Here in the US, there’s another holiday that’s celebrated just as much, if not more so, than Christmas: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a commemoration of a particularly successful harvest season during the time of the Pilgrims in the 1600s. The Pilgrims held a three day long feast and invited so Native Americans. Today Americans mention what they’re thankful for and still enjoy a feast, although it doesn’t last three days!
My university over here gave us a few days off for Thanksgiving break, so me and some friends decided to head over to Los Angeles to see what the West Coast had to offer. We hired some cars and headed off on the 7 hour journey from Flagstaff to LA. I was one of the designated drivers for our trip and at first I was a bit nervous about driving in America but once I made sure to stay on the right side of the road, everything was fine!
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner but we were on a student budget! Source: http://images.latintimes.com/sites/latintimes.com/files/2015/11/24/thanksgiving-dinner.jpg
Although we left Flagstaff pretty early in the morning we didn’t arrive at our apartment in LA until the evening due to all the traffic LA is famous (or infamous) for. When we eventually reached our destination we headed off to the supermarket to buy our food for our Thanksgiving dinner the next day. Although, like Christmas, Thanksgiving involves eating much more food than you really should, the food is quite different. Turkey is the main dish, just like Christmas, but there are various side dishes. Unfortunately, as we did our shopping quite last minute there was no turkey left in the shop, so we had to buy chicken instead! We did try to make the rest of our meal pretty authentic though. I was pretty happy when I found out one of my favourite comfort foods was on the menu: macaroni and cheese. We also had stuffing, mashed potatoes, some vegetables and some sweet potato mash. Sometimes the sweet potatoes are even served with marshmallows! Dessert is always the best part of the meal in my opinion and the Thanksgiving tradition is to have pumpkin pie, which we did. I have to say, I wasn’t a huge fan, but luckily we had some back up cheesecake and chocolate cake!
Americans usually eat their Thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon but we ate ours quite a bit later as we went to Universal Studios Hollywood to enjoy our Thanksgiving Day. This was what I’d been looking forward to the most about our trip. I absolutely love Harry Potter and couldn’t wait to go on one of the rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. They definitely lived up to my expectations even though I go stuck on one of them for a few minutes! I really felt like I was at Hogwarts and in Hogsmeade. The rest of the day was spent going on all the other rides at Universal, I also really enjoyed the Simpsons themed area. I am a bit of a wimp but I braved the Walking Dead experience ride and came out terrified at the other end.
You could sort of tell it was going to rain!
We wrapped up our time in Los Angeles with a trip to Santa Monica. We were hoping to have a nice time on the beach and on the pier but it just so happened that as soon as we’d had a paddle in the Pacific open it began to chuck it down! This didn’t put a dampener on our last day in LA though as when we were looking for some shelter we found a British food shop. This cheered us all up as we bought a lot of the things we’d been missing. And it meant plenty of treats for the long drive home. It’s the travelling and experiences with new friends that really make my study abroad memorable for me and I can’t wait for even more next term!