I love the holidays. This is partly because of the opportunity to spend quality time with family and enjoy some tasty food. Mostly though, I enjoy the holidays because I don’t have to go anywhere and I get to work on this awesome beard.
OK, enough of my facial crop-failure and back to family. We spent Thanksgiving day with my family enjoying tur-duck-hen and watching the Packers win….again. Ho-hum. Just kidding, GO PACKERS! Turduckhen is easily one of the craziest things I’ve ever eaten. In case you don’t know about the slight against God called Turduckhen I’ll let you in on what it is. It’s a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. The only thing that could improve on this scientific marvel that laughs in the face of God is if there was a bacon layer protected by a layer of gummi bears. Now that’s good eating.
Over the next 3 days we took advantage of our time off from our prisons with pay and traveled about 700 miles and started our Oregon tour of the Mrs’ family. Our tour first took us to Eugene where we met up with the wife’s great-grandmother. First of all, let’s put this into a little prospective. We brought along the little one who is 4 generations separated from her great-great grandmother which is crazy to me. I had my great grandparents around only until I was about 18 and to think that she has a great-great grandmother available is incredible. Also, I’m not sure of her exact age but I think she’s near 90. At that age most people are mere shadows of what they used to be and lucky if they can carry on a conversation without forgetting who they were talking to 5 minutes earlier. Great-great grandma though is incredibly “with it” and has no signs of her age. I’m half considering turning her over to the government because she’s surely found the fountain of youth and knows of its whereabouts. Finally, in conversation she asked me what I do in my free time. I drew a complete blank until the wife reminded me of my writing experiment. GG-grandma was extremely interested in my writing as she had been writing herself and was an English teacher at the University of Oregon. She not only asked me to pull up my blog but asked me to read a couple posts. I slowly walked toward the computer I shot my wife a dirty look for bringing up the blog as I realized that this was my worst fear, showing my writing to someone who has every right to judge it. Luckily though she enjoyed my writing quite a lot and is likely passing along to the rest of the population of her high-class senior citizen hotel. Hi everyone!
Next we traveled to her hometown to visit her dad. Most people don’t really like their in-laws but I can’t help liking this guy. It’s not completely because he’s pretty much the country version of me but it certainly doesn’t hurt. The highlight of the trip was the Wildlife Safari we went on. Think a zoo you drive through where the animals roam free. When the description of the place was explained to me I was definitely thinking rhinos ramming the car like some kind of Jurassic Park zoo adventure. The truth is that….THAT COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN.
There were free roaming rhinos and giraffes and all kinds of other animals. If it weren’t 40 degrees outside there would have also been bears too. It was a terrific mix of fun, exploration and terror as any animal could poke their head in your car and some actually tried.
After a couple more stops for tax-free Christmas shopping, a couple more family and friends visited and a good 5 hours more of driving and 3-year-old singalongs we made it home. Good to be home but I enjoyed my time in Oregon. If only I could pump my own gas I think I could live there.