Thanksgiving Weekend Kickoff, 2004

Thanksgiving Week Kickoff

Thanksgiving Week Kickoff, November 23-November 28

We kicked off the Holiday Season with Rich’s parents’ visit over Thanksgiving week. They traveled via Amtrak from the Wilmington, Delaware station to Tampa, Florida. Their train was 3 hours late so the trip took a total of 25 hours. They were in good spirits, though, when we picked them up at the station on Tuesday, November 23 at 1:30 p.m. We were all hungry, so we swung through the Sonnys Barbecue drive-up window for ribs to go. We visited, gave them a tour of our new house and neighborhood, and rested up for the next day’s trip to Sand Key Beach with lunch at John’s Pass on Madeira Beach.

Sand Key is our favorite beach, so far, in the Tampa Bay Area. But, on our first visit post-hurricanes, we could see the hurricane damage to the beach itself. There were mountains of sand in places, instead of the smooth beach we were used to. But as we sat and walked on the beach, the beach personnel were busy redistributing the sand with heavy equipment.

Thursday was Thanksgiving and we had ordered a complete southern Thanksgiving feast from Winn-Dixie. It came fully cooked and all we had to do was reheat it and prepare some extra side dishes. This was the most delicious tasting turkey we had ever had. The sweet potato casserole was also delicious. By the time we got to the pecan pie, we were completely overstuffed. Tagamet, anyone?

Friday was the Eckardt parents’ 55th wedding anniversary and we took a trip to Downtown Disney for some Christmas Shopping and lunch at Earl of Sandwich. We attempted to play mini-golf at Fantasia Gardens but it was completely packed so we walked on over to the Swan & Dolphin Resort Hotels on Disney property and then jumped on the Friendship boat for a trip to the Boardwalk area. It was a most glorious day of sunshine and clear blue sky. We all enjoyed an ice cream from Seashore Sweets on the Boardwalk. That evening, enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers, we brought out ice cream with candle and card and sang “Happy Anniversary.” We also all joined in with decorating our home for Christmas, listening to Christmas music. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable day.

Saturday we all ventured out to Citrus Park Mall, enjoying the Christmas decorations, tasting flavored hot chocolate and mint candies. Our annual Citrus Park Mall highlight is buying Sees candy at their Christmas booth. This is the only way to have Sees Candy in Florida. For those who are unfamiliar with Sees, it is a California trademark candy and a favorite of Kathy since childhood.

Sunday we took the parents to the local PCA Church and there they discovered that the pastor’s wife had connections in Quarryville. After exchanging a few names, we headed back home for lunch and rest and final packing before taking the parents back to the Tampa Amtrak station for their return trip home, due to depart Tampa at 6 p.m.

Having the parents here to kick off our first Christmas in our new home was a nice, memorable touch. We weren’t sure how they or the cats would take to each other but, overall, it went well. The cats warmed up to the parents, although they seemed to be surprised when we kept coming back home and they were still with us. Skipper, being a very affectionate cat who loves to kiss, wanted to kiss Dad, too, and that might have been what started his cat allergy.

Fortunately, he had his puffer with him and we tried to open the windows to fresh air every chance we got. We also enjoyed having our coffee and some breakfasts outside on the Lanai. Buddy, being a ladies’ man, was enthralled with Mother. Lovey was identified as being the most intelligent and the most watchful, peeking around the bedroom corner to see if they were still here.

Sometimes we think of ourselves as a child-free couple, but we really do have our family responsibilities with these 3 cats. 🙂

About Kathy

Novelist & Music Producer