Thanksgiving Dinner, Nice – November 2023
The upstairs at Restaurant Oscar was perfect in every way. Fifty-six people were able to dine comfortably and have views of everyone else. Patty Sadauskas sat at a table at the top of the stairs and checked everyone in. She gave them name tags…which seemed a bit formal in the beginning, but was a great ice-breaker so people could easily meet, talk and make friends. As people came up the stairs and checked in, it gave me a chance to say hello, many of whom I’d met on Zoom, but not in person until that moment. It felt like one big happy family and I couldn’t help but be very proud of the community we had created and brought together for this special occasion.
Once everyone came in and got settled, I clinked a wine glass to get their attention and was able to give a short welcoming speech that Patty recorded before the plates of turkey, potatoes and green beans were served. Meanwhile, my phone was buzzing with text messages from my cousin, Leslie, who was giving me a blow-by-blow description of what was going on at the emergency room of the hospital. If you read our Nouvellettre® from November 27th, then you know the whole story of how she fell that morning, broke her leg and ended up at the Hôpital Pasteur emergency room!
As the plates were set before us, the turkey didn’t look like turkey, smell like turkey or taste like turkey! It looked like beef! (I’m sorry I didn’t take a photo!) We were all surprised! That sent me down to the kitchen with the question, “What happened to our turkey?!”
“Madame, this is turkey. Have a look for yourself!,” the chef said.
He then showed off a log of turkey rolled around stuffing that he had roasted and then dowsed with a red-wine gravy! The taste ended up good, even though nothing about it resembled turkey, and as far as I know, no one complained…but it certainly wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving plate. Dessert was Tarte aux Pommes, not pumpkin pie, but no one seemed to care. The point was that we were all together and it was really fun! Lots of friendships were made. We even had several pups including Ella and Simone, our company mascot, both dressed stylishly in pink!
Before saying so-long and “Happy Thanksgiving,” I clinked the wine glass to get everyone’s attention and told the story of Leslie’s demise. That’s when the community popped into action. Ella Dyer immediately offered her wheelchair-accessible apartment for Leslie to stay in while she was in the U.S. as she was flying there the next morning. Another couple said that they “were in for an adventure” and would happily fly to Rome to pick up Leslie’s car and drive it to Perugia for her as long as they could stay in her apartment there! Others offered all sorts of solutions to the problem…but at this stage, we had no information, just a lot of willing helpers. What a testament to our community!
We can be thankful for France and thankful to our community. If you move to Paris, Nice, or anywhere in France, I suspect you’ll discover this, too.
Special note: the wide-angled lens made it possible to include everyone, but might not be so flattering as those sitting on the ends look particularly wide! Ha!
The opening to the event was recorded, so you can watch it on YouTube.