24 November 2011

Thanksgiving (non)Tradition

When most people think of their ideal Thanksgiving holiday, this iconic Norman Rockwell painting comes to mind:

A large smiling family gathered round a well-dressed table stocked with an abundance of Thanksgiving staples, Mom's good china, a giant turkey at the center, and none of that conversational awkwardness that tends to happen when you see family you haven't seen since the last Rockwellian Thanksgiving. I always picture an overcast sky causing a light fall of snow just through the window-- Christmastime on the cusp of turkey and stuffing.  It seems like such a Midwestern ideal, and not a bad one at that.

But we all know the holidays are nothing like Norman Rockwell depicted-- perhaps it was his own idyllic hope captured on canvas.  Some traditions have a few of us going out for dinner (done that before actually) or to the movies; some of us have the large families with an over abundance of yummies while others just watch the game; some work and some travel.  There's roasted turkey, grilled turkey, smoked turkey, fried turkey, tofurkey, and ham. My point is, we all enjoy our own unique traditions at the holidays and this year was my first step in a new direction.  

You see, I practically grew up spending Thanksgiving inside that legendary painting.  Large family? Check. Tons of good food? Check. Roasted turkey: Double Check.  Everyone laughing and getting along: Triple Check.  It was a nice way to spend the holidays for the last 26 years, but now that Michael and I are in LA, traveling home isn't always an option every year. This was that year.

So in true Jamie & Michael style, we didn't plan.  I mentioned in the previous post that we were going to cook a big meal... not so much. We decided not to spend the money on a huge feast we'd be eating for weeks and instead on Lou Malnati's Chicago deep dish and sight seeing.  This was a much better plan. To sum up (ha!  I've never summed up in my life).... FIRST, I picked up a mini pumpkin pie to keep tradition semi-alive.  Then we headed to Hollywood & Highland: home of the Chinese Theater, Kodak Theater, Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum, and lots of crazy  interesting people dressed in costume.  

We ate brunch at the Disney Soda Fountain and Souvenir Shop (or something like that) where I passed up the opportunity to buy MUPPET THEMED NAILPOLISH by OPI!!!  Yes, I turned down the shimmery pink "Meep Meep Meep" (Beaker for those not obsessed with Jim Henson's furry friends) and the all glitter "Rainbow Connection" but I had just gotten an 18 pc mini set-- I was trying to exercise control.  Do yourself a favor and look for them online.... then buy a bottle for me.

Michael finally got the chance to see this:

This is the Chinese Theater in case you weren't sure... O_o

Most people don't know how much I LOVE wax museums.  Like really L-O-V-E them. They're a visual feast plus I L-O-V-E the horror movie "House of Wax" (the Vincent Price version, not the crappy gore fest of a remake). I also really like cemeteries but that's irrelevant.

Marlene Dietrich at Madam Tussaud's.  

Once we'd walked around the outdoor mall next to the Kodak Theater-- and yes there were stores open during the day!-- and did the wax museum, we headed back to our 'hood, picked up caffeine (Starbucks), and came home.  Having only had 3 hours of sleep last night, it was nice to take the day slow, get in some sight seeing, then come HOME.  That's what Thanksgiving is really about anyway, right? And what's "home?" Family of course.  And wherever Michael and the cats are, I am home.  

So we chowed down our turkey pizza, I made some cocoa and we savored a little pie. Now it's time to relax, Black Friday shop on Amazon, play some video games, and get some sleep.  We've got another tradition coming up tomorrow: decorating our place for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  It's been around since I was born and I don't think that one will ever change-- it's a fave.

Whatever your traditions may be, I hope you enjoyed a joyous holiday with the ones you love (even if you couldn't see ALL of them).  Happy Thanksgiving ❤

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