I got up and got dressed. The mother did the same. We were out the door.
It was 3:20. A.M. It was dark. And it was cold.
We made our way to the back of the line. There were at least 100 people in front of us. Before they opened the doors -- at just after 4 a.m. -- there were at least that many more behind us.
Inside, it was hot, jammed and bustling. I slipped off my coat but the heavy sweater I'd worn beneath it was too much even. Eventually, though it was 30-something outside, I think they had to turn on the air-conditioning. We hurried through the store and it was tough to navigate armed only with mesh bags. (Carts were long gone.)
We wrapped up the shopping or at least I did and staked out a spot at the end of the a seemingly endless line. I stood in place for what seemed like forever while the mother would show up occasionally to drop more items at my feet.
I finally felt cool enough and the line began to move. The mother went to sit up at the front of the store. I scooted, dragged and kicked our purchases along the line. I even did a little more shopping while I was in line. My receipt says I saved $293 and some change. I think it's probably closer to half that, but still, not bad at all. Between a gift card and a 15 percent discount card I put $66 on my debit. BOOYAH!
This was only our first stop. We would hit four more stores and grab breakfast before heading home with a solidly-packed trunk. Once there -- at 9 a.m. -- we got settled in and then crashed.
This is a sampling of the day's finds.
We did a return trip this evening to stores in another town. The stores weren't nearly so crowded this time and we found all but one thing we were looking for. Except for a few things I might need for the charity program at work, my shopping is DONE for the holidays. YAY!