Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Better Than The Old Mall 

Took the day off from holidays and headed down to Manchester, Connecticut, to The Shoppes and Buckland Hills, mostly a) to see if it was closer than our usual Massachusetts haunts (a hands-down no-brainer at 40 minutes), and b) to spend a few hours indoors with the kids without having to clean up the mess afterwards.

Nice surprise, actually. Less busy than we expected, given the post-Boxing Day rush, and the usual assortment of middle-class finery, from Abercrombie to Victoria's Secret. Better, though, the mall was designed with parents in mind: a ubiquitous pet store with uberpuppies on display, a conveniently-placed madhouse of a Huck Finn-themed "soft play area" for the kiddies, and an honest-to-goodness circus-themed carousel -- Willow's favorite thrill -- in the food court to hold back as a reward for good behavior. No Gap, but we'll spend our gift cards another day.

Also, a novelty: few ATMS, but plenty of wall-installed "card balance readers" throughout the mallhalls. Makes sense, I guess, from a mall perspective, to keep patrons megaspending smoothly on the edge, but we didn't see any in use.

Mostly window shopping and light-ogling, then, though we did end up getting a few odds and ends too much on sale to resist: enough Hanukkah gifts to last the rest of the season, plus placemats and napkins at the Christmas Tree Shop next door for tomorrow's belated Christmas with my wife's family.

Candles lit late upon our return -- Willow loves her new tiara and shimmery fairy princess wand, the baby seems pleased with her transparent Playskool rainstick, both fell asleep early for once.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:21 PM |

Sounds like a very relaxing way to spend the day. Malls are actually quite pleasant when not overflowing with crazy shoppers.
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