Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I hope yours was as good as ours. Daughters #1 and 2 both came home to share the holiday with us. Daughter#1 bought her SO and Daughter#2, The Son In Law. Before everyone descended on the house, I tried out the home brewed Irish Red Ale to make sure it was drinkable. It let out a nice fizz when I popped the top and formed a nice head when I poured it into a glass. It was quite tasty. Very Bass Ale like. I had two cases worth and our company enjoyed more than a few bottles of it.

Daughter#2 volunteered to make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and unlike the rest of us slackers, decided to make it from scratch. She bought a pumpkin with her and put the filling in the food processor along with a load of other spices and coconut milk to make the filling.

She mixed it all up in our food processor.

Then poured it into a vegetarian friendly pie shell.

Then into the oven. It was quite good, especially with some Cool Whip.
I peeled and cored some Granny Smith apples and mixed up the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg coating for said apples for our apple pie. I let Ann handle the crust for that pie.
Thanksgiving morning I headed out to Dulles Airport.
To pick up Daughter#1 and her SO, Matt. They flew in from Connecticut.

While waiting for the turkey to cook, we had a brunch of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Here we are gather around the kitchen table. I have no recollection on what The Son and I were looking at on the computer.

As the feast approached, the table was laid out in all its seasonal glory.

Of course we stuffed ourselves silly on turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes covered in gravy, add in some sweet potato casserole, peas and onions, rolls a few bottles of Virginia wine, apple and pumpkin pie and good company. The end result is shown below.

Daughter#1, never wanting a dull moment, had planned a full day for us on Friday. After a late breakfast we headed to Virginia's Prince William County's only winery - La Grange. They've beautifully restored the old mansion originally built in 1790.

Inside is their tasting area. Here we are jotting down notes as we sampled several of their wines.

Throughout the house, there are rooms where you can relax with a glass of wine and snacks such as cheese and sausage. The manly men.

And the charming ladies.

Behind the mansion, is the winery's barrel storage area and processing area.

Here is Daughter#1 and Matt looking from the barn area to the back of the mansion.

And Daughter#2 and her Matt, The Son In Law.

In the basement of the mansion, they have a little pub area where you can sit and enjoy the wine. We assumed that some of the beams were from the original building.

After our tour and tasting, we headed to Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville for a late lunch/early dinner. The idea was to go to the Air and Space Museum at Dulles after lunch, but we all decided that we had had enough for one day and headed home. We sat around and watched "Love Actually" before heading to bed.
Saturday was all about football. At noon we watched the Hokies defeat UVA. We watched the first half at home and the second half at the Original Steakhouse and their big screen TVs. After the game, I had to run Daughter#1 and Matt back to Dulles to catch their flight home. Then it was back home for the game that really mattered - Auburn vs Alabama. Being an Auburn graduate, I was thrilled to watch Auburn hand Alabama its sixth straight loss in the series. For those of you that don't live in Alabama, you have no idea how intense this rivalry is. Nothing I've seen compares to it. One of my favorite crowd shots was someone holding up a sign that had the "B" in Saban (Saban being the Alabama coach) crossed out and replaced with a "T" spelling out Satan. Well said.
Sunday morning was spent looking at some houses for The Son. The Son disparately wants out of the house and a place of his own. Just starting out and given the crazy housing market, affordable places are not that easy to come by. He works in Fairfax County, which has a median income level that's in the top 3 or 4 in the whole country with housing prices to match. So he's more or less stuck with looking at places not far from us. That has its good and bad points. As we start to look at places, its amazing how many foreclosures are out there. Each one representing the American Dream gone bad. We are working with The Son to hopefully keep him from getting in over his head. We're scheduled to look at some more places on Friday. The rest of the day we watched the Redskins lose another game in the closing minutes. Its beginning to be an all to familiar pattern. Unless a miracle occurs, it looks like another year without the playoffs. Of course given the shocking shooting death of their Strong Safety Sean Taylor, I don't think the playoffs are on their mind at the moment. Really tragic.
Because we're old and therefore earn a lot of vacation days, Ann and I took Monday off. Most of it we spent raking leaves, which seemed to have come down all at once. It took three hours just to clear the front and side lawn. We still have the back yard to do.
It was nice to have all the family plus a few here at the house for the holiday. Growing up, my Mother would have 20 or more people over for Thanksgiving. A mix of family, relatives and friends. It was load and crazy at times, but always a good time. I like to think we starting to build that here. Hope your Thanksgiving was as good as ours.

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