Friday, November 28, 2008

Our first Thanksgiving in Santa Monica and Studio City...

So after a few days of thunder storms and me having to work out where my windscreen wiper controls were in my car, we finally made it to our first Thanksgiving here in the States.
The rose garden in Palisades Park, Santa Monica
We didn't really know what to expect as we've never experienced the holiday before and haven't grown up in the USA celebrating the tradition.
Santa Monica Pier viewed from Palisades Park
What we do know is that Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family and friends, so in lieu of having our immediate family with us, we chose to spend the day with our own brand of family, our magical pup Cooper and our friends who have made us feel so welcome here in L.A.
Palisades Park pup & Jason in Hollywood
We'd been invited to dinner in the evening (I get the impression as with Christmas in the UK, that every family tends to have their own traditional time that they usually eat their Thanksgiving meal), so we decided to blow the cobwebs away and drive down to the ocean for a walk with Cooper.
Palisades Park pup & Charlie
We still love the fact that even though it's slightly cooler now than earlier in the year, you can still venture out in shorts, t-shirts and the obligatory sunglasses in L.A. at the end of November.
Santa Monica palm tree
We strolled through Palisades Park with the other dog walkers, families young and old, people in their deck chairs enjoying the sunshine, yoga enthusiasts and joggers and wondered if this was a typical Thanksgiving Day.
Palisades Park rose gardden
Even though we love the park in Santa Monica, it would be even better if we could take Cooper down on the beach, not necessarily into the ocean but just to walk along the pathway as I know we'd all enjoy it so much.  Surfing the internet I have heard rumblings of a campaign to get a dog beach area in Santa Monica, so fingers crossed that comes to fruition in the time we are here.
Puppy loves palm fronds
No matter where we walk Cooper though, we can always guarantee he'll find a stick to sit down with and chew on (in this case a palm frond).  All the passersby think he's so cute, but when it happens every time you take him for a walk it's not so much fun.
Palm frond puppy
In the evening we headed off to Studio City for a really enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner. We stuffed ourselves with delicious turkey, pumpkin soup, cranberry sauce, stuffing and about five different desserts, yum!  

I was kind of waiting for something to happen, but apparently this is what people do on Thanksgiving, eat and drink lots - well that's not a problem for me, so a fun time was had by all.
View of Malibu from Santa Monica's Palisades Park
Only a few more days now until December and the big countdown to Christmas in L.A. (which should be equally weird in the sunshine!). Apparently today is Black Friday, with lots of sales and the day most people seriously start their festive shopping (and the shops finally make some money after limping through the year in the red).

Anyway, after an eventful walk with a naughty puppy at Runyon Canyon (after he'd been cooped up most of the week with the rain and chance of thunder, plus with masses of people walking off their Thanksgiving overindulgence), tonight we're heading back to enjoy some leftovers from yesterday. 

That's a tradition I don't have a problem enjoying...

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