Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Visit to Washington Part 1

Sunset Nevada style as we drove along I-80 near Elko.
Well, after a 2 month hiatus I am back in business!  We went to Burlington, Washington to spend time with Marianne and her family in mid-November.    Here's what happened to keep me from my posts here at Meemo In the Mountains!

We left here in beautiful weather hoping to make it to JJ's house in Elko before winter weather hit.  We made it and immediately drove to Reno the next day with Ozzie, JJ and Brent to visit Erin who is going to University of Nevada there.  Erin had purchased tickets to the UNR vs Hawaii football game for all of us except Bob (who chose to stay at Circus, Circus where he could watch the game in the comfort of our room.).  We bundled up and drove to the game thinking we could park in the huge parking lot adjacent to the stadium.  Forget that!  No parking anywhere!  Ozzie finally said he'd join Bob and we could call him when the game was over unless he found a spot miraculously.  He dropped us off at a filling station across the street from the campus and we were off to the game.  Much to our surprise, Ozzie showed up at our seats almost the same time we did!  He had decided to fill up while he was at the station and happened to ask the proprietor if he could park next to the owner's pickup.  The guy said sure, nobody ever asks to park there and for $10 Ozzie could.  The game was fun and the home team won.

We spent the weekend visiting with Erin and the family she is living with and doing a little shopping, too.
Shopping in Reno.  This is a "Pine- Beetle Brown" Christmas Tree!  Yes they are actually selling these things!

I just HAD to take some pictures of these camouflage suits!  I think they are hilarious!

Child size one.  Halloween anyone?
Pretty pricey but I guess you would blend in....

  We got home Sunday night and planned to spend a little time in Elko visiting friends and family.  Marianne called as soon as we got back and let us know a big storm was coming and we better be on our way so we could get across the pass before it closed.

We left the next day and had lovely weather the whole way except for a little rain and snow on top of Snoqualmie Pass.  The next day it was closed due to heavy snow and low visibility as advertised!  Western Washington in November is not  what I consider a weather paradise.  It rains almost daily and although it is usually in the 40's and 50's, I freeze the whole time I am there due to the high humidity.  As it turned out, it did not rain every day and we even saw the sun in the afternoon several days, but I was still cold.  I wore 3 layers of clothes and even JJ's long johns that I forgot to return after the football game.  Even so, we had some fun adventures while we were there.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving Dinner with the whole family.  I got to hear Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet , An early TV celebrity pre-Food Channel) speak at Marianne's church on his faith, visited a newly opened church in the Mall, and visited the Christmas tree farm that Darcy and Pat work at every year.  I took some pictures up there which I will share along with pictures of the  other major projects we worked on while I was there.  In between I worked on embroidery I was donating to the silent auction Marianne was in charge of.

This is the first year we did the early, early morning Black Friday.  It was kind of rainy and we decided to stand in line to try for a TV at Best Buy.  They opened at midnight so we decided to get in line about 10PM to get the certificates for what we wanted.  We knew some people had been in line since Wednesday night!  But we wanted some things that we figured weren't as popular.  Brendin and Darcy volunteered to stand while we went back to the house until they got the tickets, if they got any.  The line was very long.

Meanwhile we looked up other TV sales, knowing we weren't going to get one at Best Buy and found one at Walmart, too.  It went on sale at midnight.  We should have gone right then but waited for a call from the boys.  They got some certificates and we picked them up and headed for Walmart. (the Best Buy tickets were good until 4 AM).  It wasn't quite 11 PM when we got to the parking lot, and it was a zoo!  Toys had gone on sale at 10 and people were coming out with carts heaped up like the Grinch's sleigh!  We could not find the line for the TVs right away and as we elbowed our way through the crowds it was beginning to look like we might not get a TV there either.  We finally saw the TVs and they were piled high to the ceiling so there was hope.  Then we found the line and discovered it went up and down the grocery aisles forever! (the TVs were in the produce department!) We finally found the end of the line in the pasta aisle and settled in.

  The people around us were a fun crowd and we joked around and had a good time.  Eventually an employee came around and said we were about 8 people from where they could guarantee us a TV.  We asked if they gave only one TV per person and they said yes.  What we didn't think of was that whole families were in line and each one could take a TV if they wanted it. 

I should have taken pictures in Walmart because it was an amazing sight, but I didn't .  We did not see any fights or grumpiness but there were lots of children out and about at midnight for sure.  Anyway the bell rang at midnight and slowly the line started to move.  We were in aisles so could not even see the TVs or how they were distributing them for about 1/2 hour but we could see people going to the checkout lines in the aisle behind us, some with 4 TVs on their cart.  Someone said that people sometimes get up to the cash register and can't pay for all of them and just leave them in the aisles. So Darcy went on a recon mission to see if he could find some abandoned ones but the check out lines were so long no TVs had made it to the front yet!  Well, obviously we didn't make it for this particular TV (we missed by about 15 people) but then they said they had lots more just a couple inches smaller one and a lower definition and they were knocking 30% more off of them for anyone who was still in line!  We should have gotten at least one for Bob and I but we didn't because we would have been in line for another couple hours in order to get out of there!

One of the lines at Best Buy at 2 AM Black Thursday.

  We went back to Best Buy and had to still stand in line outside to get in at 1 AM because they were monitoring the number of people who could be in the store at 1 time.  When we got in it was jam packed.  It was funny because it was like old home week with friends meeting up in the aisles and visiting at 2 AM.  The lines were long in this store too so we had Brendin and Shayla stand in line while we got our stuff and then joined them. We got home around 3 am!  It was a fun experience but I'm thinking once in a lifetime might just be enough!  We had to be up and over to Fred Meyers before 11 AM for the annual sock sale and then over to JoAnn's before noon for their annual sale.  No rest for the weary for sure!  At least we had leftovers from Thanksgiving so no cooking needed to be done!

I will continue my Washington adventures in my next post.