For many years I’ve had a yearly tradition of going to Frankenmuth & Birch Run Michigan for US Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” shopping. I missed last year because I was just back from Mexico, and prepping to leave for Mexico again(!) and that was a more than worthy tradeoff, but I definitely missed it. This year I wasn’t missing it at all.
Somehow Frankenmuth seems to just do Christmas right. Maybe part of that stems from being the home of the “World’s Largest Christmas Store”, Bronner’s. Bronner’s actually even has it’s own wiki and some of the factoids about it are just mindboggling. One part of my yearly tradition involves going to Zehnder’s for their Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I’m not sure what they do to their sweet potatoes or their Hubbard squash, but those are 2 dishes I definitely can’t duplicate at home.
After dinner we went to the Premium Outlets in Birch Run for some all night shopping. I managed to score some incredible deals and get a lot of my Christmas shopping done! Yes, really! And it wasn’t even December yet! Canadian retailers have tried to drop prices to be competitive, but their deals don’t even come close to the ones I find on the US side, add in that the taxes in MI are significantly less than Ontario it all adds up to more money in my wallet. I don’t even give much thought to my hotel bill because I look at it as a cost of a mini-escape.
I must say though, I definitely do avoid Wal Mart, Best Buy and any of those stores that have people camping out, lining up for days, trampling each other to the death over ridiculous sales at least in the morning on Black Friday. I’ve been in a Wal Mart on the Saturday and it was shockingly quiet and easy to shop. But I’m not one to risk life or limb for a sale, and this diva princess doesn’t camp. The closest I’ve come to unruly shoppers was some near anarchy at the Coach outlet one year when people cut the line repeatedly and security couldn’t be bothered to do anything to control the crowd. I still kept my distance because my health is worth far more than any Coach bag.
By the time it was time to come home on Saturday, my car was well loaded up with lots of goodies and gifts. The following pictures are of some things I somehow miraculously resisted bringing home. That didn’t stop me from snapping a picture or two…
Black Friday, thank you for not disappointing for another year. Can’t wait to do this all again next year!