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True, folks from different lifestyles and professions approach the week differently.

One couple waiting Monday for the Sonoma County Airport Express to San Francisco International Airport was headed to Rome for a week and then a two-week cruise to celebrate a 60th birthday - despite their usual tradition of hosting the family for Thanksgiving and the incumbent guilt of "abandoning year."

Another Santa Rosa resident, Dean Donofrio, has never celebrated Thanksgiving because he's a Jehovah's Witness. But he and his wife are headed to Hawaii mid-way between Thanksgiving and Christmas, "the best time to travel" because of lower rates, he said.

But even though traditions shift and many California public schoolkids are on vacation for the whole week, holiday travel continues to be concentrated in the Wednesday-to-Sunday timeframe, Harris said.

Airport Express supervisor Ken Neese offered a slightly different perspective, however, saying it was Tuesday that was always the heaviest day for his drivers.

The first few buses of the day will be loaded with people heading to airports in San Francisco and Oakland, while those flying into the area will fill the afternoon and evening buses.

"You would think Wednesday, but it always ends up being Tuesday prior to" Thanksgiving, Neese said.

With up to 2 feet of fresh snow in the Lake Tahoe area and many ski resorts already opened by last week, business was quickly picking up Monday at Santa Rosa Ski and Sport, salesman Ian Ferguson said.

"Right now it's firing up," he said. "People are starting to get their skis tuned up, getting ready to go up this week."

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or mary.callahan