Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Review

I’m one of those people who believe Holidays, like Thanksgiving, are stressful. This past Thanksgiving was no exception. I had to fly into and out of O’Hara airport. First of all, I hate to fly. Secondly, there is bad blood between the O’Hara airport and I.

Besides the flying part, Char and I had a great time in Chicago with the kids. Here are some of the highlights.

Upon arriving, we went to DOR’s (Daughter of Ralph) and SILOR’s (Son in Law of Ralph) apartment. It looked almost like the first apartment Char and I had.

While there, we played a little Guitar Hero. I got exceptionally good at playing ‘Slow Ride’, but decided not to become a rock and roll star when I retire. I mean there is all that traveling, and then the whole groupie thing.

Char and I had the privilege of taking in one of SILOR’s basketball games. SILOR is number three. They won with a score of 73 to 48. SILOR scored twelve points.

On Wednesday, SILOR entertained us. He took us to a place for lunch called the Soup Box. They have twelve different kinds of soups and encourage you to mix soups together. Now, I admit that it sounds a little weird but ‘when in Chicago. . . .’ I asked the guy what he recommended and he suggested the chicken and sausage gumbo mixed with the creamy chicken and rice. I swallowed hard and said I would try it. To be honest, it was fantastic. It also gave Char a great idea for a Super Bowl party.

SILOR then took us to the school where DOR teaches. It is the first marine military academy in the nation. It’s a nice school, but it was also the first time I heard my little baby girl referred to as Mrs. Gordon, that made me smile.


Thursday morning SOR (Son of Ralph) and SORSO (Son of Ralph’s Significant Other) showed up as we were having breakfast. SOR told everyone that for Thanksgiving we dress formal. They arrived all dressed up. I’m sure this is just one of the many times SORSO has wanted to strangle him

The kids are getting tired of hearing this but. . . .if a year ago, someone would have told me I would be in Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving with DOR, SILOR, SOR and SORSO I would have laughed. If they told me that DOR would do most of the cooking, I would have laughed even harder. Yet, DOR cooked enough food to feed half of Chicago. It started with appetizers including a cheese ball with crackers and celery and cheese provided by SORSO. Celery and cheese is a necessity at Thanksgiving, the kids would throw a fit if we didn’t have it – well, maybe not. Then we proceeded to have a twenty-pound turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, sweet potatoes, and a few other dishes. It was finished off with pecan pie, and pumpkin cheesecakes in the shape of miniature pumpkins. All of it was extremely good.

This was followed by an evening full of games. Playing Guesstures all the guys ended up on the same team and of course, we were beaten. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. We even did a group huddle – it didn’t help.

Friday we were in downtown Chicago, along with everyone else. We took in many sites but two of my favorites were the skydeck at the Sears tower and Millennium Park. Sears Tower was completed in 1974. Ten thousand people work in the building and it is visited by one and a half million people a year. The skydeck is located on the 103 floor. You get there by taking an elevator that travels 18 MPH.

At Millennium Park, you can see Cloud Gate, better known as the bean. It looks like a giant jellybean, it’s 66 feet long, and 33 feet high. Now brace yourself because I’m about to tell you how much it cost. You ready? This bean cost $23 million. You can read more about it here.

When it was time to leave, getting on the airplane, I noticed our pilot had gray hair – that is a comforting thing if you don’t like to fly. Shortly after we took off, over the intercom the pilot said something like, “It a beautiful day to fly. My job and the job of the entire flight crew is to get you to Denver safely.” I told Char I really liked the pilot. She said all pilots say that. “Yeah” I replied, “but this one sounds like he means it.” And with that, I fell asleep after a great Thanksgiving full of family and food in Chicago.

15 Comments:

Anonymous SILOR said...

yeah, it was a good time and no the huddle definitely did not work! Great to see you guys...can't wait to do it again.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Sorso said...

Great Post !
What about the funny noises at the table during dinner .
Can't wait to do it again.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous WOR said...

yeah it was a great time! And Ralph you didn't even stretch the truth here.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

We must have had a good chat on the phone because I'd heard this before. If sorso doesn't know where those funny noises came from during dinner than she doesn't know you as well as I do.
Well it all sounds like fun. Wish I could have been there. minus the crowds.
Another good read Ralph.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous DOR said...

It was fun. Glad you guys made it out. Its also nice that you made it home without leaving anything in the airport

5:22 AM  
Blogger possum said...

I am sure you do - but I must ask anyway - Do you know how lucky you are???? Yeah, I knew it...
I spent the holiday and week-end working with people for whom holidays equal crisis... there are a lot of them out there. You are so very blessed. Yeah, I know you know that, too. Thanks for a post - a Norman Rockwellesque blog. Its good to know "it" still exists out there, somewhere.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Janell said...

A great Thnakgiving weekend for you and all. Nice pics, too. I really like the view from the Sears Tower. Hope to see it in person someday.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Miki said...

Ralph, Lovely pictures of a family get together! Glad that you all were able to spend it together. It looks and sounds like a great time was had by all. Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving with us!

4:43 AM  
Blogger Tee said...

Wow - love the pictures. What an eventful holiday! (The "bean" is really cool. I've never seen that before.)

I've played guitar hero once. I'm not very good even at fake guitar. LOL.

Soup Box sounds really interesting. One of my fav restaurants was a place out in California called Soup Plantation. I've never seen it on the East cost though so it's only a fond memory.

You're so blessed to have such a great family.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

That was really good that you and Char could visit the ORs!
You guys can pat yourselves on the backs for the way DOR turned out doing the cooking things.
Our Karen did probably equally as well for us this time. But remember she is a big wheel in training now so she parcelled out the menu items to parents.

Comments on Chicago:
That 'bean' is new to me there. Since Chicago is the windy city I am hoping they have it teathered pretty good.
Thanks for the Sears Tower view. I didn't ever go there and doubt if I will. You have to pay money to get in, right? We are retired on fixed incomes (educators at that).
What team does SILOR play for? They look college age.
..

1:14 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

It looks like your Thanksgiving was as blessed as mine was.
Your pictures are great. I don't loke flying either and most likely will never do it again. I like Amtrack. It takes longer but I get to see the scenery on the way.

4:06 PM  
Blogger nora said...

Wow, I could comment on every paragraph, but I'll try to keep it short.
If you do decide to become a rock star, I hope I get to be the first to write about you.
And next time you're in Chicago let me know, and I'll drive up to meet you for coffee - I might even drag Jerry along.
Thanks for the great post and photographs.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

It looks like you had a blast! And I'm so impressed by the feast which DOR prepared! Wow.

I'm so glad that you all had such a great time, and that you had a pilot who had been aged to perfection. *G*

12:03 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I really like it when great men write/talk proudly of their families. You done good. And it looks like you had a good time, too.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh, what a wonderful Thanksgiving you had Ralph!! Your wife says you didn't stretch the truth any! You mean you do sometimes??? Wonders never cease! :)

I'm so glad you got to see both of your children together with spouse/SO and have a great visit. The sights of Chicago sound fascinating but 103 stories high..forget that for me. Gives me the willies just thinking about it. Now that big bean thing looks neat. Wonder who has to polish that???

My nephew's stepdaughter graduates from college in December and she is moving to Chicago! Her major is architectural design and it seems Chicago is the place to go with that degree!

9:17 PM  

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