It is something of a tradition. For the last four years, my mom and I have taken a bus trip to Eerie, Pennsylvania. This mini getaway has become the unofficial start of the holiday season for us! Not only is there lots of Christmas shopping on the trip itself but we tend to start the process of decorating, wrapping gifts, and holiday-movie-watching shortly after we return home. Last year, the trip did not go exactly as planned. An unexpected snow storm left our bus stranded - and our rescue bus wound up getting stuck in the snow as well. (Read all about that adventure here.) This year was far more successful, weather wise. Keep reading to find out how this years trip went - and take a peek at a few of the items that came home with me.
Day One. The first day is always a blur of exhaustion and excitement. We started off very early in the morning to catch the bus. Then it was several hours of driving, a quick stop at the duty free, and crossing the US/Canada border. The drive seemed endless, but eventually, we made it to Eerie. Yes, the shopping was about to begin. For the first several hours, we tackled the Millcreek Mall. There we found lots of fabulous items, especially at Hallmark. There were so many adorable Hallmark Channel items and I wound up buying a Hallmark channel t-shirt and pair of Christmas slippers.
After checking out the mall, we checked into the hotel and then went back out to see what there was at TJ Maxx and a handful of other discount shops. Since it had been several hours since the shopping had begun, we took a break and had a delicious sit down meal. And because this trip was super jam-packed with discount shopping, we then went back out and visited even more shops. The most noteworthy was definitely Ulta. This was the main store that I wanted to spend time in because they now stock Kylie Cosmetics. I bought as much as I could afford of both Kylie and KKW Beauty because.....I love the Kardashian's and Jenner's a lot.
As you can see from the picture above, I did a bit of damage at Ulta! Though I didn't bring home nearly as much as I wanted. However, there was an exclusive holiday collection at Ulta and I chose one of the sets (which included a Kylighter, a lip liner, liquid lipstick, traditional lipstick, and powder duo), an eyeshadow palette, and two mini liquid lipsticks. From KKW, I fell in love with one palette in particular because it was full of beautiful warm shades. Expect to see full reviews of the Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty products in the not so distant future!
Day Two. The second day started nearly as early as the first. We were all on the bus ready to conquer the lengthy bus ride to the outlet mall, which was a few hours away. There we spent ages checking out all of the different outlet shops. I wound up finding a fabulous sparkly Kate Spade purse for a fraction of the original price ($269 reduced to $58). It was my first time being able to afford a Kate Spade purse - and it was one I had eyed at a non-outlet store recently. It was a very exciting moment! (There will be a full post and review on the handbag in future.) I also found lots of Christmas presents for friends and family.
Following the outlet mall, we drove back, making a stop off at the Cracker Barrel. While the food there is only so-so...the gift shop is everything! I wound up finding something special to give my sister for Christmas, which was a lovely surprise. After that, we were dropped off to do some shopping at Kohl's and Burlington. I found a few goodies at both - and my mom bought me amazing Bob Ross Christmas pajamas to open up and wear on Christmas morning. And a fabulous pink sweater from Lauren Conrad's line. Hurrah!
Day Three. All good things must come to an end. It seemed lie the shopping trip had just begun by the time the third day rolled around! With yet another early start, we went to Wal Mart and Target before beginning the drive home. I found lots of small things and luckily found the perfect Christmas gift for my best friend. It was something I had seen online prior to the trip and had hoped that I could find....and luckily there was exactly one left. Since I am forever missing Target (ever since they left Canada, I have been mourning the loss) it was especially exciting to spend a bit of time there.
Then the drive home began with a quick stop off at an outlet mall on the US side of Niagara Falls. We didn't have a ton of time to spend there but managed to squeeze in stops at the Disney Store and a discount book store (where I found random Christmas movies for an ultra cheap price). It was a nice last hurrah before hitting the border and returning home again.
All in all, it was a lovely little getaway. It was fun to shop in different places, find Christmas gifts for my loved ones, and treat myself as well. This is one holiday tradition that always makes me smile.
Have you started Christmas shopping yet?