Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving: Central Park WEST style!

Is there any better way than to spend Thanksgiving watching the parade above the balloons with dear family and friends?!  Ok, maybe with MORE of our dear family and friends, but we have had the ulitmate in NY Thanksgivings for the past 4 years watching the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade from our friends' balconies.  

Camera out the window shot!

Central Park West-2008

The parade is a wonderfully spectacular event full of color, excitement and grandeur.  For those who have never witnessed it in person, a trip to NYC at Thanksgiving-time is a MUST at least once in a lifetime!

We trekked in the night before and had a blast trapsing around our old haunts.  It was so great to eat at Ollie's.  I LOVE the Sesame Chicken and Moo Shu Pork.  The kids think their egg drop soup is the best around!  Oh, how I've missed our house account at Ollie's and their fast, efficient delivery!

Then we joined the throngs of people getting a sneak peek of the blowing up of the balloons the night before.  I remember going a decade ago when it was really a non-event!  You just went and walked around and were amazed at the size of the balloons up close and talked to the balloon handlers.  Now, there are mazes to get through to even watch!  There were even printed indication signs and police barricades galore so it's turned into a full event in and of itself!

A trip to Pinkberry was not missed despite the near freezing temp and Pinkberry was once again adored by the kids!  They have grown to love the tart frozen yogurt creation as much as I do!  Luke entertained the customers while dancing to the tunes playing. Sophia had a gleeful smile as she finished the last bite and Wesley licked the cup clean!  Bliss.

Then back over to the Eastside to stay at our friend's pad!  It was actually soothing to sleep to the sounds of the city that night. (garbage trucks, street noise and the whooshing sound of the buildings--what is that sound?)  What a great night's sleep!

We had a wonderful day of parade watching, great food, even better friends and just plain Thanksgiving tradition!  The balloons were larger than life as usual and the colors parading down Central Park West were so vivid and striking!  There was a pink and orange dance team that was so eye-catching with their swishing pom poms!  The kids loved seeing the Bolt balloon and Santa bringing up the rear, of course!

Bow Bridge, Central Park

The Park was spectacular at mid-day!  The weather was nearly perfect and the mood was cheerful!  We went to our favorite spots by the lake and the Bow Bridge and then made our way over to the Bethesda Fountain area where the same entertaining Afrobats were starting their annual show.  They chose Wesley to be their token cute kid to earn them even more money and gave him his street name, "White Chocolate" and afterward they shared a little of the profits with him.  He was thrilled!  The did a stunt and jumped over him.  It was so cute and one that Wesley will remember for a long time!

Afro-bats @ Bethesda Fountain with "boy with stick" aka White Chocolate--LOL

White Chocolate returns with $1.25--woo hoo!

Dinner was outrageously fabulous prepared by Varan, an Israeli chef.  He went over the top with so much this year.  There were 5 different toppings and spreads for the cast iron baked corn bread, and sausage galore stuffing, extremely moist turkey and wonderful fixings.  Wow!  I was so full that I actually had to pass up pie this year!  

Diane & Chef Varan

Wesley led a "what are you thankful for" discussion and he reminded us that his two favorite holidays are what hit the top of his list: Halloween and Thanksgiving!  Sophia was thankful for the earth and Evan for family.  Me, I'm thankful that we've had this great family tradition of spending Thankgiving in a warm and gracious home these past four years and the good friends that have been such wonderful hosts!  These traditions are part of the tapestry of our life!

It's been a crazy year of ups and downs and health and sickness for all at the Thanksgiving table, but what I went away with this year is... wow, we are all blessed with so much, what are we going to do with those blessings to shape our lives and impart to others? What great lessons we have learned this year and what even greater lessons do we have to look forward to next year!

Let us all be thankful.


Kyndra said...

Looks wonderful!! But I guess this means that we won't ever have Thanksgiving dinner in the city together??? If your friends ever move and you need a new tradition, I'll be happy to oblige.

Allison said...

Sounds wonderful.