Day 24...Circumventing the Australian continent...What is the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US?...More Adelaide photos...

Tom sitting on the train.  He hasn't gained weight on this cruising forgoing cereals, bread, rolls, donuts, and buns.
"Sighting on the Ship in Australia"

Art work in the ship's gallery.
Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated in the US is in two days.  For those outside the US who may not know the significance of Thanksgiving, it is a very special day of celebration for the following reasons as described at this site:

"Meaning of Thanksgiving - The Real Celebration
For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually includes feasting, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or a forerunner to Christmas festivities. The “first Thanksgiving,” however, was neither a feast nor a holiday, but a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the lost of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance.
(Continued below).

Pretty purple flowers blooming in spring.
This “thanksgiving” meal would not be celebrated again until June of 1676. On June 29 the community of Charlestown, Massachusetts proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for their good fortune. Ironically, this celebration excluded the Indians, as the colonists’ recognized their recent victory over the “heathen natives.” One hundred years later, in October of 1777, all 13 colonies participated in a one-time “thanksgiving” celebration which commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. It would take a span of over 150 more years to establish Thanksgiving as we celebrate it -- George Washington proclaimed it a National holiday in 1789, Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it as a legal holiday in 1941."

Me, sitting on the train.
For those of us growing up in the US, most often we associated Thanksgiving with the beginning of the holiday season, a big hearty meal of turkey and dressing (a seasoned bread mixture used to stuff the bird), mashed potatoes, with gravy, sweet potatoes (yams) covered in white marshmallow topping, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and of course, the popular pumpkin pie.

No words can describe how meaningful it was to us to make this beautiful celebratory meal to enjoy with family and friends.  I especially enjoyed making multiple pumpkin pies, all from scratch, to line them up on the kitchen counter so everyone could take home a pie to enjoy along with their bags of leftovers.

This yellow box is used to check in on the train using the purchased transportation card.
After the festivities ended, the next day was the beginning of decorating our home for Christmas which required the three remaining days of the four day weekend to set all the treasured decorations in place on the tree and throughout the house. 

The Adelaide train station.
It was a daunting, time consuming task but when completed and the lights on the tree were twinkling, all was good with the world.  Do we miss this?  We miss the festivities with family.  We don't miss all the work required to make it all happen.

Honestly, at this point in our lives, I can't envision every going through all that work; not the preparation of the meal nor the decorating of the tree(s) (we had two trees), the month long baking frenzy, the endless piles of gifts to wrap and the often 200 to 300 Christmas cards we sent every year, each with it's own handwritten message inside.

Memorial statue.
Those days are gone for us.  Are we sad?  Not at all.  This year is the fifth Thanksgiving since we left Minnesota on October 31, 2012.  Most countries don't grow turkeys and with my special way of eating the other dishes require major modification to be suitable. 

When Thanksgiving was upon us while living in other countries, most often, we've dined out or made a chicken dinner with familiar and delicious sides we've know and love.

Statue outside the library building.
This year, on the ship circumventing Australia, we've heard they'll create a special menu for the 400 Americans on board the ship.  Most likely, Tom will partake in the offerings while I'll pass entirely.  Plain turkey doesn't appeal to me and none of the side dishes will be suitable.  I don't mind at all.  Whatever the chefs prepare for me as they do each evening will be just fine.

As for the upcoming Christmas season and Tom's birthday on December 23rd, we'll continue with the new traditions we've established over these past years of world travel; a homemade dinner on Tom's birthday and on Christmas Eve and dining out on Christmas day, if there's a local restaurant offering Christmas dinner.  That works for us.

Commemorative statue of Sir Henry Bragg.
As a matter of fact, I've already started accumulating some new recipes for the above occasions and look forward to enjoying them together.  We no longer give gifts to one another (duh, our lives are all the gifts we need) nor do we set up a Christmas tree and decorations. 

Commemorative statue of Mary Lee.
We send US purchased gifts for the six grandchildren.  Before we left the US we decided to stop giving gifts to our adult children, now all in their 40's (the eldest is almost 50) since it just wasn't practical from afar. 

Memorial structure in the center of town.
With the date differential here on this side of the International Dateline, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on the ship tomorrow, which is Thursday.  In the US it will be celebrated on Thursday, two days from today.

We have no regrets.  For us, every day of our lives of world travel deserves thanksgiving, however unusual and varied it may be.

Cactus-like plant blooming in spring.
May all of you revel in the joy of thanksgiving for life itself and in the holiday for those who celebrate.

Photo from one year ago today, November 23, 2015:
In Fiji, one year ago, a nursing pig with her piglets.  For more photos, please click here.


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