Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Used to Hate Shopping

Holy tomoly, what a day. It's the first day of my break from work until classes are in session again January 2nd. The campus shuts down so I have free time to actually prepare for Christmas. I do very little Christmas prep other than on-line shopping prior to taking off from work because I really dislike being in crowds. And since most if not all of the people who populate our world work during the day, it's all about evening shopping. Sorry but, NOT FOR ME. So what is a girl to do?

Well, first off, she drives to the Gilroy Outlet stores just 2 hours over the hill from me. Off I went this morning with my baby brother, Dave. Yeah, I know. You've seen this picture of Dave before, but, it's such a nice picture, isn't it? Anyway --- Since I've never been much for shopping, outlet malls were never terribly close on my radar. However, today that changed and what follows can only be described as a conversion testimony. For those of you reading here and who understand the outlet mall mentality, you will totally understand.

Gilroy, California - for the uninitiated - is famous for two things; it's garlic and its attendant Garlic Festival and its outlet malls. There are no fewer than four and one more is in the building stages.

After driving through all four of them, scoping out the stores, we made a plan. Kitchen stores were first on the list. Dave cooks. NOT me. But while there I found a pretty serving set that I KNOW my sister-in-law will like very much. Dave accomplished his sole objective and it was now time for me to pick myself up from my swoon and start shopping.

As is no doubt apparent to any seasoned outlet mall shopper, there was no way I was going to get to all of my target stores. Also - I was with a man. Yes, not my hubby, but a guy nevertheless, and most men like to do what I call hit and run shopping. Mission accomplished and then go home. What Dave DIDN'T know is that THAT is pretty much my shopping M.O. as well. Basically, if I don't see anything that interests me right away, I leave. I'm totally not into finding that hidden gem because hidden gems, in my experience, are always found by someone else.


Three stores after the kitchen objective had been accomplished, I was swooning again and making plans to head to Gilroy again - this time with my daughter. First stop was Crabtree & Evelyn. Dave circled the parking lot and I was out in under ten minutes with fabulous Summer Hill Hand Therapy. He was becoming a believer.

Next stop was the Bombay Company. For those of you who like Bombay Company and who do not know - they are going out of business. The on-line shopping site is already down. So here I was at not only an outlet store but a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS outlet store. The possibilities were endless but hauling space in Dave's SUV was NOT. However, he found a pretty side table
(some assembly required) . . . and

I found a beautiful mirrored cross
to add to my collection of crosses.

The last stop was the best. I regularly get Coldwater Creek catalogs. I ooh and ahh over the clothes but have never ordered from them. HOWEVER, guess where I found an outlet store? Uh huh. You got it. Not only did I immediately step on the express train to fashion heaven, but Dave found something for his wife. Here's what I found.


in pretty chocolate brown.
Too soon the day came to an end but I already have a plan. Dress Barn (where I always find what I need when I'm looking) has an outlet store there. So does Lane Bryant. So about that plan. Kris agrees that a January road trip is in order. No men allowed. Just us girls and lots of leisurely shopping that will definitely include a return trip to Coldwater Creek.


Susie said...

We usually stop at the Gilroy outlets when we are heading down 101. They just keep growing and growing!
We have a big outlet mall at Vacaville and they have tons of stores too. (not as big as Gilroy though)
Glad you had a fun day with your brother..(my brothers both abhor shopping)

trailbee said...

What a fabulous day! And no rain. Thanks for the post.

Stephanie said...

I haven't been in Gilroy since the mid 70's...then it was ONLY such thing as outlet malls yet.

I LOVE that Coldwater Creek swing kind-a- sweater!!!

You and your daughter should have a great time!!! said...

Wow, that is a lot of shopping. I must admit it's not one of my strong-points, so I try to get it all done in September so I don't have to face the crowds in December!

It sounds like you had a lovely day - is it very warm where you are? It's freezing here!

And if I don't get the chance to say it before the big event, Merry Christmas!

Mary Timme said...

Oh Annieelf,
This is so funny. This is exactly how I shop. I know what I want. Read the paper, go and get it and that is done. For gifts I think shopping cards are the best ever. Saves me time, money and lots of aggrivation.

Bimbimbie said...

I can hear all those feet from here running in the direction you've just pointed out lol *!*

lila said...

your new clothes are beautiful! So much better to be able to try on than to order and hope they work!

Merry Christmas!

Lisa S. Oceandreamer said...

I actually really like outlet malls...I've had very good luck in most of them over the years. I've only been to the Gilroy outlets once but I do not remember Coldwater Creek, Crabtree & Evelyn being there. AND I had no idea Bombay Company was going out of business - boy did you get lucky happening on the GOOB sale.
Sounds like you are now a convert...look out outlets - the J. women are a comin'! ha!
Have a wonderful holiday dear Annie!

paris parfait said...

Oh, Gilroy! Haven't been there in ages, but I always had such fun shopping there. xo