The question of what sort of work I should try to pick up while I’m slogging away at my masters degree is always a tricky one. I’m generally considered too old or too over qualified for entry level retail or hospitality work (because, you know, the last thing employers want is someone working for them who’s experienced, educated and able to think for himself) and attempts at picking up casual office work have not gone well. But last week I spotted an ad on the jobs website I hadn’t seen before:

“The information you are seeking could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.”

Including my wedding, I’ve been over to the States four times now. Every time I’ve been over, I’ve tried to find some new place or aspect of the country to check out. So far, if we include airports (which is probably cheating) I’ve set foot in twelve out of fifty states.

This year we were heading out for Thanksgiving, and as exciting as that was, I was a little disappointed to only be visiting states I’d been in before. You know, Ohio is the excitement centre of the known universe and all, but I was keen to get around and explore something new.

As it turned out, the universe itself came up with a grand scheme to make that happen.

You know, as much fun as touring around the metropolitan centres of Ohio undoubtedly is, this year Kim and I decided to switch things up a bit and augment our holiday with a week on the north island of New Zealand.

I’m not very good at Thanksgiving.

This is probably because I’m Australian and didn’t observe the holiday at all until I married an American three years ago and brought a whole second culture into my life. Since then, I’ve made a few attempts to bring the magic and tradition of Thanksgiving into our home.

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