We've traveled to California for the Thanksgiving holidays every year since we've been together. Thanksgiving visits to my family, and Christmas holidays with John's. Most years, our trips include at least a few days on the Sonoma Coast. We stay at my parents' home at Bodega Bay, then spend our time wine-tasting, eating at fun places, and golfing.

A few years ago, we discovered the Marshall Store, with its selection of fresh oysters (I mean, fresh from Tomales Bay, right in front of the place!). If the weather cooperated at all, we'd head down there for a perfect combination of scenic, peaceful drive plus delicious seafood. This year, we decided to make one tiny change. Well two. We made reservations at the Hog Island Oyster Company (just north of the Marshall Store) and we invited Dad to join us.

He'd never eaten truly fresh oysters, only the disgusting, slimy canned ones that his mother used for her casseroles, so he was a bit skeptical. We ordered fresh, barbequed, and a charcuterie platter, to be on the safe side. He loved the barbecued ones (chipotle butter...) as did we. And he really enjoyed the fresh ones too.

So the lesson for the day: even at 82, you can try something new.


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