First off I'd like to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Mo and I are up in Walla Walla, Washington visiting his family and so far we've had a great time. We left Wednesday from Springfield at 4 pm and due to the horrendous holiday traffic didn't even make it to Salem until 6 pm. Normally that drive is about an hour. It was terrible. We decided at that point that we needed a break from the holiday traffic so we stopped in Salem and found the Sonic for dinner. We managed to get back on the road about at about 7 and for the rest of the trip traffic was a breeze. Between Troutdale and the Dalles though we hit wind gusts around 45 to 50 miles an hour and I came really close to wetting my pants. It was scary, Mo's poor little Mazda was getting its butt kicked on the freeway. I almost made him pull over, but he called me a sissy and we kept on driving. Once we passed through the Dalles everything was fine and I was even able to sleep some in the car. We made it into Walla Walla at about midnight, hugged the parents and went straight to bed.
This year the Torrescano family had plans to fit everyone in one house in the Tri-Cities area, which is about an hour from Walla Walla. Grandpa T has been sick as of late and we all wanted to be together to spend time with him and Grandma T. Everyone in the family was signed up to bring something and our task was "munchies" which my wonderful mother-in-law took care of for the most part. She only asked that we buy some chips and a few kinds of olives which made it super easy for us. I also recently obtained an amazing recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies so I decided I would add those to our little list too. Most of Thanksgiving morning was spent baking a double batch of those cookies which was well worth it.
The plan was for everyone to meet in Tri-Cities at Aunt Josie's house and then we would drive to her church to take a family picture. We got everything packed up and loaded in dad's (my father-in-law) truck and we all four headed off to Josie's. Not once did I think about the fact that I hadn't eaten all day except for cookies and cookie batter. When we arrived at Josie's, I experinced one of my most favorite parts of spending time with the Torrescano family. The hugs. Before I even stepped through the door I was greeted by cousins and aunts and uncles and each one gave me a wonderful bear hug. By the time I made it through the door and up the small flight of stairs and into the living room I easily had hugged 15 to 20 family members. Each one had something nice to say and almost made me feel like we were the guests of honor. After the hugs and greetings we waited for mom and dad to change into their picture clothes and back into the truck we piled. Even Mo's brother Nic changed into some nicer clothes for the pictures.
Josie's church was spectacular to say the least. It had a huge gorgeous fountain in the courtyard and when you walked into the worship hall the "stage" area had huge plate glass windows with man made rock water falls behind them. It wasn't anything like the modest curches I was used to being in.
We spent about an hour or so taking pictures which I will post once we get them on the computer. We all had a great time between everyone tripping over the same step and trying to figure out the delay settings on the cameras. Eventually though we all started to realize how hungry we were. It was finally time to head back and prepare the feast!
I'll continue this post a little later, right now I'm hungry and dad and Mo just took off for golfing. I think mom and I are going to hang out for a bit and maybe go over to help make tamales for dinner. Its a big Torrescano tradition.
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