By now you have made it through the first (and hopefully last) Thanksgiving during the pandemic. Scrolling through my friends’ photos, I could see many stayed home and made traditional food – just for a smaller number than other years. Did you? Or did you find new ways to celebrate? Or are you looking for inspiration since we have more holidays coming up – and tradition seems to “necessarily” be out the window? Why not switch it up for the 2020 holidays?
This year my birthday fell on the weekend before Thanksgiving. My Adventure Partner’s birthday fell the weekend after. Since getting together with family wasn’t a healthy option, we decided to give ourselves a birthday gift of a Thanksgiving adventure. Maybe this will inspire you to try the upcoming holidays differently, even if you stay home.
Setting the intention for our 2020 holidays
We set the intention to take proper precautions while on our adventure. The first decision we made was that we would drive somewhere. This option would keep us in our “bubble” while traveling. We looked for a destination that was a decent distance to warrant staying overnight. We would bring food with us. This was partly to lessen our interactions with others, partly because most restaurants aren’t open on Thanksgiving (even in ‘normal’ times), and partly because the pandemic restrictions made even roadside options unreliable.
The most important intention was to not expect to explore any one place deeply. We would stop when we felt like it. We didn’t want to rush, so we agreed that a 3-hour trip could take seven. A local guide helped us have an idea for each area’s highlights.
A picnic for Thanksgiving? Having grown up in cold New England, it was hard for me to envision this idea. But then I asked that adventurous question: Why not? There are plenty of scenic spots where we could pull over and either find a picnic table or sit in our warm truck.
Continuing with doing things a little differently, the turkey was cooked early. A friend taught me how to roast a turkey on the barbeque. This meant we could have fresh, flavorful turkey for our picnic sandwich and salad. Potato chips subbed for the mashed potato. Keeping things easy and light, I went to a gourmet supermarket for sides and meals for the rest of the trip.
Coastal Town Sampler
The Thanksgiving exploration of the Oregon coastline started in Waldport. We’ve been to that cute little town before, to visit Brenda (owner of “Just B Tiny” tiny house), so it seemed a good place to launch our adventure.
There are 363 miles of Oregon coastline, and on that trip we traveled 190 miles of it. The southern coast had the lowest COVID19 rates in the state, which reassured us when we chose a place to stay overnight.
Keep on Truckin’
In the morning, we made the decision to head to Brookings, the last coastal town before California. To head home via the inland route, we needed to go just a bit further south to Crescent City, CA. Our 2020 holidays almost turned into a two-night adventure, but we kept on truckin’ and made it back later that evening.
Roadside Attractions anyone?
Turn Around in California
What will you do for your 2020 holidays?
Looking back at our excursion, it felt like we sampled the coast. With everything but the parks mostly closed, we didn’t have much choice but to check out only the outdoor spaces. However, in our limited time-frame, this was perfect. We made new memories instead of bemoaning the lack of previous traditions. I would recommend this safe, and fun, twist on holiday celebrating to anyone (no adventure partner needed, but nice if you have one!)
With more 2020 holidays looming, and the pandemic still raging out of control leading to another season of un-traditional celebrations – what adventure will you create? Where would you go if you made a limit of three-hour drive distance? What new-to-you path would you follow? Share in the comments!