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What Happened When My Parents Came to Me This Thanksgiving

My sister and I flew home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year because some professors refused to cancel class for the day— THANKS. And let me tell you, the travel home was full of delayed flights, huge crowds and frustration. After having our flight delayed for several hours, we arrived home in Virginia in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning. We left home Saturday night; and still, it was an unsuccessful attempt to beat the holiday rush.

So, my family decided to do something a little different this year. My sister and I didn't fly home to our parents; instead, my parents came to us and did Thanksgiving in my sister’s college apartment. ‘Twas an interesting weekend, so here's a breakdown of how it all went down:


The Food

My sister lives in Lucky, and the apartments there do not include ovens. How does one cook a turkey feast sans oven, you ask? Good question. My mother found the solution in “Thanksgiving To Go” through Wisconsin Union Catering. The service has been around for about six years now, and you can order anything from a single jar of gravy to a whole feast, plus enough for leftovers. We chose the latter — with a pizza delivery menu on standby in case this all went south.

The food far surpassed my expectations. I was expecting mashed potatoes made from powder and frozen vegetables. Call me a pessimist; but prepare for the worst, and you’ll never be let down. Sure, it wasn’t my grandma’s recipe for mashed potatoes, but it was real food made from real ingredients nonetheless — everything was fresh and well made. We ordered a full course meal, including two different kids of pie because we’re boujee; and it was all gone by day two of the weekend.


The Perks

My parents also rented car, which allowed us to travel to outside of the campus bubble. We drove to Milwaukee for some Black Friday shopping and explored the city for the day. On Sunday, we drove over to Fitchburg and went to the movie theatre. The day ended with us having dinner at one of my favorite restaurants: Delmonico’s. It was a food-on-food-on-food weekend.


This experiment felt like the best of both worlds (yes, Hannah Montana is still relevant). We experienced the excitement and adventure of a vacation during the day; and by night, I was enjoying my favorite home traditions, such as watching holiday movies in our PJs. Although sleeping on an aero-mattress for five nights was a bit stiff on my back, I would ultimately call this experiment a success.

Lauren Ryan

Wisconsin '20

Lauren is a senior double majoring in Marketing and Operations and Technology Management, with a certificate in Supply Chain Management. 
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