How We Spent Our Thanksgiving Vacation

by Lynnette

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We’re back in Tennessee now, but we managed to squeeze a lot of activity into a day-and-a-half in Indiana, and a day-and-a-half in Ohio… over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here’s how it went…



Tennessee To Indiana

A picture of our Jeep's shadow seen with the sun to our left (West) as we're driving along the highway.

11AM on Thanksgiving Day, we hit the road. Destination: Indiana to visit Lynnette’s family. Moments before departure, we managed to pack the car within 10 minutes flat — without an argument — a Jim & Lynnette first. (For some reason, we usually disagree on the order in which items should be placed into the back of the Jeep prior to every trip.)

First stop: Thanksgiving brunch a la the prepared food aisle from the nearest gas station/convenience store. We dined on some TURKEY jerky (okay, I didn’t touch this stuff!), a triangular-cut TURKEY sandwich (Jim chose a PIMENTO CHEESE sandwich instead… yuk), and some Cheetos (the bag is still unopened… don’t know why we bought these… we NEVER eat Cheetos!)

We didn’t play any “games” while driving this year. Instead, I read aloud some articles I’d bookmarked from INC. magazine about being an entrepreneur, how & why the top 500 entrepreneurs are succeeding, and some great marketing ideas to try. (Yeah, we’re pretty geeky.)

The lowest gas prices we've seen in months... $1.85!

For the first time in months, we witnessed gas selling for under $2.00 — WAY under $2! It seemed that prices were in the $1.90 to $1.99 range pretty much anywhere we drove — outside of Tennessee.

Saw evidence of a recent snowfall in Indiana (2 inches of snow fell 2 days prior to our arrival). Thankfully, we experienced no actual snow or ice on our entire trip. I was dreading the fact that either could damage our Jeep’s vinyl windows.)

Playing the Scene It movie and TV trivia game.

Enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Lynnette’s mom and brother, followed by a couple rounds of “Scene It?” — a DVD-based family board game. (FUN… highly recommended!)

The next morning, we were graced by the presence of Little Miss Karly. She was fascinated all day long by my colorful scarf. (…guess what she’s getting for Christmas? :o)

Uncle Jim makes great airplanes! Karly wearing Lynnette's scarf. Karly and the boys... Uncle Jim and Mike. Karly stuffing a dollar in the Salvation Army bell ringer's bucket.

We all drove to a nearby mall to take in some after-Thanksgiving sales. (A first for each of us. Yes, we were brave.) We let the maniacs have all the “great” deals at 5:00 in the morning. We opted for the “good” deals which still remained at 11AM. (Some small electronics, DVD movies for $3, and some fun Christmas decorations at 50% off.)

Evidence that it’s a small, small world: Upon entering the mall we run into my longtime friend, Suzie, who was (unbeknownst to me) ALSO in Indiana visiting her family (not that unusual) and partaking in some Black Friday sale specials at a mall that hardly anyone ever goes to (VERY unusual).

Suzie and Lynnette sitting with Santa in the mall.

We may be too big for Santa’s lap, but Santa had too big of a heart to leave Suz and I longing for a Santa picture this year. You see, we were “slyly” trying to get a pic of us… in this mall… with Santa in the background …while Karly was having her picture taken with Santa. (Figured it was not quite “legal” to take your own photos of Santa when they were selling photos with Santa for quite a price.) Santa came over to us for our own personalized Santa-in-the-mall photo!

Food highlights on this day consisted of Chinese buffet (Karly’s favorite), followed by some of mom’s dirty-pudding! (Oreo cookie/vanilla pudding dessert). Several more rounds of “Scene It?” closed out the night.
Indiana To Ohio

6AM the next morning, we left Indiana for Ohio to visit Jim’s family.

We were in a hurry to arrive by 11AM for a Massillon football game (Jim only… I, on the other hand, was in a hurry to arrive in Jim’s mom’s kitchen for some homemade potato salad!)

In Indiana: Got a “warning” for speeding (a police officer we drove past flashed his lights signaling that he wasn’t happy with our “11 miles over the speed limit” pace).

Police speed trap in Ohio.

In Ohio a few hours later: Got a TICKET for speeding (75mph tracked at 1,573 feet as the lead vehicle pulled over in a speed trap on U.S. 30.) Three police officers were scoring a lot of tickets in the short time that we were there waiting.

A police officer holding a radar gun toward approaching traffic in hopes of catching another speeder... this is the view through our Jeep's back window.

Jim is flabbergasted that after going YEARS without a ticket, he’s now obtained three (3) speeding tickets in less than 4 months! (This is in ADDITION to three different “warnings”.) He’s reluctantly decided to follow my rule: “go 9 miles over the posted speed limit and no more”. For the entire rest of the trip, Jim felt restricted, and for a guy who loves to drive… driving had suddenly lost its “fun”.

At the home of Jim’s parents: Jim is bundling up from head to toe for a football game in near-freezing temperatures with his dad and brother (including a pair of these). I’m enjoying a heaping helping of Elouise’s potato salad and watching DVD movies with the fireplace roaring. (“Analyze That” …ehhh, silly adult humor. “Radio” …a good true movie.)

Post football game, Jim’s brother, sis-in-law, neice, and nephew joined us for some hot chili and (of course) potato salad (…one can never eat too much of Jim’s mom’s potato salad, and my mom’s macaroni salad!)

Dylan having a ball looking through old family photos... especially pictures of his dad as a little boy. Brother and sister... Shelby and Dylan in matching PJs. Dylan and Shelby sharing hugs.

Next morning, while Jim’s parents were at church, Jim and I squeezed in a little computer time. Then we all went out to eat (Chinese Dynasty buffet… best I’ve ever been to), followed by seeing the long-awaited “Walk The Line” movie.

The Johnny Cash movie: AWESOME! I didn’t want it to end. I can’t wait for the sequel (though they don’t typically make sequels for movies like this one). I definitely can’t wait to read Johnny Cash’s autobiography now.

After some more quality time with Jim’s family, we headed back home to Tennessee — to be greeted at 4 in the morning by two tail-wagging pups — glad that we were home.