I flew to New York the Sunday morning before Thanksgiving. The trip was pleasantly uneventful, and I actually got into LaGuardia a little early. On the Dallas to NY leg I my assigned seat was way in the back next to the galley. The two seats next to me were empty for a while, until a couple and their two small children showed up. As they were struggling to strap in their car seat, I asked the stewardess about sitting somewhere else. The plane was a lot less full than I would have expected, and I was able to sit all the way up front behind the bulkhead. For dinner that night my parents took me to our favorite restaurant near their house we've been going to for years. I didn't do anything too exciting on Monday, mostly just helped my mom in the garden and had my favorite pizza for lunch.
Tuesday I went into Manhattan, going down on the first off-peak train at 9:30. I walked along Museum Mile for a bit, poking my head into the Guggenheim to take a couple pictures, and then went to the Met. I mostly looked at their special exhibitions- one about the acquisitions made during the tenure of the head curator who is retiring, one on love in renaissance art, and one on photography. I decided to go through the Egyptian wing and the Temple of Dendur before leaving about 1. I picked up a hot dog at the entrance to Central Park and walked through the park to its southern end. It was gray and a bit drizzly still, even though the weather man said it should clear up by noon. I walked down 5th avenue for a while, making a brief stop in the Apple store. Since I was kind of tired at that point, I did a search for a brewpub and came up with one a few blocks away, so I went there for rest and libations. From there I walked a few blocks to my dad's new office, got a tour of the place, and we went to Grand Central to catch the last off-peak train back north.
Wednesday morning we drove upstate to friends' farm, where we've been having Thanksgiving dinner for years and years. They were glad we were there early to help get everything ready since they had gotten a few inches of snow and it put them behind in preparations. I shoveled snow for the first time in I can't remember how many years, as well as hauling stuff here and there. There were something like 12 for dinner that night, a delicious spiral-cut ham. Thursday was kind of more of the same, except more people kept showing up. The total for dinner was 22 people and 4 dogs. I of course stuffed my face, and everything was excellent. The turkey was moist and delicious, all the side dishes were tasty, and the dessert certainly wasn't bad. Friday my dad woke my up at 6am and we left at 6:30, before anyone else was awake, in order to get to the airport for my 1pm flight. We stopped at their house for a few minutes and dropped off my mom before my dad took me and dropped me off at the airport. I had a bunch of time to kill before my flight, so I mostly wandered around, read a magazine, and ate the lunch my mom had made. I had more time to kill at O'Hare between flights, but it was also uneventful and I got back to Austin about 8:30.
Saturday I rode in the Chuy's Children Giving to Children parade for the first time. The HOG chapter has been participating for years, but I've always been out of town. It was fun, but it was a lot of hurry up and wait, we left the dealership at 9 and the parade didn't start until a quarter to 11. We rode down Congress avenue waving and honking to tons of people lining the street to watch. Afterward, a lot of us went to have lunch further down Congress. I figured since I was already downtown, I would go to the new Patagonia store to look for a jacket. The prices were way too high, so I went to REI and found a jacket that was on sale, but not before it started raining. It wasn't a particularly nasty rain, but it wasn't fun, and it was fairly cold. I went home and fortunately it was pretty dry at that point as I drove over to the dealership and picked up my Night Train at long last, rode home, and rode back on my bicycle. I thought about going out for dinner, but just stayed home and vegetated.
Sunday I had a ticket for the Lord of the Rings marathon and feast at the Alamo. I left the house at 9, earlier than I thought I really needed to, and got to the theater to find it was already pretty full. I found a decent spot and settled in for an epic. The first two movies were shown in extended versions, but apparently the third film was never released on 35mm in extended version, so they showed the regular version rather than watch a DVD. The food throughout was incredible. There were 8 courses, including dessert, corresponding to the halflings' eating times, so: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, then dessert. I was actually a bit amazed that I stayed awake until the end at 9:30pm. Since they were serving from the back to the front and I was in the middle, I could tell whenever a new course was coming by the sound of silverware on dishes behind me. It was epic and definitely worth doing once. Maybe I'd do it again, but not anytime soon.