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I have spent eight Thanksgivings with my husband and looking back through the years only one was spent with family and four have been spent over seas. So, I guess it is safe to say that The Strange Family has a tradition of celebrating non-traditional Thanksgivings.

My husband and I met early October 2004, I was living in San Diego and he was living in Boston for school. So, our first real date was over Thanksgiving when I flew out to Boston. We had a lovely dinner at a French restaurant right on Boston Commons called Troquet. I don’t think we ate that much because we were talking non-stop the whole night. We also saw the Blue Man Group on that trip and created many memories to last through the years.

2005 is the only year we spent Thanksgiving with family (“His” family in Washington state). I was still living in San Diego so I flew up to Seattle to meet everyone. We had a nice lunch with his family, got hungry later that night and had a late dinner at the little Wagon Wheel Cafe on our way back to the hotel. My husband had childhood memories eating at that cafe and we were so grateful that it was open.

We moved to Sydney late 2006 and decided to stay in town for Thanksgiving. We had an interesting Dinner at The American Club in Sydney with all of my husbands co-workers. We went around the table and said what we were thankful for and talked of our past traditional Thanksgivings back in The States. Their was a Ceremonial Turkey Carving Ceremony and the US Ambassador to Australia giving a very long boring speech about how great President Bush was. The evening ended with a man dressed up as Dolly Parton chasing around a man wearing a chicken costume (we were all very confused by the Australian take on Thanksgiving) – lets just say we did not go there again the next year.

For 2007 we were still in Sydney and looked for something anything to do differently than the previous years. Walking through our neighborhood I noticed a sign up at local church saying they would be having a Thanksgiving charity dinner and auction to raise money for school girls in Cambodia. So after some leg pulling all the co-workers and wives decide to give it a try. The dinner was great but the pumpkin pie (sliced pumpkin placed in a pie crust and baked) was so wrong! At the end of the dinner their was a charity auction and in the past they would raise enough for 5-6 girls but because of our generous group who purchased over 90% of the items over 20 girls were sponsored! Even though we were all far from home again knowing we helped out so many girls made it a great Thanksgiving.

After getting married, we changed it up in 2008 and took our first trip together to Paris. We had dinner at La Regalade a classic Parisian bistro way out of town where they served all-you-can-eat pork terrine out of a casserole dish – as the amuse! No turkey this year but we made a sort of Thanksgiving with some of the best roast duck and pumpkin soup that I have ever had. Paris is beautiful at this time of year with all the streets decorated for Christmas and twinkling white lights shining everywhere.

Paris was such a hit that we decided to go again for 2009. However, this time eight other friends joined us. We had a full itinerary going to museums, a PSG Football Game and ate so much food that would could barely walk. Our most memorable dinner there was on Thanksgiving at Apicius nestled in private gardens behind the Champs-Elysées. You would have never guessed a restaurant was there unless you knew to look. The special Thanksgiving menu created just for our group had some American touches to it with Coke glazed foiegras, homemade ketchup over langoustine and mini apple tart (just to name a few). We also satisfied our poultry cravings with world famous Roasted Chicken from L’ami Louis that weekend.

2010 was an amazing year as we welcomed Baby H. into the world only one month before Thanksgiving. We honestly don’t remember all that much from the day, but we had a great dinner at Perilla in Greenwich Village (a classic Thanksgiving menu). Looking at the photos it’s amazing how small He was! He sat right next to our table in his stroller and made barely a peep through the whole meal.

We had such a great time at Perilla last year we went back again for 2011! Another stellar menu, and this time Baby H. was a very active dinner participant – he especially loved the cranberry sauce/jelly and the mashed potatoes. He’s great in restaurants and all the staff loved him. The weather was perfect in NY and we stopped in Washington Square Park and tried out the swings and slides on the way home.

I hope your Family’s Thanksgiving either traditional or non-traditional was great.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Strange Family!