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Thanksgiving at Our House

November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

So this year, my fiancee Anastasia and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house in Philadelphia. It’s the first time that we’ve hosted a holiday at our house as a couple, and the first time we’ve had guests stay at our house for a few days. Her parents came in to the city from Michigan, and stayed from Wednesday morning to Friday afternoon (which also happened to be my thirtieth birthday–Happy Birthday to me!). In terms of “firsts” it’s not really that big or remarkable, but still meaningful.

We had plans for the time that they would be here in the city apart from dinner on Thursday. Philadelphia is an amazing city, filled with museums and galleries. The city itself, from the ground up, is thick with history. Anastasia and I live about five blocks away from Independence Hall, and a walk there is a short stroll. The first thing that we did was take a trip to the Barnes Foundation, and I spent a couple of hours there looking at so much Renoir that I don’t think I’ll need to see any more impressionist art for at least a year.

Environs of Berneval, 1879

Despite that oversaturation of impressionism, it was a very good experience. I got so carried away looking at the Van Gogh pieces that a guard admonished me for standing so close to the paintings. It was a running joke between Anastasia and I that we couldn’t cross the line. If you’re ever in Philadelphia, I really recommend that you take a few hours out of your day to visit.

Still Life (Nature morte), May 1888. The guard did not appreciate how close I got to this painting.

Afterward we stopped to get a few things that we needed for Thanksgiving dinner, dropped those off home, and then went to grab a bite to eat at Brauhaus Schmitz, just a short walk from our house. The schnitzel and raspberry beer were absolutely delicious. I really quite like that place. They have a giant display that shows the first western beer law.

I can’t read German, but it looks pretty serious.

For Thanksgiving, Anastasia’s mother made roast duck and potatoes, with a delicious cranberry relish. I helped her cook (it is my kitchen, after all). We brought the dinner table up from the basement and put it in the living room on the first floor. Our kitchen and dining area are located in the basement because we live in an old-school Philadelphia trinity house, which means that we have three floors and a basement, but the floors themselves are relatively small.

 

Our living room. It’s quite cozy.

The bookcase and mantle. We’re both geeks.

After dinner we enjoyed tea and dessert, and followed that with a showing of Star Trek: First Contact. I had to bring my TV and blu-ray plater down from my room on the third floor, and we set them up on the dinner table, which we set against the bookshelf.

The next day we set out to visit the Rosenbach, to see the Frankenstein & Dracula exhibit. It was fantastic, of course, and really illuminates the scientific and historical foundations of both texts.

All-in-all, it was a pretty great dinner with awesome company, with a couple of great trips to some Philadelphia landmarks. I have to say that it didn’t feel strange to host a holiday–it felt natural. We’re family, of course, if not legally then practically. I can’t wait until we host another holiday at our house.

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