The past few days were filled with family, friends, and food.
Wednesday: My family decided to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Lancaster this year. Some of us arrived the night before and made it a two day celebration (just like last year). On Wednesday evening we had dinner at El Serrano, a Peruvian restaurant in Lancaster. We ate at Culturas, a tapas restaurant on the top floor of El Serrano. I’ve never been to a Peruvian restaurant before so I had no idea what to expect. The food was wonderful, especially the pinchos in aji panca marinade. In tapas style dining many dishes are sampled, and I did not encounter anything I really didn’t like (I did avoid the seafood dishes, however) . Great food is a critical piece of a good dining experience, but food can be made even better by the environment in which it is served. El Serrano gets major points for this. The restaurant looks like it was picked up in Peru and dropped in Pennsylvania. The architecture and decorations, down to the hand-carved chairs and pottery, are authentically Peruvian. Even the music was perfect. I regret that I did not take a camera with me. If you’re ever in Lancaster (or nearby) I recommend that you stop by El Serrano.
Thursday: On Thanksgiving Day most of the rest of the family arrived in Lancaster and we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We held the dinner at a community center at the retirement facility my aunt works at. The room had a sweet bingo machine and other sorts of entertainment you might expect to see in a retirement community center. One of the games that is evidently quite popular with the residents is noodle hockey. Chairs are lined up, players are given foam noodles (normally associated with pools) and a beach ball is used as a puck. The two teams compete to move the ball to opposing ends. Last year we played noodle hockey, and it was inevitable that it would happen again this year.
When the action started I realized it was too fast and furious to be captured by my camera. Low light levels in the room and the constant motion meant that most of my pictures were blurs of different colors.
During a stoppage in the action I set up a posed picture, simulating game play. Everyone was holding still in this picture.
Since one good meal deserves another we reprised dinner in the late afternoon. When things wrapped up I left for Montgomery County to stay with my sister and brother-in-law for the evening.
Friday: After a nice relaxing morning and early afternoon at my sister and brother-in-law’s home (during which I spent several hours studying, yes comps prep did manage to invade every day of my Thanksgiving vacation) I went to my parents’ home to string pocorn and set up the Christmas tree.
Setting up the tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving is a family tradition. This year I spent most of the evening playing with my nephew and niece in lieu of stringing popcorn, though I did apply the lights and strands of popcorn and cranberries to the tree (the tree is a Douglas fir). At the end of the night it looked rather dapper.
My original plan had been to drive back to State College in the late morning on Saturday. Then I remembered that a football game was being played at noon. I decided to leave at midnight on Friday to avoid traffic. I enjoy driving at night. The open road is very peaceful.
Thanksgiving 2010 was an enjoyable multi-day event. I have so much to be grateful for; I don’t want to ever forget that.