Friendsgiving 2016

This is my fifth year in college. It is also the fifth (consecutive!) Thanksgiving that I did not spend with my family. As much as I would love to go home, there is just no financial or temporal way that I would have been able to! I'm too broke to spend hard-earned paychecks on a measly (but exorbitantly expensive) trip to Kodiak, too scheduled to do projects and other scholastic etceteras, or too frozen. I've always stayed in Fairbanks –– reverse-adopting myself into friends' families, jumping from dinner to dinner to food coma.

This is my last year in college. I pondered on this for a good while earlier in the semester. I was tired of staying in Fairbanks for Thanksgiving, and I decided to do something different. (Also, why not go out with a flash and a boom and a wow?!)

I treated myself and bought a ticket to Anchorage. Yeah, it's not too far, but –– wow –– what a difference it made, being away from Fairbanks. The trip was 20% schedule and 80% adventure. All I knew is that I was going to be in Anchorage for a certain time and have certain activities to do. The rest is just be being casually and purposefully indecisive. I wanted to slow down, soak in all of Anchorage, and force myself to go with the flow.

My roommate Robert and I got in to Anchorage early Thursday morning. One of my dearest Anchorage friends picked us up and let us borrow his older car. (I was supposed to rent a car, but that would have been a slap to my face and a blow to my wallet! Thank goodness for friends!) We drove to Wasilla to join an alum's (Kenzie Holbrook) dinner for Thanksgiving at a dreamhouse –– like mega-HGTV mansion with a farm, an island counter, a view of the mountains, and a bar room included. I had spent Fourth of July with Kenz's family, during which they have immediately dubbed me as an honorary Holbrook. Before leaving for Anchorage the following morning, I soaked in the hot tub and drank a flaming-hot cup of coffee. 

I had nothing planned to do in Anchorage, other than Friday night –– when my friends and I went out into the town. My friends in Anchorage were all from Kodiak. I grew up with them, went to school with them, and even graduated with them. Interestingly enough, we only became close friends during college. (We've always thought we were cool, but high school cliques didn't work that way.) This was the second time my Anchorage/Kodiak friends merged with my Fairbanks friends –– and golly, did that marriage work even more beautifully. I could not stop smiling and laughing. We stayed out till 4 am –– of course, after a frenzied pit-stop at McDonalds for nuggets and fries and ranch.

Saturday was a pretty relaxing day. I did some last minute errands. Unexpectedly met up with people (in the mall, at a restaurant) that I have not seen in forever. Went to a sketchy bookstore with a really stubborn front-desk worker. Ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with people I care about the most. Went on the plane. Realized I forgot my Gameboy at my friend's house.

Here's the cheesy part: I don't think I said thank you to them. At least, verbally. Mutually amongst us, we know that we are grateful for having each other as friends. The relationships I have with my best, best friends transcend words –– we communicate through hugs, kisses, gifts, glances, food. It is the best and warmest kind of communication. It fuels my soul, keeps me going. They're practically family. 

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