Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

My mom and Dimitrios hosted a Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving to celebrate with family and friends  since many were with other family members on Thursday's Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful we have frequent flyer miles so we can just jet to Santa Cruz for overnight and we were able to spend the first part of the holiday at this fun party.

How I love these people!
Dimitrios and my mom's home in Santa Cruz is in the hills and surrounded by beautiful horse properties, hills and trees. They are so welcoming and their home is warm and inviting and you feel loved the minute you walk in the door!

Dimitrios, his daughter Shannon, Me, Bekah, Uncle Rick (my mom's brother), Emily (Bekah's Nanny!)
When I first met Dimitrios' daughter Shannon and his son Max and his wife Dana, a few years ago, it was like meeting family! Dimitrios is so warm, friendly and easy to talk to and be with, of course his kids are too! They love our mom and we love their dad so it's a wonderful "place" to be.

Dimitrios built a long table to seat everyone. Just like that. Built it. With the intention of taking it apart after the festivities were over. Because for him it's no big deal to build a table. (But they're actually liking having a big gathering table, they might be keeping it!)

Dimitrios and my Mom have a gift for making things beautiful!

We had a true Thanksgiving feast, with the addition of some Greek elements, Dolmatas & Spanakopita, which are delicious.

It was pouring rain all day so we all just cozied into the family room/kitchen and got to visit, talk and meet new people. Shannon and her daughter, Chloe. Max & Dana and Dana's parents and younger sister. Eric (my mom & Dimitrios' roommate) and his parents. Dimitrios' godmother and god brother. And of course Rebekah, Jax, Lucy, Livy (and Emily, her awesome Nanny) and Rachel, Jeremy and Dylan and Aunt Marge, Uncle Rick and Uncle Ron.

Lucy and Livy, Chloe, Eric
The next morning, Marty had to head back early, but the rest of our family met Bekah, Emily and kids at an outdoor cafe. The kids were able to run around (cartwheel!) and then we all walked (and rode scooters) over to a park to run, play on the swings, and look at the ocean.

Evidence of beach fun!


Fortunately the rain had stopped so the kids were able to get some much needed outdoor time. We headed back to Mom and Dimitrios' for brunch, games (taught Jax and Lucy and VERY modified version of Rummikub -- basically just put down your numbers in order) and even got to ride the horses. (Yay! Nick was so disappointed when we went over his spring break and Lena was pregnant so he couldn't ride. So glad they all got a chance today!)

By 2:00 we had to head back to the airport. But it was a wonderful trip and a wonderful way to begin the holidays. With family -- new friends who feel like family -- and lots and lots of love.

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