It was absolutely gorgeous when we started out this morning around 10. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and it was probably in the upper 70's. There couldn't have been a nicer day in September for a ride.
Our first stop was a house about 10 minutes across Pittsfield that was holding an estate sale. It was a nice little house, too, clean and well-maintained. Lauren didn't find anything. She said she was looking for clothes, and all she found were coats and dresses from the 80's. I dug up four vintage metal fluted cookie cutters - a star, a half-circle, a mushroom, and a rectangle - for a dollar.
We were supposed to be heading for the Mass Pike next, but we ran into heavy traffic in downtown Lee. Lee is one of the many tiny historic towns scattered throughout the Berkshires. I'd never seen them so busy! The sidewalks were teeming with people of all ages, and the main road was choked with cars. We even saw several parade floats, representing a local True Value, egg farm, and recycling program, as we went by. Driving through Lee to Mass Pike ramp should have taken a little over 5 minutes. It took over 20.
There were no problems once we got onto Mass Pike, no traffic of any kind. We arrived at the Holyoke Mall around 11:30. Hit their Macy's first. I just used the bathroom here (their bathroom is conveniently in the women's plus-size section), but Lauren bought a couple of blouses for work.
We went back to the car, and Lauren pulled it around the other side of the massive building. She wanted to stop at Best Buy to recycle some wires, ink cartridges, and older electronics she couldn't use. I looked at some cartoon DVDs, but we otherwise picked up nothing here.
The Best Buy opens up into the main mall. Since it was 12:30 by this point, we hit Ruby Tuesday's for lunch. I had a coupon for 5 dollars off 15 dollars or more. We settled into the dark, leathery booths and watched college football while waiting for our sandwiches. We both had grilled chicken sandwiches. Mine was the regular sandwich; Lauren's had avocado and bacon. Mine could have used more vegetables, but otherwise was pretty good. Lauren said she loved hers. We both ate most of our thin, crispy fries.
Spent the next few hours walking around. The Holyoke Mall is the second-largest mall in New England. (Only the mall in Natick with the American Girl store is bigger.) The graceful, curving floor plan, pale wood flooring, and shiny chrome makes it feel vintage without being dated. It's fun to just walk around in there. Neither of us picked up anything at Game Stop, Hobby Lobby, or Build-a-Bear. I didn't see anything I liked at FYE, but Lauren bought a "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey t-shirt and an exclusive Weird Al Yankovitz Funko Pop toy. I would have indulged in the buy-one, get-one free t-shirt sale at Lane Bryant if their t-shirts weren't so darn expensive. Lauren bought a big box of fruit bars for her dad and a package of soft raspberry-filled cookies for her at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I found a box of the Jello Pumpkin Spice Pudding that never seems to show up at the Acme anymore.
I made my biggest find at JC Penney. I finally got a new pair of sneakers to run errands in. The Filas were only 40 dollars, fairly cheap for good sneakers. They have incredibly comfortable "memory foam" soles that feel so nice on my sore toes! My old Easy Spirits were in such bad shape, I couldn't really save them. I tossed them in the nearest trash can on my way out.
We ended up at Target next. Lauren got bras. I finally found an Our Generation Retro outfit for Whitney. I love Our Generation's "Retro" - aka, styles from the 50's, 60's, and 70's - line, but for some reason, it never seems to show up in the South Jersey Targets. As cute as the polka-dot Dance Party dress was, it came with a lot of little accessories like records I'd probably never use. I bought the "Sweet Memories" outfit, a cute lavender checked dress with a maroon jacket and cute turquoise scarf.
It was almost 5 by the time we got out of the Christmas Tree Shoppe. Since Uno's right next door, we went there for dinner. We split an extra large thin crust pizza with half-pepperoni, half-roasted vegetables. Even sliced into small pieces, it was too much for us to eat. We brought half of it home.
Once again too the Mass Pike going back. This time, there was no trouble anywhere, not even Lee. There were still crowds in town, but they were mostly focused on the white tents where the farm market was taking place and not the streets. We listened to classic rock, 80's hard rock, bagpipe music, and Weird Al as we headed back to Pittsfield.
We're now downstairs in Lauren's room, chatting and listening to the 80's station again. Tomorrow, we're staying closer to home to check out a flea market just over the border in New York and a couple of stores in Lauren's area.