For the past 6-7 years I have fallen completely, absolutely in love with one weekend. Now as a Canadian you would think it is Canada day weekend – nope, sorry Canada!! It’s actually the American Thanksgiving…(please don’t shun me) Why you ask…is it the turkey…nope! The family get togethers…nope!
IT’S THE BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING
My ex and I started this shopping tradition in Buffalo NY when we first started dating and every year since – even after we broke up (I just changed my shopping partner in crime) – I have continued this amazing tradition!
On Thursday morning, my sister-in-law Tammy and I drove up to Grove City, PA where we have gone the past two years. Singing to the XM radio channel 90’s on 9, we headed out on the road, got through the border with no problems and even made it through the crazy Erie PA snow belt where the snow threatened to slow us down (the snow needs to realize we are ladies on a mission).
Four and a half hours later we made it to our hotel safe and sound, checking in and crashing into our rooms with a plan!
We drove over to the Subway down the street (the only place open on Thanksgiving day before the shops open). Oh ya – it’s in a gas station…total class! After we grabbed our food, we drove across the street, parked the car in the outlet parking lot and walked the 15 minutes back to our hotel, grateful the weather held up and it wasn’t so cold or windy.
Getting back to our warm room, we ate and passed out cold for a couple of hours hoping to encourage our bodies to function throughout the night while we shopped!
When we woke up, we realized Maid in Manhattan was on TV, so we spent the night watching that and then headed out for our Shopping Bonanza!
At 11:15 we made it to the outlets by shuttle and began what was to be an epic trip of massive shopping proportions! We always have a plan and we always execute it perfectly! That’s what over 6 years of doing this has done…made me a Black Friday shopping expert!
We completed our first round of shopping around 6:00 am, after feeling a bit whacked out and crazy racing back to the hotel before the sun rose. After lugging in our purchases we passed out cold again, but only for a few hours. Breakfast at the Eat and Park is delicious and was calling out our names. In Canada, you are lucky to get a huge plate of food and refillable coffee for $12-$20. At the E&P – $6.00!! I had Chocolate chip pancakes with whipped butter and syrup and three sausage patties on the side with two coffees for $6.21. MY GOD THANK YOU!! We were beginning to feel human again!
Heading back to the hotel we organized our bags from the night before and figured out what was left to buy. The outlets were open to nine so around 4 we went back, shopped again and went back to the E&P for dinner.
Dinner was almost as scrumptous as breakfast was. I had a baked shrimp parmesan pasta dish with garlic bread and coke. Tammy and I shared a Molten Lava Cake and we went back to our hotel full and exhausted, barely able to keep our eyes open to watch the Harry Potter marathon that was playing. We slept…almost 10 hours…it was great.
The next day, after checking out and heading back to the E&P for another breakfast (where chocolate chip pancakes and hash browns were ordered and devoured) we drove the 45 minutes to Pittsburgh where we went to my favourite store in the whole wide world…
Yep it was time to shoe shop! I bought four pairs while my sister slid in with three! We found the Wal-Mart Super store down the street and then started the five-hour trek back to Toronto. Of course we had to go through the border…always a *fun* experience.
We managed to pull into my driveway close to 8:00 at night which was great and I was able to arrange my purchases and presents and start a load of laundry, climbing into bed around 10:00 excited to pick up my dog from my friend’s place the next morning!
This may sound like three days of torture to some of you…I am sure it is for certain people. But three days with my favourite person, shopping and eating is a small pleasure I benefit from every year and will continue to do so as often as I can!