Shopping spot #1 was The Convention Center - Which is the original cowboy Christmas shopping spot and by far the largest (of the ones we went to). It's also the most expensive. Downright outrageous, if you ask me. We spent 4 hours at the CC before becoming overwhelmed by the glitz and glitter. We only saw about 1/2 of the booths, but I doubt we missed much because so many booths carry the exact same stuff...bling, bling and more bling. I know I have a serious case of OLS (Oh Look, Shiny)...but it was too much for even me. I was fairly bling blind by the time we got out of there....maybe it was sticker shock?
A word of advise...If you ever go to the CC...EAT before you go (we learned that last year)...and take a bottle of water or something to drink WITH you. A bottle of water (or soda) will cost you almost $3 in there. The food prices are outrageous, isn't that great tasting and finding a place to sit and eat is difficult.
Other than that...you will see a lot of cool stuff and there are contestants placed all around who are there to sign autographs. Last year we went on the last day and I got killer deals on a lot of items. This year, we went earlier in the week and there were no deals to be had yet.
I did find these to-die for custom hats...and I need you guys to tell me which one you like better...The feather...
This one I like exactly like it is...the tan feather on the brown hat. It's a nod to my Native heritage and when I lived in North Dakota, my nickname was One Feather. LOL
Or the crossed-pistols...
I'm sure Mikey is squeeeing (LOL)...but the pink would narrow the accompanying wardrobe a bit to much, so if I pick this one, I would have the pistols done in shades of gray and silver on the black hat. Maybe not as flashy, but could be worn with a wider variety of colors.
It's a tough decision because I like both. The crossed pistols are kind of becoming my 'thing' because my up and coming generation of horses' names all start with Fast Draw...so it's kind of fitting.
As much as I would l.o.v.e. not to have to choose one or the other (between the feather or the pistols), these custom hats run a little over $600 apiece. Normally I would not even consider such an option, but I have such a hard time getting a hat to stick on my head when I am running barrels, even with them practically stapled to my head. I need ONE hat that Moon cannot rip off of my head when he kicks in the afterburners. Apparently I have an oddly shaped, peanut head because it's nearly impossible to find a factory hat that is small enough and stays tight after I have it broke in.
Shopping spot #2 was at The South Point Casino and Equestrian Center. This was a much smaller shopping spot. We got through it in just a couple of hours and we thoroughly perused each booth and visited with many of the vendors and artists. I picked up this blingy, black and yellow headstall for Frosty for a mere $80 (it was originally $120, was on sale for $100 and the vendor gave me another 40% off)...
Most of the vendors said they had, had a good week in sales so far, but I think that was because they were willing to deal. If you asked what they could do for you, they knocked some off of the marked prices without looking disgruntled or getting snippy.
Shopping spot #3 was the Mandalay Bay Casino. This was a good sized place to shop...yet not so huge you couldn't make your way through before becoming exhausted. Again...the vendors were willing to deal on prices a bit and many had 'specials' going on. I pretty much dropped my cabbage right off the bat on this alligator headstall and breastcollar set...
It was one of the nicest red and black sets that I saw the whole time...and since red and black is the colors for my husband's motorcycle club I figured I better get it. I am thinking Spooks will look awesome in this set...but it may look good on Shooter as well in years to come. Red is kind of tough. I don't usually do it on my horses...but yet, on the right color of horse...it can look really sharp. I didn't get a screaming deal on it, the set cost $300 with tax, but I saved about $50. I was trying to haggle the guy down a little bit more, but the newly crowned WPRA World Champion Breakaway Roper kept butting in trying to get the guy to show her a saddle. I thought about punching her in the mouth, she was just a twig of a thing..but she looked kinda tough...like dried up jerky tough. I opted to take the discount the guy was offering and keep my dignity and my fur jacket intact. ;-) LOL
Other than a few little Christmas items, that was it for my shopping this year. I pretty much refuse to give $75-100 for a pair of jeans or $40-60 for one of those blingy, slinky shirts (besides they are o.u.t. at the rodeos next year... I guess to many adult women couldn't figure out how to keep their damn boobs inside their clothes when wearing them, so the WPRA said, Everyone is back to collar and cuff shirts).
I looked at some Boulet boots, but no one had the pair I liked in my size. Checked out some saddles...wasn't really interested in anything without being able to try them on Moon. Not interested in new pads...I'll be going with Ed Wright's Ortho pad when I decided to buy another one. Looked at Iconoclass boots for the horses, but can get a better deal on them locally...so that was pretty much it.
Oh, I guess I can't forget my 'Vegas' shoes...
Marshall Rousso's in the Monte Carlo has the best fitting high heels I have ever found...at least ones within my budget, so I am obligated to buy a pair every time we are there. This year I snapped up the zebra print ones, but they didn't go with the dress I wore on Friday night like I had hoped they would, so I had to buy the sparkly, black ones...Ooohhh Darn! (can't you just hear the disappointment in my voice? LOL...NOT!!!)