Cove to visit my 2nd cousin. This is my paternal grandmother's niece and my father's cousin. She was everything I'd hoped she'd be (this was the first time we met in person). Thoroughly French, with delicate features and a delicious accent she reminded me so much of my grandmother. She had prepared, with the help of her daughter, what she considered a "snack" for us- mushroom/onion quiche, ham, Caribbean shrimp and salad. The accompaniments consisted of free flowing rum and wine. Once we finished eating this feast, she brought out the "after-snack". A fresh blueberry tart. Tres bien! So much food at it wasn't even noon. The food was so delicious and I felt proud to be related to this culinary goddess.
We shared stories of our lives and she told me so many tales of my grandmother. Of her childhood of happiness and privilege (my grandmother grew up overseas with a household of Creole servants and all the luxuries one could hope for). No wonder I have such expensive tastes and inclinations to be pampered- its genetic! We took some great pictures with Cousin E's camera, but I won't have them to share with you until she emails them to me. We are in discussions to get together more often. I just adore her and her husband and daughter.
We said our goodbyes to my family and were on our way to A's grandfather in Brooklyn. A short time later we arrived at his apartment and were warmly greeted by him and his wife. J, R, and I chatted between ourselves while A conversed with her grandfather in Russian (he speaks very little English). His wife insisted that we were going to waste away to nothing and brought out food- tea, chocolates and fruit. Full from the French breakfast, we indulged anyway, not wanting to offend our gracious hosts.
After the family visit concluded we headed back to Virginia. There was a quick mandatory stop for a slice of NY pizza of course and then it was smooth sailing all the way home.
So there you have it. A most unique Thanksgiving holiday. Friendly families, copious amounts of food and a lot of joy. To keep my waistline in check there was also a good amount of walking each morning around the neighborhood as well.
Tell me about your Thanksgiving holiday this year...