I have been known to declare Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday of the year – Above Christmas, above the 4th of July and the really close call… above My Birthday.

It is more than just one day of¬†giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year, it is the series of days that proceed and follow this epic family filled 7,000 calorie afternoon. Finally getting home, helping my mom and sisters prepare days before, cooking to George Strait’s 50 number ones, having 30+ people over, tables all over the front porch, back porch and living room. Then getting out the sale papers while on your 3rd round of deserts for strategic Black Friday shopping that will start in just hours later, all to be dropped off in the Target line at 4am to wait for my nephews iPods. And just when I think I am at the peak of my Thanksgiving weekend fun, Florida State Football begins on Saturday and the grand finale, AKA UF/FSU fireworks are in flame!

I cannot remember a Thanksgiving weekend that did not play out as precise as I described above, they are all pretty much the same and I look forward to that routine on a yearly basis. However, 2013 threw a bloody wrench in my Thanksgiving, as I spent it in London drinking champagne and eating salmon at a black tie event. It was a lovely event but obviously a change from my previous 25 years.

To bring it back around full circle, this blog was not a self-pity rant about missing my favorite holiday of the year with my friends and family. It was to introduce the first and (hopefully) last Thanksgiving that I will spend abroad, which I so good-spirited refer to as Fucksgiving 2013.

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It all started about a month ago when placing an order for a 12 pound, 70 Euro (do the math) turkey at an American import store so conveniently called “Thanksgiving”. And then gathering friends, friends of friends, and pretty much any American within hundreds of miles who wanted to celebrate. Cooking a Thanksgiving feast is a project in itself, trying to find the ingredients that make the traditional American dishes, nearly impossible. My pumpkin pies went to hell without evaporated milk, the mashed-potatoes were nearly Imagedrinkable, the marshmallows on the sweetpotato casserole caught fire in the oven, half of the stuffing ended up on the kitchen floor when transferring the turkey – but there were endless bottles of wine, great friends and one huge delicious dinner. All was followed with arts and crafts,¬†Florida State Football victory, a few cigars, broken champagne glasses, some guitar jam sessions, a wonderful hat party and a couple of Imagebottles of whiskey.

Days later I am still putting turkey in my salads and taking bites of desert but I days later I am still grateful for the Thanksgiving in Paris that was able to fill a void I didn’t think possible.

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