Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First Trip To Bass Pro Shops

No, not my first trip to Bass Pro Shops, but my daughter's. When she got home from school on Friday, I told her we were going to Bass Pro over the weekend.

Daughter: "What's that?"

Me: "Bass Pro Shops. It's a big store with lots of fishing and hunting stuff."

I walked over to the coffee table and picked up the 2011 Bass Pro Fishing Master catalog - the Holy Grail of fishing catalogs. Her eyes got really big when I handed it to her. She started flipping through it and picking out things she liked. Keep in mind my daughter is six.

Daughter: "Do they have all this stuff in the store?"

Me: "Yup."

Daughter: "How does it all fit?"

Me: "It's a big store."

She then proceeded to cut bookmarks out of construction paper so she could mark the pages of things she wanted. She needed a lot of bookmarks.

The big day came and we met my good friend, Jim, who was playing chauffeur for the trip - mainly because he gets mildly carsick if he isn't driving. My daughter brought along the Bass Pro catalog complete with bookmarks.

We arrived at Bass Pro and, of course, the biggest decision was where to start. I had it in my mind that I would get the few things I needed and then we could spend time just looking around. I had a reel with me I was trading in that would knock X amount of money off a new reel so I took care of that first.

The ground floor was primarily fishing and boating and was quite crowded. It was the first weekend of Bass Pro's big Spring Fishing Classic Show and lots of people were gearing up for fishing. The aquarium was also on the first floor so after I got the reel I wanted, my daughter and I went to look at the fish. She enjoyed seeing the big bass, catfish, bluegills, and other fish swimming around the huge tank. There were a lot of animal mounts around the store and she pointed them all out as we walked by. The center of the ground floor had a "stream" running through it with live fish and turtles. She got a kick out of the turtles with their heads poking up out of the water. 

We eventually made our way over to the boats. Each boat had a placard next to it with all the specs and prices. My daughter was looking at one boat and motioned for me to come over. 

Daughter: "Daddy, we could get this boat. It's only for three and twenty-four dollars." 

Me: "Sweetie, that's thirty-two thousand four hundred dollars." 

Daughter: "Whaaat? Oh, my gosh!" 

Welcome to what us adults call the real world. 

We finished our tour of the ground floor and went up to the second floor which was hunting, camping, and clothing. The clothing section was closest so we headed there first so I could look for a particular shirt. 

Daughter: "Ugh. I don't wanna look at men's stuff. BOR-ING!" 

Me: laughing

I found the shirt and then we wandered through the hunting section. She looked at the knives and walked along the gun wall. From there she wanted to go look at the kayaks. She wanted to buy one, but couldn't understand why only one person could fit in it. Then she went over to the tent displays and went inside to inspect each one.

After we finished on the second floor, we went back downstairs so we could find her a new rod and reel. We're well past the days of Snoopy rods. After thirty minutes of looking at various rod and reel combo's, we finally decided on a Zebco outfit and got her fixed up with some tackle. She also picked out a nice red Bass Pro koozie. I found a rod to go with my reel and by that time Jim was done with his shopping. Plus, my daughter informed me she was starving. She tends to overuse the word as kids do, but I was hungry, too, so we decided it was time to check out.

Speaking of the check out, it was the only hitch in an otherwise fun afternoon. The young kid at the register was very slow at the whole process and had the personality of concrete. He clearly did not want to be there, but we finally got-er-done.

I spent the ride home listening to Jim and my daughter banter back and forth. Jim has three kids of his own - two of them girls. He and my daughter got into an in-depth conversation about SpongeBob Squarepants and his undersea friends. That led to the Penguins of Madagascar which somehow led to Hong Kong Phooey....

I closed my eyes. Any time spent with my daughter is time well spent.


mynature said...

I have been to the one in Vegas, awesome store. Always wanted to see a Cabelas and finally got the chance in Maine.... wow was I disappointed, nothing like Bass Pro at least not the store I was in.

texwisgirl said...

How sweet. Can't wait to hear your fishing stories with your daughter and new gear. Loved the "three and twenty-four dollars". So innocent.

Can't say I'm that up on my Spongebob or H.K. Phooey, but I love me some Peguins of Madagascar! I can only imagine how cute that conversation was between Jim and your little squirrel...

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

There's nothing like father - daughter bonding time. Enjoy it while it is still cool to hang out with dad! Keep us posted on this fishing trips...I can only imagine those conversations, ahha

Dawn said...

Perfect dad-daughter bonding time! No place like Bass-Pro;))

Can't wait to see continued stories of the trips (as a result of the shopping expeditions;)

I bought my kayak there....but it WAS on sale for the cheaper price!
That place is one I could live in. Complete with fish watching....

Anonymous said...

It all sounded like it was too much fun! I have been to Bass Pro only once and I didn't want too leave.

Albert Quackenbush said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Brian. I can't wait to share more memories like this with my daughter. I take mine to BPS and she points out all of the mounts and says the names. Mind you, she's only 2. The days you can spend with your child like those are priceless. A day well spent for sure!

Stephanie and Dustin said...

Sounds like a trip to equip all the dad-daughter time you will have this summer!

Dus and I went to Bass Pro last weekend too. We went Saturday night after all the fly fishing booths had closed; we experienced no crowds. Sometimes I thought we were the only people in the store. Unfortunately, it was an expensive trip, but did get the much needed float tubs.

Gosh darn Bass Pro and all their goodies:)


Mafo said...

In Kansas City we are spoiled I guess. We have a Bass Pro Store on the Missouri side (suburb of Independence) and also one on the Kansas side (suburb of Olathe, I believe). We have a Cabela's on the Kansas Side too, right next to Kansas Speedway (go NASCAR!).

The Cabela's here is the most impressive as far as touring, but they all 3 have more stuff than I could ever inspect by myself, lol.

The Bass Pro in Springfield, MO is even better still. There's a great museum of outdoor stuff real close to it also. Worth the trip once in a while.

I love taking my 5 & 6 year old grandsons to these stores. They love the displays and mounts. one of the posts on my new blog "Who is Mafo?" includes a photo of me and the boys at Cabela's. Thanks for the reminder to take them again soon.

Hunt Like You're Hungry said...

HeyBJK- Great post... thanks for sharing your daughter's experience with us! The first place we ever brought our adopted lab, Avery was BPF. So now every time we go there, I think she senses there's something special about it. We're fortunate that our BPF is only minutes away so I can relive the magic daily... which is what I generally do!


Larry Oldfield said...

Cute story. I did the same thing just the other day. It was great bonding time with my daughter.

Chaplain for the Outdoor Community said...

I love it... you so rock. Taking our kids with us is so rich. What a blessing!

It's Time to Live said...

Your story makes me wish we had a daughter. Could have been fun. Have four sons though and its great.

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

We have a Cabelas and a Bass Pro Shop within a country mile of us -- I haven't been to either one yet -- you know how it goes.

Your daughter is so lucky to have a dad like you -- wanting to share your knowledge and time. :)

Sall's Country Life said...

Great post BJK! I love all of her bookmarks (sounds like me)Ha! Now I can't wait to share a trip to Cabela's with the grand-daughter! She's 3 going on 6, and you better be ready for anything!!

heyBJK said...

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments! Obviously, I am not the only one who enjoys that parent/child time or a visit to Bass Pro (and Cabela's)!

I appreciate all of you reading my little story - it means a lot!

Cross Roads Camping Supply said...

So sweet; thanks for sharing! :)

Our little girl is only FOUR and she loves this stuff. She told someone on the church elevator "I'm going hunting with my daddy. I'm gonna shoot an elk with a Cricket gun"... :)

We took her to the Kansas City Cabella's last weekend and every animal she saw, she wanted for her bedroom (I mean the taxidermy style, not the toy style!)... she decided she wants an elephant head above her bed, and a bear to hang on her wall, and on and on! :)

I'll have to dig out the catalogs and let her pour through them as well!

Cross Roads Camping Supply

Ward said...

That's way too cute. I wish 6 year old pricing strategies actually worked. I would have a lot more toys at 3 and 24 dollars. :) I love going to Bass Pro. We have one a little more than an hour from here. Apparently I love it too much because they gave me one of those top 10% bonus rewards cards this year lol. My eldest girl always has fun too. I have to stop her from spending her money on tons of cammo. I keep telling her she should make sure she likes it before she loads up on too much stuff. So it's going to be turkey for her this year as a test run. :)