Thanksgiving 2012.1

Well, as I have big-band Christmas music blasting away on Pandora in my hotel room, I figured it must be time to blog about Thanksgiving before another holiday's photos start making their rounds. Per our island tradition, we celebrated Thanksgiving twice, once again. Why not? It's really one of the best holidays. Even non-Americans tend to agree.

Individual M&M-filled cornucopias made from sugar ice cream cones by the ever-crafty SS. Brilliant!
Also, the centerpiece is the result of SM's project at our autumn craft night. Love these Pinterest holidays!

Round 1 of our thankful feasts was hosted by SM, and she did a great job of corralling loads of people and a wide array of food as we crowded into her apartment for a sit-down meal.

She also treated us to one of those fabulous jam-infused, brie-filled warm pastry appetizers. If you've ever eaten this, you'll be able to appreciate why there was almost nothing left to photograph after only a few moments.

I love it when all the guests participate and try their hands at American holiday food classics. South African BB made a sweet potato pie, which was great because I can't call it Thanksgiving without a healthy dose of the likes of this. (And I use the term "healthy" very loosely, mind you.)

I went to the celebration right from work (no public holiday in Cayman), so I took the easy route and made a traditional green bean casserole. In the process, I learned that the recipe was originally developed by Campbell's as a ploy to sell more soup. Just a fun fact for you.

And of course aside from the food, everyone enjoyed the family-esque atmosphere.

Even the new faces fit in and seemed to enjoy.

The "family" this year included little JW, who was the life of the party.

For those of you who know her mother, you'll know that JW gets her energetic spirit honestly, the little doll.

Being silly with an American visitor.

Oh. And there was a  football game on. I forgot to watch.

I swear I love the sport. I just get so distracted by everything else here in Cayman.

Speaking of distractions, when JW was bored of the big girls' chat, she settled in for some "shows" on the iPad. With the guys glued to the game and the little one preoccupied with Dora, we girls ate our fill of the feast and got in many belly laughs between bites. I thought my stomach hurt from eating too much, but it might have been from laughing too much. That's how I like my holidays.

As the party wrapped up, J&S, NS and I headed to Elements to hear RA play a jazz saxophone set.

It was awesome to listen to a friend with such talent play an instrument that puts everyone into a chilled, relaxed mood (especially after all that turkey). Plus there's no cover charge on Thursday nights - bonus!

RA was accompanied by a guy on the bongos, and the two of them free-styled to whatever music the DJ played. I found it all to be truly inspiring, particularly for someone who can't manage without some kind of sheet music!

My apologies to the percussionist if I've mis-labeled his instrument.
Everything that doesn't require drumsticks turns into a bongo for me.

Thanksgiving was another great holiday here in Cayman, and although I missed my family, I wasn't homesick. I'm continually thankful for incredible friends on this tiny island that make holidays special, even when away from home!

For more Thanksgiving and jazz night photos, see my Google+ album here.