Yosemite & Mountain Memories ~

As I sit here, I can smell the turkey sizzling and crackling in the oven.  Abi is outside working in the yard – something he never tires of doing – and I’m puttering, continuing to ready ourselves for our upcoming road trip.


Although I can smell the turkey and I’m looking forward to a delicious (if I do say so myself) feast for two, I am not at all focused on Thanksgiving. Instead, I am looking forward to the days ahead.

We’re a small family, just the 3 of us, and for whatever reason we spent many Thanksgivings away from home so it never feels quite right to be at home for the holiday.  Our holiday tradition, when our son was still home with us, was to find our way to some point in the Sierra Mountains to get our annual fix of breathing in the gloriously fresh pine-scented air that one can only find in the mountains.  More often than not we spent Thanksgiving weekend in Yosemite, truly one of our most favorite places on the planet.

Thanksgiving 2007 - Yosemite - brrrr...

Thanksgiving 2007 – Yosemite

We also celebrated the holiday in the heart of the Sequoia/King’s Canyon National Park where we enjoyed our first deep-fried turkey at a local diner. We’ve stayed in the tiny town of Arnold, CA and dined at the local country club and we’ve stayed near Calaveras Big Trees and Angel’s Camp where we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the historic Murphy’s Hotel.  And our most recent (and last) Thanksgiving weekend spent together was in Kern, CA where our motel sat on the banks of the Kern River.  All of our Thanksgiving weekends in the mountains were memorable and we hold them close to our hearts.

Thanksgiving 2009 - Sequoia National Forest

Thanksgiving 2009 – Sequoia National Forest

And, if we were lucky enough we’d get to enjoy the arrival of Santa Claus in whatever small town in which we happened to be celebrating the holiday.  Ya gotta love a small town parade!

Ya gotta love a small town parade!

Here comes Santa Claus!

And while we celebrated Thanksgiving in the mountains, we always found ourselves at home for Christmas.  Spending Thanksgiving in the mountains always gave us a jump start into the holiday season; mountain air can do that to ya!  As I said, this year I am not focused on Thanksgiving, not only because the three of us are not together, but because in just a matter of days we will be on the road again and for that I am truly thankful.  And that road is going to lead us all the way across the country to be with our son and his fiance for two fun-filled, memory-making weeks of Christmas holiday goodness.  Only this year we will be in our son’s home helping them begin their own holiday traditions and I can’t think of a better place to be.

So as I sit here smelling the amazing aroma coming from the kitchen, I find myself exceedingly thankful for all of you that have found us here at One Road at a Time, as we travel and live each day. Thank you.


20 Responses to Yosemite & Mountain Memories ~

  • I love the idea of spending Thanksgiving in the mountains.

    My most memorable Thanksgiving included a storm, power outage, and eating dinner in our underwear on an Indian reservation.
    Gaelyn recently posted…Many types of travelersMy Profile

  • Our most memorable Thanksgiving was the last one we had alone–in 1981. We went for a walk in the beautiful Wissahickon Valley Park near our first apartment together and later, as our small turkey roasted in our small oven, my husband proposed. P.S.: I said “yes”.
    Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) recently posted…Our Peruvian Honeymoon — 1982My Profile

  • One of our best Thanksgivings was celebrated at the “Shore” in a tiny town called Stone Harbor, New Jersey. The little house had been a gathering place for many years for our family. My husband’s father was ill and we were determined to make a wonderful holiday for him and for all of us to remember. The entire family came from everywhere, in-laws, cousins, sisters and brothers and four generations sat around the table that had to be extended all the way into the living room. My sister-in-law cooked her generous Italian heart out and we had joyous meal together. Then the children ran and played on the beach and we enjoyed the last warm day of fall.

  • Your past Thanksgiving outings produced great family photos that we
    got to enjoy when you included a picture with your Christmas letter.

  • And Phoenix and I are very thankful that we’ve been blessed with you coming into our lives, Patti! The picture of Half Dome is always a wonderful treat (granted it’s only 3 hours away from me). But when you put into the context of memories Yosemite was a big part of my childhood on numerous visits. Every Thanksgiving the past 10 years has been just Phoenix and I and just the way we like it…to ourselves. No one to answer to, entertain, dress up for, etc etc. Just walk around in sweatpants and a t-shirt and be guys! So the past 10 years have the best T-Day memories for us! 🙂
    Mike recently posted…Top 5 Most Delicious Chinese Breakfasts From eTramping!My Profile

    • Those are often the best of the best memories, Mike. Just hanging out and doing exactly as you please. That’s pretty much what Abi and I do now that it’s just the two of us. I like to break out the Christmas movies too and if we are planning to be home for Christmas, I’d be putting up the tree. Thanks for reading, Mike!

  • You’ve spent Thanksgiving in some wonderful spots! We’ve had a mix of spending Thanksgiving at home (by ourselves or with my folks when we were lucky enough to have them with us) or with the hubby’s family in Wisconsin. I love Thanksgiving, in any case. All the best for safe travels on the road. Will be looking forward to your posts and my postcard!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted…The Baroque Towns of Puglia: Martina FrancaMy Profile

    • Absolutely Cathy! Watch that mailbox of yours over the next couple of months and enjoy the Christmas markets; I’ll be looking forward to reading about them!

  • What a beautiful place (and way) to spend Thanksgiving.
    I love the idea of being in nature on special days and giving thanks for all your wonderful gifts.
    Belated Happy Thanksgiving, Patti!
    Marcia recently posted…The Jamaican Cookbooks I Can’t Live WithoutMy Profile

  • My favorite Thanksgiving memory was the year we celebrated on FRIDAY. Many family members were heading to Boston, where my sister and her new husband were eager to host their first holiday. It involved flying in for most of us, with flights expensive and almost sold out on the Wednesday of that week. My husband suggested we all travel on Thursday, and have the big dinner on Friday.

    It worked like a charm! The airports were virtually deserted, travel was a breeze, and we still had a long weekend to enjoy the holiday and each other.
    Larissa recently posted…Win a Free Dude Ranch Vacation for TWO!My Profile

  • I love the mountains so can understand your need to enjoy Thanksgiving in pine scented scenery. One thing about being boomers is that our holiday traditions change as life changes. Now you’ll be starting a new tradition by experiencing Christmas at your son’s home. Enjoy!
    Donna Hull recently posted…20 Under $20: Gifts for the Boomer Traveler, 2013 EditionMy Profile

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.


3 years, 107 days ago!





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