It might seem a little weird to write an entire blog post on my Thanksgiving weekend. But for me, this was no ordinary Thanksgiving. This was my first Thanksgiving in 5 years that I was able to celebrate with my parents in SoCal. And what made it even more special is that one of my best friends came to join! Here is how my long Thanksgiving weekend went:
My mom was off work on Wednesday and my dad is retired (he worked for the Los Angeles Times for 28 years and then was a professor at USC) so we had the whole day to ourselves. We cooked food and relaxed for the first half of the day and then got ready for Cocktail Challenge.
Cocktail Challenge is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Here is how it was invented: One day my mom made a comment to my dad about how they are a “boring married couple” or something along those lines (they have been married for 25 years!). My dad took what she said to heart and soon after when my mom came home from work my dad told her to get ready to go out – it was Cocktail Challenge Wednesday.
What is the Cocktail Challenge you ask? The rules are simple: go to a bar you have never been to before (I recommend using Yelp to find one) and order a cocktail you have never had before. Once you order that cocktail, you are not to order it again during a Cocktail Challenge night, you have to try something different. Also, if you choose to go to a restaurant, you must sit at the bar. My parents rotate weekly who chooses the bar (it is often centered around what bars offer happy hours or discounted drink coupons. #ballingonabudget).
This became a great way for my parents to get out of the house together and try something new! They have been to so many bars and restaurants in LA now and it is a fun way to shake up Wednesday Hump Day. They have been ‘competing’ in Cocktail Challenge for two years now and have a group of friends that join every Wednesday! Since moving back home, that group has included me!
So we went to The Hanger Grill for Cocktail Challenge because they offered 15% off your bill for City Employees (my mom!) on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I told you my parents like to use coupons! They don’t actually offer cocktails here, so we all ordered beer or wine and had a great time.
Later in the evening, Jessie arrived at our house! She and I stayed up until Midnight catching up. Probably not the best idea because we had an early start the next day…
We all woke up at 6am to get ready for a 7am hike! Each year my mom joins a group of friends for a Thanksgiving morning hike they call The Turkey Burn. I have joined once before, but as I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in years, it had been a while. Aside from Jessie, I also invited Austin to join (you met him in this post about New York). Austin was in town visiting his family for Thanksgiving.
We met at a local trail and started our 6.3 mile trek. Austin, Jessie and I lead the pack! It felt great to get up early and get a workout in before a day of stuffing our faces! The hike offered great views and – as it wasn’t too steep which makes chatting harder – the ability for great conversation!
After an hour and a half of hiking we were all pretty hungry. Luckily for us, Austin had a surprise stash of donuts in his car as a post-hike treat! He got them from Donut Price, a local donut shop that we grew up going to. Probably not the best thing to eat right after a healthy hike, but they were delicious and we were starving!
Jessie and I were still hungry, we went to Noah’s Bagels. Jessie is a bagel enthusiast, so I knew it would be the perfect treat for her.
All bageled up, we headed home for a quick nap in preparation for our night of eating.
We arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s house at 3pm for Thanksgiving. All of my dad’s side of the family was there and we had a great time chowing down on some turkey and playing with the newest members of the Meyer clan.
After Thanksgiving dinner, Jessie, my mom, and I curled up to watch one of my all time favorite movies “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” Such a classic!
Jessie and I headed to Anaheim, CA to visit with her grandparents and father. We stopped off for some lunch at a place called Flappy Jack’s.
With full bellies, we went to the Third Street Promenade for some Black Friday shopping! Jessie found two pairs of shoes and a top and I purchased a shirt and a leather jacket. We then continued down to the pier for some people watching, but it was pretty cold!
We then popped over to Sherman Oaks, CA to meet up with some friends for drinks. We went to three bars: The One Up, The Woodman, and Pineapple Hill. It was a ton of fun!
We had breakfast together as a family and then Jessie headed back up to Sacramento to beat weekend traffic. Sad to see her go. I spent the rest of the day with my family at the Gene Autry Museum in LA. We had a fun time exploring the exhibits at this Western themed museum.
Later, I met up with two friends, Natalie and Omar, for dinner with their families at a Mexican restaurant called La Sirenita, or The Little Mermaid. It was muy sabrosa! The three of us later went to Atwater Village to a lounge called The Griffin. This was a super cozy lounge that was something straight out of a Happy Potter common room. I will say that although the ambiance was awesome, the drinks were pretty weak for their price! At The Griffin, we were joined by Austin and his parents. The location offered the ability to actually have a conversation! And for those of you wondering, it isn’t weird to go out with my friend’s parents!
I rounded out my weekend at a brunch with family friends and then dinner with Austin and his family! I was pretty exhausted from a weekend of such fun busyness that I passed out at 8:30pm!
What an awesome Thanksgiving weekend it was, and so amazing to finally be able to enjoy it with my family and loved ones!
How did you spend Thanksgiving weekend? Let me know.