Shopping in the Twilight Zone

Hunter and I went to Anchorage this weekend to pick up a shipment from Linden Air Cargo. The shipment was nothing terribly exciting, just fishing rods and tire rims from Dillingham. I didn't need to be part of that so while Hunter hit Linden, I decided to do some Christmas shopping.

I was fully prepared for full-combat post-Thanksgiving shopping. You know, long unmoving lines, stressed out retail staff, parking shortages, and the every-shopper-for-themselves mindset that befalls the urban Christmas shopper. Not in Anchorage.

Honestly, if I'd have known that shopping would be this pleasant, I would have flown up here to shop years ago. It was great. The only long-ish line I encountered was at Borders and even then my fellow shoppers were actually entertaining. People were talking to each other, laughing and complementing purchases.

Later, Hunter and I hit the new Target in town. THAT, we figured was going to be nasty. We found the place full of people but full of really nice people. I had a great conversation with a gentleman about office gift giving. When I went to check out, to my surprise, all check outs were open and I didn't even have to wait. I couldn't believe it.

After Target, Hunter and I went back to our hotel for take-out and a movie . Yes, it was a throwback from our Dillingham days when take-out was novel but tradition is tradition. The next morning, we got up early and went for breakfast at Gwnnies Old Alaska Restaurant. We pulled into the parking lot and there was a huge bull moose muching on a tree in front of us. He didn't seem at all phased that were were standing there staring at him. He just continued to munch happily on his tree.

After breakfast, fearing the worst, we gave ourselves a good pep-talk, reviewed our game plan, got in the truck and headed to...Costco. Oh yes, pre-Christmas Costco. We expected mayhem. That's not what we got. We hit the pre-Christmas Costco jackpot! There was hardly anyone there. SWEET! We revised our plan: get in, get stuff and get out before the fantasy ends. Forty-five minutes and a first-born later, we left Costco just was a wave of shoppers poured in. Yes!

That was one of the most pleasant Christmas shopping experiences I've ever had. Why did I punish myself at Metrotown all those years when I could have hopped a flight to the happiest Christmas shopping place on earth?