The trip down to Charlottesville on Wednesday night was uneventful and very long. It took us an hour to get from 13th Street and Ninth Avenue through the Holland Tunnel. We arrived in Charlottesville about an hour and a half behind schedule so I guess we didn't do too bad. It was my first long bus trip.

It was wonderful to see my friend Mikel, and to meet his sister Linda and his mother Mary Lou. I do have to admit that everytime I said Mary Lou I wanted to say, Mary Lou Who. This was my first time visiting Mikel's home in Virginia, though he and John had a home there for a few years before John passed away.

I slept in this cottage which was newly built and very comfortable, though it wasn't heated or insulated. With the help of this very neat gadget and a space heater I was always nice and toasty warm!

Thursday obviously was Thanksgiving and I ended up not having to help with any of the cooking because Mikel and Linda had completed most of it the day before.

We had a total of ten people for dinner, and it was quite an enjoyable time. I was the youngest one in attendance! We had the priest of the church that Mikel attends and a few other assorted friends all of whom were just the sweetest people. This would happen just about everywhere I went in Virginia, but someone actually brought up the The War of Northern Aggression as a topic of conversation.

We finished off the day sitting around the fireplace in the living room drinking chamomille tea.
wonderboynj: (mom and me)
This Wednesday right after work I will be heading down to Nellysford, Virginia to spend the holiday with my friend Mikel, whose partner John was my dear friend who passed away in December of last year. I spent Thanksgiving with the two of them last year and we had such a wonderful time we had planned to make it an annual tradition so I am doing my part to carry on that tradition.

The original plan was to have me take the Amtrak train down to DC, and I was really looking forward to that because I have never been there, believe it or not. It's a place I would really like to visit though.

I had been checking the Amtrak website everyday hoping there would be some specials or something. Instead of the price lowering though, a few weeks ago it suddenly jumped, making the cost of the trip about $260 roundtrip. I had to find a cheaper way, not to mention Mikel lives another three hours from Virginia and I didn't want to spend almost $300 plus make him drive all that way to get me!

Mikel suggested I look at this company, which his friend Phoebe had used. They run between Charlottesville and New York for $159. It's a luxury bus service with lots of amenities and I quickly signed up.

I'll be leaving immediately after work on Wednesday and getting to Charlottesville at midnight. Mikel will still need to drive about 30 miles to pick me up but at least he's not driving all the way to DC.

I'm looking forward to seeing Virgina, hopefully I will get some Christmas shopping in. Most importantly I'm just looking forward to spending time with Mikel.
Yesterday was a very good Thanksgiving. I spent it up at my friend John and Mikel's apartment in what I refer to as Upstate Manhattan (W 180th Street).

I schlepped up there about 7:15 a.m. but didn't arrive until 8:30, and who knew the trains would be packed at 7:15 am on Thanksgiving! I went up early to do some help with the cooking. My friend Mikel is a phenomenal cook, and I wanted to see what I could learn from him.

We made a turkey (did it in one of the roasting bags and it was perfect), small new red potatoes with olive oil and dill, stuffing, green bean casserole (with cream of celery soup instead of mushroom), cranberry heaven (which was heaven), lots of wine, sweet potato casserole (which had coconut mixed in, and a topping of crushed pecans). For desert we had an 18th century recipe for sliced lemon pie, and we had a pumpkin pie.

Had a great time with all of the guests. Joining us were Mike's cousin Kathy and her husband and their three children, plus the girlfriend of one of their boys. We didn't leave until about 11pm and of course the A train was running locally so it was a long ride down to Port Authority where I waited with Bern for his bus before heading off to Park Slope. Finally arrived home about 1:00 a.m.

And, the first picture of us together. I'm hoping it's just the first of many holidays with him :)


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