It all began last Tuesday night…
After work, I drove to my parents, changed into comfy clothes, piled into the backseat of my parents car, drove to the city to pick up my brother, and the four of us headed east for Thanksgiving.
I slept through the night crammed into the back seat with plenty of pillows and blankets. We hit some snow and ice in Indiana, but for the most part, made great time. We arrived in New Jersey Wednesday morning just in time to go pick up my cousin’s adorable kids from school.
First (of many) vacation selfie
My cousins live in an awesome town in New Jersey and our first stop (after lunch) was downtown for some tax free pre Thanksgiving shopping and Starbucks. When we got back home, everyone sat around the dinner table to catch up on life.
After dinner, it was back to the kitchen for Thanksgiving prep. It was a team effort pulling together homemade stuffing and mashed potatoes before crashing for an early evening. Thursday morning, we were up WAY before the sun for parade day.
We drove into the city and found a parking spot within walking distance of our location on 68th. A few of us went off to Starbucks for a warm beverage and a bathroom. The line was outrageous, but thankfully Magnolia Bakery opened up at 7am with warm coffee and tea and incredible pastries.
We had over an hour before the start of the parade, so a simple game of I Spy kept us all busy!
When the clowns came skating down the street, we knew the parade would be right behind!
Two years ago when we went to the parade, I took tons of pictures, so I tried to get some different snap shots this year. There were some old favorites and a few new faces along the route, plus a local Chicago marching band. As you can see, despite the threat of heavy winds, it was a gorgeous day!
After Santa’s arrival (signifying the end of the parade), we followed the masses back to our car.
We drove up to northern Manhattan to pick up some family members who opted out of the parade and then drove out to Rockland county where my cousin and his wife were hosting this year’s Thanksgiving.
It was a beautiful feast and the house rang with chatter and laughter (from the adults as much as the kids) from the moment we arrived until the last person fell asleep!
After dinner, the kids were super excited to celebrate the second night of Hanukkah! I should tell you that the BOY and I do our own Hanukkah celebration, but it is WAY more fun celebrating with family, especially this enthusiastic crowd. Friday morning, I woke up to an adorable girl in pink plopping into my bed and asking if I wanted to see what was in her purse. How sweet is that???
I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but 4 days surrounded by amazing family is definitely top on my list!