This year’s Thanksgiving Holiday was different from our traditional dinner celebration. The past summer was too demanding, so we never had a chance to go on a vacation due to some priorities that we needed to accomplish. Even though my enthusiasm changed after the Typhoon Haiyan, hubby and I have previously planned our TG holiday at the Universal Studios in Hollywood. We already bought the tickets to surprise the kids and prior arrangements have been made so it’s not wise to cancel, we finally traveled this weekend.  We left home in the early morning of Thanksgiving Day with the hope of reaching the South by noon.

We prepared for our trip so to speak…To SoCal we go! …When our girls were little, we would enjoy their amazement during long drives when they see “Cowies, sheepies, doggies, and horsies” as they utter these funny terms along the scenic farms. Now that they are older, the 6 hour-drive is still pretty fun. Safe travels often begin with prayers and so my eldest daughter led the Rosary. Afterwards, they managed to keep the boredom away by watching movies that their dad has prepared for the trip.

When we arrived in Los Angeles, our itinerary began in Los Angeles Zoo as we still have three hours before the hotel check-in schedule. It was the best time to visit since most people are busy preparing the thanksgiving turkey while we stroll in the less crowded but beautiful and clean LA Zoo. We let our teens explore around firing shots with their phone cameras and recording with their iPads on different creatures in the zoo. The innovator George Eastman (Kodak Founder) would have been astonished if he was still alive; that even children of this generation can make their own “Kodak” moments without any professional help.

LA gate

Los Angeles Zoo Gate

Some of the animals we enjoyed seeing…


Mountain Bongo


Chilean Flamingo


Kylie the Koala


The Stripe Duo

Thanksgiving Dinner

We indulged ourselves in the zoo (I’m glad we didn’t see any turkeys!) and reached the hotel almost 5 in the afternoon. We stayed in the family friendly Embassy Suites Hotel just because we are comfy in the way they do things there; I mean nice suite, breakfast with very good selection, and cocktails in the evenings are all-inclusive. I just realized that we’ve also used Embassy Suites in our previous family trips. After we settled down in our room, our daughters started to look for food. We joined other families in the hotel restaurant downstairs and ordered our thanksgiving meal.

As Catholics, prayer is an important part of our family life. Thanksgiving Holiday is useless without giving praise and gratefulness to the Author of Life in the universe. Yes, we must offer daily prayers and give thanks for the abundance of blessings including our sufferings that constantly remind us that pain is part of our life. It is an opportunity to witness God’s greatness, but most importantly, having a special day for gratitude that every citizen in this country would recognize is kind of neat.


Our Thanksgiving Dinner: Turkey and Ham

The dinner was very traditional as shown in the picture. I love the stuffing and the Turkey was perfectly cooked and tasty, the ham was ok but not really a fan. There was plenty of left-over even though the two girls shared a plate. It was indeed a feast. Although the night was still young , we didn’t plan to go out after dinner. After all, we were exhausted from our long trip and we still need to re-energize for the much-awaited activities at the Universal Studios (which I plan to share in my next blog 🙂

Thanksgiving Day was quite unusual to celebrate it without extended families and friends but being with your nucleus family is equally priceless! The day ended with a very relaxing mood. For the girls, it was a home away from home since they have access with the same TV channels they enjoy at home. I can’t believe the girls were quiet by 9pm, it didn’t take long for the four of us to be sound asleep as we are all excited for the next day.

Come back and check out my next blog inside the Universal Studio 😀