Monday, June 30, 2008

Olympic-sized Shopping!

With the kiddies safely off at summer camp, the missus dragged me out for a shopping decathon at Virginia's retail mecca, Potomac Mills. I had agreed to go on the condition that we would hit the road to return home by 3 pm in order to avoid the Sunday afternoon rush hour on I-95... Robin had other plans, of course, but she wisely kept them to herself.

We started the morning at IKEA, which had just launched its annual summer sale. I kid you not when I tell you she dragged me around that place for 2 and a half hours - We would have stayed longer, but my constant whining finally found its intended target.

Our next stop - the Mall... We broke this up into three pieces... Shopping first at one end, then driving around to the food court to cover the mall's mid-section. This took another four hours, and by this point, my feet were starting to bother me. Robin told me "It's only walking", so I had to explain to her that I have no problem with walking. I can do MILES of walking at a time... It's walking four feet, then stopping... walking four feet, then stopping that kills me... and my feet died a million deaths yesterday!

We had one more stop at the mall - Robin wanted to go to the far end to see Nordstrom Rack. I refused to go, but offered to drop her for a quick peek while I bought gas. After stopping at Costco, (3.92 a gallon - not bad!), I returned to Nordstrom Rack and waited another half-hour for my soon-to-be ex-wife.

So by now, it's 6:30 - time to hit the road, right? HA! We hit the new Wegman's instead. For the uninitiated, Wegman's is a supermarket on steroids... massive muscle-building, hairline-receding, testicle-shrinking steroids! Think about the largest Giant Food store that you've ever visited, then double the size, and you have Wegman's. About 60 percent of Wegman's is like a typical grocery store, albeit a grocery store with a massive selection!

The rest of Wegman's is like a massive gourmet food court. The seafood section has its own sit-down restaurant serving fresh fish. There is a sushi bar... A guy standing at a kiosk making fresh crab cakes... Another person tossing salads. A woman making custom cannolis... There's a sub shop next to a pizza joint. There were two buffets serving Indian and Chinese food, along with an upstairs seating area for at least a couple of hundred people! Robin and I enjoyed a chinese feast at 8 bucks a pound, then went grocery shopping.

There is a bit of nostalgia for us in Wegman's... The chain is based in upstate New York, where Robin and I both went to college... And for whatever reason, the chain carries some upstate New York delicacies - food you cannot usually get anywhere else, like Freihofer's Chocolate Chip cookies and Hofmann's Snappy Grillers - white hot dogs also known as "coneys" that I spent my college years consuming prodigiously at a legendary Syracuse hot dog place called Heid's of Liverpool. So we filled the cart with all this stuff, and finally called it a night - after 2 hours and 15 minutes of grocery shopping!

So much for getting home by 4 pm... We pulled into the driveway at 9:45 - exactly 12 hours after leaving the house... It was a shopping day that we never would have put our children through... It was enough to make me miss those little buggers!


Julie Matthews Burnette said...

Man, I loved those Freihofer's chocolate cookies when I went to Syracuse! I think Entemann's are supposed to be the same, but I remember Freihofer's being so much better.

ps - I wish to hell I loved celery more than cookies. NOT!

Deb said...

YOU are a saint among saints. Robin is a lucky lady.

Ira would have run off or hid under the clothing racks like a child until I promised to go home.