Shopping in America

Another exhausting day but not from packing. From driving and shopping. I drove Donna to their NJ office for work yesterday. Then I had the rest of the day to do what I wanted until I picked her up at 4pm. My original plan was to find a Starbucks (read: free Wi-Fi) and write my blog and read a book. But then Donna told me that there were some stores nearby and I did bring a list of necessities to get while I was here.

I took Donna to the office and went in to meet some of her co-workers. When we arrived she told them the exciting news about her move and how it has been their 20-year dream. While most of them seemed shocked the support and excitement for her was wonderful to see. I really think that when someone is achieving their dream and other people see it happening it gives them hope and inspires them to follow their own dreams.

I then wandered off to the JoAnn fabric store to look for some fabric for new kitchen curtains. We haven’t been able to find anything that we want in Spain so thought I would try here. Well, I found a lot of fabric I liked and a couple that I loved. I couldn’t decide so I got some of each of these. I think Bob and I prefer the dragonfly fabric for the curtains so I can’t wait to get them made and hung up.


After that I wandered to Wal-Mart. I had a list of crazy things for example Playtex rubber gloves for washing dishes, pants hangers, and other random everyday things that we have struggled to find ones that we like in Spain.

One of the things I didn’t buy but would have loved to is baking soda. Yes, you read that right. Good old-fashioned baking soda. In Spain it can be found (only when your friends help you) in very small quantities and with more of a purpose of relieving a stomach ache. In America we use it for baking, cleaning, and deodorizing. They make special boxes that have a flap on the side that tears off so that you can put it in your refrigerator or closet to absorb odors. Well, this is what I found in Wal-Mart. A 4-pound box and the ones that go in your fridge. Too bad there is no way I can take it back to Spain. I was able to get just about everything there that was on my list.


Down the street I found a Target. One of my favorite stores. I texted my friend Nathan, “OMG! I am about to walk into a TARGET!” He and I both love Target and I knew he would understand my excitement. Funny, it was just like going to a Target before we moved. “Would love that and need that but it won’t fit in my suitcase.” Makes shopping easier but certainly not as much fun! Thankfully, it was an older Target and not as wonderful as the one we used to live near. I sent Nathan a couple of photos from Target. One is just a random display and the other one…well the other one holds special memories between Nathan and me. Miss you Nathan!



I got a couple of things on my list there and saved tons of money on all of the things I didn’t buy. 😉

The next store down the road was Staples. I will admit that I love office supply stores. It is a weakness. My cousin Donna is the same way. Well, I didn’t need anything from Staples but I just wandered up and down a few aisles. When I was walking out one of the employees asked if he could help me find something. I thanked him and told him that I live in Spain and didn’t need anything but just missed Staples. He didn’t think I was weird at all. Well, at least he didn’t look at me like I was a crazy woman.

It was getting closer to the time that I needed to pick up Donna so I made one more New Jersey right turn to turn left for my last stop. If you are from NJ or have been there you will understand my reference to the right turn to turn left comment.  I understand the concept and yes it does work but I am thankful that Donna told me about this strange traffic control when we arrived in NJ cause otherwise I would have been quite confused.

I wandered through a Michael’s craft store. Saw lots of fun things to make and to decorate with but didn’t need anything so I didn’t buy anything. Last stop before the pickup…Starbucks. Now, to be clear, I actually don’t miss Starbucks because we have a wonderful coffee maker at home, a Saeco, and also Spanish coffee is wonderful. I am not a flavored coffee person except when Pumpkin Latte time (Autumn) rolls around. That is when I might miss Starbucks. Well, maybe not.

On the way home in CT we stopped at Costco so that Donna could pick up a couple of things that she ordered and I could get the last random things on my list. 🙂 Ziploc bags! Just look at this display of Ziploc bags. Heaven.

I also picked up some Mucinex (they do not have that in Spain) and some Zyrtec. A vast array of make-ya-feel-better-potions right here.

It was a productive day in the sense that I got the items that we needed back home. It was interesting for me to go back to these stores with a different mindset. Having a different attitude about “stuff” is great. I will tell you that I do love our uncluttered new life. There are items (i.e. the ones that I purchased) that we need or prefer but the rest we can do without.

1 thought on “Shopping in America”

  1. I loved reading this post. I found your thoughts on “stuff available for purchase but stuff I don’t need” refreshing to read, such a different mindset from the consumerism that plagues this country. I admire your non-purchasing strength in Target!!


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