1,100 miles of Thanksgiving

by Lesley on November 26, 2012 · 5 comments

in travel

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Every year we make the mistake of driving to Southern California for Thanksgiving, and every year we tell ourselves: NEVER AGAIN. Next year we will fly. Next year we will leave a day earlier. And then we do it again.

Driving over Thanksgiving weekend is insanity, I tell you. Pure insanity. But, so are airline prices. Onward we go.

This year, over the course of four days, we squeezed 1,100 miles on our “new” CRV. Anna was a trooper for the most part. We pushed her hard, and she did better than I hoped even if I did want to throw myself out of the car several times.

We arrived to my parents’ house at 1:30am on Thanksgiving morning, after sitting in hours of traffic along Highway 5 with the rest of the state of California. Let me just say this: there’s an unsaid rule in our state that if you’re going to drive slow, please stay in the far right lane. Tuck that tip away for next year, folks.

Our Turkey Day feast was fantastic. My mom made some damn good gravy (there’s really no other way to describe it) and Scott picked up shrimp cocktail in honor of Grandma Jeanne who always brought some to family events. The best part about traveling for Thanksgiving is not much is asked of me in terms of help so I made a simple cheese platter based on Cup of Jo’s guide to cheese. Have you ever had sage infused cheddar? It looked nasty but tasted amazing.

On Friday, Jonathan and I hit up Kohl’s to buy Anna a super sale Little People nativity set that I’ve been eyeing for months. I always loved playing with nativity sets when I was little so I wanted to get her one to enjoy every year. We also met up with Sarah at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I got a winter dream tea latte-AMAZING-and it made me wish Sarah and Coffee Bean would come to Sacramento permanently. Meanwhile, my dad took Anna on a granddaughter outing to the beach and Fashion Island (!!!) When they got back, I noticed sand all over her face. My dad had to confess it was sugar from a big Auntie Ann’s pretzel he fed her. Melt my heart.

We spent Friday night and Saturday morning in Murietta with Jonathan’s family. Marlene makes a great enchilada soup that I wolfed down before we all saw Lincoln. Despite having front row seats at the theatre we still really enjoyed the film and Anna loved her grandparent time.

On Saturday we got back in the car and drove to Palm Desert for my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary party. It was an honor to help celebrate their sweet and lasting marriage, and meet their friends, but I’m still trying to decide if the trip was worth Anna puking up Cheezits all over the car before we arrived. I really questioned my choice to become a parent as Jonathan and I cleaned her and the car seat before stepping into the party with (forced) smiles on our faces. Lesson learned: our child gets carsick. Sesame Street viewing must be monitored appropriately.

Yesterday we spent nine hours driving back to Sacramento and arrived safely at 7:00pm. The day tested our patience, of course, especially since we decided to cart back a twin bed in the back part of our car which made accessing our child quite difficult. When we stopped at Panda Express for dinner and Anna refused to eat any of the “healthy” options we purchased, God bless her, I almost decided to walk home. We finished the final hour of our travels with me singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus to distract Anna while she hiccuped and pretended(?) to gag. Fortunately another Cheezits incident did not occur, and we arrived home just in time for the plumber to unclug our kitchen sink.

Phew. I think I earned a vacation from the vacation.

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you hit traffic? Sit in an airport for longer than you planned? Sat at home sad because you wanted to be traveling? More importantly, are the Christmas decorations up yet at your house? They’re going up in mine in…five…four…three…two…

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