The Shopping Trip

Recently Ann Kopchik and I decided to see how many malls we could visit in one day--the Saturday a week after Thanksgiving, to be exact. The total came to 11; we're fairly sure we visited every enclosed mall--as distinct from strip mall--in the Pittsburgh area. It was a lot of fun, and very tiring. We took a camera along and took a picture of each of us at each mall. Unfortunately, the pictures taken after dark did not turn out at all. Anyway, here's a synopsis:

Westmoreland Mall: We got there at 10 am or so, having left Ann's house in Squirrel Hill at about 9:15. We got breakfast in the food court and then made the mistake of going into bookstores. Ann bought a bear ornament--bears go Grrr!--and we left at around noon.

Greengate Mall: Only about 10 minutes away from Westmoreland. Admired the mirrors hanging from the ceiling. Ann got the Manheim Steamroller Christmas album.

Monroeville Mall: We didn't stay here very long, having arrived at 1 pm and realizing that at the rate we were going we wouldn't get to all of the malls on our list before they closed. Both of us got candy--chocolate-covered espresso beans and candy fruit slices.

Ross Park Mall: Here I acquired my Christmas ornament for the year, an angel playing a lute. Ross Park was the first of the North Hills malls, as distinct from "Way out there" and "South Hills."

Northway Mall: There's a Borders here. I got a book--Night Train To Memphis, by Elizabeth Peters.

North Hills Village: It was 5 o'clock by this time, so we got food at the Orange Julius--I haven't had an Orange Julius in years--and Ann bought a bottle of wine. They made her fill out a little card that said she showed them identification; we decided later that it must have been because I look under 21, even though she doesn't.

Parkway Center Mall: We're starting to get punchy. We saw a hamster in the pet store that was obsessive-compulsive--he kept running back and forth along the wall of the tank he was in. It was one of the ones that you can reach into to pet the animals, so we picked him up and put him somewhere else. He ran back to where he'd been and started back and forth again. We put things in his way--he climbed over them. It was kinda scary. Ann bought the three central figures for a Nativity scene and I got a tube of dice.

Station Square: This is the only one where we couldn't find anything with the name of the mall on it to take our pictures in front of--it doesn't really matter though because the picture didn't turn out anyway... Ann got a one-cup coffee maker, the kind that sits over the cup.

The Galleria: This place is expensive, OK? They had cool mannequins sitting around in medieval garb--you know you're in the SCA when you look at the dummies and think, "Gee, that would look nice on Kit," or, "I wonder where I can get shoes like that." We also admired the store that sold playhouses for children whose parents have too much money. Ann got a box of Christmas cards for a reasonable price.

South Hills Village: By now it's about 7 o'clock and we're really punchy. We got some food and I bought Ann's birthday card--which I have yet to give her. Oops.

Century III Mall: Finally we arrived at Century III. I'm sorry the pictures from this one didn't survive--they show each of us leaning against a mall directory, looking just as tired as we were by then. It was fun, but we were ready to go home. Ann got The Dark Crystal on laserdisk, and we left.

It was fun. We're thinking about doing it again some time over the summer, when the light will last later. Either that or using a camera that has an adjustable shutter speed...