Thanksgiving in Chicago & Wheaton

Dear blog readers!

On Wednesday, November 26th Daniel and I travelled in the late afternoon from JFK airport to Chicago. On the way to the airport it rained cats and dogs, but when we stepped through the doors of the airport building it was nice and cosy and tons of Christmas decoration welcomed us. One example is this giant Christmas tree, where I wonder if there's still a tree underneath all those ornaments. ;-)

The flight to Chicago took three hours and there is one hour time difference to New York City. Also in the Chicago O'Hare airport we could see lots of Christmas decoration. And I wasn't the only one who stopped and took a picture. :-)

Nathan and three of the girls picked us up from the airport. Andrea stayed home with little Elly, because we wouldn't have all fit into the car (you may not believe it, but even mini vans have their limits ;-).

Although not everyone is looking into the camera, here you see a picture of the Carter family and us.

From the left to the right: Lucy (8), Katy (3), Andrea with Elly (1) on her lap, Mary (6) and Nathan.

Daniel and I are looking as we were photoshoped into the picture... but we were really were there with the Carters at the same time! ;-)

Thanksgiving was on Thursday November 27th and in the morning we made our way to Wheaton (ca. 45 minutes by car). Wheaton is a suburb of Chicago and Andrea's parents live there. Nathan, the four girls and Daniel went there by car and Andrea and I Andrea alone (thank you my dear friend! <3).

In the train I saw more interesting American things (interesting and funny for me at least). On the picture you see Andrea and on the bench before us you see our train tickets.

You are just clipping them on the seat infront of you and the train conducter can see and punch them. In Germany you just have the tickets in your pocket or wallet and have to take them out to show to the conducter. I think with the American system the conducter can check faster and saves some time. A very practical idea!

Sadly I have no picture from the house of Andrea's parents for you to see. :-( But when we arrived it snowed and we had like 1 cm of snow on the ground (1/2 inch maybe). It snowed even more and so we had a white Thanksgiving and it felt already a bit like Christmas.

THE Turkey

Andreas dad Bruce and Katy (3) with the turkey.

Bruce is slicing the big bird into nice pieces.

Everybody is excited to start the Thanksgiving dinner. (I learned that dinner can be for midday or evening - so we had a midday dinner)

I took a picture from my plate to show you what we had in detail.

Andrea's mom Pam cooked and prepared everything herself - nothing was out of a jar.

Mashed potatoes with gravy, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, brocoli, turkey (you can hardly see it, because it's covered with the other food), turkey filling (I think it had breadcrumbs, cranberries, onion, celery, herbs - all of that was inside the turkey, while it baked in the oven), cranberry-pineapple-orange-relish, homemade rolls with homemade strawberry jelly and salad.

Isn't that incredible?!! I don't know how many hours Pam was standing in the kitchen for all that, but it must have been very long. (Dearest Pam, everything tasted so delicious and looked so pretty! Thank you so much for all your effort and all the love you put into it! We tasted it and felt it! Thank you!)

After all this food, we had a little break and later dessert followed. No chance to starve for us! ;-)

Andrea baked a Pumpkin Pie and ...

...  as well a Pecan Pie.

And Pam had made an Apple Pie.

I just had a thin slice of each one and found all of them incredible delicious (I really have a sweet tooth)! But my personal highlight was the Pecan Pie. And I almost forgot about the heavy cream! Yes, not just cake, noooo some delicous whiteness with it. :-) Gee, good food is really a fine thing!

Maybe some of you wonder how we managed all that food with our Weight Watchers point system. At least Daniel and I wondered about that. Something like this is not really enjoyable when you find out that everything has a zillion of points, so we decided to stop counting for the five days in Chicago and accept that we will gain weight. And yes - we did gain weight, but it was definitely worth it!

We stayed until Friday evening in Wheaton and I want to show you my favorite place in the house: The fire place in the living room. It really creates an atmosphere of warmth and cosyness (well, as well with the kind people arounnd us).

I really enjoyed reading a novel, Daniel played with the girls and in between he, Nathan and Bruce watched some football.

In the evening Andrea, Mary and I took the train back to Chicago. This selfie is a memorie of our trip together.

Daniel was already back at Nathan's and Andrea's place and wanted to help with cooking dinner. Here you see him preparing a vegetarian and gluten free lasagna. He was just shaking the glas with the tomatoe sauce and giving a goofy smile.

That was our Thanksgiving and it was really a wonderful and very relaxing one. It was movingly beautiful to be surrounded by such a family-atmosphere. In New York I am the whole day all by myself usually and it was such a gift to have that change for those five special days.

It was also very good that Daniel could see where and with whom I lived while I was living in Chicago in 2009/10. He just knew Andrea and Nathan from skype talks and from our wedding in 2012. He never had met the girls and I think they really liked that they found a passionate lego player in him (he had to be the detective and find out who did the crime - there was just a lot of crime scenes in the lego-city! ;-).

There will be more pictures from our time in Chicago, but that's it for today.

I send you all many greetings!

Love, Kati

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