It’s Thanksgiving (as always) I’m celebrating with the family in Roanoke, VA. It’s a bit bittersweet this year unfortunately as both of my parents are in the nearby rehab center due to falls they had recently. My brother Andy and I went by to see them twice today, in between a late 3pm lunch at Billy’s Restaurant in downtown Roanoke, with my cousin Sherry and husband Dennis.
After a quick weekend in Roanoke, I flew up Tuesday night, and am staying at my parent’s house this week, just up the street from my brother Andy’s house. It’s still a beautiful fall season here with the leaves turned past there peak and falling, but still quite pretty looking out at the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.
Last night Andy took me out to the Wasena Tap Room, near downtown, for a dinner and a couple brewski’s. We took Uber down and back, and had a bit of a wait going down as the driver said Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a busy night.
The Wasena Tap Room had has 31 beers on tap (plus bottled beer) and the food was pub-style yummy. I initialed selected 3 different brews as a flight sample, which was a bargain at $1.75 a sample. They had many local and Virginia beers, as well as others, and I experimented with some unique beers, before later trying the IPA’s and Pilsners. I’ve only had a ‘wine beer’ one other place when I was in Memphis on business a while back (not the recent trip but a couple years ago), and really liked it. Basically Lagunitas Eroica is a lager type beer that’s aged in a red wine barrel, which gives it a bit of a red wine flavor.
We finished off the meal with a northern winter favorite – a hot buttered rum, and split a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. They served the hot buttered rum a bit different than what we are used to; usually it has a cinnamon stick in it, along with nutmeg, but it was still good and warming on the chilly Virginia night.
On Thanksgiving we went to visit my parents at the rehab center. The rehab center had prepared a nice Thanksgiving meal for them; this on top of the Tuesday night special dinner where families were invited. I was traveling to Roanoke then and couldn’t make the Tuesday night special dinner, (see next paragraph), but Andy went to the dinner and said it was quite nice. The rehab staff was all dressed up as well, and the dinner had a good turnout of family members.
Here is a photo of Mom and Dad today in the dining room, having just finished their lunches.
I’m jumping around a bit, but as a side note on my travel up here; I had a good trip up to Roanoke on American Airlines, via Charlotte. My flight from Orlando to Charlotte got in 15 minutes early, so I had time to relax a bit in the Admiral’s Club before walking the long walk to the commuter terminal in the ‘E’ concourse. The Club was already decorated for Christmas.
My connecting flight from Charlotte to Roanoke would have been uneventful too, but this lady decided to bring her HUGE emotional support dog (i.e. she didn’t want to pay the extra $100 dog fee so she gets one of those internet lanyards for $20 and brings the dog on, taking up both her legroom and the passenger sitting next to her’s as well) Of course she happens to be seated directly behind me in row 2. When she boarded, the dog literally jumped up in her seat, and while the lady is obliviously putting her coat and stuff in the overhead, the dog sticks his head between a gap in the two seats and gives me licks and kisses! I must say it was cute and I’m a dog lover, but people really do abuse the pet support rules, which is not fair to the people that truly need them. I was in a good Thanksgiving mood, so I played along and petted him. It was a quick one hour flight to Roanoke, and then Andy picked up up at the airport.
Ok, sorry I digress. Back to Thanksgiving day at the rehab center: Mom and Dad had just finished eating, so I sat with them for awhile, while Andy had watched Barnabas back in Dad’s room. We brought Andy’s dog Barnabas by to see them for a short visit, and after lunch Mom and Dad came back to the room, and like the other residents in the rehab center, their eyes lit up when they saw him. Barnabas is so tiny, and now that’s he’s been clipped even more so, but loved seeing Mom and Dad, and running around the room a bit.
Later we went to Billy’s Restaurant in Roanoke for a 3pm late lunch/early dinner, where we met my cousin Sherry and her husband Dennis who were in town from Baltimore. The Thanksgiving meal there was a wonderful brunch, with all of the Thanksgiving usuals such as turkey and dressing, cranberries, salad, potatoes etc, but they all had salmon, shrimp cocktail (already pealed to and large shrimps!), prime rib, ham, mac-n-cheese, green beans, and more. I went back a couple times, but unlike the others I skipped the huge dessert selection as I was too full!
Later in the evening, Andy and I went back to visit Mom and Dad, and had a nice visit with them before they went to bed. I’m staying at Mom and Dad’s house this week, but stayed up with Andy for a bit and chatted, played with Barnabas, and listened to some Christmas music.
A different Christmas than years gone past, (and my sister Jenni and her family weren’t here this year), but we still had a great day. We have so much to be thankful for, which is what this day of thanks is for.
Myself, I’m thankful for my parents and family, health, Faith, DOS, friends, and all of the opportunities, places, and things I’ve been blessed to have had in my life. I would especially like to thank once again all of the nursing, therapist, and other staff at the rehab center and hospitals who have been so kind and caring to my family an me over the last few months, as well as the hard-working medical staff worldwide. I posted the pics below before, but this is some of the staff caring for my parents from the October Halloween party they had at the center. Many thanks!
May God Bless everyone reading this and your families, and may you have a blessed rest of the year, as 2017 quickly winds down, as well as the upcoming year going forward.