Thanksgiving


Tips & Tricks to Beat Thanksgiving Traffic

It may be impossible to completely avoid Thanksgiving traffic, but there are a few ways to minimize the frustration.

1. Avoid driving at the worst traffic times– According to Waze, the heaviest traffic will be today (Tuesday) from 4–8 p.m. Unfortunately, Wednesday doesn’t look any better. In fact it could be worst especially in other parts of the country with traffic starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the whole day.

2. Use alternative routes– Waze and Google maps provide real time traffic and often offer multiple routes you can take. Your usual route may not be the fastest so be sure to check the app before you hit the road! Also, if an accident or traffic jam occurs, Waze and Google maps can sometimes re-route you to a faster route.

3. Consider the longer route– While two hours driving may seem better than two and half, it’s worth considering taking the longer route that’s moving along than the shorter route stuck in traffic. Psychologically speaking, it tends to feel less frustrating for you and your passengers when you’re actually driving, rather than going bumper to bumper at a snail’s pace.

4. Avoid driving Sunday, or give yourself PLENTY of time– There is no good time to drive Sunday. Traffic will be crazy all day. Yes, you read that right- All day.  If you are luckily enough to wait til Monday, avoid driving 10am to noon when the worst traffic will hit.

5. Fill up on gas before you hit the road-  You do not want to have to make unnecessary stops while you travel.  If you’re lucky, one tank of gas will be more than enough for your trip.  If you’re traveling far, be sure to fill up your tank when gas is easily available. The last think you want is to be frantically watching your tank drain while you’re stuck in traffic and no where close to a gas station.

6. Play car games to keep the kids entertained- Instead of playing the oh so annoying “Are we there yet?” game, keep these car games ready for when your kids start to get antsy.

Safe travels from you friends at MassDrive! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

 

Turkey Farms In Massachusetts

turkey

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we’re here to tell you where to get the perfect turkey!  Buying from a local turkey farm not only ensures your Thanksgiving dinner will be as fresh as possible, it also supports local businesses. There’s still time to put your order in before the big day, avoid the supermarket rush and stop by one of these local turkey farms!

Bob’s Turkey Farm – This family owned and operated business began in 1954 and is located in Lancaster.  They raise 10,000 turkeys on their farm in Lancaster each year and another 5,000 on their farm in Ashburnham.  All turkeys are fed a well balanced grain diet, raised in barns and outdoor pens free to move around as they wish, and are healthy and disease free.  Fresh and frozen turkeys are available during the week of Thanksgiving as well as turkey pies, soups, sides, and of course fresh desserts.

Bongi’s Turkey Roost – Run and operated by the Bongiorno family since 1947, Bongi’s Turkey Roost is located in Duxbury and is one of the oldest turkey farms in the state.  Their turkeys are “raised for quality and sold on merit”, and all turkeys are fed a strict vegetarian diet.  They are now taking orders for Thanksgiving dinners, and there are so many options to choose from it might be hard to pick!  There are farm fresh turkeys, fresh frozen turkeys, hot roast turkeys, chicken options, and a huge variety of sides including homemade stuffing, homemade butternut squash, homemade mashed potatoes, turkey salad, potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, and their famous jumbo taters.  They can even customize your dinner for you, talk about outstanding service!

Gerard Turkey Farm – What could be better on Thanksgiving than picking up a fresh turkey dinner for the whole family that’s already been prepared? Let Gerard’s do the cooking this year and spend more time with your family!  They also have heat and serve products available if you do not want to order a hot meal for pickup on Thanksgiving day.  Although turkeys are no longer raised on site at Gerard Farms, the Gerard family is committed to producing top quality, home made products for their customers that do not contain preservatives.  The farm is located in Marshfield and is a popular Thanksgiving tradition for many families on the south shore.

Raymond’s Turkey Farm – Located in Methuen, this family run farm has been raising turkeys for over 50 years.  All of their turkeys are bred on site and are fed only a high quality grain diet.  Whether you buy fresh turkey, hot roasted turkey, a turkey pie, or any of the number of additional products they offer, all of the ingredients are guaranteed fresh and do not contain any preservatives.  The farm is open daily from 8 AM – 5 PM for business if you want to pick up dinner for the family and can also prepare large portions for special occasions with 24 hr notice, but for Thanksgiving orders try and call as far in advance as possible.

If these turkey farms are close to you, they are a great option to consider for your Thanksgiving dinner!  Avoid rushing through a crowded supermarket and head to one of these friendly, family-run farms and support small businesses here in Massachusetts!

Photo By: Tim Massey

Travel Tips For Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year, friends and family driving across towns, cities, even states to spend the day with their loved ones.  There are a lot of things to keep in mind when traveling, whether you’re taking public transit or driving yourself.   Be sure that you are minmizing stress and maximizing on family time this year with these tips!

  • If you’re driving to visit relatives this year and know you will be going through a toll, consider getting an E-ZPass.  The transponder attaches to the front window of your car and is linked to one of your credit/debit cards or a checking account.  Once you go through the E-ZPass lane when paying a toll, your transponder is scanned and the money is taken right out of your account!  That’s definitely much easier and less time consuming than waiting in line to pay with cash.  If you do plan on paying with cash, try and find out exactly which tolls you will be going through and how much they cost, that way you can have your money ready and waiting when it is your turn to pass through.
  • Plan your route in advance and plan an alternative route should your original option be a traffic nightmare.  Be sure that you have any necessary directions at your disposal either via GPS or designate the front passenger as your navigator.
  • Stressing about traffic?  Not anymore!  Check out our blog on Traffic Apps that will help you save time and avoid the rush when traveling to your intended destination.  No one likes sitting in traffic, but especially not when there’s a huge delicious meal waiting for you!  These apps all have unique qualities so check them out and decide which one is right for you!
  • If you are traveling via the MBTA, the majority of commuter rail and T lines will be operating on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving day itself.  However, the Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and Needham commuter rail lines will not be operating at all on Thanksgiving.  To accomodate riders going to and from Logan Airport, the Silver Line will be adding additional service during peak travel times before the holiday, and continuing until Tuesday, November 27, 2012.   For more detailed information on each specific line,buses, and the ferry click here.
  • If you will be flying during the holiday weekend, allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the airport and get through security, as there will likely be a large volume of passengers all weekend and lines will be longer.  Also, be sure to check the status of your flight at least 24 hours in advance to be sure that it is scheduled to depart/arrive on time.  You can visit www.massport.com  for a list of arrival/departure info.
  • The most important tip we can offer is don’t drink and drive!  If you plan on having a few drinks designate a driver!  Driving during the holidays is always dangerous because of the extra heavy volume of cars, you don’t want to risk adding alcohol into the mix!
  • Before you head out on your holiday excursion, be sure you are properly insured!  If you have any questions regarding coverages or would like a quote, give us a call at MassDrive!  Any one of our agents would be happy to help you this holiday season!

We want everyone to have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving so follow these tips to be sure you’re staying safe and beating the traffic this holiday!

Photo By: epSos.de

 

 

How Many Of These Traditions Do You Celebrate On Thanksgiving?

Hard to believe but Thanksgiving is only one week away!  We know there are a few things we can always count on; food, football, fun, and family.  Everyone has their own traditions around the holidays but there are a few that are pretty widespread.   Between the Macy’s Day Parade, football, breaking the wishbone, and of course the turkey, there are so many traditions to enjoy and squeeze into one day!  Which of these are your favorites?

Macy’s Day Parade – This is a Thanksgiving favorite!  Each year millions of people tune in from home and line the streets of New York to see this wonderous display of floats, bands, performances, and balloons trail through the city.  Beginning in 1924, this is the 86th year of the Parade and it gets better and better each time.  It begins at 9 AM, however if you plan on attending the actual event in New York City, spectators have been know to arrive as early as 6:30 AM!  With over 10,000 participants including the NYPD Marching Band, performance groups, clowns, and Santa himself, the event is sure to please viewers of all ages, as it does every year.  Tune into NBC Thanksgiving morning while you get ready for the day and enjoy the show!

Football – Thanksgiving is one of the biggest football days of the year, it is as much a part of the holiday as the turkey itself (at least for guys).  So what can you expect for games on the big day?  In terms of the NFL, there will be three games on CBS, the first between the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions at 12:30 PM, second between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys at 4:15 PM, and the night will close out with the New England Patriots vs the New York Jets at 8:20 PM.  Many towns also have high school football teams play against their biggest rival on Thanksgiving, so that is a great social event to take advantage of before the feast begins!  Another way to enjoy some football?  Why not head outside after the big meal and work off some of those calories with a quick game?

The Wishbone – Wishbone’s can be found in the chest area of all turkeys and chickens, and breaking it is a fun way to celebrate, especially with children.  Legend has it that two people each hold an end of the wishbone, make a wish, and then pull on the ends until it breaks, whoever has the larger piece gets their wish!  Breaking the wishbone can be tricky, especially if it hasn’t had time to dry out.  Be sure to give it some time to dry and become brittle, if you want, save this year’s wishbone until next Thanksgiving and break it then, so that each Thanksgiving going forward you can split the wishbone from the previous years’ turkey.  This is a fun tradition to participate in with siblings, your better half, or anyone you enjoy stirring up some competition with!

Giving Thanks – During this time of year, we need to remember why we come together to celebrate and keep in mind why we give thanks.  Everyone has something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, whether it be friends, family, health, or happiness, or a day off of work.  Whatever you are thankful for, take a moment before the big meal to go around the table and have each family member share their thoughts, it will make everyone feel better and celebrates the true meaning behind Thanksgiving!  At this time of year, not only should we be thankful for what we have, but it’s important to remember those that are less fortunate than ourselves.  See if there’s any way you can give back in your neighborhood this year!  Many towns have food drives, soup kitchens, or even races to benefit the homeless on or around Thanksgiving, so look up some local events and see how you can get involved!

These traditions are only a few of the ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, however you spend the holiday, keep in mind the origins and remember to be thankful for all of your blessings!

Photo By: DrivingtheNortheast

 

 

 

 

Things To Do In Plymouth!

Everyone across the country knows of Plymouth, MA, the site of the first Thanksgiving!  How lucky are we that we have so much history only a short drive away?  Head down to the south shore this weekend and stop by Plymouth, there are tons of museums and historical points of interest, including Plymouth Rock of course!  Remembering how Thanksgiving began reminds us of why we are thankful for friends, family, health, and happiness.  What better time of year to stop by one of the most historic towns in America than the weekend before Thanksgiving?

Plimoth Plantation – Stop by Plimoth Plantation to experience a “hands-on, living history experience dedicated to the Native Wampanoag and Pilgrim colonists of the 17th century.  Costumed guides and modern artisans all add to the educational experience that spans across four award-winning exhibits.  The plantation replica is situated along the Eel River wetlands that overlooks Cape Cod Bay, so not only will you enjoy an entertaining historic discussion, there will also be some amazing views to enjoy before the winter chill sets in.  The museum is open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM and be sure to stop by their gift shop where you can find specialty gifts and crafts!

Native Plymouth Tours – Get an inside look at historic Plymouth through the eyes of a Native American!  Native American guides will lead guests on a walking tour that lasts about an hour and a half and is a mile long, through some of the most famous sites in Plymouth, along with a few that are not as well known.  The Native Americans will give you an educational and historic look back at the relationship between the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims from their perspective.  The tour begins at Plymouth Rock and runs until November 25th.  Friday and Saturday, walk up tours are available at 5:30 PM but require a reservation Sunday-Thursday.  Guests interested in taking the tour after any time after November 25th will require a reservation as well.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for children ages 5-18.

Plymouth Rock – Located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Plymouth Rock is one of the most famous attractions to visit in Plymouth.  Engraved with the year “1620” the rock is a constant reminder of the original Pilgrims that landed and made Plymouth their home.  The park has over 1 million visitors per year, and it’s no wonder with the beautiful views of Plymouth Harbor to enjoy.  The park is also home to The Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower that first brought the Pilgrims from Europe to America.  Stop by Pilgrim Memorial State Park and get your history fix before Thanksgiving while also taking in some amazing views!

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving – We mentioned this event in our blog posting Events This November! but wanted to remind everyone that this yearly event is this weekend! It takes place from the 16th-18th and guests will be able to get a glimpse back in time and learn what the first Thanksgiving was actually like!  We recommend stopping by the Wampanoag Pavillion on Saturday the 17th from 11 AM to 4 PM, where you will be able to ask questions about the first Thanksgiving that will be answered by Colonial and Wampanoag interpreters during the event.  In addition to this info session, there will also be crafts, a harvest festival, photo gallery, historic village, music, living historians who will reenact military events, and artisans creating and selling goods.  Take a step back in time and celebrate the history of Thanksgiving this weekend!

Even though we love to enjoy Turkey Day with tons of food and football, it’s important to keep in mind how the tradition started and remember that we need to be thankful for each other!  Take a step back in time and stop by Plymouth this weekend for a dose of American history and a sense of the traditions that started the first Thanksgiving feast!

Photo By: BostonPhotoSphere

 

 

 

 

 

Events This November!

Can you believe it’s already November?  Time flies when you’re having fun, and it will go by even faster with these events to look forward too!  Before the Christmas rush begins, take some time to relax and enjoy these events this month, there’s something for everyone whether you want to go out with friends, family, or out for date night, we’ve got you covered!

Fall Wine Fest – Sounds good already doesn’t it?  Get your tickets before they sell out!  This wine tasting event is this Saturday, November 3rd at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts in Boston and there are three tasting sessions to choose from.  The matinee tasting is from noon-2:30 PM, followed by the afternoon tasting from 3PM-6PM (recently sold out), and final tasting is from 7PM-10PM.  Prices vary depending on which tasting you want to attend, but you can get more information here.  Guests will get their “passport” to guide them through the event and the different regions of wine.  There will also be music from DJ Karl and food samples to enjoy with your wine.  This event is limited to members or guests of members, but membership is free and you can subscribe here.  This event is 21+ and we want all attendees to enjoy responsibly and designate a driver!

Royal Tea At The MFA – Beginning this Sunday, November 4th the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is hosting an afternoon tea session to compliment the exhibition “Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits“.  It will run each Sunday from November 4th until December 16th from 3PM-4:30 PM and is $28.00 per person.  There will be a wide assortment of finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones whipped up by their pastry chef and guests can also add in a glass of wine, sherry, or brandy for an additional fee. Reservations are recommended and can be made through Open Table or by calling (617) 369-3474.  This event sounds like a great way to relax on a Sunday afternoon with friends or family.  Who doesn’t love a warm cup of tea and some pastries on a fall afternoon?

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving – Plymouth Rock put Massachusetts on the map when the pilgrims landed and celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Native Americans.  Take a drive to Plymouth from November 16th-18th and prepare for Thanksgiving at a celebration aimed at preserving the history of the holiday as well as remembering those that have fought and sacrificed to protect the American dream.  There will be a parade, military reenactments, a food festival, entertainment, and much more.  This is a great event for the whole family this fall as it celebrates the holiday while also remembering the important history behind it.  There will also be crafts, a Harvest festival, and a Wampanoag pavillion set up to teach visitors what the first Thanksgiving between the Natives and Pilgrims was really like.  Take a drive down to Plymouth this weekend, check out the Mayflower, and enjoy the holiday season while also keeping in mind the origins of Thanksgiving!

Blink! Launch Event – Join Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Pops for the first annual Blink! Launch Event!  This exciting tradition features the music of the Boston Pops and the lighting of the Christmas tree in Faneuil Hall!  This is the perfect event to kick of the holiday season and will definitely get you in the spirit!  Stop by with the family and enjoy this festive event that begins at 5:30 PM on Saturday, November 17th.  There will be food vendors, plenty of shops to check out, and entertainment before the main performance begins!  The Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting is a Christmas tradition and Blink! is a new spin on this classic outing that is perfect for family and friends of all ages.  Be sure to arrive early so you can get a good spot!

Head out to one of these events this month before the Christmas madness begins!  Whether you’re looking for the perfect girls night, family event,  or for a taste of some culture there is an event for you this month!  There’s plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season before the pressure’s on, so head out with family and friends this month, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Photo By: happyskrappy

 

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