Having spent a good portion of my twenties living and working in the USA I was lucky enough to be a guest at many family gatherings. The most memorable of which was in Salinas, California. My dear friend Eric, whom I met whilst working at the Ski School in Steamboat Colorado, invited my friend Anne and I along to spend Thanksgiving with his Family. I knew Eric’s family were a talented bunch with a predisposition towards adrenalin charged activities but I had no idea what was in store for me that day!
“First stop on Thanksgiving morning was the airport where Sean (Eric’s Dad) had offered to take us for a scenic flight in his plane. It was a beautiful day and before I knew it I was buckled into the front seat of his Pitts Biplane and flying high above the stunning Salinas valley along California’s central coast. Sean chatted to me through my head set. I told him that I had done some flying with my Granddad Pete whom was a pilot in WWII. Sean then replied by asking if I had ever been upside down in a plane but before I even had a chance to answer, we were! (Did I mention that Sean is considered to be one of the premiere air show performers and aerobatic pilots in the world – go figure.) Upside down and round and round, positive G’s negative G’s and the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever experienced.
“We then went back to the Tucker family home and had a Thanksgiving feast. I’m not entirely sure if we had Pecan pie that day, but what I remember was the incredible sense of welcoming and generosity that was extended to us. To a foreigner, Pecan pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving, and eating this pie reminds me of how very lucky I am to have those amazing memories.”