Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thanksgiving Break

My thanksgiving break just ended (sadly enough), and I'm back to school and tests. It was nice to have a few days off because apparently American schools don't really like holidays. ;) I've only had 5 days off school so far. 2 days for fall break and 3 days for thanksgiving break. I had a great time together with my host family! It was awesome to celebrate thanksgiving for the very first time. This blogpost will be all about what I did during thanksgiving break.

Me, Cassidy, Kaylee & Duffy, Kendall, Amy & Chandler. 

For the ones who don't know what thanksgiving is: it's the fourth Thursday in november, when people give thanks for all kinds of things in their life. It originates in the 17th century: native Americans had helped Pilgrims with their harvest and they held a big feast to celebrate that, the first Thanksgiving day.

On the first night of the break, my host family celebrated a tradition called 'Papa Elf's Night'. If you've seen the movie Elf, this might sound familiar: we ate spaghetti with M&M's, drank coke and could burp as much as we wanted. Afterwards we watched the movie itself! If you havent watched it, go watch it and you'll understand. I liked being introduced to this weird tradition of my host family. And believe it or not, it was a lot of fun! Probably my favorite night in a long time.

After Papa Elf's Night - selfie. My host sister was a little tired! 
On Wednesday the preparations started (which basically means that a lot of food was prepared) and on Thursday it was finally Thanksgiving Day! We started the day by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. This is a big parade in New York City with all kinds of floats and performances. Afterwards we had a huge breakfast. We spend the day watching hunger games movies. We would see the last one in the cinema on Friday, and of course we had the re-watch all the other movies before that. In the late afternoon, family came over for the most important part of Thanksgiving: the big dinner! This included lots of typical American food: turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, ham, and so on. It was delicious!

After all the family left, we didn't go to bed yet. Because at 12 o'clock that night Black Friday started! One of the things on my Bucket List was going Black Friday shopping, so of course we had to leave our house at midnight to go to the mall! When we arrived at the parking place, I could already see how busy it was, since it was hard to find a parking spot. And when we walked inside, my expectations were true: it was really crowded everywhere. I totally understand why, because the sales were great! Lots of stores had 50% or even more discount on all of their products. After going to the mall we also went to Old Navy and Target. I was exhausted when we got back home in the middle of the night, but it was definitely worth it! I haven't seen people fighting over stuff, but I wouldn't be surprised if that would have happened.

On Friday itself my host mom celebrated her birthday. We went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and watched Mockingjay in the cinema. It was a good movie, but I won't spoil anything. :)

During the hike with Duffy!
The next day the weather was great, so we started our morning by doing a 5 - miles hike (8 km)! We went to a state park called 'Paris Mountain', only 20 minutes away. It's still really weird to me to live so close to the mountains, but I love it! The hike was really pretty but also hard. The view from the mountains and the beautiful lake we passed were worth it.

In the afternoon I went downtown to get coffee with my friend Katarin. Downtown Greenville is really beautiful and typically American (just Google it!). A funny thing is that the coffee place we went to, happened to have 'Stroopwafels', which are Dutch cookies! Of course I had to try one of those, and they tasted almost exactly the same as the ones at home. I also visited Waffle House for the first time that day. Yes, it's really unhealthy but the waffles are delicious!

Watching the sun set over Greenville - just magical!
On Sunday, the last day of Thanksgiving Break, we went to church in the morning, did some grocery shopping, had a family lunch, and watched a movie. So, nothing really special! But it was a nice last day before school started again.

That was everything I did during my first Thanksgiving! I've decided that I want to bring it back to the Netherlands, because I really like the idea of thinking about everything you're thankful for. So next year I'll probably have a big dinner with my family, including turkey! Sadly enough we won't be able to go Black Friday shopping, but it would still be a lot of fun.

What do you think of Thanksgiving?

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