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At Red Jacket Resorts, we like to make the most of each and every holiday, and Thanksgiving is no exception! While guests are either gathering at Red Jacket Mountain View Resort for our annual Thanksgiving Weekend, opening their own homes to host, or on the road to visit family and friends, we thought it might be nice to take a few minutes to stop and enjoy the best of autumn in New England – The fall foliage, the cranberry harvest and the vehicle for the Thanksgiving gathering in the first place, the Mayflower.

Fall Foliage in North Conway, NH
Let’s start with how beautiful the foliage was in the White Mountains of New Hampshire this year. We have enjoyed seeing and sharing all of the gorgeous photos and video of Mt. Washington Valley over the past two months. The rich autumn reds, bright yellows, golden oranges and emerald greens splashed across the valley against the granite mountains remind us why we live in, and visit New England. Here are two of our favorite videos exploring the valley from above, that capture the beauty of the season.

The Mayflower II of Plymouth, MA

In the modern age, as we sit down to our Thanksgiving dinners we often go around the table and say what we are thankful for, and it’s usually family, friends and the meal we are about to enjoy. In 1621, the 53 survivors of the Mayflower voyage – the settlers of Plymouth Plantation – were thankful to have made it to the New World, survived the harsh winter, and for the bounty of their harvest. There are only two original accounts of the three day feast. They describe a three day feast and celebration, with 90 Wampanoag Americans joining the Pilgrims. They feasted on their bounty, water fowl, wild turkey and venison, as well as gifts from the sea and newly discovered crops of cranberries and corn thanks to their Native American mentors.

As blessed as they were, the losses were great, having left England with 102 passengers aboard the Mayflower. As anyone who has visited Plimoth Plantation knows, the Mayflower II replica plays an important role in teaching the history of the passengers, and what they sacrificed to start a new life in North America. What you may not know… is the Mayflower II is undergoing extensive repairs, and on November 1st, embarked on a journey to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut where it will be until 2019.

Watch a video about the Mayflower restoration – and visit their kickstarter page to donate at SaveMayflower.org

Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest

In late October, we visited a local cranberry grower to see how these little rubies make it from the Cape Cod bogs to our Thanksgiving tables. You can read the full blog post right here: http://redjacketresorts.com/cape-cod-cranberry-harvest/

Now we know, the pilgrims were taught by the Wampanoag’s to use the native cranberries, and they were mixed with sugar to make a sauce for the game and venison. However, today we love using cranberries in baked goods. So as a special treat we are sharing the social media department’s favorite recipe for “Nantucket Cranberry Pie” that can be whipped up in no time. We taste tested it at RJR HQ and it passed with flying colors – so give it a whirl. Here is the recipe:

Nantucket Cranberry (Upside Down) Pie

Nantucket Cranberry Upside Down Pie

Blue Rock Turkey Shoot and Create The Good

A great way to end the season on Cape Cod is the annual Blue Rock Golf Course Turkey Shoot and food pantry drive! This year was our most successful ever, and we were able to donate Thanksgiving dinners to local families in need. “During the 2-day event, 150 golfers happily weathered chilly temperatures as $1,400 from their entry fees was donated to Create the Good. Also, most of the 36 golfers who won turkeys through closest-to-the-pin contests donated them back to the Thanksgiving efforts. Golfers, staff and volunteers brought canned goods and non-perishable food items to the pro shop as volunteers created the Thanksgiving Dinner bags. Word spread through social media and many members of the community stopped by the course to donate, resulting in a total of 120 turkeys, allowing volunteers to create full Thanksgiving dinners for 80 local families in need. The extra donations will be used to fulfill last-minute requests and to get a head start on the Christmas dinner drive.” Read the full press release here: http://redjacketresorts.com/blue-rock-turkey-shoot-helps-create-good/