Monday, November 28, 2011

Take a Road Trip (But Watch Out for Stray Decoys)

“As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to create lasting family memories this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality.” -- Bill Sutherland, Vice President, AAA Travel Services 
Hood Valley, Oregon
The Reinkes joined an estimated 38.2 million Americans on the highways this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We traveled to Portland, Oregon to celebrate Thanksgiving with Dennis' two daughters. I'm pretty proud of the fact that we chose, as Bill Sutherland suggested, "family over frugality", as well as contributed to the U.S. economy. Yessiree folks, this is my plan to get the economic recovery moving (no pun intended). We do it the old-fashioned, American way -- spend money on a road trip. Get in your vehicle and hit the high roads and low roads of this great land in which we live. I'm sure right now employees of two hotels, numerous gas stations, restaurants and Starbucks across Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Oregon are saying to one another, "How about those Reinkes? We need more Americans like them -- choosing family over frugality."

Thanksgiving dinner, prepared by Dennis' daughter, was a gourmet delight. She cooks healthy food that tastes great. This is the first guilt-free Thanksgiving dinner I have ever eaten and for taste I'd put it up against any fat and calorie-laden menu out there.
From the top left: Swiss Chard Stuffing, Roasted Turkey with a light gravy, Kale and Brussel Sprouts Salad, Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Mixed Green Salad. Dessert (not shown) Kabocha Squash Cheesecake with Walnut Crust 
The Kabocha Squash Cheesecake with Walnut Crust was delicious. Kabocha squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin. I found a recipe on Food Gal's Website that I'm pretty sure is the same one used for our dessert. However, we did not opt for the Chantilly topping. The cheesecake didn't need it.

While we were in Portland, we toured Hood Valley (where I shot the photo at the top of the page), and Willamette Valley wineries. Both offered beautiful scenery. Dennis and I love old barns (as is probably obvious by the 150 year-old barn on our homestead). This barn in front of a vineyard possessed delightful character.

The Fall color is gone in the Rockies, so we especially enjoyed the colors of Willamette Valley.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Except for a scary incident on the way home, we had a great trip. Just outside of Twin Falls, Idaho at 5:30 AM Sunday, we hit a big fiberglass goose decoy that had apparently fallen off a traveler's vehicle. It lodged under our car, so we had to pull off the road. Another driver who had hit the pesky decoy before we did, had pulled over to see if he could figure out what exactly he had run over. He played the part of Good Samaritan and dislodged the decoy for us. A third driver pulled over and told us there was also a big bag of decoys in the road. It was a very weird experience, but thankfully nobody was hurt and there was no damage to our vehicles. We thank God for that.

"The LORD watches over all who love Him" -- Psalm 145:20



  1. Such fun, reading your posts, Nancy. Your zest for life comes through in your writing. And I love your photos. Looks like Dennis's daughter is a wonderful cook!

  2. Thank you, Dena, for your encouraging words. God has graciously given me a life that I enjoy writing about. I am blessed.

  3. How blessed you were that no one was hurt or no damage to the car.

    I just love the barns you show...they are really beautiful!


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