It has come around again...Thanksgiving is upon us. For myself, it’s that time of year when I tend to over indulge and eat until I am ready to burst. Should I consider maternity pants? If this was an episode of Friends and I was Joey, maybe I would. My own ramblings aside, Thanksgiving is a time to relax and enjoy the wonderfulness of family, friends... and waiting in lines? Each year, Black Friday seems to strike earlier and earlier spilling into the Thanksgiving holiday. I am familiar with two types of Black Friday people... those who are willing to strike at the chance of a killer deal and those who will avoid it like the plague. If you are like me and opt for the latter, here is a unique opportunity. This year, Jewel Cave National Monument is giving you the opportunity to “OptOutside” and skip the lines by hosting a number of special programs on Black Friday, November 25th. Starting at 11 a.m., take a 1/4-mile Park Ranger led nature hike on the Roof Trail. Afterwards, volunteer Chris Pelczarski will give an interpretive talk on cave exploration. His talk begins at 1:30 p.m. Even if you happen to be one of those who set out for the deals, you still have the opportunity to enjoy additional programs and special events at the monument. 2016 has been a landmark year full of celebrations at nearly every national park—marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Jewel Cave is open daily in the fall from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please check the website for more information and tour schedules. You can also follow Jewel Cave on Facebook and Instagram. Thanksgiving weekend at Jewel Cave is definitely a great time to get out of the house, work off that turkey and fixin's, enjoy the outdoors, and explore the underground beauty of Jewel Cave. ...besides, you have Cyber Monday to fall back upon.