I can say without a doubt that spending a long holiday weekend with my family after seven months in a state 3,000 miles away was very nice and rejuvenating. This evening I will hop back on a plane to begin a red-eye journey back to Myrtle Beach. But before all of that happens, I will briefly share what I did during my time in Spokane.
Tuesday: I arrived at the Spokane International Airport at 3:40 p.m. after a 12-hour travel day. My parents greeted me and took me back home. After some quick catching up, my mom and I went over to my sister’s house where I got to see my niece for the first time (I wrote extensively about this in my previous blog post). We then came back to my parents’ house and waited for my younger brother to arrive. Once he did a fabulous steak dinner was cooked up and I savored every single bite. After the meal I chatted with my family for the rest of the night.
Wednesday: Still on east coast time, I woke up at 2:30 a.m. but managed to stay in bed until 5:30 a.m. I got up and talked to my parents while they got ready to go to work. During this time my mom helped me take my Thanksgiving holiday greeting. I spent a relaxing morning watching sports talk programming. I later met up with my sister and niece at their home. We then went to my dad’s work and said hi. From there we went to my mom’s work and also said our greetings. Co-workers at both places were thrilled to see Mikayla and actually happy to meet Miranda and I as well. My mom got off early and after the four of us had cold cut combos at Subway, Miranda and her daughter went home and my mom and I went to run some errands. We braved the Costco frenzy, looked around the mall, ordered a take-n-bake pizza at Papa Murphy’s, and picked up ice cream for a dessert pie at Cold Stone.
Once back at the house my dad and brother arrived home from their workdays. My mom cooked the pizza and we all sat downstairs and watched “Jeopardy” while eating. After watching the Gonzaga basketball game, my brother and I went out on our Thanksgiving Eve watering hole tradition. We saw a lot of old friends and encountered some new ones. It was definitely a fun night.
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving! The day started with my brother and I going to the field of our old middle school to play in the 9 a.m. Turkey Bowl (aka two-hand touch football game with former friends and teammates in high school). On a gorgeous Thanksgiving morning, we ran around for two hours playing our washed-up hearts out. My brother and I played on the same team and with him at quarterback we connected on numerous completions. It was a lot of fun and our team came out on top.
We arrived back home and showered up. We watched the second half of the Lions’ win over the Bears and then watched the first half of the Cowboys-Eagles game. Right when halftime hit, it was time for our Thanksgiving feast. My mom once again outdid herself as she prepared turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato balls, salad, lasagna, stuffing, and gravy. We chomped away and I must say I don’t think I can ever remember a better tasting Thanksgiving meal. We then watched the Eagles put the finishing touches on the Cowboys. My dad then had the chaplain from the hospital he works at come over for some Thanksgiving cheer and dessert.
We all went down to the basement and watched the Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers game. A good time was had by all as we ate pumpkin pie and ice cream pie and watched the Hawks beat the 49ers in San Francisco. After the game my brother, mom, and I went to the movie theater and watched “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.” As with the previous two installments, it was an excellent movie. Despite a huge Thanksgiving feast we still managed to fill our faces with popcorn. We then came home and talked into the wee hours of the morning.
Friday: My brother and I left the house at 8 a.m. to join in on the Black Friday mania. Although it wasn’t exactly mania. Thanksgiving sales have taken a big bite out of the Black Friday rush. But we still had a good time going to a couple malls, Sports Authority, and Old Navy. Before noon hit, the two of us honored another longtime tradition as we bellied up at the Mustard Seed bar in Northtown Mall to watch football. We watched several games including the Arizona-Arizona State rivalry tilt. The highlight though was when our good friend Siera came and hung with us. I met her at a volunteer opportunity about 7 years ago and we have remained friends since then. It was great to catch up.
Glen and I returned home and my mom heated up all the Thanksgiving leftovers. The four of us (me, mom, dad, brother) made plates and had a great meal. After letting the food settle for a little bit, my brother and I went out to Northern Quest, a Vegas-style casino on the outskirts of town. We had a wonderful time hanging in the beautiful sports bar and at the tables. Although I lost a little, my money stretched for a long time. My brother was a little luckier than me and cashed out ahead. The ending table we were at was a lot of fun with some colorful characters sitting next to us. After Quest we went to downtown Spokane and met up with my great friend Jessie and her friends. More catching up was done as both of us have gone our separate career paths since last time we hung out.
Saturday: I woke up in time to see the 9 a.m. kickoff between Clemson and South Carolina. I watched most of that game while also flipping around to the other early morning rivalry games. During this period I heated up Round II of Thanksgiving leftovers. My brother and I then went to a northside restaurant called Poole’s where we watched the FCS Playoffs. We sat right up at the bar that let us see both the Montana-San Diego and Montana State-South Dakota State games. Both contests were played in snow and both contests had great results. The Griz smashed San Diego and South Dakota State defeated the undeserving Bobcats.
We returned home and watched Florida State barely edge Florida to remain undefeated. My mom, brother, and I then went to St. Thomas More for 4:30 p.m. mass. I enjoyed celebrating mass in the parish I received my first communion in. After church we went to my all-time favorite restaurant, Tomato Street. I love this place so much because the food is great but the atmosphere is top notch as well. I ordered angel hair with pesto sauce and marveled at how good it was. With full bellies we returned home and watched the football game that matters most in my household, the Apple Cup. Although the first half was close, Washington pulled away in the second half to beat the alma mater of my dad, Washington State.
Sunday: So here we are at the present day. My mom made a terrific brunch for us that included biscuits and gravy, hash browns, eggs, and sausage. We then went downstairs and watched a combination of NFL football and “Bar Rescue.” As I sit here at our kitchen table right now I am watching my mom make turkey soup. In a few hours it will be off to the airport but I am sure we will do something meaningful with the short remaining time.
What an awesome time I had here in Spokane. No reason to feel sad about leaving though, I will be back in a few short weeks. Until then I am anxious to get back to the beach and return to work at Coastal Carolina University. I can’t thank my family enough for hosting me and treating me to such a memorable Thanksgiving. I love you all. Don’t Blink.