A Three-Day Gratitude Extravaganza: Why this was the Best Thanksgiving Ever!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

While I truly feel gratitude every day, this week has offered blessing after unbelievable blessing.  I did not know I could top last year’s Thanksgiving that featured two days of catered meals from Cafe Raw Bliss in Sedona, but wow, this has been an amazing few days for me.

It began on Tuesday, when the first of a long-promised, yet “impossible” series of blessings manifested into third dimensional reality.  I can’t share the details yet, because this first blessing links to a whole bunch of other ones, all of which must remain secret for the moment.  I promise, once all these intuitive hits come true, I will share the story.  For now, just know that receiving this particular blessing on Tuesday felt VERY good.  I can’t even describe how good it feels without giving away the rest, but it set the tone–a few months earlier than expected, too!

My husband and I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving that night instead of waiting until Thursday.  We made a last minute request for a Whole Foods Thankgsiving meal for him, and I invented an awesome new smoothie:  Acai-Mint-Blueberry-Cacao with a few other surprising ingredients.  (I’m supposed to be developing 100 original recipes for another lazy raw foodist book, so I love it when something new appears in my Vita-Mix.) 

Why didn’t I eat a big raw meal during our Tuesday celebration?  Because visionary artist Tania Marie planned to visit me on Wednesday.  She lives at Lake Tahoe but needed help loading a 150-pound crystal into her hybrid from a store in Sausalito.  She planned to pick me up, pick up the crystal and then head over to San Rafael for a pre-T-day meal at Cafe Gratitude

When Stephen and I celebrated on Tuesday, Tania and I changed plans.  She opted to stay in Sonoma County so we could have a legendary (and free) Thanksgiving feast at the new Cafe Gratitude in Healdsburg.  Yes, I love living in Northern California!

Tania arrived on Tuesday morning. I had just finished crafting a scene in my novel involving two Lemurian Seed Crystals, and in retrospect, that seems like an appropriate beginning to our journey.  We headed down the 101 to the Dynamic Crystal Gallery in Sausalito/Marin City.  Wow, that place has great crystals!  Having lived in Sedona twice, I’ve seen a lot of crystals, but Seann (the owner) really selects some special ones from Brazil.  I have never seen such beautiful pieces!  I quickly selected two more treats for myself (besides a print of Air) as intended rewards for selling my novel.  Yes, I still need to complete it, but some of that falls into the above-mentioned intuitions.  It feels right to dream big.  🙂

We chatted with Seann for a long time, and he answered a few questions I had regarding details in my novel.  Then we went to the storage area to pick up Tania’s giant Lemurian.  It was heavy, but with some Jedi mind tricks, the three of us managed to load it. 😉

Seann then invited us to tour the warehouse, and Tania noticed a five-inch Lemurian for me just as Seann did.  He picked it up and announced, “This one wants to go home with you.  Here’s a gift for helping load.”  Wow!  Knowing what I know of crystals, this represented quite a gift.  I have one Lemurian, but the novel scene includes two.  Just that morning I had secretly longed for a second one. 

After Seann handed it to me, Tania said, “When I saw that crystal, I thought, ‘That one’s going home with Laura.'”  Seann gave Tania a similarly sized Lemurian, so we now have twins.  We visited a while longer, then made our way to Cafe Gratitude in San Rafael.

Anyone who knows me knows I especially love Cafe Gratitude, but rarely do I go there with someone who can pack away as much food as I can.  Apparently, Tania and I have twin bellies as well as twin Lemurians.  We ate so much that our waiter started looking for said bellies.  When we ordered three desserts, he corrected us, assuming we meant I AM JOY (like almond joy candy bars) for one of us and I AM PERFECT (pecan pie) for the other.  Um, no!!!  We were both JOY and we wanted to split perfection. 

We giggled about the waiter’s difficulty believing that two 100-pound pixies could eat so much.  Tania mischievously decided to order more snacks for later.  By the time we finished all our desserts and picked up the to-go food, our waiter’s jaw had dropped.  We felt really full and really blessed. 

But the universe hadn’t finished with us yet.  As a San Francisco Raw Food Potluck member, I received a 10% discount on the entire check.  At the cash register, I happened to notice some Vitamineral Green for less than half the cost I expected to pay.  Nice!  Having just used the last of my acai in my Thanksgiving smoothie invention, I bought the VG and some Gratitude Acai powder:  no need for online orders after all.

Too much traffic headed towards the 101 encouraged us to stop at Open Secret Bookstore in San Rafael.  We just browsed, but it sure beat a stand-still Bay Area holiday rush hour.  When we got back to Sonoma County, I played with Tania’s turtle, Gaia for awhile, wrote another novel scene and hit the sack. 

I had a funny feeling Cafe Gratitude might run out of food the next day, so we decided to arrive early. REALLY early.  We got there before the doors opened and soon claimed our seats at the giant wooden farm tables. We did not know what to expect but found ourselves delighted on all levels!  

Everything they served us was raw, organic and vegan.  We began with warm apple cider, quickly followed by warm chai-apple cider:  both exquisite.  Then our servers brought a basket of assorted crackers.  They tasted so good, we might have felt satisfied with just those and our cozy drinks.


By this time, more people started to arrive, so the staff asked us all to consolidate at the larger tables.  A sweet couple (Jeff and Rita) from Santa Rosa ended up sitting beside us.  Although we just met this morning, we talked with them the entire time like old friends. 


When our food arrived, it looked like a traditional Thanksgiving meal:  cauilflower mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, a slice of “turkey loaf,” stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a green salad, along with a refill of crackers.  The warm potatoes made me smile, and the rest of the food tasted amazing.


For dessert, they offered mocha or vanilla ice cream.  We somehow wound up with both flavors for each of us!  Mmmmm, we love raw ice cream. Synchronously receiving not just one but two scoops each–wow! 


As I took my last bite of vanilla ice cream, I noticed some friends pull up outside.  About eight people from the Petaluma Raw Food potluck had decided to meet there at 12:30.  (Due to my intuition about them running out of food, we had planned to meet them there after we had eaten.)  Tania and I ordered a Yerba mate and visited with them for another hour. 


The feast food did disappear around 12:30, but Cafe Gratitude accommodated my potluck friends with items from their regular menu.  Tania and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The food, the company, the chance to express our gratitude for this abundant life, the one-minute of sustained group laughter:  a Thanksgiving we won’t ever forget.  I would have gladly paid $50-100 for such an experience, but Cafe Gratitude offers this feast each year as a gift to the community.  They don’t even turn on their cash registers.


Afterwards, I celebrated again with my wonderful hubby, who considered his Whole Foods holiday pack among the best feasts he’s ever enjoyed, too.  We finished our evening early enough for us to spend more time on our creative pursuits:  my novel and his photography.  “My cup overflowethed” so much, though, that I needed to write this post before I could return to fiction.


Many, many blessings to each of you!  I wish you all the abundance of the moment and thousands of little surprises along your journey. 


I AM GRATEFUL.  Wow, what a wonderful life!




Related Posts:  Menu for Bodega Bay Weekend of Classes

                        Laura Goes to the San Francisco Veg Fest

                        Laura Bruno Profiles Living Light Culinary Institute

                        Book Review for The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Suki on November 29, 2008 at 12:56 am

    i thoroughly and vicariously enjoyed your thanksgiving!
    like the waiter i am most impressed by your belly capacity 🙂



  2. Happy belated Thanksgiving. Your holiday sounded like a blast. I would’ve eaten the I AM JOY and I AM PERFECT, too. I just love desserts.

    I am amazed that Cafe Gratitude offers up that meal for free to the community. That’s totally in the holiday spirit.

    You do have a lot for which to be grateful. You are truly blessed.



  3. Posted by laurabruno on November 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it was so amazing! I love that Cafe Gratitude does this. They really do walk their talk in terms of abundance and gratitude. I loved that individuals or couples who might otherwise have missed a big “family” celebration could come and enjoy themselves in a nurturing environment. You could tell the staff really enjoyed themselves, too. It was just a huge celebration all around. Blessings to you both! Laura



  4. […] left Café Gratitude and Seed in Northern California, and being quite the Lazy Raw Foodist, I’d been feeling verrry […]



  5. […] and synchronous Halloween 2008 in Bodega Bay with our friend Karen; have enjoyed multiple vegan Thanksgiving’s together; took a crazy, wild, and life-altering visit to Mendocino in 2009; did a silly, but potent faery […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: