Road Trip to Clarity

I want to start off by saying that this is my favorite week
of the year.  It’s a short work week,
even though I took this week off this year. 
Come Monday we start our high school basketball season and can begin
practicing and it’s Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving
is my favorite Holiday, by far.  There
isn’t even a second favorite holiday.  If
there was it would be a distant second. 
I can’t wait to get to my in-laws and eat up whatever my mother in-law
serves up.  If she feels unappreciated at
Thanksgiving, she can rest easy because her favorite son-in-law appreciates her
efforts immensely.

Outside of Thanksgiving I am pretty much a bah-hum-bug when
it comes to holidays.  I’m not Irish so I
don’t get the St. Patrick’s Day.  Even
though St. Patrick wasn’t Irish either. 
I’m always coaching on Valentine’s Day, so my wife and I celebrate it
our own way.  Easter is what it is.  I can’t stand Halloween and Christmas gets
started way too soon and I always seem to be sick at that time, so I have never
been a fan.  But I am starting to get in
the spirit.
This past weekend we took a family trip to Hershey, PA.  My mother finally retired this summer and my
parents sold the first house they ever owned when they came over from
Italy.  They both have nice pensions and money
saved.  So they decided to buy a
motorhome.  My dad has always wanted one
and he worked hard and deserves what he wants. 
So they wanted to do a maiden voyage and asked me and my family to come
with them.  Mostly so they can get
comfortable with traveling it but also because they like having me, my wife and
kids around.
Why Hershey?  Well,
it’s pretty simple really.  Hershey was
the closest enough place to go where there was attractions for both adults and
children that had campgrounds open without having to go as far as South
Carolina.  I had looked up things to do
and it was amazing what we can do this time of year down there.  My dad is obsessed with the Amish so we made
a trip to Bird-In-Hand, PA to take an Amish Country horse and buggy tour.  My dad was in heaven, he even got to ride up
front with the driver who had grown up Amish but never joined the Amish
church.  The tour was great and very
informational and shed a lot of light on things that I did not realize about
the Amish.  We even saw several of the
Amish walking about and riding through town on their horse and buggy’s.
How did this trip get me slightly into the Christmas
Spirit?  It was our trip to Hershey Park
for Candylane, a Christmas lighting display with rides.  Watching the look on my three year olds face
was worth the price of admission.   You
would have thought it was Christmas morning. 
My wife and I are not big on amusement parks so our daughter has never been,
but that didn’t stop her from wanting to hit every ride in the park and pose
for pictures with every character. 
But it was a ten minute skyline ride with my daughter that
grabbed me.  It was just me and her, and
the ride took us through half of the park. 
While Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was playing
throughout the park, I was listening to my daughter point out every light
display at a rapid pace as if she was going to miss one.  As I looked around the park and see the rest
of my waiting family and listening to my daughter it made me smile so much I
was almost giddy.  Once we got off the
ride my daughter ran with open arms of her grandmother and recount what she
saw.  I looked at my wife and said “It’s
a place like that this, that could get me into Christmas”.
In the end, I would have to say I had a fabulous time with
my family this past weekend.  I am not
going to go and say that I am in the Christmas spirit.  That feeling pretty much faded on the ride
home.  It had to have been in the moment
with my daughter and how excited she got about it that gave me that
feeling.  As the weeks pass by and we get
closer to Christmas I will be more in the holiday spirit as I watch my children’s
excitement build.  It was great family
vacation that overcame me and that is something that I will always have.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
If you don’t
take it from me, ask my wife.

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