Oct 25


2005 at 11:47 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre

This morning I am writing to you from Panera Bread where we are taking a break from our annual shopping trip marathon. Don’t worry, you’re not reading yesterday’s post. In a turn of events, unprecedented in the fifteen-plus year history of the Shopping Trip, we stayed over an extra night.

Here’s what happened: Due to a series of strategic errors, we got a real late start on Monday (try 11:45 am!); so by dinner-time, it was obvious we wouldn’t finish our lists. Plus, we had wanted to do a little personal shopping, which, by then, seemed out of the question.

But Janelle, who inherited Dad’s sense of humor as well as his delight in surprises, secretly made some phone calls to arrange babysitters for Kristin and me for yet another day. Then, while we were off shopping, she and Mom booked a room for another night. When we met back at an appointed time, Mom and Janelle announced we were staying another night!

Although this is a Shopping Trip first, this type of surprise is actually a Mahaney family tradition. Ever since we were little, and as recently as this past year, Dad has been surprising us by staying an extra day on vacations. When you’re mentally prepared to clean house, pack, and drive home, it is such a sweet feeling to spend an extra twenty-four hours relaxing—or in this case, shopping.

Here are some noteworthy moments from yesterday.


  • Of course, shopping for another day!
  • Browsing Crate and Barrel yet again.
  • Eating more Cajun fries at Five Guys
  • Having an impromptu thirty-minute counseling session in the midst of ToysRUs, tears and all!


  • Mom still has a cold (but it’s getting better).
  • My navigation was so poor I got demoted to the back seat. Did I mention I live here?
  • Kristin losing her credit card. At least she was able to cancel it before someone rung up a tab.

OK. We gotta go. Lot’s of shopping to do today!