I had a FABULOUS shopping experience yesterday at the new L.L.Bean. It doesn't compete with the Maine store (no pond, no men's dress shirt section, a noticeable absence of weaponry), but everyone there was super-friendly and helpful, and I trust that both hubby and Mom will look great in their Christmas presents, which are currently strewn across my dining room table.
The truth is, L.L.Bean could have been selling wool unitards in shades of 1970's kitchen appliances and I still would have loved it, because right next door I found THE BEST BORDERS EVER. L.L.Bean is, therefore, perfect by proximity.
There are a few things that make me happier than a bookstore (hubby, flannel pj's, God) but not many. This new Borders was like a well-trained puppy - everything shiny and beautiful, with only a slight hint that it's still figuring out how life works (such as the cafe guy who asked, "what's grande?" when I ordered my coffee, and the manager who, when told that a bird had flown into the store and appeared to be contemplating early Jewish literature, said only, "Well, at least he's warm...")
So yes, there were warm Maine-ish clothes and miles and miles of books (not to mention freakishly warm 62 degree weather). After my shopping was done I sat outside on a cedar bench with my grande=medium coffee and thought, life is good :)
It all came full-circle at exactly 6:22 this morning, when THAT DOG decided she needed to go out immediately. It was 22 degrees, with a wind-chill factor of one million-four. Nothing like chasing the poop as it blows across the driveway to get the day off to an exhilarating start.