17 November 2015

Countdown to Thanksgiving: leaving town

Bitch, please.  Those are the crappy biscuits you dropped on the ground. 

I love Thanksgiving.  It's based on food with no requisite gift-giving tradition, it takes place in the fall (the best time of year), and it's not religious. It is based on a myth that our European ancestors were respectful to the indigenous population, but I think that's a lie we can all get behind here in America. So, let the celebration begin!

Maybe you will host a fatty Thanksgiving party at your abode, which is what the rest of these posts will detail. But if you're planning on traveling for the holiday like me, you're probably starting to slowly gather items, apps, and the like to make the car or plane ride comfortable.

If by air...

Did you know that you can download hundreds of free magazines and newspapers to read on your phone or tablet once you get to the airport?  Download the free Inflight Reader app and you'll have tons of reading to help ignore that annoying kid who keeps turning around and staring at you from his seat.

Did you also know that when you're in the airport, you can "?.jpg" to the end of any url to bypass having to pay for WiFi?

I love this infographic, "Should I Pack It?" Of course, if I'm flying to my parents' house, I pack absolutely nothing beyond underwear and a toothbrush.  I will wear my Mom's oversized sweaters and puffy floor-length winter coat all week, no problem.

If by land...

I know I've told you this before, and if you haven't already done it I'm going to be kind of pissed.  Download the Gas Buddy app to search for the cheapest gas wherever you are.

Keep a winter travel kit in your car if you live in a part of the country where winter happens: space blanket, sleeping bag, candles & matches, an extra coat, mittens, hat, and scarf, extra socks, emergency flares, and everything you need to jump start your battery & change a flat.

Pack snacks so you're not stuck eating Doritos at the gas station: nuts, chocolate, fruit, yogurt, plenty of water, and those Emergen'C packets make pretty tasty Kool-Aid. Make sure you've got napkins or facial tissue and some plastic silverware, too.  I don't know why, but I always need a spoon when I don't have one.

Check and see if you have these apps for your trip!

Being the best guest you can be...

Bring gifts--that's what this section is about. You are causing a great deal of work to take place on your behalf, from forcing your host to vacuum (suck) to washing all your soiled bed clothes and towels after you're gone (gross).  The least you can do is say thank you with some junk.

You can always buy something if you're flying--I totally trust the Serious Eats list on buying tasty, affordable Scotch, and Food and Wine definitely has their stuff together when it comes to recommending cheap wine you won't be embarrassed to bring to the party. Flowers are nice, and I'm not much of a smelly candle person, but I always love a good (small, inexpensive) little kitchen gadget. Or revisit my "Gifts fit for a food lover" post from last year.

If you're close enough that you can make something to bring over, consider infusing your own vodka, creating your own tea blend (a decent loose black tea pairs well with lavender, vanilla bean, and any number of dried fruits, for instance), a mulled wine packet (dried orange slices, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, star anise), or homemade herbal vinegar (gently heat white wine vinegar for about 5 minutes with the herb or fruit peel of your choice, strain, and pour into an airtight container).  Any kind of baked good is also fair game, of course.

Happy travels, and don't be a jerk!