Thanksgiving Road Trip

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I had a Thanksgiving Post all ready to publish before heading out on our annual Thanksgiving Road Trip but something came up. Specifically, we left a day earlier than planned – a spur of the moment decision.

Our annual road trip destination is about one hour north where we visit a holiday shop to see the decorated tree displays.  Each of us gravitates to a specific type of display based on our personalities. To give you a few examples, I’ll start with my son’s favorite.

elf-mail

Yes, he loves comedy in all forms and an elf stuck in the mailbox made him chuckle. His wife was drawn to the penguins.

penguins

I loved this white display, not so much for the tree but what is sitting under it.

white-christmas

Did you spot the peacock right away? Here’s a better view of it.

peacock

The children loved them all but especially the displays with the characters they recognize by name.

mickey-christmas

A few more displays for you. The Christmas Train.

christmas-train

There was a military display honoring all the branches of our military.

military-christmas

What’s Christmas without Teddy Bears?

more-bearsAnimated, Dancing Mr. and Mrs. Claus, with the M&Ms.

mr-and-mrs-santa

There were a lot of white trees versus traditional green needles. Is that the “in” color this year?  Doesn’t matter, they were all beautiful.

white-and-train

While each display is different from year to year many of the decorations are reused in new ways in subsequent years. But there is always at least one big display that is new in every way. This year the display was Santaopoly.

santaopoly2

And because many favorite characters were incorporated into this display it was appreciated by all ages.

santaopoly1

We saw Mickey and Minnie Mouse in another display so in Santaopoly Pluto made an appearance along with my grandson’s favorite – Cookie Monster and his sister found Clifford the Big Red Dog right off. (Clifford is in the back riding the train)

santaopoly

 

After the tree displays we took the children to visit Santa in the back of the store.  The lines were long so the children entertained themselves with the cheezy items on display.

goofy-reindeer

I was very impressed with the children. They were perfectly happy to window shop at the displays and never once asked for one of us to buy them a gift or toy.

We didn’t purchase many things, our outing isn’t about shopping we come to see the trees. It’s a tradition I began with my children when my first son was a year old. I did purchase a couple of house plants from their greenhouse, something I planned on doing since I have no where near me to purchase potted plants, especially pesticide-free.

There was this African Violet

african-violet

And this Christmas Cactus. I’ve had Christmas Cacti before but never got them to bloom so when I saw the profusion of blossoms on this one I decided it was coming home with me.

christmas-cactus

There were other cacti for sale and this blue one caught my eye.

blue-cactus

I decided not to purchase this blue cactus but when asked what I liked about it I answered “everything”.  It’s true, I liked the white ceramic dish, the vibrant blue color and even the pebbles spread over the potting soil. Everything said simple and understated with just a pop of color.

As we were getting in the car to head to our next destination my son gifted me with this cactus as an early Christmas present. If he is going to insist on buying me a Christmas present a plant is always welcome.

From there we headed down the street to the Daffin’s Chocolate showroom and gift shop. The first stop is always to see the Chocolate Kingdom, where all the buildings and even that Ferris wheel are made of chocolate.   Little guy found the free piece of chocolate more interesting for a bit. 🙂

chocolate-kingdom

We stopped for dinner out before heading home, my least favorite part of the trip but a necessity with little ones this time of year.  It was at the diner that I had to face my limitations for the first time that afternoon.  Deciding this would be a good time to use the rest room I quickly learned the handicap stall wasn’t large enough to fit a wheel chair in and still be able to close the stall door.  I had to remind myself that things have come a long way from years past in accessibility issues. We had a good day and this wouldn’t dampen my mood.

The next morning, Thanksgiving, my oldest son and his partner arrived to share the day with us. I had much to be thankful for this year and the biggest one is that my sons are closer than they have been in years past.

With the children out of school my oldest son has been here every day, except Saturday to work. He should be here until Tuesday night as the children don’t have school until Wednesday. I be back again after the children go home.  See you Wednesday!

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? I hoped your weekend was everything you wanted it to be.

 

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16 comments

  1. Lovely, Thank you..The photos made me smile…it all looks like time well spent..

    and yes, nice to have your boys grow closer…very nice.

    am surprised the bathroom stall was not properly designed…thought most were these days…
    (I wonder if a politely worded letter to the establishment, telling them how much you enjoyed their establishment, but hoping on your next trip there might be appropriate bathroom accomodations?)

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    • I’m so glad the displays brought a smile. 🙂

      As to the bathroom, it was a poorly modified situation. The best I can figure is that since they had three stalls along one wall and no room to change the layout they simply extended the wall a bit making the handicap stall a bit deeper, but not deep enough. The toilet was not ADA height but with the grab bars it wasn’t too bad. The biggest problem I had was that all the holders for the toilet paper and sanitary items blocked the use of one of the grab bars. Just a badly thought out redesign of the space. Luckily my son decided to guard the door so I had the rest room to myself. 🙂 Next year, I’ll use the rest room at the Christmas store if needed instead.

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  2. What a wonderful tradition for all ages! When I was little, we made a long trip into Chicago to stand outside and enjoy the animated window displays and have lunch at Marshall Fields under the giant Christmas tree. Did the same with my children except to Daytons in Minneapolis and now my daughter’s family makes the trip every year.
    I’ve never seen a blue cactus before. I’m off to google that!

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    • Google hasn’t been too helpful to me on finding information on the blue cactus but I’m not going to give up, just need a block of time to do an adequate search.

      I’ve heard of the famous Marshall Fields but never been there. When I was young the most we did was drive around to see the way people lit up their homes. It’s good to know your daughter (like my boys) loved your holiday outings she is carrying on the tradition with her family.

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    • I would never have the patience to put up those displays. Just putting lights on one tree at home would bring dread in me. I think that’s why I appreciate these displays so much.

      I’ve never seen a blue cactus before and this one is such a bright blue that I’m still trying to find information on it.

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  3. What a wonderful way to spend the holiday. You do this each year yet your photos always show things differently. I loved seeing the displays through your eyes. The children look like they are having a wonderful time. Is this store in an old building? The newer buildings have more space available for accessible use. My thanksgiving was very non traditional. Just my daughter and I having a relaxing day.

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    • So I didn’t bore you with yet another post on the Christmas Trees? 🙂

      The store is in a very old building. The business began in 1949 but I didn’t learn about it until 1985. We’ve visited every year since then unless we were living out of the state. I should have added the link to the store for anyone wanting to see more. Here is the link: http://www.kraynaks.com/

      I hope you and your daughter had a lovely Thanksgiving. Didn’t you have a house full last year or was that just Christmas? Will you and she be baking every weekend until Christmas again this year?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Never bored with your posts, Lois. I’ll take a look at that site later. Everything is different every year. No traditions for me. We had a quiet non traditional thanksgiving with lots of gratitude. Yes, we had a houseful for both last year and this year for Christmas again sort of. It will be different and my daughter and I have not started baking yet. 😦 She’s lost the desire to make stuff for work. I’ll do some as soon as I can catch up. Sis helped me get lights on the tree today. Now the ornaments maybe tomorrow. Getting old is slowing me down. 😦

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        • Gratitude is good. 🙂 I’m glad you had a good day with your daughter. Is your daughter okay? I ask because you two did so much baking last year.

          Christmas will be the holiday that is different for me this year. This is the first year my youngest won’t be around, he’s spending Christmas in Arizona with his mother-in-law. We’re celebrating the 17th before they leave. My oldest will be down at some point but with custody and such it won’t be Christmas day and that’s fine with me too.

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          • Thanks for asking about my daughter, Lois. She is as good as she can be. Changes in her company have created some disenchantment and she is no longer trying so hard to keep up moral. She is also finally getting some much needed medical attention that I hope will help. I will still bake soon as those goods are gifts for many here. We are just behind and this holiday will revolve around my son getting his stuff ready to move out. Every year, things change. That’s life. We have to roll with it. It’s hard when family is split. Everyone loses. It’s going to be very cold here next week so the baking may have to be up to me. Christmas always catches me unprepared. Trying to get a quilt done for my son but keep being distracted by other things. 😦

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          • I do hope your daughter gets the help she needs medically and that things change at work so it’s a better environment.

            I hope you don’t have much disruption as your son moves his things out and I hope your distractions end so you can get back to the things you love to do. I finally finished my sewing this week, what a relief it was.

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          • They are running their tests on my daughter. Time will tell. I expect lots of disruption and am prepared. Trying to get a quilt done for him before he gets here. Got the last of it cut today. Sunday will start the sewing. Tomorrow is my day with Daughter. She needs help with her sewing. It will all work out right. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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          • Do let me know how she’s doing. It’s really hard to deal with constant pain of fibro. I count myself lucky as the arthritis is easier to control and anticipate what will affect it.

            I know you will have your son’s quilt done in time, you rarely miss a deadline.

            And thank you, I did have a wonderful weekend with my granddaughter. 🙂 I hope you had a nice one too.

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed the Christmas displays. I considered not sharing them this year thinking it might be too repetitive. As for being overwhelmed with people, the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas it is so packed that there are lines around the building (outside) just to see the displays which is why we go before Thanksgiving.

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