We went to Costco this weekend. For most people, this probably just involves picking up some (enormous) groceries and going about your business. Not so at Chez Necessity. As I've mentioned, my children think Costco is an absolute wonderland. (I've decided that if one sets the excitement bar very low, it's easy to impress one's children...)
A trip to Costco is a carefully orchestrated affair, and when said trip is announced, there is very often cheering (again, that low bar really comes in handy). We begin with lunch. Costco sells the world's biggest hot dogs (I know, not healthy, but we don't eat meat at home, so it's an occasional aberration) plus a drink (with refill) for $1.50. Quite the excellent deal. I used to be able to make it even better by talking the kids into splitting a hot dog, but they're getting bigger and more opinionated these days, so I've thrown caution to the wind and gone for the whole $3.00. The Professor and I make do with pizza.
During lunch, I amuse myself by people watching. I am endlessly fascinated by what people put in their carts, and what these items might say about their lives. Like the guy that had 48 rolls of paper towels (almost every single cart had a giant package of paper towels). Who's making that big mess? Or the person with 6 steaks and a giant bag of potato chips. Party? Just a standard Saturday at home? I also invariably see at least 3 people buying the world's largest television sets. Not only does this make me wonder how big these people really need their tv characters to be, but also how big must their car be to haul that monster home?
Lunch is followed by a trip to the samples counters. This is the other real draw for my kids. They love being able to get little cups of food on toothpicks, and usually there are several things that they enjoy (we went one day at dinner time, and there were NO SAMPLES. You cannot imagine the horror; obviously, this error has not been repeated).
Then, finally, as an afterthought, the groceries are purchased. Costco is one of those places that has really good deals on certain things, and bad deals on others. If you know your prices and can avoid temptation ("Wow, I really do need 4 pounds of pita chips...") you can do well there. And where else can all of this fun be had in one place for such a reasonable outlay of cash?