Another day, more errands and shopping.
Our family has several birthdays coming up, and we've been invited to two weddings, so in addition to my normal stops I worked on getting ready for all the summer gift-giving events. As I was battling the heat and traffic on the way to the first place, I wondered what would happen if I parked as far away from each building as I could? I started at
. Our local library has a huge parking lot with two long rows that's usually not even close to being filled, but it was particularly empty today. I drove to the end of the lot, twenty-five spaces away from any other car. This section was shaded by trees, one of them sporting a large wild grape vine. The vine's tendrils reached out over the blacktop; they looked a bit creepy swaying in the breeze. After I finished at the library, I drove down the street to the
I always park in the same section of this lot. Today I parked on the opposite side, at the far end. As I got out of the car, I saw a panoramic view of the road below. This road was improved about a decade ago, and the small trees they planted are starting to look pretty nice. I also noticed the store's drive-through pharmacy, which I didn't even know was there. I bought my groceries, and put the cold items in a cooler in the back seat. My next stop was a
BIG BOX LINEN STORE
. I drove to a strip mall on Manchester Road, navigated the traffic waiting to turn into the shopping area, and found a spot on the lot that overlooked Manchester. The car was shaded by the center's sign, so I made sure my groceries were on the shady side so they'd stay cool. After I did some research in this store for potential presents, I got back in my car and drove to a
. Even though this store is in the same shopping center as my last stop, I moved my car to a new spot. The discount club is on the third level, and the thought of a long walk carrying things was completely unappealing. I parked against a rail at the southernmost section of the lot, close to the loading dock. There were a lot of cars around me, so I suspect it was the employee section. I had a nice view here of the store on the level below; I could see the huge white roof (which I didn't know was there). It's nice to know the store is doing its part to be environmentally friendly. As I walked to the discount club entrance, I passed hundreds of yellow day lilies planted along the side of the building. And one maroon plant. I wonder how it got mixed in? I did my shopping and took advantage of all the samples they were giving out, then returned to my car for a trip to a
MASS MERCHANT STORE.
I drove several miles west on Manchester and pulled into the lot of a mass merchant store. There used to be two stores that shared the lot, but one of them is long gone. I pulled into the deserted part of the parking area and parked in a handicapped space in front of the empty building. (What a rebel!) Since there were three empty rows of parking between my car and the next closest one (and then three more rows to be right in front of my target building), I didn't think anyone would care. Walking up to the store I caught sight of some employees in the "smoking area", a bench partially hidden in an alcove to the left of the door. There was absolutely no shade, and the people there looked miserable. After I made my purchases, it was time to continue driving west. I needed to stop at the
MEXICAN GROCERY STORE
to pick up a couple of specialty ingredients for tomorrow night's dinner. This was the one place I couldn't park far away; the store shares a narrow lot with several other storefronts. I didn't mind, though, because the day had gotten hotter and more humid, and walking was no longer appealing. It didn't take long to find what I was looking for, and I was congratulating myself on a job well done, when I realized I was missing one key meal ingredient. What a drag! I completed my list at
GROCERY STORE #2
, which was right along my route home. However, here parking far away from the store meant being close
to a temporary garden shop greenhouse, so after I got done in the store I spent some time browsing through the plants. They had a sale on all their remaining inventory, because they're getting ready to close for the year, but I managed to get back to my car without buying anything.
When I got home I was hungry, hot, and thirsty. Thank goodness it was only a couple of steps from the garage into the house.