Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Traditions: Macy's Balloon Viewing and More

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you and your family are enjoying your cherished traditions today. Here are some of my favorites of the season.

I've lived in New Jersey not far from New York City my entire life, but have always watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade from the comfort of my couch. The past few years I've attended the Thanksgiving Eve balloon viewing event, where you can see the famous balloons being inflated around the American Museum of Natural History across the street from Central Park. I love this event. Everyone's eyes are filled with wonder and a smile is on just about every face. We need that more!

Balloon super stars!

Saturday morning happiness for me as a child: a bowl of cinnamon Life cereal and The Smurfs.

The Energizer Bunny was one of the few balloons fully up.

I can't believe I missed A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving this year. I love when Peppermint Patty invites herself and the gang over and Snoopy and Woodstock make a feast of popcorn and buttered toast and they're all disgruntled.

I admit it: I can't wait to see The Muppets movie.

Tim Burton has a new balloon in the parade this year. It wasn't inflated at all, so we'll have to picture it.

A rainbow of balloons lined the railing and were handed out by Girl Scouts.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I had a bite at one of my favorite vegan eateries in the city, Cafe Blossom. A cup of fennel puree soup, $4, and black eyed pea cakes (yukon potato, red pepper coulis, chipotle aioli), $8. I love fennel but never think to make a soup with it.

More balloons were inflated after my meal.

I don't know who was more excited, the parents or the kids.

Every year for my November birthday, my family sponsors a turkey from Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-A-Turkey project for me. I've visited their shelter in Watkins Glen, New York and know the excellent work they do to provide a refuge for animals who escape factory farms, and their efforts to end cruel confinement systems like battery cages for egg-laying hens.

My turkey, Elizabeth, who was rescued from severe neglect in 2010, declares, "This Thanksgiving, give a turkey the royal treatment!"

On Sunday I attended a "Gentle Thanksgiving" event in Wayne, New Jersey, where vegetarians, vegans and even many a meat-eater enjoyed a completely vegan meal. The God's Creatures Ministry event was $30 a person and the proceeds go mostly to help people pay for veterinary bills. In these hard economic times, something that many might struggle doing. Tofurkey and all the trimmings...

Vegan pumpkin pie and apple crisp.

I've visited the Bergen County Historical Society's events often in person and shared them on this blog. Here is a video of a recreation of the First Thanksgiving feast. I'd love to sample the corn grits and stewed pumpkin.

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