Posts Tagged ‘Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade 2010’

It is already Tuesday and I am just finding the time and the peace and quiet to sit down and reflect upon our first American Thanksgiving in New York City.  Many of my friends here in the city asked us if we would be celebrating US Thanksgiving since we had already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October.  My response to them was of course, we wanted to start our new family traditions and also, with all of the hype and anticipation surrounding Thanksgiving how could we not? Thanksgiving here in the United States is a BIG deal.  It is a bigger holiday celebration than Christmas.  As soon as Halloween is over the plans for Thanksgiving begin.  Travel arrangements are made, get togethers are organized and menus are planned with meticulous detail.  At this time Manhattan is turned into a magical holiday place.  Store fronts are transformed, trees are covered in lights and lamp posts are decorated.  The whole city becomes a frenzy of holiday cheer and excitement.

Radio City Music Hall

We were very fortunate to have friends and family with us to help celebrate Thanksgiving.  We kicked off the extra long weekend on Wednesday night by heading on over a couple of blocks to Central Park West and 81st to see the inflation of the balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  There are only certain streets in Manhattan that are wide enough to inflate the balloons for the parade and that is why they use the streets on the Upper West Side.  This is also where the parade starts and then it continues on into midtown towards Macy’s.  The balloon inflation used to be a neighbourhood secret, but word has gotten out and it is now a favourite thing for many New Yorkers  and tourists alike and the crowds are huge.  The best part of this adventure for us is the fact that it is only a couple of blocks from the apartment and we went for a half an hour and then returned home without having to jump on a crowded subway!!

The Smurfs are back!!

On Thanksgiving morning the kids woke up super excited to get going to the parade.  We turned on the t.v. at 7:30 am and saw that people with front row views at the barricades had arrived at 4:30 am!!  Our troops were not quite so dedicated and we left the apartment 10 minutes before the parade started.  We had no idea what to expect.  The crowds heading toward Central Park were huge but everyone was in a festive mood and the excitement and energy of the children was infectious.  Luckily, a wonderfully kind woman allowed our group to watch the parade from her brownstone stoop and we had an excellent view to see the spectacular floats, balloons and of course the guest of honour himself, Santa Claus!!

The crowds looking towards the parade route on Central Park West


The Gang on the Stoop

After an incredible time at the parade, the whole gang headed home to our warm and cozy apartment and did what all good Americans do on Thanksgiving- watched football, played games, snuggled on the couch, drank good wine/beer and enjoyed an incredibly delicious feast! A HUGE thank you to Ron, who, once again made an amazing turkey dinner 🙂  All of us were reminded throughout the day that it is the non material things that we are truly thankful for, our friends and loving families.  Well, and maybe one material thing- expandable pants 😉

The BEST thing about American Thanksgiving is that it lasts FOUR days!!  Boy, do they know how to do it right.  I woke up the day after Thanksgiving reflecting on what a great day it was and then I remembered that it was only FRIDAY.  We still had an entire long weekend to be with the family and that really is what holidays are all about, spending time with those people that you love, even if it means having an extra drink sometimes ;).  The gift of time is wonderful.

As we move onto the insanity of Christmas, I do so with a full heart, surrounded by the warmth of the people around me and for that I am grateful.  Thank you.

However, enough with the warm and fuzzies, it IS December tomorrow and I have not started my shopping.  I guess I had better jump into the crowds and get to it! OR, I could go online…

The crowd at Macy's on Saturday... pass me another drink!!

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