In the interests of full disclosure, my grandmother didn't have the decency to live over the river. She steadfastly refused to reside in or near any woods. And, to really wreck the whole image painted by the song, she and my grandfather traveled to our house for Thanksgiving dinner instead of the other way around, as demanded in the lyrics. What an embarrassment. 

To be honest, my grandmother didn't really cook much, either. She didn't bake things like grandmothers are supposed to, and don't even get me started on her total disinterest in knitting. She did, however, love a good "bawdy" joke, she liked to go bet on the ponies, and she mixed me up my first ever scotch-and-soda. She was awesome. I can get cookies and a scarf anywhere.

My point in all this is that for those of you who are off to grandma's house (or any other welcoming domicile) for Thanksgiving next week--you'll have a lot of fellow travelers out there with you.

AAA Chicago is predicting that we'll be seeing the highest Thanksgiving travel volume in almost a dozen years:

50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26.


As for Illinois, nearly 2.7 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 3.1 percent increase from 2016. Of those travelers, nearly 2.4 million will be driving (up 2.9 percent from 2016) and 207,000 will be flying to their destination (a 5.4 percent increase from 2016). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $2.74, up from $2.48 last month and up from $2.09 a year ago.

And for those who'd rather see some warmth and sunshine over eating at the kids table with the cousins, AAA says these are the top warm-weather and theme park destinations for Thanksgiving:

1) Orlando, Florida
2) Anaheim, California
3) New York City, New York
4) Honolulu, Hawaii
5) Las Vegas, Nevada
6) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
7) Cancun, Mexico
8) San Francisco, California
9) Kahului, Maui, Hawaii
10) Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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