I was only seventeen when my two sisters and I took off for a three month tour of Europe. I had a letter in my money belt from my father signing away my care to my twenty one year old sister so she could make emergency decisions for me if the situation arose (thankfully it did not, I don’t know if that would really have been enough to suffice), we all had a single bag that we had expertly packed with the bare minimum of necessities.
There are many food experiences from that trip that I look back on fondly, new dishes, flavors and delights we were able to sample as well as many a day longing for a taco. There were also a lot of cheap picnics we repeated over and over to keep within our budget.
We were in France touring ever colder castles and chateaus as fall turned into winter and deciding we could definitely make the transition to living in a foreign country if it was as beautiful and architecturally rich as France. Thanksgiving approached and as a person who held strongly to tradition I began to sink into a bit of a depression realizing we wouldn’t have turkey, dressing, potatoes and the lot for a holiday meal I adored.
Thankfully my sisters are much more calm and reasonable when it comes to tradition and were able to make the sacrifice without the drama I brought to the situation. We had found a crepe restaurant with some of the most delicious concoctions we had tried yet- whole wheat crepes with potatoes, bacon and runny fried eggs! (And the sauces! I adore France for their use of sauces!)
It was hardly a traditional American Thanksgiving meal but with the help of loving and kind sisters, a warm, dark, and cozy restaurant, and food that filled and delighted us we were able to have a day of thanksgiving even though we were five thousand miles from the rest of our family and the traditions we were used to.
The next day we went out to explore another village and another castle, the holiday a moment in time within a trip full of incredible moments that make for long lasting memories.
I’m a stickler for tradition and yet some of my favorite memories are from the distinctly different holidays we’ve enjoyed together, I can vividly remember that meal even though it’s eleven years later.
Now states separate all of us and we aren’t able to be together for every holiday, traditions change with time and situations but thankfully memories remain.