Barbara and I moved to California in 1983. When Thanksgiving came around, we didn't want to fight travel and weather by returning to Denver for the holiday, so we joined our friend Jack for "orphan Thanksgiving" at his parents' place in Palos Verdes. And hey, as long as we were in SoCal, we visited Disneyland! That was so much fun that we did the same thing the following year. Within a couple of years, Jack stopped making the trip, and we dropped the pretense of visiting his parents: we went to Disneyland for Thanksgiving.
Over the years, the details varied, but we kept up the tradition. Sometimes we left the park for a nice dinner; sometimes we had turkey at Disneyland; sometimes we sat on a Main Street curb and enjoyed bulbous corn dogs. In the beginning, we crawled along U.S. 101 at the speed limit; eventually, I became a Californian and learned to go 80 MPH down I-5 like everybody else. We've driven on roads that are upgraded and yet more clogged, seen Casa de Fruta get its own exit, and watched the birth of innovations like drive-through Starbucks. Disneyland itself has undergone massive changes and is now very busy on Thanksgiving. Every year, for 21 years now, we've gone to Disneyland for Thanksgiving weekend. Jess is 18 and Devi is 9, and they've never spent the holiday anywhere else. It's great fun to go, and it's nice to get home.