Black Friday Shopping

Mom and Ashley waiting in a cold line at 11:30 Thanksgiving night around the back side of Toys R Us in Lynnwood

The painful memories of crowds, lines and not finding what I wanted had faded since I attempted Black Friday 2 years ago. And with the fading memories, came another mission of finding the deals and joining the masses of crazy people out, basically, for a good time and a story. One big difference between the previous trip and this year was that Ashley wanted to go this year.
Didn’t know if she was serious or not but when we got home from John and Mary’s on Thanksgiving night at 11:10, we unloaded and then got back in the car and headed to Toys R Us for their midnight sale.
Not really expecting they’d do a store opening at midnight, I planned on getting to the store, doing my shopping, and then going to the cash registers at midnight to make my purchases. Easy squeezy. Couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Upon entering the parking lot at 11:20, a line of people was already evident. The question was whether to sit in the car until the doors opened at midnight or to go stand in the line. After 5 minutes, we headed out to join the masses.
However, we weren’t anywhere near prepared for this. As we walked toward the doors and began to follow the line to it’s end, we rounded one corner of the building, grabbing a cart on our way, kept walking, and rounded a second corner. We were now on the complete opposite side of the building from the doors and still had to walk half the distance of the building to even reach the end of the line. Thankfully it wasn’t raining, but the wind was blowing and it was chilly.
It only took a few minutes before we were both cold. A quick text to Willie and he was on his way with gloves, coats, and a blanket. Whew!
When midnight finally arrived, we started moving and entered the building – clueless as to what awaited us. It’s almost impossible to describe. I thought we’d make a bee-line for electronics. But they had blocked the path off so you had to go all the way around the store to attempt to enter the skinny little detector doors where people with carts were attempting to go in, out, and every other possible (or impossible) direction. It was a traffic jam of carts if I ever saw one.
After about 45 minutes of trying to find the items listed in the ad, which I’d carefully studied and listed out by department on my shopping list, we hit the line – frustrated by the fact that we’d found only ONE of the items we’d come for. (We did find a couple more as the line wove through every single aisle along the back and left side of the store on its way to the register.) We were in line for over an hour. The bonus of having a shopping buddy was having a place holder who could switch off if we saw or remember something else we wanted to check on. Being able to roam just a little while we waited broke up the monotony quite a bit. I recommend shopping with a buddy!
By 2:15 we were out of the store, and by 2:30 we were in the house and our ‘morning’ plans were made. Ashley went to bed.
I shopped online – disappointed that even though it was only 2 – 1/2 hours into Black Friday, several of the best deals were sold out online at Best Buy. I did however make several purchases at Target that I figured I’d never get my hands on in the store after having seen what we’d just endured at Toys ‘R Us. I shopped online until 3:45, and finally shut my eyes a little after 4:00AM.
The alarm went off at 6:30 and by 6:50 Ashley and I were back out the door and on our way to Best Buy.
The items I couldn’t find online were actually in stock in the store! So exciting! On a $150 purchase, I saved $90! Sweet! And the gifts will be such hits.
Next target? Target – ugh. I’d done this one before and knew the line would wrap through the entire huge store. We did find most of what we were looking for before spending another hour + standing in line.
After quick trips to REI for snow socks and Walgreens for their Webkinz deal (Ashley’s friends’ gifts), we finally made it home about 11:45. I was so exhausted that it didn’t seem right that the sun was up and people were up and moving around.
Thankfully, I got a couple hour nap before my amazing husband put a gorgeous Thanksgiving Day round 2 meal on the table for us and our friends.
After a good night’s sleep, I’m happy with the purchases and the deals, and most happy that I had a partner in crime to enjoy it with. Ashley was a wonderful addition to the mayhem.
You’ll see the results when Christmas Day pictures are posted!

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