It was part an attempt to thank everyone for what they did to make our wedding possible, but mostly it was fulfilling a dream I’ve had since living in Colorado. For Thanksgiving, both the Kinkade’s and the Hendrickson’s made their way to Beaver Creek Colorado for a week long vacation hosted by Jon and I. We found the perfect house in the perfect location, planned and plotted for months, bought all the food and alcohol our cars could carry and crossed our fingers for good weather.
It turns out when it comes to being hosts, we’re not too shabby.
I don’t know what I can say about this week without coming off too sappy. After dropping everyone off at the airport, I cried in my car the whole way home, not so much because people were leaving but because the incredible week had ended.
There are no words to describe what it’s like watching your family experience and enjoy for the first time a place you’ve grown to love and call home. To see all your planning be so worth it you can hardly believe it. To watch your brothers (who never get a vacation like this) grinning ear to ear for days on end. To see your dad (who never just shuts down) relax with a glass of wine and let someone else do the dishes. To make it possible for your Grandpa to see his big sister (possibly for the last time) and show off his own family to her. To watch 16 people leave all their cares at the door and do nothing but enjoy themselves for 6 days straight. It was a magical, once in a lifetime sort of experience, for me anyway.
I’ve got about three blog’s worth of photos dedicated to this week, but for today I’ll just post the one’s from Thanksgiving. That’s what it was all about after all.
Chalkboard art by Livi.
Some of you may know that my Dad is a chef extraordinaire who has owned his own restaurants and currently runs a catering business.
Thank God we decided to invite him : )
Had I been the one required to cook Thanksgiving dinner for 16 people we would have been having tacos. One of the requirements while searching for the house we stayed at was a beautiful kitchen that he would enjoy cooking in. I’d say we nailed it.
We spent most of the day trying to stay out of Bob’s way, helping when asked, and watching him work his magic. My Mom, Grandpa, Aunt Megan and I spent a chunk of the afternoon out on the patio soaking up the sun and the amazing views and just enjoying each others company. My Grandpa’s version of this day involves seeing bear on a nearby mountain…we think he’s losing it. : )
We all started smelling the food so we got dressed for dinner and began setting the tables. Yet another requirement of the house was that it seat comfortably 16 people for Thanksgiving dinner. The house we chose sat that many…exactly.
When we knew dinner was close we gathered outside for some nice photo’s before the daylight was gone.
Then it was time to get down to business.
After a few wonderful words from my Dad (tears) we chowed down with the gorgeous Beaver Creek sunset in the background. Like I said earlier…magical.
Following dinner, Jon and I emceed the first annual Hendrickson/Kinkade trivia night. We were filled with trepidation, but it ended up being a really fun way to close out the night. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. The winning team was declared (Mindy Kinkade, Tyler Hendrickson, Livi Kinkade and Ryan Kinkade) and the evening ended with people hot tubbing, card playing, relaxing and snoozing.
The day was a huge and delicious success. My Dad cooked two 20+ pound turkeys for the purpose of leftovers (what can I say I’m brilliant) and we enjoyed the meal for days to come. Easily my favorite Thanksgiving to date.
There’s a 100% chance we’ll have many more great Thanksgivings, but this one was special, and this group of people might not all be in one place at one time to share a meal ever again.
Every time I look back at this photo filled with grinning people I love…
…only one word comes to mind.