Thanksgiving has always been a stand out holiday in our family. My parents started a wonderful tradition of our family traveling to Marco Island, Florida almost 30 years ago. Back in the day, we used to come to Marco Island for two weeks, but then when school started to actually matter and our extracurricular activities started increasing we just couldn’t justify coming down for longer than one week. Now that my siblings and I are all adults, we still make our way down to Marco coming in and out as our schedules allow. In fact, I’m terribly behind on this post because of spending quality time on the island with my family!
The most frequent question we all receive from our friends is “what do you do for actual Thanksgiving day?!” It is so perplexing to people that we do not have a traditional feast like the rest of the world. Haha. But – I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our non-traditional day starts out with everyone rolling out of bed to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. We make breakfast in our condo and then head down to the beach. We’ll grab lunch from the pool bar and maybe a piña colada (or two) from the resort next door. At about 3 pm, we all make our way back up to the room to shower and change into casual Floridian attire. Then, we walk the beach to the Marco Island Marriott Resort and attend their Thanksgiving Day buffet at Maia, a restaurant within their hotel. We love it because they have everything from the traditional turkey and all the fixings to go along with it to shrimp, fresh fish, and crab claws! It’s the best. Last year, my brother made a ridiculous Thanksgiving sandwich that was about 6″ tall by 10″ in length. It looked borderline disgusting, but tasted like a dream. We all had a bite. Haha. It’s just really nice because we can each fulfill our own Thanksgiving day food cravings without having to do a single ounce of cooking.
I have to say that this year our tradition feels a bit different as it is the first time we are all here without my dad. Since we have been staying at the same place during the same week for the last 30 years, you can imagine that we have made quite a few friends over the years. It has been a little uncomfortable having to answer questions and address the elephant
in the room on the beach, but it is comforting that so many people have us in their thoughts and prayers.
This year I am most thankful for all the wonderful memories we have on this island with my dad and while he is not here physically, we all know he is here with us in spirit.
P.S. Come back to the blog next week for a complete travel guide for Marco Island.