Thanksgiving was a little out of the norm this year.
A couple of weeks ago, I got to chatting with Emily and Dustin and suddenly I was planning a Thanksgiving excursion to Salt Lake.
Do you know that the average high temperature of Salt Lake City in November is around 48°?
And do you further know that the average high temperature of Salt Lake City in November is around -47° when I’m in town?
But alas, I headed north happily.
I got off work on Tuesday afternoon and drove to St. George to hang with Kelli. I got to town around 10 PM local time. In fact, I pulled off the freeway at 9:51 because I managed to make it to the Taco Time Drive-Thru before their 10:00 closing time.
On Wednesday morning, Kelli’s boyfriend arrived and we all headed north. The drive was a lot of fun. Kelli and I are fantastic travel buddies.
(Except when I don’t let her take 2 minutes to buy a hot dog from a street vendor because I’m in a hurry to get to the top of the Empire State Building.)
(Ironically, “buy a hot dog from a street vendor” was one of the Must Do things on MY list for that New York trip…)
So we drove north and everything was great until we got close to SLC and I looked out the window and saw this:
And…well…yeah…I forgot my coat.
But I decided not to worry unless it snowed.
So we got to Dustin and Emily’s house and Kelli and Daenan dropped me off and then it started snowing. Because, of COURSE it did.
We just hung out at the house for the evening and talked a LOT. Because Emily, Dustin, and I always have a LOT of things to say when we get together. I love it. At some point, Dustin went out into the terrible SNOWMAGEDDON and picked us up some dinner from one of my former favorite places: Beto’s. I say former because it just isn’t the same. And they don’t have Stuffed Mexi-Fries like Taco Time does.
The next day, when we managed to dig ourselves out of the house, I took a picture of the aftermath:
On Thursday, Dustin’s parents and grandmother came to town from Wyoming. I haven’t seen them in a few years, and I was really excited to get all caught up. Dustin got up super early to make the entire Thanksgiving feast and was still at it when they arrived. But shortly thereafter, he pulled the turkey out of the oven and I’m pretty sure I heard Norman Rockwell cry with delight over the beauty of it.
Is that not a perfect turkey?
After dinner was over at about 1:30 in the afternoon, Dustin’s mom, Roberta, was excited to learn Moana had just been released the day before and decided to take us all to the movies. More on my feelings about the newest Disney princess flick later. The important thing to know is that EVERYONE (besides me) LOVED IT. EVERYONE.
After the movie, Dustin’s parents headed back home, so it was down to Dustin, Emily, Dustin’s grandma, Dustin and Emily’s adorable girls, and me. So we talked and hung out and probably ate more and drank WAY too much.
Dr. Pepper. We drank too much Dr. Pepper.
Around 9:50, my eyelids started to droop and Emily suggested I go to bed.
“No!” I exclaimed. “It’s way too early!” And then I explained that it was just my eyes that were tired and I could still listen and talk if I leaned my head back and closed them. So I listened to them talk and then Emily said, “Karen, you should just go to bed.” I was like, “No, I’m still awake,” but it was 10:15 and I don’t know how that happened.
On Friday, Dustin and his grandma left to visit lots of family. Emily and I stayed home with the girls. We had vague plans to go “see some things.” We DID make it over to a place called Club Soda, though. See, because Utah is chock full of Mormons, they don’t really do “bars.” BUT, they are ALL ABOUT the flavored sodas. And on Black Friday, they were doing free upgrades from 32 oz to 44, because Yay, diabetes! I got something called the Love Doctor and let me tell you, I LOVED it.
And we had definite plans to go to dinner and a movie with our friend Ashley in the evening. Somehow, Emily and I literally did NOTHING all day except sit and talk. And also watch my all-time favorite episode of Friends: The One With the Rumor.
So then we went to dinner and then saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and I enjoyed it a lot, but still didn’t love it as much as I hoped it would. But I liked it. A lot.
And then we went back to Emily’s house and I stayed up super late talking to Emily and Dustin again.
“We can talk or not talk for hours and still find things to not talk about.” ← NAME THAT MOVIE!
On Saturday morning, Emily had to work. Sad Karen was sad. But I got to hang out a little longer with Dustin and his grandma before Kelli and Daenan came back to pick me up and we dashed off back to St. George in an improbably easy trip. I say improbably because it was Thanksgiving weekend and we had ZERO traffic. Weird, right? Yeah…it’s because the Traffic Gods were just toying with me…
Saturday night I hung with Kelli. We ordered pizza and watched movies. (Tammy, if you must know. Which I personally find freaking hilarious.)
Sunday morning dawned bright. It was going to be a fine day for traipsing across the desert back to Southern California. I checked Waze and saw that if I left before 10 AM, I should have no problems getting home in a reasonable time frame.
So I left at 8:45. It took an hour and a half to get from St. George to Vegas. Which is totally normal.
It took an hour and a half to get from Barstow, California to my house. Which is totally normal.
It took EIGHT HOURS to get from Vegas to Barstow, California. This is a distance of 160 miles.
This is an average speed of 20 MPH for EIGHT HOURS.
My brother and sister-in-law would later point out that it took as much time for them to fly from Orlando, Florida to LAX and then DRIVE TO THEIR HOUSE than it took me to go 160 miles.
The pioneers crossed the plains faster than that.
I’m still feeling a little traumatized from that trek.
It was painful.
But? Thanksgiving was great and everything up until that ridiculous drive home was so much fun that I *almost* don’t even care about it.
Except for the fact that I am NEVER driving through Vegas on the Sunday after Thanksgiving ever, ever again.