A FAMILY THANKSGIVING VACATION IN NEW MEXICO

(left to right): Viva, Maia Perry, Kristina Perry, Merritt Perry, Carolyn Zwicker, Katherine Zwicker, Richard Perry, me, Simone Bent Garity (hiding), Troy Garity, Malcolm Vadim, Gavin Perry.

We’ve gotten a lot of snow in New Mexico and we came prepared. I love seeing the snow-covered trees and identifying all the tracks left by deer, rabbit, coyote and even, we’re pretty sure, some black bear. Here’s a video Troy made while four-wheeling on the ranch:

Gathered at the ranch this year were my boyfriend Richard Perry, my grandkids, Malcom and Viva, my son, Troy, and Simone, his wife; my step-daughter Nathalie Vadim, Richard’s brother Roger Perry, Roger’s partner Carolyn Zwicker and her daughter, Katherine, Roger’s son Merritt Perry, his wife Kristina and their children, Maia and Gavin. From the moment my grandkids got into the house and met Maia and Gavin, it was outside and snowball fights. They’d never met but you would have thought they were old buddies. It warmed the hearts of all us parents and grandparents (I include Richard in this as he kept grinning and saying, “Did you see how they’ve hit hit off?”).

For most of the meals, we’ve taken turns cooking although, truth be told, Merritt and Kristine are super good in the kitchen and knocked us out Wednesday night with salmon with pesto sauce, quinoa and mango salad, and kale and yam salad. Totally yummy. For anyone coming to Santa Fe or wanting a pre-cooked meal to take home (or catered), try Roland at Joe’s Diner on Rodeo Road. For Tuesday night, Roland sent us a partially cooked rack of lamb, mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli, cucumber and yogurt greek salad, fresh blueberry pie and banana cream pie on graham cracker crust.

This year we decided to have our big Thanksgiving dinner at Frankie’s, Pecos’s local mexican restaurant. They do a special Thanksgiving dinner and it was absolutely fantastic–moist turkey that some of us had with a delicious green chili gravy, great dressing, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, green bean casserole and about 5 different pies. Richard was in heaven cause they had pineapple upside down cake, his favorite. here’s some pictures of all of us.

Roger Perry with Brian Sandoval, the owner of Frankie's

Me with the staff. I love Frankie's because the food is good, the ambience cozy and Mexican and they do a lot of fundraisers to support the community.

Troy took the kids and their parents on an all terrain vehicle (ATV) adventure.

Viva overlooking one of the river meanders from high up on the cliff edge

And we all watched “The Butler” Thursday night. A big hit even (maybe especially, with the kids. it’s such a terrific & important history.)

Friday I took the kids skiing at the Santa Fe ski basin which has had record snow and great conditions—plus a beautiful, sunny day

Tulea wiped out after a day on the slopes

Malcolm and Gavin playing Minecraft

Viva showing us scary videos. I had a hard time with the things people did to frightening other people. I mean, they could have caused heart attacks.

Friday night we went to Harry’s Roadhouse for dinner. It’s right off interstate 25 before we get to Santa Fe and I love it . . . very family style and there were 14 of us, so . . .

After dinner we played a rousing game of Taboo. Malcolm & Viva & Troy are particularly adept at acting out their words.

After our final Saturday night dinner we all played Scattergories. It’s one of our favorite board games.

Today I flew back to Atlanta with my grandchildren where I will try to spend some time with them and my daughter, Vanessa.

I hope all of you who read my blog had a blessed Thanksgiving. xxx

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20 Comments
  1. You guys get snow in New Mexico? I didn’t know that! Thought it was all desert down there. Happy Thanksgiving to you too Jane and can’t wait for your Christmas Blog, that’s sure to be entertaining!

    • Northern New Mexico has the southern part of the Rocky Mountain chain, and often receives more snow than Aspen and Vail to the north in CO. Moisture from the Baja can double the NM snowpack and leave CO with only a dusting, especially after Christmas.

  2. Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving weekend with us. You have been an inspiration to me since I saw you in the “Coming Home ” movie and your engagement in real life towards the betterment of society is admirable. I always look forward to your blogs as, strangely enough, knowing that no matter what time zone or continent one is on, somewhere, somehow, we all share similar experiences.

  3. I love the action shots of the kids with their snowball fight! Great photography! That playscape looks really cool, if it is a playscape. You sure are making many memories for your grandkids. Some of my best memories as a kid are when my family would play board games. The family would really bond during those times . . . . except when we would play Risk. That game tended to create some tension. πŸ™‚
    Happy Thanksgiving and an early Merry Christmas to you!

    • Thanks, Suan. Yes, my daughter, Vanessa, designed that playground. xx

  4. My friend sent me your December blog and I am thrilled you love my cousins’, Harry’s Roadhouse. I followed your career and activism, share your love of Santa Fe and “the Roadhouse”, and will now be following your posts. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Jane, lovely blog. You know it occurred to me that when you described your family–with all the different names and various relationships–that families are now, and have always been eclectic and complicated. It may sound old-fashioned to say so but “family” really is is what you make it, regardless of the terminology and the decade.

    • Right on, Brian! And as far as my family goes, you don’t know the half of it. Son Troy has a half brother the age of my grandson!

  6. I love NM!! I may relocate there in a few years.Always enjoy your photos!

  7. I really like your hair cut.

    I do so enjoy your blogs.

    You give us gals who are in our 50’s a chance to say to ourselves that we can look good and feel good and find love.

    Diane

  8. I love looking at photos of your house. Looks so warm and cosy…and full of life. πŸ™‚
    Best regards
    Jason

  9. Ms. Fonda,

    It certainly appears as though you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It seems that far too often people consider holidays as something to be endured, and, at best, a day off from work. The idea of family and friends gathering together to share in — and cherish — one another’s company (and to create good memories) is increasingly becoming more of a rarity. There’s more than literal sustenance involved; one must also feed his or her mind and heart, as I am sure you know. It’s something that I find especially vital if you live in a family that has known tragedy and loss. Of course when that happens, you quickly realize that every day you and those you love wake up to live another day and be among one another is in itself a holiday. Though I had to work on Thanksgiving, I did manage to spend a little time with my loved ones, and the importance of a mere hour was, for me, even more acute and special. In this world of hustle and flux, it’s imperative that we be reminded of how important it is to slow down and just let life happen. Far too often people busy themselves with pining for what it is they think they want that they fail to recognize something that is far more important: what they have.

    Just yesterday, I had the luck of happening on a segment of an interview in which Ms. Ensler offered you the final moments of an interview to discuss whatever you chose. You took a moment, gathering thoughts and wisdom, and then you spoke of something in which I have always passionately believed: how absolutely imperative it is that we humans raise our males with love, care, and instruction.

    My father died shortly before I turned nine, and so it was my mother who raised me for most of my childhood, adolescence, and (yes!) adulthood. (A simple but vital truth: good parents never cease nurturing their children, no matter what the age; good parents will persist in doing so all of their lives.)

    You spoke of the emotional detachment with which culture saddles males. It’s something that never made much sense to me. For what is true strength — to stifle emotions all human beings experience for fear of ridicule and ostracization, or to own those same emotions; to, in effect, allow ourselves to be awake, aware, and functioning human beings capable of compassion and empathy?

    I’ve always believed women are infinitely stronger, for more often than not our culture encourages them to explore and own their emotions. They’ve had more time and practice to do this, and as a result, they are often more grounded than males. You know the adage which proposes that women mature faster than men? I think this has something to do with that. Intrinsically.

    Anyway, I’ve been battling insomnia and health concerns (just recently, for the first time in my life, I had to spend a night in a hospital), and not being able to sleep, I started thinking about what you said at the conclusion of that interview. And the more I thought about it, the more buoyed I felt. How comforting it is to know that there are human beings like you who are not afraid to speak the truth — something you’ve been doing for a number of years now, no matter what the conflict, ire, or response. In a way, you remind me of Ms. Hepburn. Whether in her art or life (the latter gleaned from interviews), she was always honest. One of those staunch, blooming-real roses. You often strike me as being plucked from the same bouquet.

    So, awake and unable to sleep, I thought, I’m going to write Ms. Fonda and thank her for doing her damnedest to keep this world and its inhabitants honest.

    Respect earned is respect articulated. Therefore, I say, “Thank you.”

    Warm regards,

    John

    • Thanks for your thoughtful email, John. You write well.

  10. Of all the posts you write, and they are all good, your lovely and warm family times in New Mexico with its beautiful country and the local restaurants are my favorites. How wonderful to be making such memories for your family and then sharing them with everyone else. Love it!

  11. Dear Jane,
    Thank you for sharing your family with us through your pictures. Thanksgiving is indeed a wonderful time to gather with our families and loved ones. Our families are ultimately what matter most to us in this life. Everything else is an added bonus, my grandfather would say!
    I’ve just turned 60 and sometimes can’t believe I’ve already reached this age. I don’t feel it inside. I feel young in my heart.After having 2 daughters later in my life, I gave up my nursing career of 20 years, and became a stay at home mother. Even homeschooled them for a while through their high school years. My older daughter became a self taught artist and I just moved her from Canada down to study in California at Calarts. She’s in Animation now. I never dreamed of such a thing happening from meager beginnings, but miracles do happen. I prayed from the moment I had these children and placed them in God’s loving care to use them in this life for His purpose.
    I just had to share my story with you.
    I’ve always enjoyed watching the movies your talented family made.
    God bless you and your family .
    kindest regards
    Stephanie

  12. How truly wonderful. Having “followed” you from the beginning…I love that every step of your life led you to this Thanksgiving celebration. Well deserved and obviously well enjoyed. Have fun with your time with Vanessa…daughters are so special.

    Bonnie

  13. It looks like Viva and Maia had a blast together! Hopefully they’ll get to see each other again and continue their friendship. Sweet pictures they (and you) can treasure forever!

  14. Dear Jane,

    Thank you for the Thanksgiving vacation blog and the pictures. I’m glad everyone had a lot of fun. Wishing you a belated Happy Thanksgiving.

    Kind Wishes,

    David Kashfi

  15. Well here I am, late to the game as always. You’re a hero of mine, Jane, so imagine my surprise to learn (at this late date) that you have a ranch right here where I live and you eat in the same restaurants I love so much. Although I already feel blessed beyond measure, and though I may never meet you, your very presence here gives me a feeling of satisfaction and contentment. I don’t usually write to celebrities or follow their goings-on, but you are a real person to me. A good person. I read in another of your entries how you are dealing with entering your 80’s. I feel like I am in a similar place, though in my 60’s. Chronic illness gave me that head start, I think. I am going to try my best to emulate your graceful aging process. πŸ˜‰ PS – at Harry’s, try the fried catfish and green chile grits. To die for!

    • Cristi, I sold my NM ranch 2 years ago. It made me sad but, at my age, the annual upkeep was weighing too heavy. xx

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