WE’RE CELEBRATING OUR 38TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY ON THANKSGIVING DAY 2019
I’m getting a little personal in this post. H.H. and I decided that we would take you along for the ride (it’s a road trip) so you can see how the Traveling Wolves do Thanksgiving up right, and I don’t have to cook! An historic Thanksgiving vacation sounded just right to us.
We’ve spent many a Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy’s parade while we readied things for our festive meal later that day. (“we” being used in the euphemistic sense) Always talking of maybe some day attending, but never really planning the trip became our usual “M.O.”.
Staying on the parade route, watching the balloons be inflated the night before, and of course vying for a prime spot along the street in close proximity to our hotel. That has always been the plan.
THANKSGIVING IN THE BIG APPLE
So, when we realized that our anniversary would be on Thanksgiving Day, it was decided that this would be “our year”. To add to the New York City portion of the trip, we’ll be seeing a Broadway show on Wednesday afternoon and eating lunch at a great Italian dive I found in my research. (I’m a pro at finding the little hole-in-the-wall kind of eateries and bars when we’re traveling)
Then in the early evening, we’ll head over to catch a glimpse of the massive parade balloons being inflated over at the Museum of Natural History to get some pics to include in my post-Thanksgiving article.
PLANNING OUR TRIPS IS H.H.’S JOB
H.H. is the real driving force when it comes to planning our getaways and vacations. In fact, he’s become quite proficient in his abilities to “work” the hotel and airline point systems to our best advantage. He’s even got some kind of formula for when and when not to use your loyalty points for a flight or hotel room.
I’ve been trying to get him to do a guest post to teach you how to take full advantage of your loyalty points and exactly which programs are worth joining. Is that something you would like to see included here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life?
Let me know in the comments below this post or over at The Fab Life Facebook Group, okay? Maybe we can convince H.H. to give us all the scoop! He did a fantastic job planning this historic Thanksgiving vacation, if I do say so myself!
FIRST STOP – PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS, Nov. 22-24, 2019
AMERICA’S HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION
We’re kicking off our historic Thanksgiving vacation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It’s the home of one of the only historically accurate chronological parades, visually bringing to life America’s rich heritage representing each century from the 17th through the 21st.
What’s really cool about the 2019 celebration is that it is the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower voyage. A local group called the “Plymouth 400” put together an incredible program as a part of the weekend’s festivities.
Now I told you I was going to get a little personal today, so here’s another little tidbit about Nan.
COOL FACT – I’M A MEMBER OF THE MAYFLOWER SOCIETY
I’m a documented member of the Mayflower Society as one of the descendants of WILLIAM WHITE, one of the survivors who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts 400 years ago. My older sister spent a few years of her life working diligently on our Mom’s family ancestry, and she unearthed this little known fact.
So making this trek a part of our Thanksgiving vacation seemed especially appropriate this year. I contacted the Plymouth chapter to see about hooking up with them at the celebration’s various events and was invited to ride on their float for the Thanksgiving parade. Unfortunately our travel schedule doesn’t allow me to be fitted for the required costume in time to participate. I feel quite honored to have been asked!
We will however meet up with several members that I’ve met online and we’ll attend the Plymouth 400 “Illuminate” event later in the day together. It should be lots of fun joining in the festivities.
COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE A DESCENDANT OF THE MAYFLOWER TOO? – Click here to find out:
TWO PARADES IN ONE VACATION!
What historic Thanksgiving vacation would be without a visit to America’s hometown?
Plymouth’s parade is ranked as the #1 Thanksgiving parade in the nation. It features beautifully decorated floats representing historic events, honoring national anniversaries and celebrating every period of American history.
Each year the parade includes several “specialty” floats that depict a “moment” in history relevant to that year’s celebration. 2019’s parade will feature a D-DAY 75TH ANNIVERSARY float to honor veterans of World War II. The depiction of the landing on the beaches of Normandy by the allied troops on June 6, 1944 will be laid out in its full glory.
It’s also the 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF APOLLO 11’S LANDING ON THE MOON. I can’t wait to see what kind of float they will come up with for such a momentous moment in American history.
LOTS TO SEE, EAT AND DO AT AMERICA’S HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION
Here’s a lineup of the festivities included in this year’s celebration:
- Friday night concert event at Memorial Hall featuring the “American Originals” and a special showing of the movie “D-Day Normandy 1944”, narrated by Tom Brokow.
- Saturday morning parade and Waterfront activities for families
- Craft Beer and Wine Festival
- Food Truck Alley (H.H. and I will eat our way down the line – our secret, share one of everything!)
- Children’s Pavilion – a tent filled with fun hands-on activities for the kids
- Historic Village – “Portal to the Past”
- Saturday – “Illuminate Thanksgiving” – a special program of music, live art and a special candle lighting ceremony, including a “Procession of Lights” down Leyden Street (I do get a lantern as a society member!)
- The day culminates in a waterfront concert by the Northern Lights A Capella Chorus and Plymouth International Chorus
THE HISTORIC VILLAGE – “Portal to the Past”
I am so looking forward to this part of the celebration! The historic Brewster Gardens are brought to life as dedicated living historians create a Historic Village filled with authentic camps and scenarios of historical eras.
The Historic Village interpreters both inform and entertain in character – and serve as guides as the visitors from the future (US) travel among the centuries. You begin the journey in the 17th Century with Native Peoples and European settlers. The real story of the first “Thanksgiving” in 1621 is revealed through site, sound and stories.
There’s also a 17th century “gun fight” where the Citizen Soldiers defend their town with spears and matchlock muskets. Cool.
The 18th century has the local militia men talking about their earlier conflict with the French and discussions against the King and Parliament of England. Old West desperados and lawmen guarantee a gunfight might just ensue as we move into the 19th century.
Winding up in the 20th Century, the WWII troops will tell us all about how the “modern” military works and fights.
I LOVE PARTICIPATING IN FUN EVENTS – GREAT MEMORIES ENSUE!
Visitors are actually invited to participate in many of the demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. That makes me giddy with expectation, while it just gives H.H. stomach cramps. I love to volunteer or be “picked” from an audience to participate in fun things. It’s just who I am. I’ve been a magician’s assistant twice, both a sous chef and judge for Top Chef competitions on cruise ships, Battle of the Sexes team captain… You get the picture.
H.H. tries his best not to get too embarrassed by my antics, but he does draw the line in the sand. He absolutely will not let me volunteer us for the “Newlyweds Game” on cruises. I know we’d do great after being best friends for over 40 years, but he knows/thinks that we’ll have to reveal too much of our personal lives.
Oh well, I’ll just have to be a contestant in another “beat the crew” competition on our next cruise. (yes, I have lots of great travel tips for cruising around this big blue marble, we’ve been on 14 so far! Watch for future travel posts!)
IT’S THE 93RD MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE – AND WE’LL BE THERE!
Back in 1924, Macy’s held the first Thanksgiving Day Parade with its employees marching to the flagship store on 34th street dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Can you imagine? At the end of that first parade, and every parade since then, Santa Claus has been welcomed into Herald Square.
The live animals were replaced in 1927 with the very first versions of the Macy parade’s famous character balloons. At the finale of the 1928 parade, the balloons were released into the sky, where they unexpectedly burst. The following year they were redesigned with safety valves to allow them to float for a few days.
Get this! Address labels were sewn into the balloons so that whoever found and mailed them back received a “thank you” gift from Macy’s. Can you imagine that happening now? Most, if not all of those balloons would be sold on Ebay by the finder.
Can’t wait to tell you all about our parade experience!
Here’s a list of the supplies that you should bring (and a few you shouldn’t) with you if you are planning on attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
- Folding outdoor seating (camping chairs are perfect)
- Car blanket/sleeping bag/thermal blanket (hours in the cold demand a warm covering)
- Refillable water bottle
- Prohibited items include umbrellas, backpacks, large bags, alcoholic beverages, drones and e-cigs
- Alternative to backpack to carry supplies
- Personal rain gear according to the weather report (poncho/raincoat) – umbrellas are forbidden
- Snack or breakfast in disposable packaging (you don’t want to have any more excess baggage for watching the parade than necessary)
- Some type of entertainment to keep you busy during the long wait between scoring a great seat and the actual start of the parade.
NAN’S TIPS FOR WATCHING THE PARADE “UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL”
- The closer to the beginning of the parade route you are, the earlier it “begins” and “ends” for you. This is an advantage for leaving the area before the crowds are ready to descend upon the subways and side-streets.
- Booking a room on or near the parade route is a great way to be able to duck into the warm after the parade. (parade view rooms are usually combined with “parade package” deals that cost $$$$$)
- Tickets are NOT available to the general public.
- Special needs access for spectators is available from the YAI National Institute.
- Dress in layers, the weather can be unpredictable this time of year.
- Wear comfy shoes, you’ll be standing, a lot!
- I recommend taking a thermal waterproof blanket like the Oceas one pictured. Unfolded, it can cover up to three people and it’s lined with flannel. It’s lightweight and can also be used for insulated ground seating for picnics and outings.
- Take the prohibited items list seriously, do not plan on “sneaking” puffs from an e-cig, you’ll be sorry!
- Make sure to find a “backpack” alternative to use as a carrier for your parade supplies. Use a “folding” bag to carry your supplies to keep your bulky items together. Keep it lightweight. I used 2 nylon reusable grocery bags that I feature in my post: Ever Stylish & Eco-Friendly Grocery Shopping
- You cannot get anywhere near Macy’s to see the performers during the parade, the area is blocked off in a two block radius around the NBC broadcast area.
- Plot out where the coffee shops/deli’s/etc. are along the parade route so you’ll be able to tag-team to get coffee or food while waiting for the parade.
- You should have a plan of action as to where you want to watch the parade, with several close-by alternatives so you’ll know what business establishments are in the area from the above tip.
- Bring your great attitude, lots of excitement and anticipation too! And most of all, have fun!
AN EVENING CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS TOUR OF MOUNT VERNON – George Washington’s Private Residence
Mount Vernon’s residents and visitors host a festive evening during Mount Vernon by Candlelight. We’ll enjoy the sounds of the holiday season while viewing spectacular Christmas trees highlighting the lives of the Washingtons.
The tour begins with a lantern lit walk of the historic area. You learn about holiday traditions of the 18th century while viewing the Slave Quarters and outbuildings of the estate. Inside, Lady Washington and other residents will welcome us into their home and share stories of past Christmases.
After the tour concludes, we can visit the Greenhouse and participate in 18th century dancing. Many dances were held at Mount Vernon during the holidays. Then you can travel to the 12-Acre Field to pay a visit to Aladdin the Christmas camel.
You can also visit an 18th-century soldiers’ winter encampment to learn and reflect upon the sacrifices made in service to our country. The evening concludes with live music, cider and cookies in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center Lobby.
It sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to trying to dance in the 18th century style. Hopefully H.H. will get some video, ’cause I know I probably won’t be able to tug him out onto the dance floor with me!
After we return home to North Carolina, I’ll write up a wrap-up post recounting our historic Thanksgiving vacation. I’ll chronicle all our activities, new memories and hopefully have a ton of great pics to share!
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A WINTER ROAD TRIP – MY NEXT POST
IN MONDAY’S POST I’LL BE SHARING ALL MY TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE A ROAD TRIP IN STYLE!
- How to prep your vehicle before you leave the driveway
- What to pack in your car for a more comfortable and enjoyable trip
- How to pack food for your entire first day of travel & eat fabulously!
- How to alter your wardrobe “packing mindset” for a road trip instead of flying
- What to pack for a 10 day vacation – Dual mini color-capsule packing plan for car trips
It’s actually something I haven’t thought of for a long time, as H.H. and I road trip all the time. But it takes a different mentality to pack for a journey by car rather than by plane. I’ll be sharing my tips on how you can pack for a car trip in a much less rigid way than a plane trip. And, just how you can maximize your comfort and enjoyment with a few little “tweaks” to your normal travel packing plan.
Have you been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? When? I’d love to hear about your experiences at the big parade! Comment below this post or share with everyone over at The Fab Life Facebook Group!
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