Just so you don’t think it’s all fun and games in Tucson, here’s a typical day for us. This is day three, we’ve settled into the groove.
I wake up with the sun peeking around the curtains in the hotel room. Look at the clock, just before 7AM. I pull the covers over my head and think about going back to sleep.
Then I realize that if I do that, the hottest water will be used up. Hate that. Get up and get the shower first!
By 9, we’re sitting down for a nice big breakfast. Lots of coffee and protein, lunch is a long way off. We go over the show floorplan, refining our attack. More coffee.
At 10 we walk into the first tent of the day. These aren’t “tents” like the thing at the company picnic, these are huge honkin’ structures that could hold multiple 747’s. They are nearly 3 football fields long and 1 1/2 football fields wide. The ceilings are 18-20 feet high. There are two of these tents at this show. And they’re crammed with hundreds of booths of all sizes, selling beads, watches, carved trees, and velvet scarves. Plus a lot more that we aren’t looking at.
We will walk around 5 miles today, dragging suitcases that get heavier as the day goes on. We will spend most of the day leaning over tables grabbing hanks of stones, looking at each strand to pick the best ones of each. Grab, look, throw back. Grab, look, put on tray. Lean farther to get that really cool one on the bottom at the back. Look, lean, now straighten that back! Put strands in bucket, and repeat. We don’t browse or leisurely examine other booths, this is Power Shopping, and it qualifies as aerobic exercise.
At 3:00, we have to go empty the bags at the pickup (about a quarter mile from the entrance), they’re full. While we’re out of the tent, we grab lunch from one of the food vendors around the entrance. Lots of tea and water. Hurry, it’s 3:30, only two and a half shopping hours left today!
At 6:30, we’re eating dinner, but no happy hour, because we still have a lot of work to do. We go back to the room, pull out everything we bought today, and start pricing it. We watch movies on TV and make fun of them. Put the priced strands in a box with bubble-wrap. Change the Therma-Care on my back. Throw the pen in the trash, find another one, and write more pricetags.
Finish around 1:30. Yes, that’d be AM. Wash hands several times (stones have oils on them sometimes, smells nasty) and go to bed. I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow.
I wake up with the sun peeking around the curtains in the hotel room. Look at the clock, just before 7AM. I pull the covers over my head. It’s day four already? I just went to bed…