This is pure inanity...
Here are some notes and observations from the very quick and simple Moncton Shopping Blitzkrieg.
The plan was to leave Charlottetown on Saturday around 10am. We left our driveway at 9:55 but inexplicably didn't leave Charlottetown until about 11:10. Well, actually it is explicable.
We had to go get Cameron, who was on the morning side of a sleepover at a friend's house. He had a good time, he said, although they didn't get much sleep. This fact would become a major factor later on in the trip. After we got Cameron, I thought I would take this time to exchange my (potentially faulty) iTrip FM transmittor at Future Shop and then have a properly functioning one for the trip. So, that took about twenty minutes too long. Then we had to go get some cash. The first bank/ATM (at WalMart) was not functioning, so off to the second one, further in town.
Finally on our way, I was a bit grumpy, for three reasons: 1) it was taking too long to get going, 2) there wasn't quite the amount of money in the bank I thought there was, and 3) the new iTrip was just as crappy as the original one (I think, actually, it's our crappy car that causes the iTrip to be too static-y, which severely lessens the enjoyment of listening to the iPod in the car).
We get in Cornwall, and stop at the Tims for some on-the-road bagels and coffee. This stop, too, takes too long and it's about 11:30 before we're actually "on our way".
On our way to the bridge, we play a road-trip game. We each pick a colour of vehicle. Each time that colour vehicle meets us on the road, we get a point. First to 10 wins. I picked "red" and came a close second (I had 9) to Cameron, who picked "blue". Karyn was a distant third with only 7 "white" vehicles.
We gassed up in Borden-Carleton at the Esso. I noticed a couple of new flavours of Humpty Dumpty chips and as I'm a sucker for trying new flavours of chips I have to try them. "Lime and Pepper" and "Cheese and Onion". The rest of the car is aghast at the anticipation of the stink from the chips. I open the Lime and Pepper, and what a pleasant surprise. They are fantastic! So subtle in flavour, a great taste experience. The rest of the car become fans of the chips and I begrudginly share. Having inhaled the Lime and Pepper chips, we decide to save the Cheese and Onion for the trip home.
Cameron, hung over from a night of sleep deprivation, falls quickly to sleep in the back seat of the car, and we zoom to Moncton. He awakes moments before we arrive in the city proper.
I'm not too hungry from the bagels and coffee and chips, so it's up to the other two to decide where to eat. They are tempted by Chinese, but decide against it after realising it's a buffet. A quickly decided upon second choice is Jungle Jims. I had faint recollections of poor service the last time we were there, so long ago, but was up for the experience. It was a mistake. The service was terrible, the food not so great, and it took forever to leave. They cut us a deal on our bill, but I can't recommend the place lowly enough.
Mediocre food in our bellies, it's off to shop! We Champlain Place it, and away we go. My goal is to find a jacket. Karyn wants some new clothes in general, and Cameron is hoping we buy him a video game. After a couple of hours in the mall, Karyn has a couple of new pieces of clothing, Cameron has a new video game and I have a new jacket.
We decide to head to the other side of town, and check out Winners et al, plus see if there's a movie we could all take in (there wasn't). On our way to Winners, we see the new Old Navy store. Excited we are, and we head inside. It was very busy. I may have bought something, but the lines for the checkout were much too long, so we left empty-handed. Winners had moved from where I remember it, but we found the new one. Disappointing, it seemed much smaller than the original one. Not much bigger than the Charlottetown one.
Having spend ourselves shopping, we have a decision. Hang around Moncton for an hour or so, wait until we're hungry, then eat, or head home and eat on the way, most likely at my favourite of favourite places, the Aulac Big Stop Irving. We choose to head home.
On the way to Aulac, Cameron promptly fell asleep, only to wake up moments before we arrive at the Irving. We did make a small detour on the way, taking a drive through the lovely town of Sackville. Karyn got very excited about seeing a pheasant on the road in front of us (she gets excited at seeing any animal).
Again, I was amazed at the professionalism of the servers at the Big Stop. Amazing ability to be upbeat and positive and fast and courteous and friendly. Amazing. Moments before we got there, Karyn came down with a whopper of a headache and didn't really enjoy the Big Stop busi-ness. It didn't help that the new toy that accompanies kids meals at the Big Stop was an annoying whistle. Six or seven kids throughout were whistling their obliviously annoying high pitched whistles. And still the servers appeared happy. How?
I so rarely order dessert (as you can likely tell by my svelte figure), but for years I've been intrigued by the immensely huge size of the desserts on display at the Big Stop. I succumbed and ordered a piece of chocolate cake. It was huge and delicious. We couldn't finish it. And it only cost $3.49. Amazing.
We drove home, Cameron stayed awake, and got home about 9:30.
And that was the blitzkrieg to Moncton.