Thanksgiving with Family

A Visit to Craig’s and to My Sis’s

November 24-26, 2016

Thursday, Day 1, home to Craig’s Castle in Stockton

Thanksgiving rolled around once again and it was time to visit with family and overeat. We would spend Thanksgiving at Craig’s Castle on the water in Stockton, then head to Gridley the following day to visit my sis, Gale, and her husband, John.

I washed the coach on Wednesday so she’d look her best for Thanksgiving in Craig’s driveway. The wash job about does me in theses days, but it’s hard to admit that I should take it to the truck wash. However, that time may not be far off.2016-11-24b-cecil-at-craigs-castleCecil the Diesel parked in Craig’s driveway for Thanksgiving and overnight.

On Thanksgiving we loaded up the coach and drove the few miles to Craig’s and took up residence in his driveway. There would be eight of us altogether, mostly on Laura’s side of the family and their friends. Plans were made for a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

2016-11-24d-part-of-kitchen-crewSome of the kitchen crew working on the great Thanksgiving feast.

When the whole bunch finally all got together, and the kitchen work was done, we sat down to a wonderful feast. There was turkey, ham, taters and gravy, dressing, salad, rolls, sweet taters, vegetables and I can’t remember what all. For dessert there was pumpkin pie, pecan pie, bundt cake, apple pie and ice cream. It was wonderful!

2016-11-24e-the-partyAfter dinner we all posed for the official Thanksgiving photo. From left, there is Michael, Carly, Nick, Ricky, Dale, Lavonne, Craig and Laura.

After the big pig-0ut and clean up, I headed to the coach in pure misery. I wouldn’t have to eat for a week! I watched a documentary online as I relaxed in the coach. The others visited awhile in the house and eventually Lavonne returned to the coach and all the others went their ways.2016-11-24g-too-manyAll this dessert for just eight people! It was delicious and Lord knows I ate my share.

I was so full and tired, as was Lavonne, that we both headed to bed a bit before 2100, earlier than we have in years. Even so, we slept ’till about 0700 on Friday morning.

Day 2, Friday, Craig’s to Gale and John’s in Gridley via I-5, SR99: 97 miles

We were up and about at 0700 and took our time getting the morning things done. We headed to the house to have coffee with Craig around 0800 or so. He had a big day ahead of him and soon had to leave for parts unknown. We took it easy as we weren’t due to arrive at my sis’s place ’til after noon. It was around 1000 when we pulled out of Craig’s driveway and headed north to Gridley.

2016-11-25b-feather-riverCrossing the Feather River in Sutter County.

2016-11-25c-sutter-buttesThe Sutter Buttes on a grey November day after Thanksgiving. 

The drive was uneventful, and the so-called Black Friday traffic was not so bad considering our drive through Sacramento. We drove through a spritz of rain that didn’t amount to anything, but the prediction was for a good rain on Saturday, probably as we drove home.

As we drove through the small burg of Live Oak, just south of Gridley, we stopped so that I could buy a chicken from a roadside grill that I have visited on past trips. I bought a whole chicken, smoked to perfection, and had a delicious lunch aboard the coach as we parked along the highway in Live Oak. Lavonne whipped up a sandwich of leftover Thanksgiving dinner fare, and lunch was very satisfying.

We arrived at Gale and John’s place a bit before 1300. I backed into their big driveway for the visit that would last ’til the next day when we’d head home sometime mid-morning.

2016-11-25d-gridleyCecil the Diesel parked at Gale and John’s lovely home near Gridley.

We brought along lots of leftovers from our big feast, and we’d have another big dinner with Gale and John. But ’til then, we visited in their lovely home much of the afternoon. I retired to the coach for a nap, and also I spent time writing this travelogue.

We planned our leftover Thanksgiving dinner for sometime after 1700. I carried several containers of leftovers to the house and John and Lavonne busied themselves preparing all the goodies. We sat down to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner once again, and enjoyed turkey, ham, dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes and more. We thoroughly enjoyed the big feast one more time. After dinner the unskilled labor began, and I collected the dirty dishes and got them all rinsed and put in the dishwasher. After the clean up we sat around visiting a bit more.

Around 1900 I collected the various food containers and carried them back to the coach. There was still so much that I made three trips to get it all done! Lavonne joined me in the coach a short time later and we spent the rest of the evening in the coach. It had been the usual warm visit with my twin sis, Gale, and her hubby, John.

We spent the rest of the evening in the coach on our ‘puters, Lavonne on her game sites, and as I often do, I found an interesting history documentary online. I watched it ’til it was time to head for bed. If you’re interested in the American soldiers who defected to North Korea during the Korean war, that documentary is here.

We hit the sack around 2230 and slept well, not counting the couple of times I raided the fridge for a couple bites of pumpkin pie and topping. It’s always quiet out in the country and we enjoy the change of pace when we’re there.

Saturday, Day 3, Gridley to home via SR99, I-5: Our two day total was 248 miles.

Lavonne was already up when I climbed out of bed at 0500. She was up just a half hour ahead of me and was already enjoying her first cup of coffee. We spent time on the ‘puters, as usual, and worked our way through the morning chores. We generally wait in the coach ’til Gale and John are up and about and ready for us to continue our visit. They called unusually early, at 0700, and were ready for us to c’mon over for the morning visit.

We walked over with our coffees in hand and joined Gale and John to continue our visit. We talked of the coming storm, and the forecast was for a good day of rain – likely during our drive home. We hoped for the rain and the grey skies seemed to confirm it was about to start.2016-11-26a-the-old-folksThe Old Folks gathered together once again after Thanksgiving. L to R, Gale, Lavonne, Dale, John and Abby the pooch.

Talk soon turned to breakfast and it was agreed that a Mickey D’s breakfast would be just the thing. John and I drove into town and picked up the goodies. Back home we all dug into our McGriddle, McMuffins, breakfast burritos, and more. It was a good choice.

The rain had already started before we headed to town, and after breakfast I began setting up our cozy cabin in the driveway for the trip home. It had been a good visit but it was about time we headed for home. At 0930 we had said our good-byes and pulled out of the driveway to begin our rainy drive.2016-11-26b-rainy-leaving-gridleyRainy Highway 99 as we left Gale and John’s and headed for home.

The rain never really stopped the entire drive home. I may have turned off the windshield wipers for a total of 15 minutes the entire trip. We were very pleased with the wintry drive home as we want all the rain we can get and are hoping to get the awful drought behind us.2016-11-26c-rice-paddy-bird-heavenAlong Highway 99 south of Yuba City the birds found a water wonderland that draws them from miles around. All that “stuff” floating on the flooded rice paddies is birds. We noticed that the duck hunters were in the area as well, having a field day with all the ducks.2016-11-26d-rainy-in-sac-areaI-5 through Sacramento was also gloriously wet and getting wetter!

The drive home was uneventful and we drove straight through. We pulled into our senior gated community a few minutes before noon. We set about unloading the coach at once and within an hour had everything unloaded and the coach parked in its little shed in the community RV lot. I would dump the holding tanks the next day when the rain stopped.

Click on any circle for larger photos and the captions:


It was a welcome change to see all the new, sprouting green replacing the ugly brown that we have seen for so many months. We’re hoping for a lot more rain!

Our annual Thanksgiving dinner at Craig’s Castle and our visit to my sis’s were as pleasant as ever. Christmas would be here in exactly one month, and we planned the same trip again then.

Life is good with Cecil the Diesel!


About FishWisher

Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.
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