Silver White Winters & Crisp Apple Streudels: The Sound of Music Tour

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of one of the world’s most beloved movies, Sound of Music. In honor of the milestone, the movie is being re-released in theaters, a special DVD edition is being sold, the cast (yes, even all the kids!) got together for a Vanity Fair feature, and as you probably saw at the Oscars, Lady Gaga slayyyed a medley of songs just before Dame Julie Andrews came out and the tears poured out of my eyes faster than you can say Edelweiss.

Like many people, Sound of Music has a special place in my heart. I grew up watching the two tape VHS version of the movie, and for some reason our copy got messed up at the end of the tape so the party always ended abruptly. It’s clearly stuck with me all these years.

Years later, I was cast in a production of Sound of Music as Sister Maragretta – no you shouldn’t really know who she is unless you’re a hardcore fan or have been in the show – basically my claim to fame was “Maria – makes me – LAUGH!! heheheeeheeeheeeee” *fakest laugh ever. For anyone that’s been part of a production, you know how much of an impact every show makes on you (good or bad, I suppose), and luckily for me this one was pleasant experience that I’ll always remember.

Then, when I was studying abroad in college, my friends and I spent the weekend in Austria, first in Vienna and then over to Salzburg, where they filmed a lot of scenes from the film. I’m not sure if everyone was 100 percent into it, but I feel like I basically conned my travel buds into going on the Sound of Music tour with me. Turns out, it was actually a fantastic four hour tour of not only SoM filming locations, but the ‘countryside’ of Austria as well.

So in honor of SoM’s 50th anniversary (and the nine year anniversary of us going on this tour this week!), here’s a guide to some of the stops we made on the tour, whether you’re thinking of going or just want to live vicariously through these pictures!

Mirabell Gardens

To preface, we went to Austria (as previously mentioned) in March. It is still winter there at this time. Because of that, it was cold and there was snow, but it didn’t deter (most of our tour). So, below are the gardens featured in the Do-Re-Mi scene, where Maria takes the kids running through Salzburg learning Solfège.

In the background on the hill, you can see the Hohensalzburg Castle, probably the biggest landmark in the city that served as a fortress dating back to 1077. During World War I, it was as a prison to hold Italian POWs and and Nazi activists. You can also see it in the background in the beginning of the Do-Re-Mi scene.

Photo Mar 12, 10 37 30 PM

A view of the Salzach River. I don’t think anything was filmed here, but it was pretty.

Leopoldskron Palace

The grounds of this palace was used as Captain Von Trapp’s backyard, more specifically the lake, that you can obviously see so clearly here (it’s the giant patch of snow frozen over). This lake is the one Maria and the kids fell into when they were out rowing the boat in their curtain gear.



Hellbrunn Palace, Gazebo

The famous gazebo, or pavilion, was originally located at Leopoldskron Palace. As the movie became popular, tourists went to visit it, so they moved the gazebo to Hellbrunn. Also, neither the 16 Going on 17 scene or Something Good scene were filmed inside the actual gazebo, those were filmed on a Hollywood soundstage *MOVIE MAGIC*. However, the exteriors of the gazebo were shot in Austria.

Miscellaneous Austrian village shot, because this is pretty and could also have been in the movie.



My eyes are closed because I’m trying to get into character.

A bunch of tourists, I tells ya. *these are my friends. the people in the background are not.


REMINDER that Something Good is one of the best songs from the movie.

I want to say these were the trees the kids were hiding in, but who knows, I went on this tour nine years ago. Just pretend it is.

Salzburg Lake District Area

Again, I’d like to reiterate that it was winter and the quaint lake that was used for panorama shots in the film, and also where they had their picnic, was completely covered in snow. This is us in said snow.


There’s a lake in there.

 Mondsee – Wedding Chapel

SPOILER ALERT: The Captain and Maria get married!!! And this is the church it all went down. It’s in the cute little super Austrian village.


I’m sure God is totally down with all these tourists taking pix, right?


Dancing around like the Von Trapp children. Also, perhaps more importantly, there was a restaurant behind us that had the BEST apple strudel. nomm

And that concludes our tour! Here’s a rando pic of Salzburg, because I don’t remember what it is, but it’s sah cuhyte.


Also, I wanted to include this picture because this is how we managed to keep our grades up while also travelling Europe. Unless you’re my friend Caitlin who apparently was doing sudoku. It was a really cool thing back then.


Woman Crush Wednesday: Laura Benanti

Today I’m starting a new series after the popular Wednesday trending hashtag, #WCW otherwise known as Woman Crush Wednesday. Now I know this is usually reserved for guys to tag their celebrity or real life paramores, but I’m going to take this time to talk about my girl crush on Laura Benanti. #SameLoveYall

If you’re a theatre nerd, or watched cancelled shows Go On or The Playboy Club or are a religious viewer of Law & Order: SVU or Royal Pains, you’re familiar with Laura Benanti. If none of those things apply to you, here is why you need to start paying attention to this wonderful woman.

The BROADway

Alright, so Laura is KIND of a big deal in the theatre world. She’s been in shows like Into the Woods, Nine, The Wedding Singer, and Gypsy, for which she won a Tony Award. So it goes without saying that this broad is talented. Like I mentioned above, Laura’s been on a few TV shows, making her one of those Broadway types that goes on to try their hand at the small screen – including her run on one of my faves (the whole one season it was on air) Go On, featuring her and Matthew Perry. That being said, she doesn’t always have the best of luck on TV, but luckily she can always return to Broadway and make fun of herself. This clip, featuring Andrew Rannells (The New Normal RIP), Megan Hilty (Smash AND Sean Saves The World RIP) and everyone’s favorite awards show host, Neil Patrick Harris (HIMYM, soon to be RIP) from last year’s Tonys is the perfect example of this.

The Sound of Music Live!

I feel like the masses were really introduced to Laura when she played Baroness Elsa Schrader on the recent live version of the beloved musical, Sound of Music (which we also liveblogged here). She and fellow Broadway vet Christian Borle made up the scheming pair of Elsa and Max Detweiler, and brought some of the Great White Way to middle America. It was like they were the representatives for all the Broadway folks and boy did they do their team proud.

Not to mention we got this fab meme out of it:

And GIFs:

PS: Check out Laura singing my personal fave song from the show, Something Good. Like who are you.

Bringing the Hilarity to Side by Side

I feel like I might need to do a follow up post just on this webseries alone. Side by Side is hosted by Susan Blackwell a ridiculously hilarious fellow Broadway gal. She interviews other Broadway stars, usually in odd places, and isn’t afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions. I think this particular one was one of the first – if not the first – she ever did, and it features Susan and Laura enjoying some treats in a Hooters restaurant. It also featured some other fab people, including Jonathan Groff in a horse-drawn carriage and in bed with Sutton Foster.

Making Twitter Her Bitch

I think what pushed my #wcw over the edge was by following her on Twitter. Like the Anna Kendricks and Josh Grobans of the world, Laura has managed to kill it every single time in 140 characters or less.

‘The Sound of Music Live!’ Live Blog

I’m having a real Jessie Spano moment right now: I’m so excited, but I’m also so scared. Tonight, Carrie Underwood will be starring as Maria in  The Sound of Music Live!, and like life itself, it has the potential to be either so wonderful or so very, very awful.

So, as we do with all televised events that hold the potential for disaster, we’ll be posting a Cookies + Sangria live blog! Come back tonight at 8:00 EST – it’ll be just like watching The Sound of Music with your friend who really loves cheesy musicals but also can’t help but make fun of things. We’ll see you then!

A Few Ground Rules:

  • With our current WordPress setup, we can’t have our comments show up in real time, so we will be periodically updating the page — probably during commercial breaks. Please refresh the page to see new comments!
  • We really like musicals, so if you do, too, you’re in a safe place. And if you don’t … well, let me tell you a little story. When I was a kid, and the Bills were in the Super Bowl (you can stop laughing… I’ll wait…) a neighbor brought his friend to our house – a friend who was rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t pretty. The whole thing culminated in my dad standing up and shouting “You’re in MY HOUSE and when you’re in MY HOUSE you do things MY WAY!” So, just be advised that you’re in our (blog) house, and it’s a house that likes a good Rodgers & Hammerstein. Also, that I come from a line of people who throw adult temper tantrums, apparently.
  • You can sing along! We can’t hear you, anyway. But extra points if you say the phrase “sound of music” in the style of Chandler Bing:

0:02 AUDRA. When we were discussing this on email, Traci mentioned how nervous she was that Carrie Underwood would slip up (because we love Carrie Underwood). Basically, we want Audra to take all of the parts – just, really Orphan Black it. In the alternative, Tatiana Maslany’s probably up to the task.

0:03 While we do looove musicals, listening to a bunch of nuns sing church songs wasn’t that (read: any) fun back in Catholic school, and it isn’t fun now. Let’s solve that problem like Maria already.

0:04 WOW. Anyone else really thrown off by Carrie Underwood singing in a musical theater voice? She doesn’t sound bad, it’s just kind of throaty. I just hope throaty doesn’t turn … Kermit-y. Hate when that happens.

0:06 Is Maria a postulate or a French maid? Because with this costume, I’m not so sure…

0:08: All of these “problems” with Maria would just be “adorkable” qualities in modern sitcoms. Manic Pixie Dream Postulate?

0:08: T: “Maria, Maria RRRrrrainer” oh my GOD, could you BE any more from Oklahoma?

0:09 Just so we’re clear, all of these nuns are straight-up describing girl crushes on Maria. It’s Carrie Underwood, so I understand, but I guess it just goes to show that some of those nun rumors were true?

0:11 Nope, the phrase “on my knees all night” never doesn’t sound dirty.

Also, Underwood’s stilted musical theater dialogue delivery reminds me of every bad musical I was ever in. And also kind of that Vanessa Bayer character:

The “Star of Tomorrow”? Anyone?

0:13 Carrie’s kind of bringing it with Favorite Things, though. But just when the blocking starts to feel really high school musical-y, Audra’s here to save the day.

0:18 Sorry for the pause but there was a lot of ACTING going on there. When I was a kid, and really into acting, I remember going to my sister’s high school plays and wondering why everyone said their LINES like THIS! Then I learned that they mostly couldn’t act. That’s what this production is sounding like so far.

However — this part of the movie was always really boring to me, too. I have high hopes and I bet Underwood will have great chemistry with the kids and with Stephen Moyer’s cheekbones.

Commercial Break: If you were wondering, here is Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp:

And HERE is Swiss Miss, of cocoa packaging fame:

It’s just not the same without Julie Andrews’ Dorothy Hammill haircut.

0:28 Let’s hear it for this soundstage! Or whatever they’re filming this on. I’m serious. It’s great now that they’re indoors. Those mountains and trees were a little depressing. It looked like that one Full House episode when they take a donkey up a mountain.

0:29 There were so many pauses in dialog that I thought someone had forgotten a line.

0:31 Freidrich is kind of adorable? The older girls are coiffed like those dead Romanov princesses:

Once upon a December…

0:35 This has always bothered me about Do-Re-Mi. What sort of dumb-dumb would think teaching a kid how to sing with nonsense syllables is really the best way? Brigitta knows what I’m talkin’ about.

0:37 I don’t care what that one bratty girl says, I think the shirtdress is really working for Underwood.

0:37 T: Carrie needs to practice running while singing more. Breath control is real, y’all.

0:38 Whoever was in charge of the outdoor backdrop clearly blew up the image that’s your great-aunt’s screensaver on her PC. Props to the lighting person, though. Maybe we should get him/her out there to do some acting.

0:39 I cannot with this cheery happy family they have in this ad. We’ve already talked about how the Duggars and Quiver-fillers are secretly creepy, remember.

0:43 Sometimes weird things that are just… not right make me want to throw up. I know it sounds odd, but for instance, there’s this one crosswalk where I get off of my bus, and pressing the button does NOTHING to make the light turn faster. There’s this one guy who presses it constantly, for minutes on end, til it turns. It makes me want to vomit. It’s like he’s trying so hard but is doing a terrible job.

Anyway. That’s how I feel about this outdoor set.

0:45 The way I get through Sixteen Going On Seventeen is pretending that the entire song is totally tongue-in-cheek from both characters’ perspectives.

0:46 Where the gazebo at though?

0:48 A teenaged boy wearing short-pants/hosen in a musical is only hot in Spring Awakening


0:50 No just kidding nobody’s doing anything on the hill because (a) this isn’t Spring Awakening and (b) Liesl just sang an entire song disavowing her sexual agency

0:51 Why is Maria wearing Felicity Merriman’s nightclothes?

0:54 I think they’re about to launch into My Favorite Things and will somebody please explain me why that’s a Christmas song now? Is it because they say presents that ONE TIME? Because I also get presents at birthdays and graduations and stuff but nobody sings me My Favorite Things then.

0:56 Nope. Lonely Goatherd. Underwood is the least wooden I’ve seen her so far! She actually seems really natural here.

0:57 Ahh the little girl’s yodel-voice is the cutest! Gretl? Brigitta? Tiny, looks like Kirsten Larson? Not sorry for the American Girls Collection references.

Commercial Break: I should mention that Traci might be popping in, but she isn’t here tonight because, well first of all it’s 6pm where she is and she’s working, but also she’s seeing Jimmy Fallon tonight because she lives in LA where that can happen. I live in Rochester, where sometimes your car doesn’t start because it’s cold.

1:04 Stephen Moyer why do you always look like you have to poop really badly?

1:06 Anyone else fill in “damn hell ass kings!” anytime somebody says the phrase “live like a king?”

1:07 We’ve talked about bitchy resting face and how sometimes that is just how your face is, and I think that maybe is the thing with Moyer? See?

1:09 Millionaires with dreams make the WORST musical characters. Yeah, I see you, Daddy Warbucks.

1:13 Guys if I tried to wear a curtain dress I’d be wearing naked because I’m too broke for curtains right now.

1:15 Oh, Frau Schrader. You look like a straight-up fraulein with that sassy hair do.

1:16 I FIGURED IT OUT. Moyer is doing Joey Tribbiani’s patented “Smell the fart acting.”

1:24 See, I usually think they just do dance breaks like this in musical theatre when they’re changing the sets or an actor has a costume change. I don’t know why they’re doing it now.

1:26 There are so many whimsical braided hairdos in this movie that I feel like it was filmed inside of a hipster girl’s tumblr.

1:28 Do you think Maria’s friends are ever all “girl, do you have to wear a dirndl EVERY DAMN DAY!”?

1:31 Maria’s mad that she’s getting moved off of the kids’ table? Kids’ table is the best. I get it.

1:32 The little girl who’s not Brigitta or Gretl (…I’m blanking) is giving off some serious young Dakota Fanning vibes.

1:33 I love So Long, Farewell. If any of you have ever studied abroad, you’ve found two things: (1) that kids speaking foreign languages are ADORABLE, and (2)  you know, yourself, probably.

1:35 Related sidenote: my 3-yr-old nephew says goodnight in a bunch of languages, but he always does guten nacht in an angry German scream-voice. It’s precious.

Commercial Break: Did Jewel get her teeth fixed? And isn’t it so weird when you see people outside of their usual context, like your high school teachers at the mall or Jewel in … not 1997?

1:40 T: Hey guys – Traci here! sorry I’ve been absent – I’m still at work and legit avoiding it right now to do this, so I mean, I’m a star employee. I don’t watch True Blood, but just knowing that he’s a vampire and now playing captain von Trapp is disturbing. wait, he’s a vampire right?(M: Clearly neither of us watches True Blood. Also I’ll add a T before Traci’s posts so you guys can like… picture this, or whatever)

1: 43  T: Fun Fact: I’ve seen Carrie in concert 4 times in concert and i cry every time. EVERY TIME. watching her sing Sound of Music is no different. She’s just that good, folks. She’s just that good.

Fun Fact #2: I played an Asian Sister Margaretta in my church’s production of SoM in like 2001 (honestly can’t remember what year it was). Playing an Asian Sister Margaretta is surprisingly the same as playing White Sister Margaretta. I imagine Audra had this same thought.

1:44 Oh Maria, to ask for the Captain’s heart would be wrong but you can totally come on to Liesl? Yeah, I saw. We all saw.

1:47 It’s like Audra’s face is acting double-time to make up for all of the other non-acting in this production

1:48 T: Also, it’s worth nothing that apparently NBC execs decide to cast former actors from their cancelled shows in live TV musicals. RIP Go On.

Commercial Break: T:

Christian Borle was totally channeling Tim Curry’s Rooster from Annie:

Commercial Break throwback commentary: T: AHH I forgot about how can love survive. It’s finally beginning to feel like a true musical with Christian and Laura. Although that sound you hear is a bunch of SoM movie fans switching the channel to the X Factor because they don’t recognize this song. JK… No one’s switching to X Factor.

1:53 T: Re the first Lonely Goatherd: Umm how comfy does that bed look right now? #things27yearoldsstillatworksaywhilewatchingsoundofmusiclive

1:56 So, I just IMDB’d the kids, and one of them is named Peyton Ella. That’s like, clearly a made-up name, right? It sounds like my/every professional adult’s name on Facebook, because you don’t want your boss to find you. Peyton Ella, you can use your last name. Your future bosses probably aren’t watching.

1:57  T: Per the SoM behind the scenes special I watched by accident last week, the girl who plays Liesl is a junior in college studying like art and some foreign language as a minor… Basically not theater. this is how you do it, kids.

M: “Accidentally?” Girl… okay.

1:59 T: I’ve always wondered why these folks have British accents despite the fact they live in Austria. Am I missing something here?

2:00 T: WAIT. Did Carrie just come back (forward?) from the 1960s? Like did she come in from the set of Catch Me if You Can??

M: As reader Christopher just noted, it looks like polyester.

Commercial Break: T: Also, It’s 7:00pm here, which is the time I usually watch #Scandal at work because I’m a freak and like to live tweet and also watch Parenthood at 10pm PST (because I’m insane).. ANYWAYS – I’’m skipping Scandal to watch Carrie’s bad acting/excellent singing. The struggle is real.
M: I KNOW. Shit’s getting real this week. AND I’m manning Twitter. I’m doing this for you, Underwood.

2:06 M: You know, if you lived in a world where you’d never seen Sound of Music, and therefore didn’t just accept it as normal, would it seem really really weird that everyone’s all “La la la, goatherds! Do Re Mi, Curtain Dresses!” AND THEN THE NAZIS COME?!

… and the fine folks behind Sound of Music are just all:

2:10 T: WERK LAURA BENANTI. WERK. She looks perfect!!!

2:11 M: There’s no reason to dislike Frau Schrader EXACTLY, but auf wiedersehen!

2:15 M: Now we’re setting up the mother Abbess and BRIGITTA?

2:16 T: For the record, Something Good is my favorite song from this show. I feel like it’s often overlooked and Carrie does a beautiful job with it. Julie would be proud.

2:16 M: Agreed! It’s so pretty and Carrie sounds great. But why does she look like Alice in Wonderland…? This wig is killing me.

2:17 T: WHOA. WHOA. WAS THERE TONGUE IN THAT KISS?? THIS IS TELEVISION THERE ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE TONGUE. I’M OFFENDED (unless there wasn’t tongue, in which case, kudos for making it look real and uncomfy)

2:19 M: This wedding dress looks like it was made either in a high school home ec class (or whatever fake-sounding thing they call home ec now), or in a 10-minute challenge on Project Runway where they had to use table cloths.

2:25 M: Oh no… when you hear “1938” and “new flag” within a minute, you know shit’s getting bad. By the way, that Nazi was wearing a red geometric-patterned tie that looked like my dad’s work clothes in the early 90s.

2:28 T: Huh. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Nazi on live TV. Refreshing? Nah.

2:29 T:
I’m pretty sure Carrie just broke the 4th wall. This isn’t American Idol.

2:31: M: Oh God. “Love isn’t love until you give it away” sounds like a terrible abstinence-only education slogan. Or, like… maybe the opposite of that? Also, the real adventure begins when you belong to your husband? I’m clearly more of a millennial/ feminist/ curmudgeon than Rodgers & Hammerstein could have possibly envisioned in their audience…

I’m shocked too, Li. I’m shocked too.

2:37 M: SING THE NAZIS AWAY. Why didn’t the allied forces ever think of that?

2:38 T: Oh, so the Nazi stadium is where they’ve been hiding the live audience this entire time!!

2:43 M: Eidelweiss is reminding me that I once read this blog where these American parents were living in like Austria or Germany, and they had to petition the government to name their daughter Eidelweiss. So, I mean, I’m sure your daughter will really appreciate how you stuck it to the man so that you could name her Eidelweiss.

2:43 M: How much did NBC spend on this wig that’s making Underwood look like a live-action, adult version of the Sleeping Beauty cartoon?

2:43 M: Silly Nazis. The von Traps are halfway across the Alps by now.  In their… you know… leiderhosen. I hope they brought warm clothes.

2:55 M: Yep, crouching down behind fountains is always the BEST WAY to hide from Nazis.

2:57 M: When I was in second grade, I thought it would be fun to be a nun because they got to live with all of their  friends. Obviously I just wanted to live in a dorm eventually, and then die alone and unmarried. But anyway, the SoM nuns DO make it look kind of fun.

2:58 There are leaves on the trees and it’s snowing. Although… again, Rochester here. My hair freezes if I go outside at the wrong time.

2:59 The most animated I’ve seen everyone is in the rehearsal footage they showed over the credits. The heck?

3:00 Our friend Tori, via Facebook: “I love Carrie Underwood but that girl is just a single threat.”

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for tuning in! I will say that as much as we snarked on it, I still do love a good musical. And, say what I will about her acting, Carrie Underwood has a great voice. And, I tended to forget that they were doing the WHOLE THING LIVE , which is impressive.

Will it replace the movie? No, never. But as a weeknight novelty watch, I had fun watching – and blogging. Hope you all liked reading along, too!

Booze Before Chews: A Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Drinking Game

Thanksgiving is our day. Our blog is named after a snack and an alcoholic beverage, need I say more?  However, everyone who’s had to correlate the cook times and temperatures of 10 different dishes, and schedule dinner around football games and children’s naps, knows that as much as Thanksgiving is about food, it’s also about multi-tasking. Oh, and gratitude.

So, why not multitask during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by getting your drink on? Responsibly, of course – feel free to use water instead and stop when you should stop.

I’m also including a parallel Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Exercise Game (Lose Before Chews?). Use that option if you are saving your stomach space for food (that’s me!), want to work off dinner in advance, or aren’t much of a day drinker.

* This list is from 2013, so we’ve added a few 2014-specific additions as well!

One Sip/ One Set* of Jumping Jacks if you see…

  •  Matt Lauer, and he has an obvious disdain for his cohost
  • Marching band from the midwest
  • Balloon or float featuring a cartoon character you’ve never heard of
  • Reality star from a show you actually watch
  • Nick Jonas, and you have to deal with weird grown-up feelings (he’s of age, it’s fine)
  • Country singer wearing a cowboy hat
  • Muppets!
  • … and you get choked up seeing Muppets for some reason. Really, what IS that?
  • One of the members of KISS sticking his tongue out
  • A float or balloon of one of your childhood favorites that’s been gone so long that it’s cool again (example: My Little Pony; Carebears)

Two Sips/ One Set of Burpees if you see…

  •  Matt Lauer, and the cohost has an obvious disdain for him
  • One of the flag girls having an obvious screw-up
  • One of the hosts or performers wearing an impractical but lovely white coat, a la Olivia Pope
  • Carrie Underwood singing something from The Sound of Music (shameless plug: we’ll be liveblogging the performance on December 5! (of 2013 – oh, what a night it was!))
  • Anyone from the cast of Peter Pan performing (yes, we’ll be liveblogging that too, and yes, you can upgrade a Sound Of Music performance to a “chug” scenario, because that already happened.)
  • Sandra Lee making something that’s technically gross but seems sort of delicious
  • A celebrity with his or her bored-looking teenager or tween
  • Mo’ne Davis, and you cry a little bit (she’s inspirational! it’s okay!)
  • The hosts refer to bad parade weather in the distant past (>25 years ago)
  • Pilgrims in buckle hats
  • ALL of the members of KISS sticking their tongues out

One Gulp/ 30-second plank if you see…

  • A Broadway performance featuring enthusiastic child actors
  • A clearly tangled or deflated balloon
  • A performance by an irrelevant musician (peak fame greater than or equal to four years ago)
  • A circus
  • and you find it really boring
  • A British star even though they don’t even do Thanksgiving JEEZ.
  • A Canadian star even though they already had Thanksgiving JEEZ.

Two gulps/ One Set of Pushups if…

  •  You get interrupted by someone saying “hey, can you come in here and help with…”
  • You have to explain to a child or teenager what KISS/ Gene Simmons is all about (actually, if you’re doing the exercise version you can skip the pushups- you’ve already had a mental workout!)
  • You spot very obviously out-of-sync lip-synching
  • All three Jonas Brothers appear together (they had a bit of a breakup)
  • You accidentally fall in love with Taylor Swift during her performance
  • A celebrity is on a float to which they have absolutely no connection (example: The cast of Law and Order: SVU on a Mott’s applesauce float)
  • The Duck Dynasty guys make a reference to shooting turkeys
  • Jimmy Fallon is there, and he delivers a thank-you note
  • Jimmy Fallon is there, and he brings Baby Winnie
  • Savannah Guthrie is there, and she brings Baby Vale
  • A youth choir sings something inspirational (example: Imagine, Somewhere Over The Rainbow)
  • There is a touching moment between Allison Williams and Brian Williams
  • The hosts deliver a half-accurate history lesson about the first Thanksgiving

Chug**/ Run in place until the next commercial break if…

  • There’s a runaway balloon
  • You accidentally call new Annie, Quvenzhané Wallis, “the cutest kid in the world” in front of children you’re actually related to. Oops!
  • One of the lip-synchers doesn’t even try at all
  • A Cirque du Soleil performer falls
  • At the end of the parade, you realize you missed the one thing that actually sounded like it would be interesting

* A set is however many you say is a set. We’re not Crossfit, here. Again, we’re named after a snack and an alcoholic beverage.

** Don’t really chug. Puking would really screw up your dinner plans.