Thanksgiving – Timing is Everything

Last year, as Helaine and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, we took a few days and went to New York City. We’re close enough (about 100 miles) to day trip, but this was going to be special – and, of course, it was.

I was about to write how everything went as planned until I remembered a Broadway show that was canceled at the last moment, a less than stellar hotel and a very, very long wait the night before Thanksgiving to see the balloon inflation. It was a wait we finally gave up on, before we got to the balloons.

The high point was going to Central Park West, just a half block from the Dakota, to watch the famous Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yes, we got up well before dawn and taxied to the Upper West Side. Yes, I napped on the sidewalk, waiting for the parade to get underway. But what a vantage point! And the parade was everything we hoped for.

Thank God we went last year!

It has been raining all day today. Right now the visibility is approaching zero over most of New York City and Connecticut. There’s a chance for thunderstorms on Thanksgiving morning and enough wind to force the parade organizers to consider not flying the balloons, or flying them low.

We really lucked out. Last year’s weather was as close to perfect as is possible.

I had been thinking about last year and the hundreds of pictures I took. In fact, I was thinking of putting this very entry in my blog. Then, just a few minutes ago, came email which made me know adding this entry was the right thing to do.

Dear Geoff,

I’m an English teacher at an International School in Venezuela, and this week I’m teaching my students about American Thanksgiving customs. I was thrilled to find your pictures of the parade! There are tons of great shots of the balloons, floats, bands, clowns, etc. I’m showing your slide show to my students — it’s the closest we’ll be able to come to watching the parade.

Thanks for making these excellent pictures available.


Erin Balcom, ESL Teacher

Morrocoy International School, Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela

That’s very cool. I feel lucky to be able to share my experience with these students so far away. To a kid, what could be more attractive about the United States than Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade?

This year Thanksgiving will be a lot more quiet – we’ll be home. Actually, I’ll be at work for part of the day, but will go home and have dinner with Steffie and Helaine.

In the time since we went to the parade I have pondered whether this is better left a once in a lifetime experience or if we should do it again. I’m still up in the air. It doesn’t make a great deal of difference because even if we had plans now, the weather would have canceled them for us.

One thought on “Thanksgiving – Timing is Everything”

  1. Geoff,

    Your trepidations about the parade for this year were unfounded. We rose at the crack of dawn and took in the parade. We got exactly three drops of rain, and the weather for the parade was great, warm and dry. I can’t say the same for the afternoon, because after we left Ellen’s Stardust Diner after three it was raw, cold and wet.

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