We decided to make this trip more interesting by adding a scavenger hunt. The rules of the hunt were thus: we each chose an item to look for; we had to purchase an item in each category; we were to spend only $10 total for 3 items. Simple enough, right? Well, not so fast.....
Friday's task was to find these three items: an ugly or creepy doll, a piece of funky jewelry, and a salt and pepper shaker set. All for only $10. We had to shop in secret and we would have a Big Reveal at dinner that evening.
Let me tell you first off, it's not as easy as it sounds. Oh, yes, there were hundreds of salt and pepper shakers, lots of interesting jewelry, and a few dolls here and there. The problem was finding them to fit into the budget. Dana blew it right away, by forgetting about the budget and spending $8 on her first item! OOPS!! She had a great jewelry piece, but she now had to find her other two items for ONE DOLLAR EACH!
I thought there would be plenty of jewelry to choose from, so I concentrated first on trying to find a doll. I knew I could find an s&p set without a problem. My strategy didn't work so great either.
Nancy struggled too, and in the end she was grossly over budget, but decided it was better to be over budget than to not have something for each category.
Here's what we came up with at the end of Day One:
My category was salt and pepper shakers. I thought I had a winner in the set of monkeys hanging from the tree, but Nancy brought out the ADORABLE kangaroos--mama with the baby in the pouch. Dana found the pipes for $1, so she came in at budget. Yes, they are stupid, but she thought maybe she would earn bonus points for them also being a bottle opener and a corkscrew. Sorry. It was a tough call, but we gave Nancy the win.
Dana chose the ugly/creepy doll category. I sort of wish I would have bought this whole box of naked dolls at one place, with the doll that had a big hole in its head--creepy for sure, and only $5. The dolls were hard, because there were not that many around, and most were too expensive. I lucked out finding the little Christmas dolls on the same table as the monkey salt and pepper. I got the pair for $2. After paying $6 for the monkeys, I felt confident I could find a jewelry piece for $2. Dana, again desperate because she only had $1 left to spend, bought the mermaid. Cute enough, I suppose. Nancy, also a bit desperate, found the cheerleader. Her hair is supposed to grow and then you can shorten it by cranking her arm up and down. It doesn't work. Dana tried to disqualify my dolls saying technically they were ornaments, but both sisters agreed I came out with the best dolls. YAY!
Nancy had us searching for jewlery, which I thought would be the easiest. Turns out it was my toughest challenge. I put it off until the last thing, and then couldn't find anything for the $2 I had left to spend. Finally, at our very last stop of the day (because things were closing down), I knew I had to find SOMETHING to fill the category. Well, you might have guessed that the frog necklaces are mine. LAME-O, I KNOW!! But they were a buck, and I really really was desperate!! Nancy chose the sterling silver peacock pin. Not bad. Dana's lovely square jeweled broach was the clear winner in this category. As it should be, for $8!
I suppose OVERALL, I would declare myself the winner, because I had two good items and only one lame item AND I came in at only $9. Nancy also had two good items and one lame item, but was WAAAY overbudget at $16. Dana had one great item. The others were cause for a lot of ridicule (all in good fun!)
Saturday had us looking for these items:
--Any sort of advertising item, like a calendar or a pen. Bonus points given if the advertising was from the town you bought it in. For example, a Cairo Hardware item purchased in Cairo.
--A chicken or chicken related item of any type
--A state souvenier item. Bonus points to the state farthest from Nebraska.
And we're off. I wanted to try to get my items done EARLY after the desperate frog purchase the day before. I started off with a bang, and got my first item bought almost right away, spending $5. I thought it was going to be easy sailing the rest of the day, but I faltered after that, and it took a good portion of the day to come up with my other two pieces.
Here's the Saturday Big Reveal:
The chickens were Dana's idea. (Perhaps because we nixed buying a REAL chicken the day before.) Usually you can find chickens all over the place, but not Saturday. And when we did find one, it was usually over priced for our purposes. Nancy found the little planter on the left. I found the basic ceramic figurine on the right. The middle piece is Dana's. I almost bought it and I'm now glad I did not. It was a bargain at only $2.50, but perhaps that was because the two pieces don't match!! She didn't notice when she bought it. I didn't either when I looked at it. But at the reveal, we got a big case of the giggles because that rooster head clearly does not belong on that body. We are pretty sure it isn't even a chicken body!! Upon further inspection, it looks more like a fish---so maybe it is the bottom of a mermaid? Who knows, but it's not 100% chicken, for sure. Yes, we mocked her to no end. That's the kind of sisters we are. We decided Nancy gets the win on this one.
I had everyone searching for a state souvenier. I was quite pleased with my Universal City Studio tour guide, California, 1966. I thought it would be a sure contender, both for its uniqueness and its distance from Nebraska. Nancy, who was trying to be UNDER budget, found the black velveteen, embroidered South Dakota pillow cover. Yikes, but certainly fitting for the category. But we had to give the win to Dana this time. She found this little girl's plastic wallet with the hula girl from Hawaii for only $5. YAY, Dana! You finally get a win!
Our final category was Nancy's advertising piece:
I love the tiny wooden ruler she found for $1, advertisting Hastings Hardware. I initially bought a bullet pencil, out of desperation. I wasn't sure we would be stopping anywhere else. Dana was fading fast. (A stop for snacks and a 44oz diet Coke perked her right up!) But I replaced that item (which was legal) with the paint can card from Gambles. Inside there are colored foil strips and sewing needles! I think we all had great items in this category, but Dana's A Christmas Carol book was really cool. Although Nancy said she should lose points because it smelled musty.
It was a really great time. It gave us focus in a sea of junk. Honestly, it almost gave us too much focus, because we got so into looking for our hunt items we were skimming past other stuff that might have been good at the end of the day. But it was worth it! We had some great laughs, especially over that chicken/mermaid!
I know this has been long, much longer than my usual posts, but I hope you hung with me to the end. Here are some recap photos of each person's purchases. Who do you think did the best job?
Oh, and I do appoligize for the crappy pictures. I'm well aware that they are not very good. Point and shoot in a hotel room, not a good set up for sure!
I hope you enjoyed our Jaunt!
Have a great day!