Shortly thereafter I convinced Mike that he should go along too because anyone that knows me is fully aware that I am navigationally-challenged. I would probably have left and never returned. I know one street in Davenport and we were going to Illinois.
So we got in on the planning and it was decided that we would all head to Walmart first. There were some good deals to be had there. The plan was set for us to meet up with his cousins after the 5am opening. Mike and I looked over the ads about 15 more times and decided that we really could use a few things from Kohl's which opened at 4am. Luckily there was a Kohl's on our way to the chosen Walmart (and seriously...they planned which Walmart to visit because it was a little further out and probably wouldn't be as crowded as others. Turns out that was false hope.) Missy, our sister-in-law and Steven, our nephew, decided they were going to join us - not to shop, but to just go along for the chaos.
That night we set two alarms for 3am and 3:05am.
Here's a little run-down of events:
3:00am - Alarm #1 goes off. Mike wakes up and says, "What time is it?" I don't take this as a good sign.
3:10am - Begin scraping the truck windows with my library card.
3:15am - Arrive to pick up Missy and Steven. They are waiting outside and start laughing when Mike accidentally drives past their house.
3:40am - Arrive at Kohl's and get in line. Man is walking around with a bull-horn asking Christmas trivia and handing out prizes. I think it's nice that Kohl's is providing a little entertainment for everyone.
3:44am - We realize that the nice man is preaching to us about our sins. Mike isn't sure how to take the fact that the man is only walking at our end of the line and not towards the other end of the line.
3:50am - We receive a million dollar bill from preacher man's helper. In fine print on the back it stresses that God paid for our sins. We cannot use this in the store.
4:00am - We enter Kohl's. We each have an assigned object to locate and bring to the front.
4:07am - We leave Kohl's. Complete mission accomplished and I am thinking this early morning shopping is the bomb!
4:20am - Enter Walmart but can't find the section for what we are seaching to buy. Mike asks an associate who tells us that said item is only available online. We somehow missed that despite the 37 times we looked through the Walmart ad the previous day.
5:00am - All men/women/children for themselves. Walmart is open and this place is crazy.
5:30am - We are in line for Walmart.
5:50am - Meet up with Mike's cousins and decide to head to Target.
6:05am - Arrive at Target. My home away from home.
6:45am - Mike ditches us to get in line at Target. He heads to the front of the store.
6:50am - We see Mike at the back of the store where we've been talking. He's still looking for the end of the line.
6:52am - Mike is in line at Target with our one item.
7:15am - Mike is in line at Target with our one item.
7:40am - Mike is in line at Target with our one item and his cousin has joined him with her one item.
7:45am - Mike tells me to find some food. Missy, Steven and I head to the front of Target to get some Starbucks.
7:46am - In line at Starbucks. I remember Mike mentioning there was a Caribou nearby.
7:47am - We beeline over two stores and find the Caribou inside Hy-Vee grocery store. It's a beautiful sight and I did a little jig when I saw it.
7:50am - Back in line at Target, but with nourishment.
7:55am - Finally done at Target. I've never been so happy to leave a Target.
8:00am - We decide to head to the local mall for the deals there.
8:55am - In line at Children's Place. Have already shopped at JCPenney's. Took several pictures throughout shopping of jewelry I would be thrilled to receive for Christmas.
9:20am - Done at Children's place. Mike heads into Radio Shack unsupervised. I hope preacher man is still praying for us.
9:25am - While waiting in the wings Missy and I spot this man....sorry for the blurriness, but I was trying to be inconspicuous in taking this picture. At least I remembered to turn off the flash. You have to appreciate the man that's all-out-festive on Black Friday.
9:30am - I offer to buy Mike a pair of pants like the happy elf above. Mike turns and walks away.
10:15am - Eat lunch.
10:55am - Lunch break over. More shopping/looking/waiting in lines.
12:55pm - Doorbusters are over in 5 minutes. Stick a fork in us, we are done.
1:30pm - The four of us arrive at Kay's and proceed to fall asleep one by one.
I'm still not even sure we've caught up on our sleep yet.