Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving in Ohio

We had the best of best visits in Ohio. We arrived in Cincinnati on Tuesday and went to Marissa and Nate's house for a glass of champers. Their apartment is even more fab than I expected it to be (and I had high expectations) so I am super-impressed with Marissa's interior design skills. From there we went to the original Skyline Chili. What a treat! Even with the sticky air and impatient waitress, what's not to love about Skyline?? Ok, I was almost sick afterwards (I was so full), but it was a memorable event. It was great to see Marissa and Nate and their new apartment. From there, Matt and I drove to my dad's in Columbus. We had planned to stay overnight in Cinci, but I was still feverish from the flu so we left early. Highlights of our visit included the champagne toasts, seeing Marissa's little home, Skyline!, and of course, Marissa and Nate's tandem waiving performance as we left.

On Wednesday, Erin, Matt and I went to look at the Jackson, the new condos in the Short North. The condos aren't finished yet, so we had to wear hard hats. It was like going through a construction site, but it was really fun to imagine how cool the apartments will be when they are finished. It was also great to have Erin with us to start to bring her into (hopefully!) our real estate investment business. She seems really interested and is already excited about real estate as a junior in college. Fab! At the end of the tour, I actually asked the realtor to take our picture. From there, the three of us met my mom and Tina at Northstar Cafe for a festive holiday lunch.

That night, I got to see Katie & Jay at their salon. Our visit was too short, but as always, it is so refreshing to visit with them. They are the type of friends that are never judgmental and always keep you thinking about something new. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will have a visit with them next summer.

From there, I went back to my house to see Uncle Dick and the rest of the Pursglove family, who had arrived that afternoon. Wednesday night and Thursday were fantastic and just how I imagined they would be. Talking, eating, drinking - everything required for a Pursglove family Thanksgiving. It was my favorite Thanksgiving yet. This year I got smart at the meal too. I filled half of my plate with stuffing and only sampled the rest of the food. Of course I love to try everything, but honestly, I just can't get enough of Nannie's stuffing recipe. Because of this new plan, I wasn't overwhelmingly stuffed, which was a nice change from the usual Tgiving food coma.

I was also happy that my dad agreed to get a farm raised, antibiotic and hormone free turkey. I am generally not eating meat out of protest of how animals are raised. But I do really enjoy meat sometimes. So, if the meat is humanely raised (i.e. allowed to roam around, not spending its entire life standing in its own waste, not trapped in a space in which it can never move until the day it dies, etc.), I am happy to eat it. I was really proud that Joe agreed to the turkey. He pointed out that he could basically get a regular turkey for free at the grocery store, whereas he would have to spend around $75 to get the turkey I wanted. But after we discussed the benefits of the good turkey, he agreed. He even drove across town to pick it up.

On Thanksgiving night, we all went out in the Short North for a drink. What a blast! Everyone was there - even Marissa and Nate, Marissa's brother Mark and his girlfriend, and Aaron Smith met up! I couldn't have been happier enjoying such great company.

The next day Matt and I drove to the outlets (half way between Columbus and Cincinnati) to meet Karen and Michael. Bob Evans is the only restaurant choice off the exit we meet, so we (unfortunately) had to eat there. But as usual, the conversation was great, and it was so nice to see them.

From there, we spent the rest of the weekend at my mom's. Eating, talking, relaxing, shopping, baking, and celebrating Christmas. It was really an ideal visit.

On the Christmas note, I was so grateful this year that my family agreed to do "thought gift Christmas". This partially came about because Sam, Laura, Matt and I won't be in Columbus this year for Christmas. Matt and I are going to Oregon and Sam and Laura are going to New Orleans (where her family lives). But it also came about because I wanted Christmas this year to be about what's really important. Spending time with family and friends and showing people how much you love them. For that, a thought gift is perfect. And I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed giving and receiving these gifts. Grammie gave me an antique plate from her house, Tina gave me a book she loved, Dad gave me a fabulous coin set for my collection, Neetie gave a Christmas pop-up book (also for my collection)...I could go on. Everything was so meaningful and warmed my heart in such a special way. So I appreciate that my family was willing to try something new this year. I hope we can try something new next year (when we will be there for Christmas) - all in the name of making the holidays more meaningful and memorable.

Now that December is here, holiday plans are in full swing! This is definitely my favorite time of year. Getting dressed up, going to parties, seeing close friends and friends you have hardly seen, wonderful I'm moving!

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

Jessica O.

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