Monday, December 19, 2011

Black Friday, Greenbrier-style

We were in Greenbrier, AR, visiting my Grandma and her husband, for Thanksgiving this year. That means we were also in Greenbrier, AR for Black Friday.

I'm not much of a Black Friday shopper. I have absolutely no interest in rising before the sun (or worse, staying up late on Thanksgiving), waiting in line in the freezing cold, battling CRAZY shoppers, and - as seems to be necessary these days - fending for my life just to go home with a $25 DVD player. I've never joined the throngs of early-morning Black Friday shoppers, and I have no intention of starting anytime soon.

All that being said, I AM a big shopper. I regularly shop with my mom, sister, mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law, and I've enrolled Hallie in a vigorous shopping training course (run by yours truly - contact me if you'd like to enroll your children) so that when she's seven and her cousin, Lily, is five, my mom, sister, and I can take them on a dream shopping trip to the American Girl Place in Chicago.

Greenbrier is a very small town, without any of the big box stores usually visited on Black Friday. We weren't too keen to drive ____ miles to Little Rock, so we decided to instead shop some of the nearby flea markets. I don't think I'd ever been to a flea market before this trip to Greenbrier - they're not all that common in the cities where I've lived - so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was a little nervous when, at our first stop, I exited the car and was met by these fellows.

I DO NOT like birds.

After I escaped the roosters, I looked up and saw this sign.

This DOES NOT ring true for me.

I was not feeling the flea market scene, and we hadn't even set foot inside.

But then things started to look up. (After I stopped looking up at the signs, of course.) Throughout the morning we snagged an armchair for my grandma's living room, brand new cutting boards, a Christmas cake plate, a loaf pan, an Ernie puppet, a Chinese Laundry purse, a few pieces of clothing, two pairs of shoes, and an authentic horseshoe hook, and I bet we spent no more than $125 total.

One of the highlights - besides the deals and spending time with my grandma, mom, and Hallie - was the moment when Hallie, who was trying SO hard to fish a stuffed penguin out of a bin of stuffed animals, fell face first into the bin. The owner of the flea market looked on - both in amusement and with disdain - as I searched for my camera and took a picture of Hallie BEFORE I pulled her out.

I am pleased to report that Hallie's shopping training is going well - in general, she can shop for 15 minutes longer than her snacks hold out. 37 minutes worth of snacks? Hallie can shop for 52 minutes. 240 minutes worth of snacks? Hallie can shop for 292 minutes. It's important to note, however, that minutes are subtracted when Hallie is "forced" to stop and eat lunch, but bonus minutes are earned when she is allowed to visit to indoor playgrounds. Hallie did a fantastic job that Friday, though she was pretty beat by the end of the day.

Wiped out

Close up of Hallie's flea-market-find princess high heels

A special thank you to my grandma and mom for helping me take Hallie out on her first Black Friday shopping trip!

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