Friday, 5 December 2014

Black Friday and Beyond

Friday 28th November to Saturday 29th November 2014

In Australia, the Boxing Day Sales are when the biggest bargains are given by the department stores - in America it is the day after Thanksgiving when these happen - it is known across the country as Black Friday.
In some stores however the sales start at 6pm onThanksgiving; there are people who camp out and sleep out in order to get the best bargains - not for these little black ducks.
 
This young fellow was out pretty early


Most stores open at 10am, so we headed off about 7:30am to be able to initially pickup our new glasses - Sam and Diane also wanted to part of the buying extravaganza - for me, I am happy to sit down and watch.

We arrived at the mall - an almost empty carpark awaited - that was good - we were ahead of all of the crazies.

Diane and I headed to get our glasses; Sam headed elsewhere to some of the stores that were open and where she wanted to visit. Agreement reached on time and place to meet up.

VisionPlus was found - just on 7:50am but Macy's was already open so we had a look around in there and bought some things that we had agreed upon - that done and we were out of there.
Walked into get our glasses - the store was empty and about 20 minutes later we were equipped and we were both looking much better.

When we had first walked in there were very few people around; now when we reappeared into the general concourse area the crowds were building, but it was time to meet up with Sam at the Starbucks - the line of people out the door was a testimony to the power of caffeine.
Fortunately for Diane, at the end of the line, she spotted Sam, who was 2nd in line, so it was a simple matter of Sam adding two more coffees to her order and some money changing hands for the total order - easy as bro'.

For me, I just had to find a table outside and hook up to the wi-fi to update the blog - not much of a problem - err, I mean, it was a very dangerous job having to throw others out of the way and away from a table that they wanted as well.

The joys of caffeine in system - the stimulation and relaxation all in one - and that was just the outward effect on Diane and Sam.
I got finished what I needed to do; Sam borrowed the laptop after that for her needs.

After all of that it was a bit blurred really; the crowds had grown again; Diane and Sam wanted to see a few more shops; I found places to sit and wait - alongside other men in the same predicament as I was in - we get to wait and guard the treasures already purchased.

Having finished reinvigorating the entire economy of Dallas we dropped by Dean's house to pick up Sara, after which we headed to downtown Dallas - we wanted to checkout The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
Like our hotel this early settlers cabin didn't have good internet
either







We had already had the good oil on where to park - just behind it at just $5 for the day - we went up to investigate - firstly there was a queue to purchase the tickets and you also received a time for us to reappear and queue up to get admission - someone mentioned lunch and Sara and Sam were off in search of chicken wings - the place in mind was closed so it was Italian as a 2nd choice.

The museum was well worth the time, money and effort and gave a terrific explanation of the events of that day in Dallas over 50 years ago - both before, during and after.
It was an audio tour which meant that you could do it all at your own pace; it gave you time to go through all of the displays.

Sara had not seen all of this before; as someone who still remembers when I heard what had happened and learned more about after the event, it gave a full perspective on all of it.


With such another full day under our belts we returned Sara back to Dean and Jim and were sad not to be able tospend some time with them for a drink but we were all feeling the effects of another early start and a full day being out and about,but we did agree to share some wine with them the following night.



Saturday arrived and we did have a bit of a sleep-in -at least until 8am - Sam declined the chance to get out of bed and had a bit more in bed - lazy thing that she is.

We had another day planned which involved more injection ofcash into the economy, but at least for today it was just going to be the girls together and as for Mike and I we were going to head off and have acouple of beers together and not have to worry about the women at all.

Firstly though there was a bit of a trek out to the satellite town of Allen and lunch at one of Sara's, and Mike's, and it seems Mitch's favourite places for food - Big Ray's BBQ.
That would be another Big Ray - who it turns out is a goodfriend of Mike's with their sons playing high school basketball together - and he was, as usual apparently, there in person - Mike introduced us - a really nice guy.

Lunch was, as we have found everywhere we have been, excellent. Although I do not eat red meat, the alternative choices were very good. Sara and Sam were pleased with their selections.

Afterwards the girls headed off in Mike's truck and we two guys were in the car. We had a good tour around the area including the local high school where Mike's two sons - Matt and Luke attended - the school proudly boasts a 20,000 seater football stadium as well as a great sporting precinct.

Further on we dropped by one of Mike's investments - a large mini-office complex where tenants have all of the advantages of a large-scale office complex without the associated costs - have to say I was impressed with both the concept and the implementation.

After this it was time for a drink and some serious chatting - well almost serious and some delving into our histories.
We only had a couple of beers each, much to the frustration of our waitress, but there was too much talking to incorporate a lot of drinking as well.

Arrangements were made for dinner at a local eatery called BJ's - their speciality being pizza and I have to say it was pretty damn good - one of the best I have ever had anywhere.
We drove Sara back to see Dean and Jim and this time we were able to have a relaxing drink with both - it is easy to see, as we already knew by now, why everyone in the family finds them such lovely people.
They are both engaging, knowledgeable and and just plain nice.
 
Sara with her favourite uncles - Jim and Dean






I think we can now say that we have a perfect record of 5-0; 5 days of early starts and late finishes - but we are enjoying our time in Dallas immensely.

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