spreadsheets and suitcases

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Quinceañera Trip Report Part 2: showers, donuts, Thanksgiving

on December 21, 2016

At the end of Part 1, we had arrived at my parents’ house after the long journey to NJ from Honolulu.  They were, of course, thrilled to see us, and it was mutual.  DD had a hair appointment right away, to get her ready for the extensions she was getting for her party ‘do.  First, we had to buy the actual hair, and the boys had to go get fitted for their tuxes.  We split up, with my dad, DH, and DS headed for the tux shop, and my mom, me, and DD off to the beauty supply place.

We ladies took our time getting just the right package of hair, and headed to the salon.  DD got a keratin treatment, after which her hair was super-smooth and ready to be styled on the day of the party.  I did a bunch more communication with the venue, the DJs, and the lady we hired to do the party décor.  Things were settling into place- so exciting.  I was also starting to flag by this point.  It was almost 4p, and I hadn’t had more than an hour or two of sleep since leaving Honolulu.  We were on our way to see my sister before she picked up my niece from preschool when she texted to say don’t bother coming by.  The school had called and my niece had a high fever!  Obviously my sister had to go pick her up right away, her evening plans to spend time with us were cancelled, and their attendance at Thanksgiving (the very next day) were now up in the air.  We were all hoping she would get better as soon as possible.


After eating a light dinner at my parents’ house, it seemed a good time to go check into the hotel.  All this time I had been driving around with our luggage and the dresses in the trunk of the rental car, and I wanted to get those dresses hung up and steamed.  Side note here: we had used a flexible garment bag to transport the dresses as a personal item on the planes.  Neither of our flights had space in the very small closet generally reserved for first class passengers, so I just folded the bag carefully and stuck it in the overhead bin.  They aired out fine.  We made our way over the hotel, Holiday Inn Secaucus, and checked in with no issues.  The room was great, and I had made sure the parking was free.  The nice thing about the IHG Rewards credit card is that it comes with Platinum Elite status, which means an automatic upgrade to the Executive Floor of their hotels, plus bonus points on the stay.  The card also comes with one free night per year at pretty much any IHG hotel (including Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, and more).  In fact, I was using the free night award on this trip.  My family reservation was for the 4 nights we were in town.  I had made an additional 1-night reservation using my free night award, for the evening of the party.  It would be useful to have another room for getting ready, and for having a girls’ night rehashing the party events with my cousin visiting from Ecuador.  It worked out perfectly.


pic from hotels.com


Anyway, we got our room, unpacked, got showered (finally!!!), and got to bed.  I think we were all in bed by 8pm.  I slept until about 2:30am, then on and off until 6:30am when I gave up and got up and dressed.  Around this time, DD stirred and told me she had basically been awake since 4:30am, too.  I checked online to see the if the Dunkin’ Donuts location within walking distance of the hotel was open on Thanksgiving.  I found a #, and called, but no one picked up.  I figured it was worth it to go check in person, because my DD absolutely loves Dunkin’ Donuts, and of course, we don’t have any in Hawaii.  I walked over, and yes!  They were indeed open.  I got some Munchkins, donuts, and hash browns, and texted DD while I was walking back to the room so she could wave at me from the hotel room window.  Back at the room, I turned on the TV so I could watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade preparations.  Fun fact: we saw a preview of the Hawaii All-State Marching Band’s TV spot at a band competition here in Honolulu a few weeks ago.  It was cool to see them, and the whole parade, live.


pic from Honolulu Star Advertiser


We all got ready to head over to my parents’ house while watching the parade.  My sister texted to say that the pediatrician had ruled out any family gathering for my niece 😦  So we soldiered on without her.  I helped my mom cook for the multitude that would show up later in the day.  We were very lucky that many family members flew, drove, and even bussed to town for the Quince.  We had 3 from Virginia, 3 from North Carolina, 4 from Florida, about 10 from Pennsylvania, 4 from Connecticut, 1 from Ecuador, and the rest from NY/NJ.  Not all came to Thanksgiving of course, but a bunch did.  My parents moved furniture and rented chairs so we could all eat at the same time.  We ate pernil (roast pork), turkey w/delicious gravy made by my husband, arroz con gandules, sweet potatoes (yuck, not for me, but I hear everybody else enjoyed this not-Latin dish), garlicky green beans, and our family’s Coconut Flan for dessert.  It was all so tasty, and extra-special because we don’t usually spend Thanksgiving with family.

After the food and the cleanup, everybody headed back to their temporary homes to get a good night’s sleep before the main event the next day- my baby girl becoming a Señorita, with her family surrounding her with love and support.  It would be a busy and unforgettable day.  Part 3 coming soon!

One response to “Quinceañera Trip Report Part 2: showers, donuts, Thanksgiving

  1. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    Baymax! Hee hee.


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