Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thanksgiving in South Jersey

November this year was quite a stressful time, Aviva defended her thesis (and did an amazing job I might add) at the beginning of the month and then we had a number of other activities over the next few weeks, plus we both had pretty rough months at work, so getting away to Cherry Hill was something we were both really looking forward to. And it was great.

We drove down very late on Wednesday night, getting there around 1 am, and spent most of Thursday chopping and cooking with Tanya ... which was a lot of fun, and makes me feel particularly warm because I know that Tanya lets you cook with her in your kitchen you are "in". All the kids (Aviva & I, Rachel & Larry and Josh & Debbie) were, there and they brought all their kids. And of course Aunt Irene and Papa Stranger and Grandma Charlotte came, and as special guest this year some extended "family", the Koreh's, children of some of Tanya and Buckys dear friends from Israel, stayed the the weekend, so it was a great time all around. Arthur Bailey also stopped by for dinner, which is great because Arthur is a real character and it is always wonderful to see him.

Dinner was a typical excellent thanksgiving meal, wonderful turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, etc ... and excellent wine. Bucky has been going through some of the older napa cabernets (the Hewitt from 2004 is outrageously good, so juicy) he has sitting down in his wine cellar as they are about ready to drink, and they are really excellent.

Friday was really more of the same, Aviva and I did a little shopping, getting her a new computer ... a MacBook Air which everyone loved (another successful conversion to Mac), and getting some new warm clothes at REI (because we cannot go to Cherry Hill without stopping at REI. After shopping Aviva and I got together with Laurie, Vasily, Jackie, Andrew and Heather for a leftovers lunch at Jackies, which was really good but far too close to dinner because I was stuffed at 430 and knew we were having breast of veal at 7. So I went for a run when I got back to the house, just to work up an appetite, and was really glad I did ... because dinner was once again fabulous, in my opinion much better than Thursday, because Tanya made breast of veal and brisket as well as turkey, in part because we had 24 people, and in part because Tanya is Jewish mother and she is simply staying true to her biological obligations.

Again, excellent wine (this night the clear winner was the 1997 silverado reserve ... perhaps the best cabernet I have ever had). And again wonderful company, as we were joined by the Rappaports for Shabbat and an early hanukkah, which was wonderful. Bucky and Tanya had gotten gifts for each of the 10 kids there, and soon the living room was a chaotic mess of giggling, smiling kids, wrapping paper, annoying toy music and small, flying toys.

Saturday morning the Korehs left, and Aviva and I walked over to the Rappaports for breakfast (Nitsa made waffles) and hung out with Yair and Nitsa, and then took turns with Debbie watching Dylan and Samara (our nephew and niece) play with Mika in the basement. Getting to see the Rappaports is quickly becoming a highlight of visiting Cherry Hill for me, as they are really warm and wonderful people and I just really love seeing them. The rest of Saturday was kind of a loss, as Aviva and I were both feeling tired and a bit down, and we realized we were getting sick. I think the fact that all the little kids were fantastic snot factories the whole time we were there should have been a warning, but neither of us thought to worry about it and so we were both starting to feel bad on Saturday night, so after Josh led Havdalah and we all sat down for more leftovers, we packed up and drove home, hoping to beat both the traffic and our illness.

We did miss the traffic, but have been under the weather for about a week now ... still, I wouldn't trade it, our time in Cherry Hill was, as always, really wonderful and relaxing. And for once, I am not the only one who wrote about it, you can see that the Korehs also had a wonderful time going to read Omers blog here.

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