Sunday, June 24, 2012

There's Nothing Like American Shopping

The other day a friend of mine and I were trying to figure out exactly what it is that is so special about shopping here in the US.  And we couldn't quite figure it out.  Is it because it's what we've known our whole lives?  That we know exactly where to go for exactly what we need (and likely for many other things that we just didn't know we needed but essentially wanted...aka Target).  That we are familiar with the brands and the quality associated with them? 

I have no idea.  After 2 1/2 years I certainly have a feel for the brands in Barcelona and their quality.  I also know for the most part where I can find most of the things I need, maybe not all that I want, but the essentials are there and to this day, I'm still finding things.  As a matter of fact, after 2 1/2 years I finally found women's shaving gel in my new grocery store - it's a nice feeling to know I can once again use girly shaving cream rather than sharing Josh's.  It's the little things in life that keep me happy.

But part of the joys of coming home to the US aside from all the reunions is also that we get to shop.  And I mean SHOP.  I bring a list, several lists even, with me each year.  And more than likely, I go above and beyond that list.  Our luggage weighed next to nothing upon arriving in Boston because I have zero doubt that I will fill it all up and likely need to add an extra bag to our already 3 bags we are bringing home. 

What kind of stuff?  Anything really.  Cookie mix (ok slightly addicted, I know), medicine for us and the kids (yes, I know there is medicine in BCN, but once again, the brands you know thing going on here), clothes, shoes, sneakers for the kids, various food products (minced garlic - who wants to mince their own when I can buy it pre minced??... fruity cheerios... fruit snacks... and so much more), possibly a new laptop, favorite soaps and shampoos, toothpaste (yes, they have many brands in BCN but not aquafresh, is it too much to ask??), video games (our wii isn't compatible with European games), Ninjago sheets for Liam's new room and seriously, so much more random stuff it would make your head spin.

The stores I can't wait to hit??  Target, Hilliards (yum chocolate), Gap, Banana Republic, LLBean, Stride Rite, Hollister, Abercrombie, Apple, Wrentham Outlets, Hannafords (or Stop n Shop), and the list goes on and on.  Actually I left the list in my car and I'm tired and jetlagged so I can't remember what else is on said list, but just know, it's long...

Half of what I buy is probably not completely necessary.  But I can't control myself.  As a matter of fact, this morning the kids and I were up at 5 with jetlag and we weren't meeting our friends til 10:30.  So since we were ready by 8, we were out the door and in Target before 8:30 this morning.  Not even a full 12 hours on the ground and we were already shopping.  Aidan actually insisted on me taking a picture of him outside Target he was that excited.  I don't even know exactly what I bought but I do know I managed to spend $150 on about 3 bags of stuff.  I'm sure Josh is going to be thrilled - as it was he messaged me that he couldn't believe I'd managed 12 hrs on the ground before shopping. 
Aidan insisted I take his picture with the big TARGET logo in the background - he was so excited about going shopping!

Liam was also excited but less than thrilled that he couldn't get up on the ball by himself

Before dinner we did a quick Toys R Us run... you'd think Liam had never seen so many toys, but then it's been a full year since he was in a toy store this size.  Notice his new backpack for the fall that we purchased today, just one more thing that is easier to buy here than in Spain!!

Tomorrow I'm spending the day with my best friend and later this week some time with my mom... and you know what that means??  More shopping.  I think I'm probably going to need that 4th bag overall...


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