Fun at the mall
Whenever I travel to my in-laws in Canada, there are a number of things I like to do. One is go to the local mall. Something about wandering around it periodically over the last 14 and a bit years is comforting. I like to see which shops have changed and which remain the same. Eat in the Food Court (or the Timmies). Wander by myself, or with my wife, or with one (or both) of my parents-in-law. Although I'm evidently not a local, it's the kind of ordinary, grounding activity that somehow signifies I'm not a tourist either.
Of course, this time we had a toddler with us too, which was a new spin on the experience! Full of excitement she ran fearlessly down the corridors, stopping for us to catch up, or to detour to the yellow and blue balloon arch outside the small IKEA store that had sprung up since my last visit. She dug in voraciously to the curry in the Food Court, while I had my first poutine in a couple of years. She clambered up on the green seats/benches outside the drug store, exhorting her Grandpa to get “up-a-p(l)ease!” And as we left, she stopped to take off her shoes and try on some adult sized yellow crocs.
Fun but tiring!
As is no doubt the way with others whose lives and families straddle international borders, over the years some of my shopping preferences have split over different countries. For some reason I can get wide sizes in Merrell shoes/boots in Canada but not in the UK. Tip Top Tailors sell shirts that fit me just right....and we always stock up on body sprays / cologne in Bath and Body Works. This situation was even more extreme when we lived in the US and thus straddled shops in three countries!
Much to enjoy. We left the chocolate shop and Ricki's (women's clothing store) for next time, and fondly remembered the ghost of the mall past – I do still miss getting Sugar Bush Maple coffee from Timothy's, even though it's been a few years now since it left the mall (and the city)!