Don’t Let the Supply Chain Get You Down

What’s Almost Better Than Disneyland—And It’s Free

It is Truly the Second Funnest Place on Earth

This is how we started our day, by marveling at a spectacular Bird of Paradise–Mother Nature at her finest.

We find ourselves in a very troubling time, where inflation is setting a new and worrisome course with higher prices and the availability of goods and services are subject to the whims of the supply chain.  In fact, retailers are not only complaining about the lack of goods on their shelves, but they are recommending we as consumers start to purchase our holiday gifts now rather than waiting.  If we wait too long, they’re basically saying we will be left out in the cold with nothing for our holiday gift giving.

Obviously, when you get to a certain age, the idea of getting gifts either at Thanksgiving or Christmas is a little less meaningful.  Nonetheless, we girls still like to be included.  

On the other hand, I do find the guys in our lives a bit challenging when it comes to buying their gifts.  They can be picky and difficult to satisfy–your goal is getting that perfect gift so that you don’t have to do the dreaded returns when something isn’t just right.  It doesn’t matter their age, but it is a dilemma and I think I have it solved.  Read on if you’re interested.

Notwithstanding our BoomerGuys, the really special ingredient here is to shop for our kids and grandchildren.  There is nothing that makes me happier than watching the little ones tear into wrapping, fling it everywhere, and caress the gift inside.  In days past, we could go out on Black Friday and Christmas Eve and shop till we drop, because there was never an issue with the supply of fantastic gifts.  Today, well not so much.  Just the idea of racing out the door two months before Christmas to buy your gifts is unnerving.  What’s a Boomer to do?

Over this past weekend, my BoomerGuy and I went shopping for a few items at a local sporting goods store.  The idea being, let’s get these before they run out, if they’re not already.  

I’m here to tell you, and as everyone knows, one of the most magical places on earth is Disneyland.  But we found the second most magical and wonderful place to take your entire family, that being Bass Pro Shops, also known as Cabela’s.  It is truly sensational, and I mean that literally.  Your sensations go from zero when you get out your car in the parking lot to zonkers as you enter their store.  Not only is it massive and oh so beautifully adorned but their shelves are stocked and they’re ready for business.  

If you’ve never been, Bass Pro Shops is the ultimate destination for all kinds of goods and services related to the outdoors.  It caters to both men and women of all ages and especially the youngsters who can hardly control their excitement with all the fun things to do and things to purchase.  There is something for everyone.

You can talk all day about Disneyland, but at Bass Pro Shops you can get lost amongst all the items they have for sale.  There is literally something for everyone.  And the best part, it’s FREE!!!  There is no entry fee and there is no obligation to purchase anything whatsoever. Are you kidding me?

Here in California there are a total of four stores, with the closest to me being Rancho Cucamonga.  There are a total of 170 retail outlets throughout the U.S. and Canada, and when you look at the location map, there are dots everywhere.  And every store is packed to the gills with products, and if you need a special size, they will order it for you.

So let’s take a walk along the wild side and visit some of the vignets offered in their store.  

On Sunday this past weekend, they had an event in the parking lot called Country Western Quick Draw.  Contestants of all ages lined up for the chance to set a record by drawing a “six gun” and shooting at a target 20 feet away, and oh what fun that was.  The youngest was a pretty girl of 10 who was exceptional.  Dressed in her sporting western wear, she made herself and family proud of her success.  An older gentleman of say 65 was a superb quick draw and dead aim on the targets.  I think he might have practiced beforehand.  BTW, they don’t use real bullets, and safety is paramount.  

What’s so meaningful about this? Hundreds of people gathered around watching the sharp shooters and the not so sharp shooters.  Kids were having a blast, and that’s before any of us even went into the store.  Did I mention this event was free.  No charge to have fun!!!  

The beautiful exterior, and you have no idea what treats await you on the inside. Check out the clear California blue sky. Who says we have smog.

Now it’s time to enter the hallowed halls.  And oh! what a sensory overload that is.  Here is a photo of the outside, and next is a photo of what you see when you enter the store.  There were probably at any one time a thousand people inside the massive store, but you never felt crowded due to the overwhelming size.  

Looking toward the front doors as depicted in the previous photograph. The interior is massive and adorned with everything outdoors.
Another indoor overview showing the stairs leading to the second floor. The large trees are actually support beams. At the time this photo was taken there were probably a thousand people inside enjoying life.

Trust me when I say there were as many of us women as there were men enjoying the sights, fun activities and the buying opportunities, not to mention the vast number of eateries.  But the best part, was watching the little ones frolic through the aisles, taking aim at fun targets in the shooting gallery, watching in amazement at the fish in the oversized aquariums, throwing coins in the streams which run throughout the store, getting ready to chow-down on a hot fudge sundae…and the best part…watching the father’s take their hands and guide them lovingly.  

So here goes, the captions tell it all…

As you enter, the first place noteworthy on the left is the Fish Company, a 4-Star restaurant with absolutely the best calamari on the planet.
Don’t worry, it’s not just about the adults. The kids have their own section of wonderful gifts.
Just an example of the wonderful holiday gifts for children.
Let’s not forget, I’m an interior designer at heart, and this warms my heart to see such a vivid array of decorating items for your cabin or home.
Paying homage to our California roots along Route 66–we’re not too far from Santa Monica where it begins.
Ye old Fudge Shoppe. Who doesn’t want a hot fudge sundae after a full day of shopping.
Continuing our journey clockwise from the entry, Bass Pro has done an excellent job of creating outdoor vignettes featuring local wildlife, in this case Bighorn Sheep which are indigenous to the desert areas of Southern California.
All we have to do is look up and we are transported from the mountains to the sea with all kinds of fish found in the ocean. The learning experience alone is worth the trip.
As we continue our journey on the first level, we encounter the vast array of boats, for both fresh and salt water. The guys really get lost in here.
Directly behind the boats we find all the fishing gear possible. This display shows the myriad of fly fishing equipment that an anxious angler would love.
An example of fly fishing heritage from years past. Check out the woven trout baskets.
Here’s one that didn’t get away. Don’t worry, it’s a plaster replica.
Here I am relaxing in one of the seating areas by the fly fishing display. It was still a bit too warm to have a roaring fire.
Now it’s time to head upstairs. Typically a guys dream, but there were as many women shopping in this venue.
Here I am just thinking about spending the night in this thing. Not so sure.
You name it, you ask for it, they have it. Women’s and men’s.
My 75 year old BoomerGuy all decked out, just looking for a pheasant. BTW, he didn’t find any.
Did you know some of the best archers, including Olympians, are women. Let’s hear it for us chicks.
Who doesn’t want a great pair of binoculars.
I’m tired of walking and my feet are tired, so it’s time to make tracks with this Tracker. I’m heading home.
And last but not least, Bass Pro is getting ready for the holidays in a big way. They don’t do anything small.

One last parting shot, they sell huge bags of popcorn at vending kiosks, outside, next to the parking lots.  You don’t even have to go into the store to enjoy this one.  But if you’ve been shopping and you come out having had the time of your life and purchasing everything you need for the holidays, then settle down with your favorite popcorn.  You tear into the bag because the aroma is too good to believe, and trust me, it won’t last until you get home.  

The point of all this is to warn you that you just might have the time of your life and find something on the thousands of shelves that fits perfectly as that special gift for your partner, children and grandchildren, not to mention friends from all generations.  Forget about all that supply chain nonsense. That doesn’t exist here at Bass Pro Shops.

I am so thrilled to offer this inspiring story, your #1 BoomerGal, Connie.

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