It's been ten wonderful years since I last went home for Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving 2000, my then-wife and I rented a car (which turned out to be a minivan when it was the last car they had) and drove from Greenwich Village to Johnstown after work on the night before the holiday. The drive home only took six hours, even with a long wait to get through the Holland Tunnel, and we arrived at my mom's house around 1 AM. I don't remember much of the holiday itself, though I think we ate well, watched football, saw a movie, and I occasionally dialed into my office network to check e-mail as there was a massive rollout going on in Brussels that weekend.
The return trip was another story. We left Johnstown around noon on Sunday, expecting to be back in New York for dinner. We got stuck in traffic on the Pennsylvania turnpike, and then in a long traffic jam of post-game traffic near the Meadowlands. I think we returned the car around 9 or 10 PM, just before the office closed. After that experience, we vowed never to travel for a four-day holiday weekend again. Over the next decade, we had Thanksgiving dinner at home or at restaurants with friends or by ourselves, then after my divorce, I had dinner with friends at various locations. It's been a delicious run.
This year, I'm going home again. I'm putting my faith in Amtrak and taking a train to Maryland at 9 AM tomorrow morning, which will hopefully get me to my dad's house in time for an early-afternoon feast. May God have mercy on the rail system if there's another Penn Station power outage or other mishap tomorrow morning. I'm coming back to the city on Saturday afternoon to avoid the crush of people returning on Sunday. It all feels a bit like a fool's errand, but it will be great to be home for dinner. I'll miss the Macy's parade, but I think I'll live. There's only so much inane banter I can take from my morning show hosts.
Happy Thanksgiving! Safe travels to everyone.