Beginning tomorrow, I am a girl on a mission. It’s the 3rd Annual Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt. I have three days to hit 28 stores. Last year, I brutally failed to meet the challenge due to poor planning on Day 2. But, this year, I’ve got a plan.
For those who are new or unfamiliar with the event, the Old Town Boutique District Scavenger Hunt is a three-day treasure mapping of Old Town Alexandria, if you will, wherein you aim to visit as many boutiques in possible in hopes of being eligible for the grand prize $2,800 shopping spree (or one of the 28 $100 prizes). No purchase is necessary for the Hunt, but you do get a cool gift from every store that you visit.
The first thing you need to do is to visit the Old Town Boutique District website to print out your scavenger hunt card and map. Otherwise, you’ll be an explorer without a flashlight. Then, like me, you need to determine an appropriate strategy and plan.
When devising your plan of attack, it is essential to keep two factors in mind at all times: time and distraction.
It is easy to overlook how spread out the Old Town Boutique District actually is. It’s important to allot enough time to travel between locations, either on foot or by car. You also need to figure out the order in which you want to hit the stores. You can approach it geographically, by store type (i.e. clothing shop v. arts store), or even by theme (i.e. cooking, jewelry, shoes).
Next, perhaps more critically, you must permit yourself adequate time to explore the stores once you get there, which is where the distraction factor comes in. The 28 shops that make up the Boutique District are all unique, which means that they have the side effect of alluring one into wandering around perusing delights and delicacies for much longer than intended.
Last year, I failed in both dimensions. I didn’t realize how much area the boutiques covered and spent way too long in some stores and therefore wasn’t able to make it to others.
So, here’s my plan for this year:
- Phase One: Visit the stores west of Alfred St;
- Phase Two: Visit the stores east of Alfred St but west of Royal St, yet including Mint Condition and GRAPE + BEAN (which are on Royal St across from the Stanton Gallery and Lawrence Miller & Co.); and
- Phase Three: Visit the stores between Royal and the Alexandria Waterfront.
Since I, like most people, have to work tomorrow, I’m going to try to hit a few of the stores in Phase One tomorrow night and then approach the Hunt in earnest starting Saturday.
Remember, many stores open at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and Saturday but not until around noon on Sunday.
Happy Hunting! Check back next week to see how successfully I follow through on my plan!