Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The mall

In my last post, I referenced going to the mall this weekend.

This isn't just any mall trip.  It's my "take a day when most other people don't have the day off, stay overnight at a hotel near an outlet mall, and shop your brains out all day long" trip.  I've been doing this for a couple years now -- either on Columbus Day or Veterans Day -- to get a good start on my holiday shopping before all hell breaks loose.

I returned to the mall of last year -- Ontario Mills Mall.  Its website says it is something like the largest indoor mall west of the Mississippi.  It doesn't have just two or four or even six anchor stores.  The mall is divided into ten different "neighborhoods" and each one has an anchor.  What I'm trying to say here is:  big mall.

About 1/4 of the way in, I reached the first Shopping Cart stand.  This is where (for the low, low price of $3) you can rent a big ol' shopping cart from the same company that rents luggage carts at the airport.  And I hadn't really bought anything yet, so the shopping cart seemed like an unnecessary expense.

This is not a mistake I will make again.

By the time I hit the next shopping cart stand, I was loaded down with five shopping bags -- and the stand was empty!  Some meanie had rented all the damn carts.  I ended up trudging a couple more "neighborhoods" around the mall to get to the next stand, so I could rent a cart.  I then had to backtrack to hit all those stores -- I hate backtracking, but it was totally necessary.

This time through the mall, I also went in the opposite direction from how I did it last year -- this was because by the time I got to the stores at the end of my circuit, I was too pooped to really shop heavily in them.  So, this time, I spread my business around a bit and went the other way.

Was disappointed that one "specialty" store where I'd bought some presents last year has now closed -- was a shame as I'd been counting on them for a few gifts this time.  Other than that, though, things worked out fairly well (although slightly better for me for than for gift-giving).

I got to the mall when it opened at 10:00.  Including a stop for lunch (at the Rainforest Cafe -- somewhere in neighborhood 6), I left over nine hours later.  The shopping bag was loaded down with:

Three dresses
Two skirts
Four pairs of shoes
Two pairs of socks
A lovely 3/4-length wool/cashmere coat (took them forever at Burlington Coat Factory to find the price for it, as it didn't have a tag)


Presents for "Law Student"
Presents for "Wife" (of "Couple")
 for "Husband"
Presents for my sister and her husband
Presents for the two clerks of court who work for our Division
Presents for a friend's baby (you know who you are)

.... I think that's it, although I might be forgetting something.  Took me about 20 minutes just to unload the car and get all that crap up to my condo.

It's a start on the holidays, anyway.  Hopefully, I can do all the rest online and won't have to brave a mall again until January.


ukgal36 said...

Wow that sounds like my kind of shopping trip... I need to get started on my Christmas shopping too...

hewasolddog299 said...

Free Shipping at LL Bean...

;) - I loathe malls.

cyn4mc2856 said...

You are one brave solider.  Congrats on the early start!