Thanksgiving Overseas

17:00 Alyson Tart 1 Comments

Since our move overseas in 2011, we have missed the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US.  It's sad to miss out on our families (and the days off!), but we've taken the chance to bring this tradition with us to our new homes.  Once we moved to London, we discovered a great community of Americans and took to celebrating in a big way!

The tradition started in 2013 with a group of 25 of us travelling out to Dartmoor National Park for a weekend at Bovey Castle.  For 2014, we took it further and travelled to Cork, Ireland to celebrate.

While I had been to Ireland before, it was Paul's first trip and I think he may have been more excited about Ireland than the big Thanksgiving!

The first stop of the trip was a group tour and tasting at the Jameson Distillery nearby our hotel.  While I'm not a whiskey fan, it was interesting to see the process and the history there.

 The aging process of whiskey over the years - you can see it both darken and the amount in the barrels reduce

The next day was our Thanksgiving day (albeit a week late!) - it included cooking all the trimmings all day, from the turkey, to mashed potatoes, to pumpkin pie, and there was even a game of American football, despite the rain.  We decided to make a big evening of it and dress up for the event.

To make sure we didn't indulge TOO much, we followed the meal the next day with a walk on the nearby Garryvoe Beach. We picked it due to it's proximity, not it's importance, but it was a beautiful day of sunshine, perfect for a stroll along the water.

On our last day in Ireland, we both wanted to get in some proper sightseeing.  Paul had researched the area and the drive around the Ring of Kerry, but since we didn't have time to do it all, we picked the biggest sight - the Blarney Castle.

While the castle has an impressive history, including requests from Queen Elizabeth to take possession of the castle, it is most famed for the one stone within it - the Blarney Stone.  It's not entirely certain where it came from, but thousands (or more!) have made the trip to the castle to kiss the blarney stone in order to help them become more eloquoent speakers.  Before arriving, I was expecting a stone on display with a queue up to give it a quick peck.

Once we arrived at the top of the castle, I saw the reality.  The stone is built into the castle battlements - in the past, people were simply lowered to kiss it. Now, to ensure that everyone who kisses it lives to tell the story, they've built in protective bars and have a friendly staff member hold on as you give it a smooch!

So with great feast with friends and gaining the gift of gab, we called is a successful Thanksgiving. This year may not have been quite as exotic, but is certainly exciting as we enjoy it as a family, with my sister and a friend from the States visiting.  We certainly have a lot to be thankful for!

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1 comment:

  1. I have had great experiences. The food is great in all the countries you have mentioned. I live in Paris,France. If you need any help on choosing places to visit, don't hesitate.

    england trip