This week we celebrated our first Spring-time Thanksgiving. Turkey Day in the Southern Hemisphere!
From our remote Airbnb off a dirt road between the towns of Villarrica and Pucon, Nicole and I did our best to celebrate this American holiday despite being the only ones nearby we knew of doing so. I had to remind myself multiple times leading up to Thursday that, if we needed something last minute from the supermarket, no problem, it would be open.
Thanksgiving is by far one of Nicole's favorite holidays. So we were determined to celebrate in as traditional fashion as possible. This involved cancelling the Airbnb we reserved after learning that, despite being billed as having a full kitchen, it did not have an oven. We found an Airbnb that did have an oven, but only heated by wood fire. For that reason, and a few others, this Thanksgiving turned out to be special for us for the many reasons it was unlike any other we've celebrated.
First, as mentioned above, it's Spring-time in Chile. So the sun shined and the birds sang throughout our Thanksgiving day. I went for a walk down the dirt road and looked at the sheep and chickens that most of the neighbors are raising.
Second, as for the meal itself, the preparation of which is Nicole's favorite part of the day, we had to improvise. The supermarkets in Pucon, although excellent and largely like those in the U.S., are not geared up for Turkey Day. That meant we couldn't find a turkey (and good thing too because we later realized it wouldn't have fit in the oven). So yesterday marked our first Thanksgiving chicken. Beyond that, Nicole cooked the rest of the sides and desert -- green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, and two apple pies -- in the Airbnb's toaster oven. They all turned out excellent.
Thanksgiving to us is ultimately about being thankful for what we have and being with family. We are so thankful for the opportunity we've had to travel for most of this year. It's been a unique experience for sure. And even though we couldn't be around our larger families, we were thankful for Facetime and WhatsApp to allow us to be in contact with family and friends throughout the day. Happy Thanksgiving!