Tomorrow I board a flight for San Diego. This will be my first trip to California, to the West Coast in general. I am very much looking forward to it, and not only because it is supposed to be in the low 70s and upper 60s during the day! While it is true that I will be attending an academic conference (which, nerd that I am, can be exciting all on its own) but I will be reuniting with several of my best friends from graduate school for the first time since May of 2007. We are all now in different places -- if not geography that career-wise. Kristen and JJ are in Arkansas, Anna is in Kentucky, and Najla is still in North Dakota, but in a kick-ass new job. And, of course, there will be a whole bunch of other people from my grad school days there to catch up with as well.
I return from San Diego on Monday and return to school here for a day and a half before Mark and I head back to Fargo for Thanksgiving. It's going to be a busy and excellently fun weekend. When we get there Wednesday night we will be attending Kate's birthday party at Johnny Carino's. Thursday, of course, is Thanksgiving, a holiday I greatly enjoy even though I don't eat turkey anymore. The day after Thanksgiving, of course, is BLACK FRIDAY!!!! Only one of my favorite days of the year. This year Annie will be joining Mom and I again as we brave the cold, and dark, and crowds at 6 a.m. in search of great deals. I am especially looking forward to having Annie come with because the last time she attended Black Friday Shopping, she greeted my cheerful wake-up call at 5:30 a.m. with the words "I hate you." I can't wait to see what kind of vitriol this year will bring!! (Of course, Annie doesn't really hate me. She just hates mornings. I think it's hugely entertaining to watch her moan and grumble her way through the first 45 minutes of the day until she reverts back to her normally cheerful self).
We have a Black Friday routine. We get up between 5 and 5:30 and try to head out just before 6:00 a.m. We always go to Kohl's first, because they do have really great deals in the morning and it's worth the wait in line (which last year stretched half-way around the store). After that we usually go to Linen's N Things. This year, LNT is going out of business so I don't know if we will be going there or not. On one hand, there might be great deals. On the other hand, I don't know if it is even still open. Then it's off to Herberger's where we usually spend a big chunk of time. Around 9 a.m. we head to Barnes and Nobles for coffee and breakfast in the cafe followed by book shopping. This year I have to buy Mom coffee and breakfast because we had a wager going as to the sex of the baby. I lost (I was SO SURE she was a boy! Oh well. Mark and I are really excited about our baby girl). We are typically done shopping by early afternoon at which point we head back to Mom's house to take stock of our booty. It's great fun, although I can understand why there are some people out there that avoid shopping on Black Friday like the plague.
I am hoping to document both trips with pictures this year, so hopefully I will be able to relay through images some of the fun of my upcoming week and a half.
The story behind the name:
One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.