We usually have Thanksgiving only every OTHER year in New Jersey, but due to my 25-year high school reunion tomorrow night, we're in the middle of a three-years-in-a-row stint down here. I did not take Jeff's offer to simply flip the years and stay home next year because I like to come to New Jersey in the odd years so the high school football game will be at home.
I am coming across as someone who really loves high school! And that is completely untrue.
Nevertheless, here we are. And we arrived a day early, to beat a snowstorm. So Jeff insisted that we take full advantage of the fabulous offerings so close at hand.
First we went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As I suspected, this was not a terrible idea, because even though there were three million other people there preventing you from seeing the marching bands and floats, what you really want to see is the balloons, and they go over your head.
Then we went to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Here is a tip for those of you traveling with children under 10. Ellis Island is SUPER BORING for them. The ground floor exhibit consists of like a hundred giant panels covered with text. The artifacts that used to be on display upstairs were all removed after Superstorm Sandy damaged the building; it's been two years, and the Park Service still has not managed to get a handle on temperature and humidity controls in the building so the artifacts are still in storage in a warehouse somewhere in New Jersey. (Full disclosure: I love the Park Service and my secret dream is to become a National Park Service Park Ranger and wear the hat, so don't think I'm just trying to badmouth the Park Service. I'm sure they have very important reasons for not getting those artifacts back out there.)
The big registry room is absolutely gorgeous. Here are two of my absolutely gorgeous children in it.
Outside you can see the names of many of the immigrants who made our country great inscribed on a metal wall, including Jeff's grandfather, "Willie Flaherty" (known as Bill during his long life as an American citizen after he emigrated from Ireland in 1928).
Then we went to the Statue of Liberty, and EVERYONE loves the Statue of Liberty. We love her green body and her old torch and her new torch and the big copper model of her foot and the Emma Lazarus poem and pretty much everything about her. Love, love, love.
And now tomorrow is the high school reunion. Which would be bad enough for anyone, but for some reason I agreed to sing one song with the band.
I have been singing with a band for about six or eight months now. I'm sort of terrible. It is the most fun I have had in my adult life. See, if you sing rock and roll with eight musicians behind you, it's OK if you suck, because it's just really noisy.
Now I have to sing with some musicians I've never met, in front of people who called me names when I was an awkward tween.
I guess there's nothing to worry about. News flash: awkward teens become awkward adults. I'll just do a couple of extra shots before I go on and everything will be excellent. Just like the 1980s.