Three of the last four years Amanda and I have traveled to Maryland to see her family there during the Thanksgiving break. I've always enjoyed these trips very much and this year's was the best yet. I feel incredibly blessed to have been welcomed into her very loving family.
We traveled down on Wednesday after sleeping over at her Mom's and Step-dad's on Tuesday night. We left at the ungodly hour of 6AM but it paid off by us beating most of the traffic and arriving in the early afternoon.
We had the traditional Thanksgiving feast on Thursday and then went to the Washington zoo on Friday. The weather was unseasonably warm each day. This was my third time going to this zoo and I was impressed again by the diversity and the fact that it's free to go! Here we are about to enter:
Most of us agreed the best exhibit was of the great cats. I've seen them before but had never hit it when the lion was really strutting his stuff! He was very active and also very vocal. His roars got everyone's attention!
He disappeared briefly...
but then soon reappeared...
I counted nine female lions in the den next to his. Here are some of them:
and a tiger:
and red pandas:
After the zoo we went to this cool pizza place that featured tables resembling those for playing ping pong and there were five real ping pong tables in the back. I got the clam pizza:
Amanda got one with spinach and other toppings:
I played some spirited games afterwards with various members of the family. I hadn't played in a long time and it was a lot of fun!
On Saturday we went to see a movie and then took some photos at a nearby lake:
All the family gathered in the evening for another meal together and a (mostly) surprise baby shower for us!! We were overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of love and gifts. Thank you so much everyone! There were several activities connected to the baby that were also fun such as bib making and trying to guess Amanda's current waist size. Rajni won!
We also took a few more family photos there:
It was another 6AM leave time today but we beat the traffic successfully again. We're tired but have many happy memories of Thanksgiving 2011. We look forward to having our son join us in celebrating next year!