7 years ago, the ex brought me to Buffalo, NY during the craziest time of the year – BLACK FRIDAY. We shopped, ate, drove around, saw the sights, celebrated our anniversary and shopped some more. It was hectic, intense and busy. The next year, we did the same thing. The year after that we drove even farther down the road to Grove City P.A with a quick stop in Pittsburgh where we did all of the above and more. Even after the year we broke up I wanted to keep up the tradition because it was one I truly enjoyed, so I brought my best friend and sister-in-law and every year since, Tammy and I have gone to Grove City to spend our hard-earned money on ourselves and Christmas presents.
This year will be no exception. We have our room booked with the Holiday Inn and my car is gassed up, winter tires on and oil is changed!
Now all I need is my print out of the stores at the outlet and what time they open Thursday night (some open prior to Midnight – which is great cause now I don’t need to stay awake as long because the older I get, the harder it is to stay awake for 24 hours!)
My sister and I will head out Thursday morning around 10 am to make the 4-4.5 hour drive during non-rush hour times and check into the hotel just before 3:00. After that we will drive to the BP gas station down the street which has a Subway Sandwich shop inside (the ONLY place open on Thanksgiving) and order our dinner for the evening. We will drive our car across the street to the outlets, park and walk back to the hotel. We do this because parking is next to impossible at night so this way we have prime parking when we are done our shopping (and to empty our goodies as our hands fill up).
Once back at the hotel, we will warm up, eat our Sub and watch the Jeff Dunham comedy show (it’s been on the last two years in a row so I ASSUME it will be on again). We will take a nap (cause really when you START shopping at 10 pm, you need a nap), and wake up just before we need to leave to catch the shuttle to the outlets.
We strategically shop the back half of the outlet, dump our bags in the car and then drive around the whole outlet to the other end to find parking (guys it’s a REALLY long outlet).
We shop the top end of the mall and usually by this point we are both a bit delirious so we start to get really silly. Standing seems an impossible task and waiting in line starts to feel brutal even though the lineups are down to a mere few minutes and at the top of the night it can be up to 30-40 minutes long. I’m usually singing or dancing to the Christmas music playing nostalgically in the background and Tammy is following me around like a poor puppy to tired and cold to complain.
Why do we do it – because we can. Because it’s fun. Because it’s our time together. Because we finish our Christmas shopping in one weekend. Because it’s crazy.
BECAUSE WE ARE THANKFUL.