Ahhh the holidays- a time for family, a break from work, and in the case of Chris and I… a chance to head up to the snow. On Thursday morning, while I frantically packed up for our adventure (…where were those snow mittens again?), Chris paddled out for a couple quick waves and stumbled upon a derelict crab pot replete with two large crabs! I know Thanksgiving is equal parts feasting as well as contemplative thanks, but Mother Nature really served up a cornucopia of delights this year, starting with a beautiful catch of crab. I generally abide by what I consider to be a “research fish” diet, whereby I consume the left overs of samples collected in the fisheries lab. Having spent the better part of my professional life attempting to conserve the limited natural resources of our planet, I try to feed a little lower on the food chain. But even scavengers have their day, and I was delighted when Chris stumbled upon the treasure. Thanking mother nature for an opportunity to turn someones profligate spoils to our own delight, we gleefully stowed the crab in the freezer for our return, and headed up to the mountains for Thanksgiving day. When I consider the Thanksgiving holiday, I usually think of scratchy sweaters, hours spent peeling and chopping as my mom’s sous chef, and for those exceptional years, a quick surf with my dad before the big feast. Chris and I are so incredibly lucky to live within driving distance of both of our families. The closeness was a real motivator for our move home, and has proven to be a wellspring of joy throughout the year. However, it usually creates a slightly chaotic schedule for the holidays, and we always end up wishing we could step into a cloning machine in order to be everywhere at once. Fast forward to this year, and my mom and dad- infected with a virulent strain of travel bug- are off galavanting in Viet Nam, soaking up the history, food and culture of a beautiful country abroad. Chris’ mom turned in her slippers and wetsuit this winter for some swim fins and sunscreen and is currently diving to the depths in Honduras (have I mentioned what an adventurous family I have?) Meanwhile, Chris and I, working full time in our early thirties, rarely with sufficient time to feed the chickens, were suddenly left with an opportunity to have a little adventure of our own. Not wanting to miss out on family traditions entirely, we stopped by my aunt and uncles lovely home in Nevada City for a delicious feast, and continued on to the Sierras. Unfortunately the steep crags of the Sierra mountains were not smothered with white, but we managed to find a resort open to skiers and decided to give it a go. Both Chris and I feel at ease on moving boards, having grown up surfing and skating, so snowboarding has always been a natural fit. However, at a recent ski expo Chris and I frequented (lured in by the promise of three free lift tickets), I found myself standing in a row of old rental skis asking what size poles they recommended. Before I knew what I was doing, I had purchased my first pair of skis and was brimming ear to ear like, well a grown kid who just got her first pair of skis. Anyways, it was only this pure excitement and anticipation which allowed Chris and I to spend more money than we would have liked to access the sole chairlift on the resort Friday. Despite the 30 minute waits each time we got to the chairlift, sloshy, sticky snow with bare patches of dirt popping up through the thin veneer, and runs that lasted less than 30 seconds down the hill, one might say it wasn’t worth it, but Chris and I were stoked! Paired with a massive leftover Thanksgiving meal sandwich (a tradition in which we line a giant loaf with all the favorites from the night before), and a little wilderness hike and slide at a peak across from the resort, and we were thrilled to be alive and living in California at this moment in time. Wishing everyone a full thanksgiving!