Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adventures in Boxing Week Shopping

Do you do Boxing Day shopping? We claim we don't, but the reality is that since we discovered Best Buy, we do. Somehow it just seems so wrong to pass up some of the incredible deals that are available after Christmas.

I mean, hello? DVD players for under $50? Are you joking?

This week we made a trek to Best Buy in Richmond, BC. For those of you that don't know the Vancouver area, Richmond is just over a bridge from Vancouver. The Vancouver International airport is there, and now there's the new 2010 Olympic speed skating oval. Hubs and I met at the Three Road Starbucks, were married in Minoru chapel, and Jake was born in Richmond Hospital. It always feels like coming home when we head over the Oak Street bridge.

We were in the market for a laptop for Jake this time. Before I get e-mail stating how terrible I am for spoiling my merely 14 year old child with his very own bling-y lap top, just know that there is a huge, un-blogable reason for it.

Anyway we walked through those Best Buy doors and the drooling commenced. Despite my claims that we aren't really a techie family, I guess we actually are. We may not do the whole gaming thing, but over the past few years we've (okay, *I've*) really gotten into it. If you see me out and about now I have my camera, Flip, cell, and possibly the iPod AND, I'm now drooling over the bigger, badder, SLR cameras.

I admit it, I'm totally hooked.

After 3 long hours of wandering in the store, research, choosing, talking, looking at cameras (ya I fit that in there because I'm just so clever), we finally settled on a way cool HP laptop. Took us forever because not only had we decided to take advantage of some awesome deals, but so did half of the population of the entire Lower Mainland (if you're not from Vancouver, the term Lower Mainland refers to a huge area surrounding Vancouver.)

What we didn't know was that Best Buy needed 24 hours to configure and format the thing.

Um...ya. We had been planning on catching the 5:30 ferry. Best Buy said that possibly they could have it ready in an hour and a half, since we weren't having that much done anyway, and since it was waaaaay past lunch time we decided to go to Tim Hortons.

Well that was the plan, anyway. Instead we went and danced around a traffic jam for 45 minutes because half of the city had the nerve to go and have a power outage.

A few hours later, Best Buy wasn't finished, and Hubs? He wasn't willing to leave the store to go get a coffee or whatever and kill time doing something other than sit and watch the Geek Squad format the computer. So we waited.

And waited.

Waited some more.

Waited until around 7 pm at night. It wasn't that bad, really. They were super apologetic and even gifted Jake with a $20 gift card to say thanks for waiting. When they saw how techie he was, the Geek Squad let him go in their super secret back room and watch them format his computer. He looked like he fit in back there, among all these guys and loads of tech equipment. His eyes glowed with delight and we giggled as he shoved his hands in his pockets to keep from touching everything, which is a trick Hubs taught him when he was little and around lots of breakables.

Have you ever spent hours in a Best Buy? I really got the chance to check out all the camera gear, accessories for my iPod, and we ended up picking up a new HP printer/scanner and some phones in the process. We also decided that dude, instead of buying our Christmas gifts before Christmas, next time we'll wait until Boxing Day weekend and shop.

We also had a chance to watch other customers. Like the middle aged guy who picked up his laptop, immediately turned on Skype, and began preening right there in the store, grinning into the computer with smouldering eyes and posing like he was just so hawtly sexy.

Finally, we were done. It was time to go. Best Buy was totally apologetic, but we had been fine with it all along. Apparently their network had been acting up (maybe because of that power outage) and things had taken far longer then usual. Computers are finicky and sometimes, it's just beyond their control. The staff were great and getting all angry wouldn't have helped things along away.

With a huge sigh of relief we loaded up the car and were all ready to go, when...

Hubs put the key in the ignition and turned it.

"Oh, SHIT." He held up the key and in the evening light, I could see what he was talking about. The key had come out of the ignition switch, with part of the CAR attached to it.

You may not be able to see the panic that this would cause. First off, we were just going to make the very last ferry of the night. If the car was broken, there is no way we'd make it to the ferry terminal which would mean an impromptu overnight stay, then a tow truck home, which would cost PILES of money. Being stranded in Vancouver miles from home isn't on my "fun things to do" list.

With Hubs old clunker car, which he insists we have to take to the city because he's terrified the pretty newish Toyota will become scratched on the ferry, we have had exactly THREE near break downs; all in December in Vancouver.

The car is telling us something, people. Maybe like "I'm old and tired and hate the city," ?

Hubs shoved the key and whatever was attached to it in the hole where the ignition is supposed to be and as we all fervently offered prayers to the Gods, the car started. I'm guessing it must have been from me petting the dashboard and talking to the car gently, begging it to please get me home and I will make sure we never, ever, force it to go to the city again. At least not with me in it.

The prayers didn't help when we finally were in the ferry line up and Jake and I hoofed it to Trolls for take out (since we hadn't had dinner and all of us felt like we were going to die from hunger), only to discover it was closed. The bartender cleaning up took one look at us and laughed. LAUGHED! Then we couldn't find an ATM because you can't use debit on the ferry, and we had resigned ourselves to eating ferry food for dinner.

You can imagine my relief when I discovered they took Visa, though.

Thank GOD for Visa, which allowed us to have big sloppy burgers and crispy fries, which normally wouldn't be my first choice but to be in Best Buy all day without food or water would make me ready to eat just about anything. (To be fair, it was pretty yummy.)

I admit, we were all nervous when it came time to drive off the ferry. Would the car start? Would we have pieces falling off in our hands again? Did we need to call a friend and lug all that newly bought computer equipment off? My cell phone had run out of juice as well and all the phone numbers were IN it, so how would we even do that?

Hubs gingerly turned the key as I whispered sweet nothings to the dashboard and Jake clutched his new toy in the back seat. We collectively held our breath and the car roared to life.

Whoo! High fives all around! We're going to make it home!

The next day I was at work when Hubs called with a fix it report.

"I don't know what the hell happened, but that piece is stuck on there again. Won't come off. I don't know how or why it came off in the first place."

Maybe the car was just trying to tell us something, like "Look you stupid humans, I'm too old for this shit. Take the younger car. Besides, if you had planned things better you'd have had snacks, drinks and some cash on you. Remember that for next year or I'll strand your asses in Richmond and you'll be hitch hiking home. Don't you remember the LAST two years when I broke down? Do I have to spell it out for you?"

Point taken.

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