Home For Thanksgiving Week? Plan A Staycation At Home!
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November 18, 2014

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For the first time in, like, forever, Thanksgiving week is coming and we have no plans whatsoever. No trips, no visitors, and a whole five days of no school. I’m so dang excited, let me tell you. No structure, no homework packets, or after school shuttling to endless activities, and no “hard” bedtimes. Hooray! But since I’m not one to “hang out” at home, what to do, what to do...

So I’ve decided to do a staycation right here at home. I made a list of options and I’ll let the girls decide what we’ll do each day. So if you’re not going somewhere or not already locked into major commitments, try thinking outside the box and do something different, unique and fun during the week, right in your own backyard. The important thing is that we do it together and bond.

Hang Gliding
A few weeks ago, I treated myself to my first-ever hang gliding experience for my birthday. It was spectacularly fun, amazing and memorable. I asked my instructor for age limits and he told me that a few months prior, they took a 106-year old woman! (Oh, Lord, please let me be that fun and adventurous in my old(er) age like that.) Nonetheless, my children meet the age restrictions so this one made our list. Weather permitting, we're doing it.

Game Day
Game Day will include bowling, laser tag, and miniature golf, followed by lunch or dinner someplace we’ve never been trying a new cuisine. I pick Indian food but they get the final decision.

Skiing
Here in Salt Lake City, most of the nearby ski resorts open this weekend-- hooray! I just went through all their ski stuff and minus a couple of minor items, they’re ready to go. One day next week, I’m putting them both in ski school for a day of refresher training (which means I get a day to myself!), fresh air, and loads of fresh vitamin D.

Bikram Yoga
I am a huge fan of Bikram yoga-- 90 minutes in a room heated to 104-degrees. It is one of the things that helped me heal from cancer treatments and divorce (which I did simultaneously). My 14-year old can go with me and we’ll do at least one class that week.

Museum Hopping
The Bodies exhibit is here in Salt Lake City and this is on our list. Next to the exhibit are a few museums. We can hit up a few of them in a single day. I can't say my daughters love museums but I drag them anyway and they learn something (whether they like it or not).

Movie Day
There are so many good movies coming out that my head is spinning. Spending several hours watching a few of them and scarfing popcorn sounds heavenly.

Pie Baking Day
One thing that isn’t negotiable is baking for Turkey Day. Neither of my daughters have ever helped me bake a pie. This year, they’re learning how. A fun mommy-daughter baking afternoon is definitely in order. We'll put on music and make a mess. Let's hope this turns out ok.

Photo Shoot
I scheduled a photo shoot for the three of us. We’re already talking wardrobe options and planning how we’re going to do our hair. We plan to have fun and be silly (and hopefully get at least a few great photos for Christmas cards).

Volunteering
Near our home is a horse ranch for children with disabilities. They are actively recruiting kid volunteers to care for the animals. We’re going to stop by, take a tour, and (hopefully) sign them up to help.

Dog Shopping
I have promised by daughters for at least a year now that we might get a dog someday. I think I’m ready to take the plunge and at least start looking. That means we’ll visit the Humane Society and local animal shelters and see where we go from there.

Retail Therapy
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without hitting up the shops at all. We are not standing in lines Thursday evening, however, or doing anything crazy like that. But no doubt, we’ll be looking for bargains at some point.

Lights At Temple Square
In Salt Lake City, the Mormon Temple Square lights up for the holiday season and it is spectacular. Last year, we went to dinner at the top of the Joseph Smith building and then walked around the city afterwards. It was incredibly cold but we got hot chocolate and bundled up. It was really fun and, no doubt, we’ll do it again this year.

Football, Turkey & Gluttony
But what’s most important is, of course, family. On Turkey Day, we’ll sleep in, hang out with my parents, aunts and uncles, nephews, siblings and cousins, and eat. And, of course, watch football. I always buy the newspaper and painstakingly look at every single advertisement. And take a nap. Perhaps this year, the girls and I will sit down and actually write a list of things we’re thankful for, make a sign out of it, frame it, and put it somewhere we can see it all year. Actually, I love this idea best of all!

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