We hosted Thanksgiving this year and one of the advantages is that you get to choose the menu. As usual, when we host Thanksgiving, we steered clear of the traditional menu.

I've got nothing against turkey, per se, it just isn't very interesting. In addition, almost every traditional side dish is only actually enjoyed by one member of my family and at best tolerated by one other person which leaves everyone else actively disliking it. For instance, I happen to like the sweet glazed sweet potatoes, but Sarah and the kids won't eat them. Sarah loves stuffing; I tolerate it; the kids hate it. Sarah like gravy; I tolerate it; the kids won't eat it. Garrison loves rolls; Dinah tolerates them; Sarah and I don't need the empty calories.

Since I would be doing the cooking, I put together a menu that let me do the vast majority of the difficult cooking the night before. We had lasagna, pepperoni pizza, butternut squash soup, roasted brussel sprouts, and plate of fruit. We opened a bottle of home brewed pinot noir and my mom brought homemade angel food cake and whipped cream. It was a good meal and no one went home hungry.

After the meal Garrison and I went sledding on one of the local hills. It was fun for both of us. I was surprised that more people weren't out there but the lack of crowds made it more fun, as well.

I had a four-day weekend so we also had some fun around town. We avoided the crowds at the malls and went to the state Capitol on Friday and took a walk around a newly opened observation level. Garrison in particular enjoyed seeing pictures of the old Capitol buildings (the first was torn down; the second burned).

Friday night we ate dinner at Feiler's which is an old-school Wisconsin supper club that I've been wanting to try for a while. The menu is what you'd expect and the four of us dropped the average age of the customers there by about fifteen years just by walking in the door. The kids enjoyed it, however. Garrison inhaled his pork chop and enjoyed the seemingly unlimited access to rolls. Dinah enjoyed her hot dog and fries. Both kids enjoyed getting washable(!) markers instead of crayons.

My mom joined us Saturday morning for a walk out Picnic Point. We took the sled for Dinah to use when she wasn't up for walking (which was more often than not) since it was easier to pull the sled over the snow than to push a stroller. There were a hundred or more swans on the lake which was fun to see since I couldn't remember ever seeing so many swans in one place at once. Sarah asked a couple of people with a spotter scope what kinds of swans they were since it wasn't immediately obvious. Apparently they were all tundra swans with one mute swan in the mix. The morning was reasonably warm (in the mid-30s), the sun was out, and the sky was blue. It was a great morning for a hike.

Today we put the tree up. That's always a chore, but at least it's done for another year.