Thanksgiving the American Way

I’m kind of behind on this post. A lot of bloggers I follow as a fan have all posted their ‘things that I am thankful for’ posts and all the pictures of their Thanksgiving holiday.. Im just getting around to looking through the photos. What I regret the most is not having taken enough photos because my Thanksgiving break was beautiful, warm and picturesque.. but I was too busy playing foosball (no, really) and trying not to get in people’s way. I was also always up and trying to help (I was probably just getting in people’s way – which I was trying not to do.. hmm)… anyway.. I guess I’m not a ‘true’ photographer since I kind of get shy with my camera and snapping away.

Every morning for a whole week before my break, when someone asked me “how are you?” my answer had been the same. “Good. Can’t wait for Thanksgiving.” Because I really couldn’t. I needed the time away. Of course I had to deal with some crisis THAT Monday morning my flight was scheduled for, which consequently had me thinking about it all week and stressing out (to an extent where I was feeling sick)… but I still needed to be AWAY physically to avoid work at all cost.

I had my ticket ready to fly to Wisconsin and it was a week of trips from Milwaukee to Madison to Chicago to Milwaukee..etc. and great time with a lot of great people. The Midwest (from what I’ve seen and experienced so far) is a very charming place.

Also check out my post from back when I visited in October: http://wp.me/p1z7IT-ij

The only thing I was worried about was that.. I kind of suck at being a guest. Not because I’m rude or anything but because I HATE burdening people and even the thought about it makes me cringe. So… I had been stressing over what I should bring.. I, of course, also really bad at picking out gifts ended up getting few boxes of chocolate from Lindt. This was going to be my first REAL American Thanksgiving.

Lindt chocolates are amazing for simple gifts.

In Cambodia, there is no such thing – I mean.. there are definitely festivals around the time to…. you know, celebrate the season (water festival I would say is the closest time period) but it’s mostly about changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap River…I think.

Anyway, in Korea, there is this thing called Chu-suk. The date changes every year since it’s based on lunar calendar dates but it’s around September/October. Very cultural, celebrates the harvesting season, you get the idea.

Growing up in a Christian family, there was of course thanksgiving - thanking God for everything we are… thankful..for. Anyway, as a Korean, Christian, growing up in Cambodia – Thanksgiving has always been – church and Korean food.

Three years ago, when I first came to the US, I had the worst Thanksgiving ever. Our school required us to move out for the week. We couldn’t stay in our rooms. So of course, they made us pay this hotel down the street to stay there over the weekend. I split the cost with my then roommate and we spent our Thanksgiving indoors, at the hotel, eating.. I think it was bagels – because all the stores were closed. I had never seen Boston so quiet before.

My second Thanksgiving, I was with friends and we spent the day cooking with friends and eating a lot of food – so yes, it was somewhat of an ‘American’ thanksgiving but not really.

My third Thanksgiving, I went to my pastor’s house with a bunch of my friends from church and had a fusion Thanksgiving – Turkey and Korean food. It really wasn’t bad at all.

This was my fourth and I’m not going to lie, the best thus far – probably because I was with great people and the food was just amazing.. but seeing a family get together – I really couldn’t help but miss my family and huge family gatherings.. which I have not been able to go to for three years now… I missed my parents, my aunts, uncles and even those little rascals (my nephews and nieces).

It was definitely a memorable week from just walking around in Madison, going to a show and seeing one of my best friends in Chicago, feeling the warmth of family, volunteering to help children decorate christmas cookies and watching Happy Feet 2 in Brookfield and just being constantly surrounded by great people. :)

Waiting for my flight to Milwaukee

Walking around Madison - 333 is my favorite number.

Doing work over break - It wasn't entirely stress-free but I needed the time away...

On the way to Chicago.. the weather was beautiful that day - but it was mostly spent in the car.

On the way to Chicago.. I was kind of bored- Bokeh take 1

Bokeh take 2

Driving past McDonalds - Now you see how bored I was...

I love fire - It's so pretty.

I helped set up the Gingerbread Man table. :D

:)

Everything was already set up! I was useless! Beautiful table setting - in red.

Dear Santa.

I was trying really hard not to.. but I have to end with a video… of one of the MANY cutest scenes in Happy Feet 2. I have a weird obsession with penguins.. so bear with me :D

How was your Thanksgiving spent? What’s your favorite thing about the holiday? For travelers in other countries, did you still get turkey?