HOLIDAY ON THE MOVE: Autumn may bring the occasional changing leaf and carved pumpkin, but it also is the time for another staple to show: The report on holiday travel. We learn how many millions of revelers are venturing onto planes and highways to go see family, and the number is always pretty dang impressive. But not in those holiday travel reports? How many people actually spend the big day itself, on the move, and not to get to a destination, but to enjoy the ride.
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT... it's a smaller number, but an important one. Those revelers are the ones that like their feasting a bit funkier, and they don't mind a little travel after they've traveled to reach their final holiday stopping point. If Thanksgiving on the move, literally, is kind of up your offbeat alley this year -- and so it should be, given that Thanksgiving, with all of its family-drama pop-culture-y references, is a truly exceptional day -- then best head out for...
THE NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN: One of the gourmet-iest of rail lines is of course going to do up the day of feasting, and do it swanky, too. There are three car options for Thanksgiving dining, with the Vista Dome lunch or dinner being the top price: $154. The ride in all? It's three and a half hours. Consider it time well spent at a table, as the scenery passes by outside.
PALM SPRINGS AERIAL TRAMWAY: Nope, you don't actually get to pass around the mashed potatoes while moving uphill inside the famous tram, but you do get to tram it up Mount San Jacinto, part way, to your Thanksgiving dinner. There are two options, the more casual Pines Cafe and Peaks Restaurant, which is going to go the full-out glazed-ham-and-such route. Thankgsiving tram! Yep, it's not the typical holiday carpool.
HORNBLOWER CRUISE: There are buffet and seated options, but both toodles around the water take about three hours. And while Hornblowers sail from a number of California cities, we'll shout-out the San Francisco holiday cruise. You'll take in the Bay -- helloooo, Bay Lights, and you, too, Golden Gate Bridge -- and you'll have your old-school Thanksgiving dinner while you do so. Pier 3 is the departure point.