When the Pilgrims threw a feast and invited their Indian friends, they had no idea what the holiday would become in the America of 2014. Here’s how to survive the holiday in San Diego and Southern California:
1. Give back and you’ll feel better. If you join the annual San Diego Run for the Hungry, you can eat anything you want during the Thanksgiving feast. You can run or walk, and even register Thursday morning.
2. Almost everything will be closed — except the stores. Walmart is open all day, and its “New Black Friday” sale begins at 6 p.m. Other stores are open, but hold off their sales until Friday.
3. Don’t drink and drive. The San Diego Sheriff is watching. Deputies will be conducting additional DUI patrols across San Diego County from Thanksgiving day through Sunday. Last year 29 drivers were arrested for DUI during Thanksgiving weekend.
4. If you drink, make it a craft beer. San Diego is the center of the craft brew industry, and the long Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to sample the best. You can download a guide and map from the San Diego Brewers Guild.
5. The airport will be busy. As many as 60,000 passengers a day are expected to pass through San Diego International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. Arrive at least 1 ½ hours before departure for domestic flights and 2 ½ hours for international flights. But if you allow more time, you can sample the airport’s new stores and restaurants, including Phil’s BBQ and Stone Brewing Co.
6. The highways will be busy. If you’re driving for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to check Caltrans’ statewide traffic map, which hopefully will show only green for your route.
7. Don’t shop til you drop. There’s plenty to do over the long weekend besides shopping. SeaWorld is offering discounts on what it calls “Blue Friday,” and the museums in Balboa Park are open, many with holiday-themed exhibits.
8. Better yet, shop online. Monday is the “Black Friday” for online shopping, so relax this weekend and avoid the crowds.
9. Don’t allow your turkey to explode. If you need help cooking for Thanksgiving, visit Sam the Cooking Guy’s helpful website.
10. If in doubt, order out. Check out Times of San Diego’s popular guide to a takeout Thanksgiving.
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