Thanksgiving Reflections – 2017

My, what a crazy year this has been.

Thanksgiving is normally a time for introspection and reflection, for remembering everything that you have in your life, and for spending the day – or at least the afternoon – with friends and family.

I will be spending my Thanksgiving alone.

This is probably for the best.

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Holiday Travels – Part Six

I have no idea where the year went. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and December is only a few days away! I have been working some sweet overtime lately, but as it happens, I was off on Turkey Day and got to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner GringoPotpourri-style – stuffing, long grain-and-wild rice, cranberries, peas, brown-and-serve rolls, and Cornish hens instead of turkey. In other words: a real smorgasbord! 🙂

If you have been a long-time follower of this blog, you know that I often wax nostalgic about past holiday travels. At least five out of my last 15 Thanksgivings have been spent in Mexico, and those particular Turkey Days remain especially memorable. For all of my holiday travel blog recollections however – Scandinavia in 2010, Rome in 2008-09, East Tennessee in 2011, Québec in 2008, London in 2006 – I have never actually written in much detail about any of my holidays spent in Mexico…until now.

Thanksgiving in Puebla, Mexico (2003)

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Giving Thanks – 2015

Thanksgiving 2015-2

If you are thinking that the bird in the photo above can’t possibly be turkey, you are right. That is a Cornish game hen – succulent English chicken stuffed with savory long grain and wild rice. This is Thanksgiving with the ‘rents, estilo-Casa del Gringo.

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Thanksgiving Reflections – 2014

It is the day before Thanksgiving as I write this. 2014 has been a tough year. It started out great – bonding with the family dog during an extended winter break, returning last January to my job in Mexico City with eager new students, and enjoying a day trip with a good friend to the former spa town of Tequisquiapan. But I was living in Mexico on borrowed time, and just as I had finally expanded my local friend circle to a satisfying degree, the time came for me to return.

I have spent much of the time since then in a sort of daze. Although I’ve enjoyed scoping out my new surroundings in Eastern Tennessee, I can’t help but feel that I’m not living up to my full potential…whatever that may be. That being said, I know that 2015 will be a better year, and I’m going to do my best to find direction and stability in my life and to take on a more positive general attitude…as of this moment. For starters, I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with my parents for the first time since 1999. I can taste the cranberries already!

Downtown Rogersville 25

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Giving Thanks

This past Sunday my girlfriend and I visited the ancient ruins of Xochicalco, roughly two hours south of Mexico City and about 2,000 feet lower in elevation. Xochicalco is specifically dedicated to the plumed serpent god Quetzalcóatl, revered by not just the Aztecs but by other pre-Colombian tribes as well. Chronologically, Xochicalco was one of the last Aztec citadels, occupied after the mysterious fall (abandonment?) of more famous Teotihuacán. On the way back to Mexico City we changed buses in Cuernavaca, and opted to grab dinner in this lively mid-sized city.

The Cuernavaca city center is dominated by the Palacio de Cortés, an imposing fortress-turned-museum built by (or at the behest of, more likely) Cortés after his men conquered the region. Cortés had the local Aztec temple razed, then used the temple’s stones to build his mighty palace atop the same hallowed ground, most likely using indigenous slave labor, a reminder to them of the European man’s supposed superiority. With Thanksgiving just two days away, I couldn’t help but compare that to the history of my own Estados Unidos de Gringolandia.

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