Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Which We Find.. A Shopping Trip

*Today's footnote: Our school failed to meet AYP (again).. we just got the results from last years testing today. So now, because we failed to meet it last year (remember; "poor kids are dumb".. though this year it wasn't our socioeconomic disadvantage, our special ed. population didn't do that great on the test in reading. Umm... they come to see us, because they have trouble or can't read. Yet we have to make them take the state test, and we can't offer any assistance on the reading part (we can read the language/math part to them). Hello?! If you go back and read that rant I wrote that day back in June 06... you'll see just why those kids didn't make it. *sigh*)

To take my mind of this bit of depressing news, which I just received notice of a few minutes ago, I have Maine to share with you. Having gone away on vacation the last week of summer, I needed to make sure we had our ducks in a row regarding back to school. Just the words send a shiver down my spine. Because both of my kids grew (A LOT.. Mr. Man grew 6.5 inches in the past year and a half) like weeds this year, they both needed pants. We decided that while we were in the lakes, and just 1 hour and 5 minutes away from Kittery, Maine.. we'd take a day and do back to school shopping. I ordered new backpacks before we left, and had already gone shoe shopping (for the kids). We had notebooks and binders and all that jazz. It was a good plan.

The drive up was lovely. The weather was cool again, but they had originally called for rain and we got a lovely dry day, so cool was ok. It made shopping less painful. Kittery is full of Outlet stores. You can click on a map here. We went down to the far end, and worked out way back. I learned several things while we shopped. My son, is now wearing Men's clothing. Not that he was wearing ladies clothes before, but until now.. he was in Boys sizes. I had already accepted the fact that he wears a men's shoe, but this was a little much. I'm not ready for him to be a man. I've been ignoring the deep voice, and emerging facial hair. Can't he stay little? I also learned, that if you are blessed with a J-Lo booty and a tiny waist, as is my daughter (and one of my dearest friends.. I'm glad I have her to consult with).. they don't make pants that will fit you. L says she has to buy pants to "fit her butt" and then belt them, and they get all bunchy at the waist and she hates it. The pant trend of "low rise", doesn't work for my daughter. Which is great, because after all she is 10 years old and I hate that look on just about EVERYONE... but it makes shopping for pants hard. She tried on many. I bought one pair. One. Fortunately I've since discovered that Target's "store brand" jeans (Chico or whatever the heck it is) fit her great. And they are only $10 a pair. I plan on buying several. Considering it's only late August and she has a trillion skirts/capris and shorts, I'm not worried. Back to school shopping in NH is a tricky thing. The kids are dying for "new stuff" but spend the bulk of the school year, in cold weather and it's to early to shop for that. We also picked up 2 new pairs of shoes for the boy to wear to work, some clothes and a new belt for him, and some other random things. Overall it was a successful trip and I'm glad we went.

Because we didn't get a chance to go out for seafood when we were in Maine earlier this year, I promised The Boy that we'd go out for lunch. He found this great place in Kittery Harbor called Captain Simeon's Gallery. It used to be a store, and someone once wrote a book, based out of the area and renamed all of the places, and that was the name they used for the store. So it became the name of the restaurant that stands in it's place. Anyhow, the history is neat, it's right on the Kittery Warf, and it had a spectacular view. (we had a window seat). The food was equally spectacular and while it was a bit pricer than the places we normally frequent, it was worth every dime. My seafood hating son had a Lobster Ceaser Salad and hasn't stopped talking about it.

After we finished out lunch, we went out and explored the Warf. I've never been on a real fishing warf before, and it was just as fabulous as I'd hoped it would be. There were boats docked, fishermen working, kids sitting on the end enjoying a snack and each others company... but was super cool to us, was the fort. We looked over, and there was the fort that we visited in May. The recognition and excitement of the kids was great to watch. You never know what they take with them when you visit a place, or go on a trip. There was a man sitting outside the Harbor Masters quarters, and he asked The Boy where he was from, and he told him.. turns out that guy was from around here too. So they had a nice little chat about how the area has changed etc. etc. I would go back there again in a heartbeat.

After lunch we finished out excursion down the outlets. We went to Russel Stover for some Gifford's Ice Cream, and hit the Kittery Trading Post. We went to a few more stores after that, but most of those stores we weren't interested in (Jones NY, Eddie Bauer etc) and we were tired and shopped out. The best deals we found were at the Gap Outlet store. They had great prices, and we were able to find some "khaki" type pants for Mr. Man in two different colors for a steal. He's not a fan of shopping, if clothes are involved. He'll shop for most everything else and be pretty well mannered (until he gets tired of it).. but trying on clothes about pushes him over the edge. Now that I know what size he wears in a few stores (why can't they all be the same??) I can watch for bargains on the web and get him a few more pairs of pants. Because 30 inches in the shortest length you can get.. and he's not quite there yet.. they should fit him for a while.

Oh, and that house up in the first photo... when I win the lottery.. I am so buying it.


Lissa Ballard said...

Wow! Good to know I'm not the only one who really hates shopping.

Great pics, fun stories... and btw, if I win the lottery before you, I'll help you buy that house as long as you let me visit often! LOL What a GREAT house!

Sgt said...

Maine is such a great place to visit. The coastal area is exactly like every movie portrays the small fishing communities. Maybe better.

I guess I'm thankful that our kids have to wear uniforms to school (not that it makes finding Khaki shorts/shirts/pants any easier, but we aren't battling the fashion trends for back-to-school.

Sorry your school scores weren't so great. I find wine helps allot. Not so much for the students, but you know.. for self sanity.