Thursday morning 10am. After breakfast, five of us hopped onto the minivan and headed west on Hwy 401. The van was actually much nicer than what I expected. When I was doing research on the van rental, I didn’t consider Hertz as I thought it would be more expensive. However, it turned out to be the best deal amongst all. Four days, unlimited mileage costs about $51 per day. (In 4 days, the mileage we drove was about 2400 km!!!) In the old days, people use maps when they go on road trips. Nowadays, we use GPS! I think the prevalence of GPS really affects the whole landscape of travelling, especially in Europe and North America. Not so much in Asia yet (I think – not sure). With GPS, travelling becomes more spontaneous. Of course at the same time, we rely more and more on technology… I still like to look at maps. And yes, you may call me old school.
Sometimes GPS is quite stupid and it might not be accurate. But… as long as we won’t be lost, it’s fine.
In the van, I started reading a book, a very good and useful one – yet haven’t finished reading… Luckily, JK’s a good driver… not too bumpy. Eyes got tired, then switched to listening to music, or munching on chips and chocolates. AC brought all sorts of snacks (evil!!!!) including this ICE BREAKERS that we all loved and couldn’t help eating one after another. Before, we could only get this in the States, but now it’s available @ Costco. Purple case vs. purple bag that I got last year from another road trip 🙂
After several stops and 9-10 hours of driving, finally… we were there at JK’s aunt’s house. It’s always nice to have someone to show you around… especially during this season, local people know where the discounts are and also have the discount cards that you can borrow and get additional discounts on top of the crazy sales. Five of us arrived there around 6ish and the lobsters were swimming in the sink. Oh god… Fresh lobsters!!! His aunt steamed 11 lobsters in total – 2 for each of us and 1 for her. We also had steamed corns (tasted different from the ones we get in Toronto – harder but sweeter), Cantonese soups and some veggies. Thanksgiving dinner… so nice.
Lobsters… Smile~ Ya… they were really fresh and oh… it’s making me hungry again :S
After dinner, we started planning for our mid-night battle. This year, the earlybird Black Friday sales start @ midnight 12:00a.m. instead of the usual 5a.m.! You know, if you have to wake up at 4a.m. for shopping, you might just say forget about it, I’d rather get more sleep. But it’s midnight! You can imagine how many people would be going to shop after thanksgiving dinner with families.
So, we gotta be tactical. Browsed through all the flyers and also the outlet mall listings, found out which stores opened early (coz not all of them opened at midnight), then found out how many additional percentage of discount we could get during the 5 hours of earlybird… I was kinda excited even though I have to say I’m not a shopaholic.
Around 10:30pm, we were on the road heading to Wrentham Premium Outlets in Massachusetts. There is 5% sales tax on everything except necessities – e.g. clothes and shoes. Yeah! On average, you get about 40% discount, but if you go during earlybird hours, there may be extra discount on top of the regular disount… ranging from 10% to 40%! It’s a shopping paradise, my friend. So, we arrrived @ 11:50pm. It was raining and really windy. We were running in the rain towards our stores… gotta make up your mind coz when you’re in one store, it takes about 1-2 hours to get to the cashiers. Of course that depends on the stores… if they’re handling it professionally (e.g. Ralph Lauren), it’s nicer and faster; but most of the stores are crazy – lining up forever… (e.g. Swarovski, Banana Republic, etc.)
Once you’re there and been waiting for a long time, you tend to buy more… We kept walking and shopping from midnight until 10am in the morning! All I had during the 10 hours were an Tropicana orange juice that claimed to be an immuse system booster, and some very nice dark chocolates (Lindor 60% extra dark). What a record. We all looked like zombie the morning… After the outlet mall we went to other electronic stores (e.g. ComUSA, BestBuy). Of course, all the good deals were gone by that time. But… nothing we can do… we had to sacrifice one for another.
-Story to be continued-