Edward Lando
2 min readNov 23, 2023


Encinitas, November 2017 with Nicholas Paul Brysiewicz, Francis Pedraza and family

I did not grow up here, so Thanksgiving wasn’t part of my life as a kid.

But ever since I moved to the U.S. for college, I have celebrated every year. And I can pretty much remember where I was every time.

My family mostly lives in France and Canada, so Thanksgiving has always been a great opportunity for me to become closer to the family I have built for myself here.

I’ve always found it very fun and interesting to get to become part of someone’s nuclear life for a few days when I am lucky to be invited in.

One particularly great time was back in 2017 when my friend Francis Pedraza and his family opened up their house to me and a few other friends of Francis for Thanksgiving weekend.

From a 12 hour maniacal Risk game (my first time playing), to wandering the beaches of Encinitas, to sword fighting, to archery competitions at Francis’ grandfather’s house in the hills, to enjoying home cooked Persian food, to appearing in one of Francis’ sister Leila Pari’s first ever video clips (I challenge you to find it), to an after party at the local bar, I will always remember those few days and having been welcomed as a sibling.

Regardless of who you are spending Thanksgiving with, it is a great chance to briefly pause the normal course of time and have novel adventures with people you love.