Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Friday Bargains, Fun and Travel

Our traditional family
birthday decoration. 
All it takes is a little hot air!

The Thanksgiving weekend sure went by fast.  I can’t believe it’s behind me.  For such a short period of time, there was so much rolled into it. Here is my summary of the last few days.

Thanksgiving Day was a special day. This was the day of “Stuffing” because we were the ones who got stuffed.  We enjoyed a fantastic meal but I’m glad we don’t eat like that every day.  It was also my birthday.  About every four years my birthday falls on that 4th Thursday of November.  It’s kind of special because with the holidays, it usually means I get to spend it with family.  That makes it the best birthday of all.

I tried to get a picture of this gang but Michael hid and a few others tried to cover their faces.  I think they get tired of me taking their picture.

Wal-Mart --  People waiting for 6 PM event.
We didn’t just eat and party.  We also tore through the Black Friday ads.   Black Friday now starts on Thursday.  Even though most of the ads are on the internet now, the thick newspapers are still fun to go through. That’s what we did.  After all, Christmas is just around the corner and we still had Christmas gifts to buy.  Not only did we go through the ads, we also took advantage of some.  Well, at least, Sandi and I did after our big meal was over.  We figured that we’d get lots of exercise fighting the crowds.   There were a lot of people but we didn’t have any trouble getting the few items we wanted and out the door within 20 minutes after the start of the sale.

The following morning we were off to the Vancouver Mall.  The plan was to people watch as well as catch some more Black Friday bargains.  We had no desire to get into the opening rush of the morning.  Thus, we didn’t arrive until after 7.  There were no lines at check-out and not a huge amount of people left at the mall.  However, we did manage to snag some of the door buster bargains.  I figured the more I bought then, the less I would have to ship.

Christmas Bazaar
From the Vancouver Mall we headed towards Jantzen Beach and then on to America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar at the Portland Expo Center.  This bazaar has been running for close to 30 years and takes up both of the Expo’s huge halls.   This year there must have been at least 500 vendors. It was huge, huge, huge and packed with vendors and shoppers.

With the bazaar behind us, we weren’t through.  Portland is home to Stash Tea.  Thus, we were off to one of their tasting rooms. We tasted, we bought and we each left with about ten 1 oz. bags of loose tea.  What fun. that was ….. but the day still wasn’t over.  It ended with dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant, the Lucky Dragon in Kalama.

You pick the tea you want to try.
Stash will make you a cup to taste.
With several busy days behind, Saturday morning meant departure.  Traveling over the holidays usually means lots of kids and lots of seldom-travelers.  Thus, security lines move slower and backups are just about everywhere.  People forget to take things out of their pockets or wear stupid clothes which requires lots of undressing at security.  They also have bags that don’t fit well in airplane bins and often sit in the wrong seats.  I knew to expect the havoc and I was right.

Instead of going via Dallas back to Phoenix like I did on Wednesday, I decided this time to hop a ride on US Airways and go direct.  It made the ride shorter and left more hours in the day upon arrival.  It also gave Terry and I enough time to move the RV.  The only hang-up on that decision would be if I didn’t make the flight …. but I did. 

Everything worked out as planned.  Terry was waiting at the airport and it was a quick ride back to the RV to be greeted by Duchess.  It took about an hour to decide we were really going to move.  We had time.  We could do it and we did.  After all, we only had about a 7 mile drive to a new RV park.   Once set up in our new location we were off to the Claim Jumper for dinner.

Sabrina’s Cheese Ball  --- decorated leaves are
spinach tortillas. 
She always comes up with something.
Wow … what a busy four days they were.  Actually what a busy month November was.  I know that December will probably be just as busy as we already are talking about other things and plans are in the making.  The good thing is that our plans are always made in chalk.  That way they’re easy to erase and move on to new ones. 

Since our arrival in Portland for Christmas won’t leave much time for gift wrapping, I just may take another trip up there between now and then to finish off that task.  It’s not fun but it’s better than a panic attack on Christmas Eve.  We will have to see how things go first.  Then, Tammi has a business trip planned in the middle of the month to Dallas.  For me that would be a free hotel and an opportunity to have the best brisket ever at Colter’s BBQ or visit Catfish & Company for their luscious catfish.  Decisions … decisions.  Having lived there for many years, I know where the great food is.

‘Tis a busy life on the road.

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs.It's jolted by every pebble on the road.


  1. Welcome back. You definitely didn't let any grass grow under your feet (as the old saying goes). No shopping for us. See you later.

  2. glad you had a nice time! no Black Friday shopping for me either...there was this thing called 'work' that got in the way!

  3. Sounds like you had too much fun, back at the house, move the house and soon plan your next flight out, wow!

  4. Stash is my favourite. Especially the licorice one.

    Sabrina is amazing.

  5. A trip to Portland just to wrap gifts? Maybe you're not supporting the economy with all the airline flights you take, but with that many gifts, the retailers must be jumping for joy over all the money you've spent!

    Wall Street thanks you (and so do I for boosting all my investments)! ;c)

  6. I need a nap!!! You have done more in three days than most people do in a month!

    I love going to a good bazaar. Since I am leaving here on Thursday, I hope to catch a few back in Ohio. I always find deals I just can't live without.

  7. OK That's it !!!! You slow down this minute !!! I'm exhausted trying to keep up with you and you know how I hate flying !!!

  8. While I don't mind flying, I have to agree with Sassy. YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN RIGHT NOW, your wearing the rest of us out.


  9. You sure can pack a lot into a day! No black Friday (or Thursday) shopping for me, but I'm glad you found some things you wanted. I like that green tortilla leaf idea for the cheese ball. I may have to try that.

  10. Happy sure managed to get a lot done on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. It tired me out just reading about all the different places you went. And then - to hop on a plane after!!

  11. You have been really busy! Geez. I love Stash tea! Stay safe in your travels.


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