Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Tagalong Tale

Part 2...Shopping Day

If you read a few days ago, you know that I spent the latter half of this week on a tagalong adventure with my traveling husband. Bright and early Wednesday morning, he took off in the car to make some money.  Not long after, I left the hotel on foot to spend it.

It's a system that works for us.

Compared to the rest of the country, we’re having a heat wave. It was a sultry 41 degrees with a slight wind when I headed out that morning.

 I stepped out across the road...

And across the parking lot...

And through the trees
and across yet a busier road...

Can you see it?

You didn't think I went to Atlanta for the specialty shops, did you?

When you live half way between
Podunk and East Bumble, 
you are just as happy as a clam  
to get to
Bed, Bath, and Beyond

We don't have either one
within an hour us.
I blame Walmart.
But then, I blame Walmart  for everything.

I covered every inch of those two places

Taking pictures of things that struck my fancy.

Then I meandered on down to Kirklands
and did the same

And then to  Marshalls…

And then Steinmart…

In one store, and out another

All the way to the next intersection.
There, I pushed the button and waited.

And I waited.

And I have a question: 

 Does that angry red hand ever turn into a happy green walker?  It never did for me.  I finally just gave up and did a serpentine across four lanes at the most opportune moment. 

It was worth the risk, though. Across the street was a mall at least twice the size of the ones in Podunk and East Bumble. Fortunately, the food court was at my end, and that’s where I was headed.

'Cause nothing fortifies like a Styrofoam clam shell full of teriyaki chicken...

After lunch, I meandered through the mall, hitting every store with a home department. An hour or so later, I emerged from Dillards, clear on the other end.  I was a bit disappointed in what I had found so far so I decided to pioneer forth in another random direction.

I was certain I had spotted a Home Goods on the way to the hotel.
 Since I’m directionally challenged, I used Dillards as my North Star. As long as I could turn the head and see it in the distance, I knew that I could find my way back to that mall.

So I walked…
And I walked...
And I walked
Good thing it was all downhill with a bit of a tail wind.

I finally reached the outpost and was rewarded with not only a Home Goods, but a Michaels and a TJ Maxx to boot. I sat for a few minutes to catch my breath and locate the North Star.  Then, I photo shopped some more.

Personally, I think Manuela is almost as cute...

By 5:00, I was pretty tuckered out so  I gave the husband a call to see if he was close enough to swing by and pick me up. 

Unfortunately, he was still an hour away.   I had little choice but to head back towards the hotel on foot.

With a bit of a head wind.
After a full day of photo shopping. 
I'm pretty sure the temperature was dropping too.

Bless my heart, I finally made it all the way back to the food court.

Now folks, with all that meandering, there is absolutely no way to determine how many miles I put in that day. Therefore, I estimated around a hundredAnd I figured that any 49 year old woman who walked a hundred miles, uphill, with a head wind, deserved a skinny decaf caramel macchiato. 

So I ordered one.

I watched as a besotted barista attempted to make my order while making time with the pretty young gal at the counter next to me. I worried that I might end up with a macchiato that was neither skinny nor decaf. At that point, though, I didn’t really care. Plus, I’m a romantic at heart so I silently cheered him on.

He struck out.

He scored with the macchiato, however, and it was just what the doctor ordered.  It was as I was sitting there sipping that well-deserved goodness that my phone burst into song.

Well, thank God. 

It was the husband. He was back at the hotel and had discovered his missing person.  He showed up a few minutes later and asked me what I had done with all my packages.

And I’m the blond one?

I explained that one can not trudge a hundred miles uphill in a head wind whilst carrying a mother lode.  He agreed.  He also agreed to accompany me back to the stores so that I had something to show for my tagalong shopping trip.

And he did.

All that walking, and this is all I got.
Some of it was for the Duchess, too.
Oh well. At least I had the adventure.


Amy Kinser said...

How fun! I have done that many times when my hubby was on business trips. Usually I had my kids with me and we would walk all over creation looking for things to do while he was away for the day. We had so much fun.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time and found some awesome stuff.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

How sweet that hubby went back with you! Hopefully a nice dinner was a part of the day, sounds like fun:@)

kasthurirajam said...


Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Ahhh glad to know I'm not the ONLY woman who will walk to browse ... I would however, have schlepped packages back with me :)

Gayle said...

Clearly, you deserve a gold star.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Cute post I traveled right along with you! I love Steinmart, that is probably my favorite of your whole adventure, us city folk kind of take it all for granted! The only thing I don't have with in a couple miles of my house is a Walmart....see how lucky you are living in bohunk nowhere!


Toodie said...

Oh what fun. I love roosters and chicken anything. Nothing here except WalMart too and real shopping 98 miles away. Great goodies you got.

Dianne said...

Okay, this is classic Debbie--reminds me of the first time I ever read your blog--so entertaining and fun--you gave me several good laughs! Thanks for your "take on life." I love it and you.


Karen said...

Sounds like a fun trip - would have loved to have made the 100 miles with you!

Sonja said...

What a great day! Sounds just like something I would do, especially the call to see if help was on the way in the form of a ride!

I loved 'he struck out!'...

Smiling, as usual when I read your blog...

Miss Char said...

OK, ya had me the minute I saw the Chick-Fil-A, I have to leave the state to find one! Those little breakfast chicken roll thingies are heaven. On top of that you found a Home Goods, what a day.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness I wish you lived up by me - you would think you had died and gone to Heaven - and then we could shop together.

Glad you had fun!


Kelli said...

I feel as if I tagged along!! Ordinary days always turn into amazing adventures for you...Ah, perspective! So happy you enjoyed time away!

Sue said...

Hi Debbie,
Thanks for bringing us along on your adventure. I agree with the comment by Kelli, nothing like perspective for me to appreciate that all of the places you mentioned are between 5 and 25 minutes from me! {Although I'm sure she was referring to your talent of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary!}

Any which way ~ I liked it!!

And, I have the same system you have and it works just fine ~ he earns it and I spend it!!


Lynn Richards said...

you know your husband wins the best husband award for the weekend, don't you?
I ALWAYS deserve a skinny-decaf carmel macchiato, since I just discovered them....

Ms.Daisy said...

I loved going shopping with you and I bet I could keep up with you even going uphill with a head wind! LOL!


Red Couch Recipes said...

I also live in the sticks and went to the "big city" this weekend -- those people in the "big city" don't appreciate all the stores they have and I do think they should share a few of them with small towns, don't you think. This was a funny post and I can so relate as I had so much fun shopping around. Looks like you scored on some great stuff. Joni

Sarah said...

You are too funny! I'm laughing out loud, basically because I remember doing much the same thing on business trips with my husband. I think I walked across San Francisco and back in each direction. Talk about hills and head winds. ;-)
Home Goods, Marshalls, and TJ Max all in one location. Does anyone need more? LOL
Thanks for the smiles. ~ sarah

elizabeth said...

Sounds like you killed two birds with one and exercise. You hit all my favorite stores. Here in the city I live near them all...oh my!
On a more serious note, thanks for all the love and prayers about Mama's passing. Your kindness is so appreciated.
I just read your Bobblehead Baptist great! I needed the laugh!
Love to you my friend!

Sharon Kirby said...

How much fun I have had being a stowaway on your tagalong!!

How you make me laugh. I just had the funniest pictures of you in my mind, braving the elements to accomplish your mission. A successful one at that - good for hubby!!!

I think the angry red hand needs therapy (or needs to find his happy place). Dillard's makes a wonderful North Star - except we don't have Dillard's out here. However, I've discovered that Border's always guides me home - oh, the smell of book bindings in the morning.

And for the record, Manuela is MUCH cuter! How could you even consider this "wannabe" chick to be in the same league?? Horrors...

Are we going to see any of this merchandise in a tablescape? Maybe the red colander? I think it's cute - maybe a planter, or a party hat?? Hmmm...

Til next time - SHOP ON, my little consumer friend, SHOP ON!

Dayle said...

I swear I looked at those pictures and thought you'd come to see me, so many familiar places. :) What a fun day!

gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

Well you managed to find all of my favorite places and win the super bowl for shoppers Debbie. I'm loving your bar stools and that cute red colander. I am sure I will see those in a future scape!!!

Mevely317 said...

Fun, fun, fun! .... I'll bet I'm not the only one wishing we could have tagged along with ya'all ... imagine yourself a benevolant Pied Piper. :)
PS - I wonder if anyone watching would've pegged you as a "Mystery Shopper" ... wouldn't that be a fun occupation?

Ann said...

Prior to our wedding and had NO house to call home we were supposed to register at the local department store and tell them what colors we were using in each room of the house.
Hard to know when you don't have a house .... but I chose red for the kitchen.
Back then, avocado and gold were the "in" colors and red was no where to be found.
I did, however, get some red salt and pepper grinders and a few red pieces of crueset cookware. Dummy me got rid of them all a few years later at a yard sale. NOW I wish I had them.

How fun that you were able to find red things for your "new" kitchen!

On my next shopping trip, I want you to come with me! : )

Crickit said...

I loved reading about your shopping trip and photo opportunities! Glad the Starbucks drink came out delish...poor barista though. Love all of the goods you ended up buying! Great post!

Kathleen said...

I feel like I was there with you. Those are all the shops my sister takes me to when I get lucky and visit her in Arkansas every several years! Loved the photos. Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane. Your husband sounds like a very special man, taking you back to the shops so as you could do so real shopping!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Debbie, I love to come smile my way through your posts! Unfortunately, I am the dumb blonde (well, I used to be blonde) who would have ended up with heavy packages to tote back up that hill! (I'm not very good at thinking ahead). I would have been sitting some place for an hour, waiting for my husband to pick me up. (Actually, I've done that before). Sounds like you got your exercise for the year and some fun shopping too. laurie

FrouFrouBritches said...

I'm so glad you had a good time on your tagalong adventure!!! I think I had almost as good of a time reading about it. What a sweet Hubby you have to take you back shopping again to let you pick up your goodies. Love all the red and yellow stuff I see. Cute collander! I love that you were silently cheering on the coffee dude. Too bad he got shot down! Glad your coffee was good though.

Angel said...

Dear Debbie, I am squealing and giggling like a school girl over your latest adventure! Sounds like my kind of fun and I almost feel like I was right there with you (only I'm pretty sure I haven't lost any calories sitting here at the computer reading about how you walked 100 miles :)

And what a sweet hubby to go back with you and help you scoop up your finds to take back home. That definitely deserves some extra brownie points!

saltbox treasures said...

Glad you had a good day shopping! You make everything sound more fun!
Have a great week!
~ Julie

Denise said...

What a great adventure! You know I get the boondocks thing cause I have to drive 30 minutes to YOUR boondocks! All the best shopping in one small spot. Sounds like heaven on earth to me. I cannot wait to see it all in your kitchen. Maybe later this week?

Having trouble with my computer. Hugs....Denise

xinex said...

Oh what a fun day, Debbie! You sure got your exercise for the day. Those stores are all my favorites and just like you, none of them are within an hr, or not even an hr. and a half distance from home. Right now, I am visiting my daughter and her family in Florida so I am taking advantage of shopping too. I like your make/spend system with your hubby, lol. It's sorta like my business with pleasure trips with mine. He takes care of the business while I do the pleasure....Christine

Joywriter said...

"...between Podunk and East Bumble!" I love this! Thanks for letting me shop with you; I needed the exercise.

CAL said...

What a fun trip and thanks for letting us shop the aisles with you.

Sherry said...

That is the way our area is too. To visit all those stores we have to drive 90 miles. The only store in our town DGS and Walmart. Yes, we blame them. There used to be a lot of nice stores 20 years ago. So glad you had fun shopping!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

love your stories. love them. i identify with this.

if you're wondering why this looks weird... my computer's wonky. more re the wonks on my blog. but i will be gone. sigh. gone for weeks. double sigh. i will miss you. but i fully intend to do something productive. not sure wh-t th-t will be. do you see it. code for the missing elements of my post. it's the wonks. the wonks. grrrrr....



A Joyful Chaos said...

Sounds like you had a positively delightful day! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Simply Be... said...

Good for you Debbie!
What a great - though tiring- day you had!
Thanks for letting us tag along with you :-)


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