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Gary Nov 29th, 2002 06:56 AM

Did you enjoy the trip to visit the relatives over Thanksgiving?
There is so much press about travel over the long Thanksgiving weekend but little talk about it on the Fodors message board. Here is your chance to tell the world about your trip to visit the relatives at Thanksgiving.<BR><BR>Did you enjoy the trip, the relatives, were there security hassles? Was it all worth the time and money, or would you rather be at home?

lee Nov 29th, 2002 05:52 PM

My mother-in-law passed away in September, so this was our first family gathering without her. This made the holiday very hard. We had planned this trip months before her death b/c my brother-in-law and his wife were expecting their baby a few weeks before Thanksgiving. We decided to continue with our plans (after my mother-in-law died) so that we would still get to see the new baby, and so the brother-in-law would have some of his family come to see his baby. We agreed that we would not stay at the brother's-in-law home b/c of the new baby and made other arrangements. <BR><BR>We made the 5 hour drive, dropped our things off and called to see if we could come over to see the baby or should we wait until the following morning. We were told to come over but upon arrival, were treated as if we were a bother to them. We brought baby gifts, which were basically ignored, except to tell us they already had some of things. The visit was strange and we left after a short while, feeling that we were not welcome. Since we had asked during our earlier phone call about waiting to come over, if there were a better time, we were feeling pretty sad and wondering why we drove down in the first place. We would have been fine with being asked to come later in the year since they were adjusting to the new baby (and we are the types who make offers like this b/c we hate to impose).<BR><BR>Thanksgiving day itself was better while we were at their in-laws having lunch. Upon returning to their house, to visit with an older niece, things were again rather tense. We asked if we should leave and allow them some quiet time but were asked to stay and visit with the older child. We were so happy to do this, but the weirdness of the situation did not improve much. I realize that the new mother is having a really tough time adjusting to no sleep, but all we wanted was to be told by one of them that they were happy to see us and glad we came down, nothing more. We were never made to feel that way. It was very strange and I'm hoping this will not be the case when we visit during the Christmas holidays. We have already been asked to come down for a weekend during Christmas b/c of the baby's baptism, so we cannot cancel this trip. Hopefully,things will have calmed down a bit for them and they will be back to their old selves.<BR><BR>It's just very hard to always be the ones expected to drive the 10 hours, round trip, and then be made to feel that we were not invited to come--knowing they had told us many times during the past few months that they wanted us to come down. I am, again, assuming that some of this will be better once they are better adjusted to the new baby and have had some sleep. <BR><BR>I know things are going to be different now that my mother-in-law is gone and our central &quot;hub&quot; is no longer there. However, I ended up wishing we had gone on a vacation by ourselves rather than visiting family. Pretty sad, huh? On a more positive note, we had a very nice drive both ways!<BR>

dearAbby Nov 30th, 2002 06:31 AM

I know you didn't ask, but you are a fool if you don't call them very soon and ask if you should still come for Christmas. Make it clear but polite that you really felt you were intruding on their privacy, and you don't want to do that again. Either the answer they give will make it clear what you should do, or at the least it will signal them that this time they should treat you better.

lee Nov 30th, 2002 07:56 AM

I agree that we &quot;should&quot; call and ask about Christmas b/c of what happened at Thanksgiving, but there's one little problem. My husband is the god-father, so we have to be there! I wish they would re-think the time of the baptism until after the holidays but they have already changed the date once, so I doubt it will change again. It's obvious to me that they are overwhelmed with the baby right now and don't need added problems, but they are not the type to see that and stop it. Plus, the child's god-mother lives even farther away and will be in the area b/c of the holidays.<BR><BR>Although we were invited to stay at their house during this next trip (the invitation was made 3 months ago), we are seriously re-thinking that! Right now, we're considering getting a hotel room and just staying in town for one night. I hate to spend the extra money during an already expensive time of year, but it might just be worth it. We'll end up driving a lot over 2 days but that's better than being made to feel like unwanted intruders.

bob Nov 30th, 2002 09:03 AM

No I did not enjoy it. My brother ruins it every time with his negative attitude. I know I am not the only one with this dilema.

J Correa Nov 30th, 2002 09:23 AM

Thanksgiving was very enjoyable. We didn't travel for Thanksgiving, went to my mom's house and she only lives an hour away. I had just returned from a business trip on Tuesday evenning. No security hassles to report. Security was definitely tighter at the airport, but the screening process was smooth. One definite improvement is that at the security checkpoint to get into the terminal, each person goes through the metal detector at the same time that their carry on bags go through the x-ray machine. This way each person stays with their stuff rather than having to wait at the other end for it to come through the machine or having it sit on the counter unattended on the other side while you are stuck behind someone that keeps getting beeped. <BR><BR>I got picked to be searched at the gate. The security agents were pretty nice about it, explaining what they were doing. Still, it was unerving to have someone go through my purse.

HolidayHal Nov 30th, 2002 09:53 AM

Holidays can be a very stressful time. Most of the time I will spend them by myself, or with one or two wayward friends. I'll visit family the week after the holiday. I always claim it's a work thing, and I can't get away. It always seems to work out better this way. The hype is over, and people are much more relaxed. I also stay in hotels even when visiting family, mostly for my sanity rather than theirs. Call me a party pooper, but I'll bet my blood pressure is lower than everyone on the NJ turnpike that week!<BR><BR>Happy holidays!<BR><BR>

cd Nov 30th, 2002 09:58 AM

Loved the Thanksgiving trip! Our daughter and son-in-law always make us feel welcomed in their home. We do things as a family and always have fun. Going to the Nutcracker today and grilling steaks tonight. We'll leave tomorrow after church for the six hour trip home with our &quot;books on tape&quot; and really look forward to coming back at Christmas. We usually stay three days cause you know what they say....after three days, relatives and fish begin to smell....:-)

Linda Dec 1st, 2002 07:50 AM

The traffic gets worse and worse on Interstate 95 and every few miles there was a new clearcut in the once pristine forest- so ugly.<BR><BR>Once we got to the relatives they ignored us, never again!

Cindy Dec 1st, 2002 08:33 AM

Lee - back to the post about the new baby in the family - I'm assuming you normally have a pretty good relationship with these folks. Please don't assume that their behaviour with a brand new baby in the house is a reflection of anything other than utter fatigue. I know how it's been for my son and daughter-in-law every time a new baby is born (they have 3) and I remember how it was for me. Your family probably has no idea what they said or how they said it, or how it came across! <BR> I know - this isn't about travel - but I couldn't resist commenting. Sorry!<BR>

lee Dec 1st, 2002 04:12 PM

To Cindy--thanks for your comments. I think you are probably right--fatigue is what played the biggest part of my relatives actions. Therefore, I am hoping that things will get better and our next visit will be much better for all involved. It has to be hard trying to make it on such a small amount of sleep after a baby is born.

citysue Dec 1st, 2002 06:44 PM

Just returned from Thanksgiving in NYC.<BR>A gathering of friends and family from NY, MD, VA, CT, NJ, NH all met to watch the parade from a hotel overlooking the parade route. It was wonderful. Some of us stayed for a week of Broadway shows, shopping, dinners and adventures. I bought a necklace at Tiffany's for $80.00 (oh, how I love that blue box and bag!).. the saleswoman was gracious when I asked her to show me necklaces, bracelets and earrings $100.00 and less.<BR>My 14 year old niece had her first makeover at Sephora ( near Macy's) they did a lovely job, light and natural colors. Great fun ..not inexpensive..but had we shown some restraint we might have saved a few dollars by choosing just the basics. My niece was thrilled with her natural beauty enhancement experience! Lunched at Serendipity 3 in the 60's not far from Bloomingdales. It's our ritual to share the Frozen Hot Chocolate sure to call for reservations or wait outside in the cold with many other tourists and local families. The place is tiny and jammed with small tables, the walls and ceilings are covered with chachkas (SP?)and it's fun to be there.<BR>We took one of those TV bus tours ($20.) pointing out filming locations of Cosby, Mad About You, Seinfeld, NYPD BLUE, etc etc. The guide was nice but the tour was a bit boring...but it was worth the time for a relaxing drive through many NYC neighborhoods and a guide giving us tidbits of local info.<BR>We made the time honored tourist mistake of dining at Tavern on the Green. HORRID service bad, that we left before our entrees arrived ..actually, they were so unorganized and inattentive our food probably is still in the kitchen! The place is glitzy and worthwhile to see..but as so many before me have advised...DO NOT EAT THERE!<BR>Tea at The Plaza was glamorous..we felt elegant, our waiter was not charming at all but the atmosphere was definately all charm and grandeur (high tea is $39.00 pp..a splurge, but caviar is included!). As we were leaving we saw many men and women entering The Plaza in tuxes and gowns for a formal evening ..Beverly Sills, Tony Randall and his VERY much younger wife were coming up the stairs as we were going down. Yeah, what's a trip to NYC without at least one celebrity sighting? Of course we also drove by The Naked Cowboy near the TKTS booth...what IS his story? We had a variety of taxi experiences...the good the bad and the sure you are prepared with street adresses for theater locations..and cross streets whenever you can provide them to the driver. My FAVORITE dinner was at Michael Jordan's Steak House in Grand Central. Be certain to ask for a balcony table and let no one but Luciano be your waiter! He makes waiting on you an art! Absolutely first class.. tell him the lady from Connecticut with the cane sent you.. he promised to take special attentions with my friends and family! Oh yes, and the food is superb. The view down into the center court of Grand Central is even better!<BR>As for shows..La Boheme is in previews and the most wonderful theater I have seen in years. Mamma Mia and Hairspray are great fun. Radio City Christmas Spectacular was full of surprising holiday cheer.. hadn't seen it in thirty years, and was pleasantly surprised at the magic.<BR>So,,,yes, I did definately enjoy the trip to visit the relatives over Thanksgiving. I'm already planning next years Thanksgiving trip to NYC.<BR> <BR><BR><BR>

Metoo Dec 1st, 2002 06:56 PM

Hi Lee!<BR>I agree with Cindy. Plus the parents could be arguing and fussy with each other due to lack of sleep and stress, and then it makes it weird when guests come over. The tension between the two spills over onto the others. I've been on both sides of that and can vouch for it not being a reflection on the guest! The fact that they encouraged you to stay to visit with the older sibling is a very good sign. At least they opened your gifts! Ours weren't even opened! Even if your husband weren't the Godfather, I wouldn't call. Why add to the mix? It's seemingly a &quot;first offense,&quot; so you're right to let it go. Plan on ways to enjoy the trip back with your husband as couple on a mini-vacation, as opposed to a &quot;family&quot; visit. Good Luck!<BR>

Didn't Visit Dec 1st, 2002 08:56 PM

We did not visit any relatives nor did they visit us. That is because they may as well live on Uranus as cold and as long as it takes to visit them. They also look funny and talk funny when they aren't just making grunting noises. We had a wonderful time just by ourselves, and even left the kids for an overnight second honeymoon. How about you?

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