Got started around 10 after we had our Honey-Nut Cheerios (and I had a peach). Today, we headed east towards Springfield and the Holyoke Mall. It was a beautiful day, sunny, clear, and dry, if a little warmer than yesterday. Other than running into several road repair projects, the ride through Lennox and Lee and down the Masspike was no problem, with no traffic anywhere.
The Holyoke Mall is the second largest mall in New England. (Only the mall in Natick near Boston that has the American Girl store is larger.) Since we parked by the east entrance to Macy's, we started there. Ever since Lauren's nearest Macy's shut down, she's been trying to hit every store she can. I'm not nearly as enamored by them as she is. They often don't have my size, and I think a lot of their clothes are overpriced for what you get. I used the bathroom in the women's department, then went looking for her. After fifteen minutes of fruitless searching, I plopped down in a surprisingly comfortable chair that was sitting next to the entrance and waited for her. She'd been upstairs, looking at bras; she finally bought three shirts on sale for her job as a head teller in a Pittsfield bank.
Our next stop was Uno Bar and Grill for lunch. I ordered a simple "Uno Burger" with garlic mayo, tomatoes, red onions, and lettuce. Lauren had a massive turkey avocado sandwich with Brussels sprouts. Half-way through our meal, she got a text from her father...and she wasn't happy about it. Something about their smoke alarm not working or going off, and he wanted her to buy a new one while we were at the mall.
As soon as we finished eating, we hiked all the way across the mall to Target so Lauren could by the darn smoke alarm. I spent the next 20 minutes watching her hem and haw over what to buy and what her father would want. What I wanted to do was grab the first thing I could reach, say "this is good," and move along, but I'm an adult. I stood and waited. (I don't know why her parents couldn't have gone down to the nearest hardware store and gotten one. I saw a couple of True Values on our trip to the flea market yesterday and while we were driving to the mall. They're both capable of driving.)
Things went better after Lauren finally chose a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm two-pack. We decided to do something fun and browsed in the toy department. She didn't see anything she wanted, but I finally found the Finn Funko Pop to go with my Rey and the last Ever After High doll I intend to buy for a while, Nina Thumbell, the nature-loving, size-shifting daughter of Thumbelina. They were both on clearance, too. Finn was about $6.30; Nina came up to $10.
We were in and out of a couple of stores next. We browsed in Build-a-Bear, Game Stop, and an action figure store, but saw nothing of interest. Sears had an even worse selection of smoke alarms than Target did. I finally found the new dub of Sailor Moon Season 3, Part 1 on DVD at FYE, which I've been trying to get for a decent price since it came out. Lauren picked up The Official WWE Book of Rules (and How to Break Them). She found a really cute pair of ankle boots for work at JCPenny's. I got a pair of tan shorts to replace the khaki pair that blew out in May and the brown ones I bought last year that look like they're starting to go.
Our last stop of the day was the Christmas Tree Shops. She was hoping to find new dishes for her parents, but all the plates were plastic. I had more luck, picking up muffin papers and granola bars.
(By the way, I really like the Holyoke Mall. Unlike the remodel at Cherry Hill that left it looking rather sterile, this mall still looks like when it was built in 1979, with wood-paneled trim on the railings and graceful, curving floor plans. And unlike a lot of malls of this vintage that haven't had a lot of remodels, it looks attractive without being dated.)
By the time we finally made it across the mall and into the car, it was past 5. We were originally going to grab something fast at the food court, but Mr. Miller mentioned in one of his texts that he and his wife were going to heat up a frozen pizza and were willing to share. We headed home instead, dodging the constant road work and keeping an eye on the dark clouds building up on the horizon.
Mr. Miller was glued to the MLB Network when we got in. We showed them our purchases, then settled down and waited to eat. Mrs. Miller made us defrosted Freschetta meat pizza and a salad with greens and tomatoes for dinner. Lauren had a Magnum chocolate-raspberry bar for dessert. I went with a mint chocolate chip Klondike bar.
(Oh, and we mainly switched between the Yankees-Twins, Orioles-Rangers, and Blue Jays-Red Sox games. The Phillies played the Marlins this evening, too. No one did well. The Phillies just lost by one point, 6-5. The Red Sox did likewise, 4-3. The Yanks couldn't even get that far against the red-hot Twins, 4-2. The Orioles were the only local winners this evening, beating the Texas Rangers 3-1.)
We finished out the night playing Yoshi's Wooly World. Got through the desert/volcano-themed World 2, then half-way through the candy and treats-themed World 3 before breaking to go online. The thunder storm that had threatened since early in the evening finally appeared around 8, making some impressive noise.
Tomorrow, we're heading north to explore the wilds of Vermont and the rustic, much-loved Vermont Country Store.