“What do you mean, you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK??”
Well, it is a holiday remembering a meal shared between pilgrims and Native Americans, so that’s probably why…
The week of Thanksgiving, absolutely everybody cleared out of UCLA. That is no exaggeration – the place was a ghost town for the entire week. Luckily, I didn’t have to haunt the halls on the hill alone for long, as Carly and her family very kindly invited me to their house in Dana Point, Orange County for a couple of days. To be perfectly honest, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. From what I’d heard about the holiday, it sounded like Christmas without the presents and a lot more pumpkin-related food items. And that was pretty much spot on!
The day started out with Carly giving me a whistle-stop tour of Dana Point, her hometown, culminating in a delicious bagel by the marina.
We ran around doing a few errands as well for Carly’s mum, who was (very impressively!) cooking for 30!
I spent a lovely afternoon chatting to Carly’s family and eating my bodyweight in delicious food four times over. I discovered that yams with marshmallows are basically the best thing ever invented, and pumpkin pie is surprisingly sweet and delicious. I haven’t felt so at home since I got here – it was refreshing to be around adults, dogs (I almost stole one) and vast quantities of home cooked food. It got me really really excited for Christmas!! It was very strange having Christmassy vibes when it’s still so so so warm here. On average it’s about 20-26 degrees here during the day, although the temperature plummets at night.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Thanksgiving. Although it really seems like a flimsy excuse for a pre-Christmas celebration, I liked the sentiment behind it (the whole ‘being thankful’ thing rather than the genocide thing).