Monday, November 30, 2009

A childhood dream

Don't laugh, but as a child, my favorite part of Thanksgiving wasn't the turkey or the rolls or even the pie and especially not the football. It was the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I loved the balloons, the bands, the 'stars' that rode on the floats and even the glimpses of an excited crowd. The magic was even more complete when the parade heralded in Christmas with Santa ending the parade.

As an adult (woman) I really resented being stuck in the kitchen cooking while I knew the parade was happening. Sounds selfish, but watching the parade was the Thanksgiving tradition that was special for me.
Usually my sister and I take turns hosting Thanksgiving at each other's homes. We pore over the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit 2 months ahead of time. We review the recipes we've made before that were hits and finally, we plan a huge menu.

This year, we all decided to make a Thanksgiving detour to NYC for the fabled Macy's parade. It took hours of planning via email & phone calls, several hotel changes, tense ticket purchasing decisions and last minute tweaks, but it was all worth it in the end.
We started off our trip with a ride on the Polar Express (Amtrak) from PA to NYC where we were able to relax, stretch out and enjoy the trip rather than the hair-raising rides I've had into NYC via car with hubby at the wheel. We kicked off the trip with a visit to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular before the main event of the parade.

I won't lie, I got all weepy when the first floats and balloons came into view. The crowd is jaw-dropping enormous and excited. It's a party with over 3 million people. We had a great spot on the street thanks to hubby claiming some territory early in the morning. Better weather we couldn't have asked for and seeing the same excitement I have in the eyes of my children and my neices made for more teary moments. My sister and I had our fair share of screaming over the 'stars' we saw on floats, possibly most excited to see several Food Network stars on one float. LOL
And the traditional Thanksgiving dinner? No turkey was consumed, no pie was eaten. We did have a very nice meal at a restaurant not far from the parade route where the total for the meal was probably not much more than the total for groceries we purchase for the yearly Thanksgiving dinner (though hubby refuses to believe it, but he's never done the turkey day/hosting shopping trips alone). And the chief cooks were relaxed & no one had to do dishes. I'm not ashamed to use the cliche that the memories created on this trip were priceless. I hope you and yours were able to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday as well. I am most thankful that my family went along with me on this crazy journey and even in their initial skepticism, fully embracing the magic in the end.


Anna Willett said...

i am so so so jealous!!! i totally want to do that!

Heidi said...

Casii, that is so cool! My mom and I were just talking on Thanksgiving about how we would love to see the parade someday, although I think we're the only ones in our family who want to do it. LOL Maybe when my kids are older.

Ann said...

WOW ... I am jealous too. No wait jealous means I want something you have and don't want you to have it ... okay not jealous maybe envious? Anyway you had a fabulous time and I aspire to such greatness on a holiday in the near future. Welcome back to Dodge. See you Sunday.

Blissitydoodah said...

Oh I love how this ended! I was all shook up because you were missing it on t.v. at first. I have always loved watching it too!
The Food network stars would have been my favorite too.
I love your background design here!

jennifer said...

That had to be so awesome Casii - a dream come true. We watched on TV (not the same).

Electra said...

I've loved your story of the parade, I almost feel like I was there. Thank you!