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From Aspen to Ann Arbor...Thanksgiving

Aaah.....Thanksgiving. A day to reflect on the many blessings life has given us: family, friends and French's Fried Onions. And what better way to observe the original American holiday than...canoeing in the Everglades? At least that's what my sister thinks. At a recent gathering I heard about ski trips to Aspen and weekends in Paris, but few if any were planning Thanksgiving dinner with family in Washington. I guess that's because so many people who live here aren't "from" here (myself included). Growing up in New England, my Thanksgivings consisted of going to Grandma's house where we started the festivities by watching the Macy's parade on television. At dinner, ten or twelve adults were seated around the dining room table and an equal number of children were sitting in the kitchen and all were enjoying a giant turkey feast topped off with lots of commotion, dessert and uncles watching the football game. It was all pretty Norman Rockwell (at least from my kids' table POV). Nowadays, our family is scattered from California and Michigan to Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland and Florida. My husband and I decided to do something different this year and have planned a good old fashioned, fun-filled, family road trip with our two boys for Thanksgiving. We'll be loading up the car with gifts and games (as well as a few bottles of wine) and stopping in on relatives on our way to the Great Lakes region to share Thanksgiving dinner with a branch of our family in the freezing cold. While we will be going over the river and through the woods, it's not to Grandmother's house we go this time, but I'm looking forward to playing Punchbuggy and the license plate game with my kids and staring out the window for a while. I think it's going to be a great Thanksgiving and if it's not exactly Rockwell-ian, maybe it will be one that my boys look back fondly on some day. At least there won't be any alligators.