Planes, Trains and Automobiles

That title can be added to the disturbingly long list of “classic” movies* that I’ve never seen…unless of course, you count clips from Scene It. I love board games and I’m not afraid to say so. My family loves them to, but more on that in a hot sec.

*List also includes: any Rocky movies, any Godfather movies (though I did just read the book and for the first time in my life have a desire to see them), Goodfellas, Animal House, Back to the Future, Pulp Fiction, Top Gun, Caddyshack and pretty much any other movie that is probably your favorite.

Any who. The title is more attributed to my traveling home to Richmond for Thanksgiving. In the past, I was a quick 2-hour trip away from my parents house and was lucky enough to work somewhere that loved remote employees. So getting time off to head home for the holidays was very easy and also very plenty.

Due to a new job in NY and the JD’s vicious schedule, our turkey day trip was planned at the very last minute, and when we last left off, I was dreading my first-ever Chinatown bus ride from New York to Virginia. The actual bus and ride were not so bad, but the waiting to board the bus–in the freezing cold rain, on the streets of Chinatown where no one who worked for the bus company spoke English or really seemed to care where your ticket said you were destined, as long as you were wedged on to a bus–was a little nerve-wracking.

In the end though, everything worked out and the JD and I pulled into my parents driveway a little after midnight on the eve of my favorite holiday (no, the bus did not deliver us there, dear old dad was waiting at the bus station…which was a sidewalk outside a 711 in downtown Richmond. Which happened to be near Monument Ave. Where, as we drove along it, I not-so-subtly rehashed an entire three-mile stretch of my marathon to pops and the JD).

Even though we got in at a late hour and didn’t get much sleep, I managed to drag my butt outta bed on Thursday morning for a quick jog…afterall, I had a parade to watch. After four easy miles around my parents hood, I showered, filled a giant mug of coffee, grabbed my pumpkin bread and settled into the couch for the next four hours. Most exciting part of the 85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? The clip from Newsies. Holy cow, can’t wait for that show to get started on Broadway.

The rest of the day, and pretty much weekend, involved all 20 or so of us hanging out around my parents house eating lots of delicious food, playing lots of nerdy board games and sipping on wonderful red wine.

I managed to get out of the house on Friday and Sunday as well, but not for more than four miles each time. As noted many times in the past, my parents sidewalkless and relatively small (as in, go more than a mile or so in either direction and you’re hitting roads with high traffic) neighborhood make for very boring, looping runs, of which I can’t tolerate for much more than four miles. Would I have liked to get more road underfoot? Yes. Should I have? Yes. Am I that upset that I didn’t? No.

Because every extra half mile of running would have meant an extra few minutes of not catching up with family. We have a huge crowd at Thanksgiving–people come from all over New York and Arkansas and now even Chicago and Milwaukee. It’s rare that you get aunts and uncles from Long Island in the same room as your grandparents from Richmond and cousins from little ‘ol Fort Smith all in one room, so I like to take advantage of it to a tee.

We followed all of our usual traditions–two turkeys (some insist on cooking it old school, others argue deep-fried is the way to go. our compromise? more food), mini-cheesecakes and lots of Catchphrase and Pictionary on Thanksgiving day, Black Friday bowling competition (the one time a year I ever get to go bowling…and my score lets you know that), my nieces birthday party (I am at work today with a Hello Kitty tattoo that REFUSES to leave my arm), helping my grandmother get her Christmas tree up and an afternoon spent on the lovely James River at Richmond’s very own, Legend Brewing Co. If you’re wondering if I made my aunt, cousin and the JD drive the long way out of the city JUST so I could say “see this bridge we’re on? I ran over this bridge at mile 17 on Race Day. anything else you want to hear about the marathon? no? okay, and that’s where the starting line was, and that’s where I made a porta potty stop just before the gun went off…” You get the idea. I wasn’t annoying at all.

After spending a ridiculously warm Sunday afternoon (I love warm weather, but 80 degrees when you’re supposed to be putting up Christmas decor is kind of hard to swallow) walking around Carytown and picking up some stocking stuffers, the JD and I then headed to the train station to head back to the Big Apple. We opted for the train for the ride home using the logic “well, it’s a heavy travel day and this way we don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic.” Silly us and our silly logic.

The train was about 1.5 hours off schedule and we walked in the door at 3 a.m. this morning. I’m a zombie right now and that’s why it took me until 2:00 to start thinking about this post. I apologize for the delay, but please take it up with Amtrak Customer Service.

And what’s that about planes in the name of today’s blog? Well, even though the Chinatown bus got us to Richmond in one piece, it still took us well over an hour to get out of the city. And well over an hour to leave Richmond by train. So I learned a little lesson and immediately booked my plane ticket home for Christmas. Done and done.

In the meantime, I’ve got some serious gym trips to make (hoping I can stay awake to get there tonight), runs to do, and a wee little trip to Dominican Republic to keep me busy til the next trip home 🙂

Hope everyone had a very very happy Thanksgiving that included some turkey trotting, pumpkin pie eating and lots of QT with fam and friends!


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