This year for Thanksgiving I spent the long weekend with Jason’s family in a rented house on the lake in East Tennessee. It was unlike any Thanksgiving I’ve had before which was exciting and different. Going away and relaxing for Thanksgiving might be something I could get used to doing!
Lake Norris Thanksgiving Getaway
Seriously, being on a lake is very calming. It’s usually reserved for summer lake adventures, but there was an element of peacefulness here that was much needed.
It was also a gorgeous setting during the days of sunshine. We spent our days hanging out by the lake, hiking, fishing, reading, taking photos, playing games, and just enjoying each other’s company.
Being on the lake afforded us great opportunity to do one of my favorite things: kayaking! I took out a kayak for several hours on Friday and loved every second of it. Exploring the lake via kayak was really quite fun and it’s the second time in the last month I’ve considered buying my own kayak.
The last day when it was raining and even colder, we decided to jump in the lake. The temperature was just above freezing and we saw skiers on the lake wearing wet suits.
It was so, so cold! I went down really far and sort of panicked when I realized I wasn’t going to touch because my body just felt so strange. I’m not sure I want to do that again without knowing how deep the water is!
Thanksgiving Vacation Food
I’ve had so many amazing meals over the past week, including our Thanksgiving dinner as seen from my plate below.
I’ve been lucky to spend Thanksgiving with many families other than my own over the years and it is always interesting to see how other people celebrate. No two families have done it the same or even made the same dishes the same way. It’s always an honor to get a little peak of someone’s traditions and special recipes.
We also had a cooking competition throughout the week because we were pretty far removed from any restaurants. Each team had to prepare a meal for everyone else and we were even judged on it! I’ll admit this was the most nerve-wracking part of the whole vacation for me – I had complete performance anxiety cooking for my boyfriend’s whole family!
We ended up doing a waffle bar and I was mostly in charge of making things pretty – our menu design, setting the table, and making each plate look nice. Cooking with my team was super fun and we did pretty well in the judging.
My favorite meal however was the team that made Brazilian food. They made this amazing chicken on corn arepas with an awesome black bean sauce and Brazilian Brigadeiro for dessert. I voted for them to win because it was all so flavorful, which is my main criteria in if food is good or not. This was the opposite of bland and I’ve already asked for the recipe… I want to recreate this myself soon!
Black Friday Shopping
Of course when you eat so much good food over several days you’ve got to make yourself get active to compensate. We did plenty of kayaking and hiking and I also went Black Friday shopping with a group that turned into a great workout. We walked through the mall and various stores for hours!
My best purchase of the night were these Asics Womens GEL Noosa Tri 10 Running Shoes.
In the store they were originally marked at $139 but were on sale and had an extra 30% off. You can buy them today on Amazon for $80 but I walked out with them for $38 including tax. They are by far the cheapest running shoes I’ve ever owned. And also the prettiest.
Happy to Be Home
I haven’t taken many vacations in the past two years after traveling almost constantly for many years. I thought I’d miss it a lot more but honestly, I’m more happy to be home than anything. It turns out that a comfortable home, a happy dog and simple pleasures in life keep me pretty happy. It was a super fun and relaxing trip but I’m glad to be back!