Our Unconventional Thanksgiving

In 2009, we did Thanksgiving on our own.

My family had their festivities earlier, and Rob’s parents were staying in Florida.  So we went to the home up north, where we always had the feast, and tried our best to prepare one of our own.

The spread was beautiful, albeit smaller than what we were used to, but something about it was still incredibly depressing.  Because it wasn’t the food that made Thanksgiving what it was.  It was the fun of having everyone there, and all the memories of the goofiness from the past.

So you can imagine how I felt when I realized we would be doing Thanksgiving on our own this year.

A little research, though, and a little willingness to continue to break from tradition, helped us to create a new tradition.  We found a Yogi Bear campground in the San Antonio area, where we could rent a cabin, take Beanie to numerous Thanksgiving activities, and even attend a potluck feast at the end of our stay.

This would be our first trip out of Houston, other than the drives up to Michigan.  We were excited about the prospect of spending a week in a small house, with real beds, a full-sized kitchen, and our own bathroom.  And getting out of the city would be fun too.

So, over the river and through to woods, to Canyon Lake we went!




To spend a week at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park!



We love to pack light on most trips, when we’re taking the long drive to Michigan and bouncing around from here to there.  But we carried the majority of our earthly possessions with us this time.  We were staying in one place for a week, and we wanted to get the most out of our luxurious, spacious get-away.

Here’s our cabin:




Rob brought his tall bike along.


And, sure enough, we enjoyed snuggling up in real beds!





I did our Thanksgiving cooking in a real kitchen.


There were plenty of fun activities to keep the Bean occupied.  She got up bright and early to meet Yogi Bear…




Took lots of nature walks…




Visited the playground and game room…






Frequented the jumping pillow across from our cabin…



Took a “hey hey” ride in the afternoon…



And many at night!



S’more after the hay ride…







And a visit from a friend…




Beanie’s favorite activity by far, however, was arts and crafts.






With Ranger Ana, her best buddy!

With Ranger Ana, her best buddy!


All in all, it was a great new tradition, and anything but depressing.  We loved our week away, and were also very happy to return home.



How was your Thankgiving week?

9 thoughts on “Our Unconventional Thanksgiving

  1. Hi Bethany! And Happy Late Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing this great story with us and showing us that the best way to have a wonderful experience is sometimes create something brand new. After all, like you said before, you knew it wasn’t going to be the same as previous Thanksgivings so instead of just waiting and letting it happen where you would be thinking of what you were missing–you turned it around and created something even more fun and memorable. Sure it takes a little more imagination, but it I’ll bet it will stick in your memories as one of your best Thanksgivings ever. Good for you all! And thank you fro sharing the photos too…it was fun to watch you all having fun as the week unfolded! Now I can’t wait to see what you create for your Chirstmas! ~Kathy

  2. Looks like a great vacation / Thanksgiving! My stepkids have Thanksgiving dinner at their mom’s so we do a brunch with them, then have a big dinner with friends. For a few years we did dinner on our own (three of us), but it was kind of depressing. One year we ate out and I found that more fun than cooking turkey for such a small group.

    • We’ve considered eating out! We just found out we’ll be doing Christmas on our own after all, so we’ll have to totally change that tradition too. I’ve already e-mailed the campground… 😉

  3. What a great place to vacation, or create new Thanksgiving traditions. Beanie and Rob looked like they were having a blast. I thought you might be spending the holiday with your parents .

    what happened with your Christmas plans to drive north? You’ll look for any excuse to avoid winter won’t you 😃

    • LOL, to make a long story short…For Thanksgiving, my parents thought they would be going north for Dad’s job, but that fell through. So we did turkey the weekend before. For Christmas, there isn’t a time when we can all get together, with the relatives up there. A lot of people aren’t going to be around, for various reasons. So we’re making it a once-a-year, June trip (yes, no snow!). We realized it’s cheaper to FLY once a year, than to drive twice a year. So we’re decorating the boat. 🙂

  4. Hi Bethany — our Thanksgiving was less traditional, too, only in that we celebrated the holiday at home just with each other. We didn’t venture out this year to enjoy it with family and friends. It was quiet and nice . . . a time to truly feel blessed. 🙂

  5. Looks like y’all had a great time! I’ve always wanted to visit Canyon Lake. Maybe when the baby gets a little bigger!

    Sorry we couldn’t meet up with you guys. Thanksgiving is the week we do our big trip to East Texas to visit all my family. We had a wonderful visit with everyone in the Piney Woods!

    • It was a gorgeous place, Sandy! And don’t worry–we’ll be living here awhile. The thing with get-togethers is that they just happen when they do. Nothing to stress about. 🙂

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s