Thanksgiving is leaves of red and yellow falling from the trees and a hint of snow in the air. There is a fire in the fireplace and the smell of the turkey roasting in the oven. For us it began with a sunny day with sixty-five degrees and palm trees. Needless to say, it did not feel like Thanksgiving. Texts and pictures from Connecticut provided some feeling of the holiday and a little wish that we were there – and then we looked outside again. Not that hard to take. Not exactly suffering.
Although we could not be with our family for dinner, we had the next best thing. The restaurant in the resort, Hidden Paradise, was offering Thanksgiving dinner. Despite the fact that our side of the resort is less than full, we have some great neighbors in our immediate area and all of them decided to take advantage of the dinner at Hidden Paradise. We all decided to attend the 5 o’clock seating.
When we arrived, there were only two other couples having dinner. The great room was decorated with Christmas decorations and a tree. We put two tables together and sat as one big group of eight. We were shortly joined by another couple from the resort making it ten. The one thing that we all had in common was that we were all new to full-time rving within the last couple of years. We had people from Florida, Wisconsin, Toronto, Ohio, Kansas City, and of course, Connecticut.
An Italian-American family owns the restaurant and I felt right at home when the owner’s wife took our drink order and informed us that there was Italian wedding soup to start off. That was the first course of every Thanksgiving dinner as a child. My grandmother always made soup that I knew as “scadole”. I was a teenager before I realized they were referring to the escarole in the soup. I was an adult before I saw that Progressive referred to it as Italian wedding soup. That all aside, it was a nostalgic way to start our first Thanksgiving dinner in our new home.
The dinner buffet was plentiful and varied. We were offered real roast turkey with dark meat and all, not just a turkey breast. There were also all the fixings including stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, ham, lasagna (ham and lasagna are a staple at all Italian dinners), mac and cheese, green beans, cranberries, and rolls. Desserts included pumpkin and apple pies, of course, as well as some cookies and pudding.
The food was excellent, but the company was better. It was entertaining to get to know our neighbors better and to hear their stories. We talked a lot about our “stuff” and the various ways either did or have not dealt with it. It was interesting to hear different reasons why people decided to choose this lifestyle and how they planned to go about it.
This Thanksgiving dinner was a reminder of what is special about rving. In the short span of a month you get to know those around you and can share a special time with them. That is typical of the dynamic of relationships that you form with people when you share the road.
The day may have started with a need for the occasional reminder that it was Thanksgiving. At the end of the day there was no doubt and were thankful that we could share it with new friends.