Giving Thanks – 2011

27 Nov

We tried to bail on Thanksgiving this year. Yeah, I said it. 

After cooking and cleaning for our Oktoberfest party the weekend before and with my traveling a lot for work this month, Mike and I each proposed on multiple occasions something to the effect of, “um, what if we just get a pizza and a movie for t-day dinner this year?”

Going back and forth quite a few times it was three factors that changed our minds: 1. I got a free turkey voucher from work, 2. I LOVE pumpkin pie, 3. Two of our fellow “Bay Area Orphans” would not have had any place else to go for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

So, we gave in and cooked a respectable spread and in the end, were really glad we did.

Mike peeling potatoes - with a smile!

On the menu:



  • Turkey – the only restriction for our free bird voucher was the weight, so we went out and picked up the most expensive, free range, organic, well-loved, tucked-in-at-night turkey we could find at Whole Foods
  • Cornbread casseroleI think I was the only one who liked this. It was “lightened up” and may not have been decedent enough for Thanksgiving
  • Roasted brussels sprouts and carrots – with just a little salt & pepper and olive oil 
  • Stuffing – I used boxed 🙂
  • Mashed potatoesjust ok, so I think I’ll look for a new recipe for next year
  • Sweet potato casserolethis stuff is so good. It tastes like dessert. I doubled the amount of topping this year too 
  • Rosemary parmesan biscuits – also lightened up as well as easy and delicous

Mike preparing the bird

The main event

Sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes

Rosemary biscuits

Pear-cranberry crumble

I love me some pumpkin pie!

Nap. Time.

Thanksgiving Weekend – After the Feast

Black Friday

We had planned to do some snowboarding in Lake Tahoe for the remainder of the holiday weekend, however, we had no snow! Although we were a little bummed about our ski weekend, we really enjoyed spending the time in the City. Many people were out of town, so it was quieter than normal.

On Friday, I partook in the tradition of commercialism – I love it, I can’t deny it. Walking around downtown sipping on a coffee breathing in the crisp, cool air and enjoying the array of new holiday decorations just makes me happy. I also knocked quite a few items off my Christmas list and found a new coat for myself. I would say it was a success.

Friday night we checked out The Pour House, a wine and beer bar on Polk Street, for a drink before heading to Cobb’s Comedy Club for a 9:30 show. The Pour House was on Scout Mob (50% off local restaurants!) and the comedy show tickets were free on GoldStar,  so in the spirit of Black Friday, we scored a cheap night out.


Maybe we’ll call this “sore” Saturday…

Mike had purchased a paintball Groupon awhile back, so we made plans to take the train down to San Jose with our bikes. I hadn’t been to our first California home since we moved away four years ago, so it was fun to visit my old apartment building, see which businesses had changed and enjoy our favorite food spot that hadn’t.

La Victoria’s Taqueria was a regular event for us when we lived in San Jose. Their chorizo quesadilla with homemade orange sauce is easily the eighth wonder of the world.

Our paintball experience that followed was not documented with photos, but let’s just say Mike enjoyed it and me? not so much. Neither of us had “paintballed” before and didn’t really know what to expect. Now I consider myself to be pretty tough, but I was scared. Everyone was talking about how much the paintballs hurt and the first game that the group was playing was called zombies. Now, zombies is a game that requires you be shot in the head before you could “die” aka get out of the game. Ummmm, yeah, I’ll pass.

After watching the first round of “zombies” I was able to muster up the courage to participate in the next few games and even take a few hits. I’m not going to lie, it hurt, but I toughed it out and still had a pretty good time. Mike on the other hand jumped in full force and even became a self-appointed captain. I think I’ll leave the paintballing to him in the future.

Bruised and paint-covered we rushed to catch the last bullet train back up to the City – and missed it by not even 10 seconds. Ugh. The regular trains take twice as long as the bullets so we were pretty unhappy. Well, I guess it is a good thing the Sonns know how to make lemonade. In the face of adversity, we decided to break up the two hour return trip by partaking in what is called a beer train. There are multiple sites that list places to have a pint near the train stations, so we selected two breweries along the way: Firehouse Brewery a block from the Sunnyvale stop and Steelhead Brewery across the street from the Burlingame stop. The fancy Steelhead Brewery was our favorite. The place was beautiful, they had great food, we loved their IPA and pumpkin ale and they didn’t mind we came in sweaty and covered in yellow paint.

Firehouse Brewery tasting flight - the Hops on Rye was a highlight!

Steelhead Brewery - loved their IPA and pumpkin ale


Sunday consisted of sleeping in (awesome) and a free City Guides walking tour of Nob Hill where all of the big hotels and former gold rush mogul’s mansions reside. We stopped into the Fairmont Hotel to see the famed “sugar house” and grabbed a tag off of the wishing tree in the Intercontinental.

A gift for little Hanna

We have a lot to be thankful for this weekend and every day. Living in a beautiful see with tons to see and explore is just one of many.


One Response to “Giving Thanks – 2011”

  1. Kathy Sonn November 29, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    loved your paintball experience. Go Sarah. And yes, you do know how to make a bad situation great.

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