travel has always been a huge part of holidays, and thanksgiving has always seemed to garner the most for me. i have stayed local, crossed the country, or just state lines, but there’s always a story to tell. and now, submitted for your approval of the midnight society, and in accordance with the season, some thanksgiving tales.
sometimes they were mentally painful, like freshman year of college and my first experience of the chinatown bus on the sunday after a holiday weekend. which, by the way, is a chaotic mode of transport on a normal day. so, traveling on the sunday after thanksgiving? long lines, screaming babies, and a 4 hour-turned 6 hour bus ride, was a guaranteed test of every fiber in my being. i’m pretty sure the fung wah took a little bit of my soul that day.
or it can be physically painful like the following year, when, getting a ride from my cousin, i missed a step in their garage and rolled my ankle, resulting in a lovely swollen foot upon my return to the dorm.
but it’s not all disaster all the time. i used amtrak a few times, which was more expensive, but rather lovely and stress free.
or there was no travel. when living in los angeles, those of us who weren’t flying home would have what i called ‘orphan thanksgiving’ because we weren’t with our families. i know, it sounds awful and i’m a terrible person. it was in actuality a potluck. then we would watch ‘home alone’ and eat pie. it was awesome getting to spend a holiday in such a different way, and i miss it, and the company, dearly.
another fond memory is of earlier years when my parents and i were in the car. we would drive down to south jersey to visit relatives and, while undoubtedly we were stuck in traffic on the turnpike, surrounded by refineries and ports, there was a beacon of hope. around noon on the local classic rock station, every year they would (and still do) play arlo guthrie’s “alice’s restaurant”. it’s not quite an adam sandler kind of song, but, for 20 minutes, it makes the traffic not seem so bad.
what are your thanksgiving memories?