Yesterday was a day that I look forward to each year. Friends make the trip from my old town...to go shopping and out to lunch. Yesterday it was just the three of us. We missed the ones who couldn't make it.....I thought of one special friend when I stood in front of the candy counter. She and I would have shared a lemon or strawberry truffle or two :)
We always go to the same little town just down the river. It's the town where Joe and I go to swim. Oregon, Illinois. This little town has the most wonderful gift shop along with a nursery. It's called Merlin's. On one side of the road is a gift shop/greenhouse and just across the way is their shop called The Other Side...a wonderful boutique. We went to the boutique first. Entering the door your senses start tingling. Samples of wonderful coffees and chai teas waft through the air. We were offered a cup of our choice and hooray...they had decaf....delicious. We browsed and browsed. I found the sweetest gift for our new great granddaughter....a musical mother goose who reads nursery rhymes all in pink and white. Annah is the first one I bought for this year. I love to buy little girl things. Then we were on to some things for the big girls.
I did a good amount of my birthday and Christmas shopping here. The packages were all gift wrapped free of charge...and you should see the gift wrap. I wanted to have the mother goose out, so that Joe could see her...so when I got home, I found tissue, cellophane, and ribbons in the bag with her, so I could wrap her at home. These little hometown stores mark things down so drastically...to keep their merchandise fresh and new and the services they give are outstanding. I bought one item for $5 and it was wrapped like it was $500.
The two stores were loaded with Christmas, men's unique gifts, baby's, kitchen items, gourmet foods, and a wonderful green house full of blooming plants of every kind. Half of the greenhouse room was full of tables of fall items at 50% off.
We were getting weary of shopping and decided to go to Conover Square...an old piano factory with lots of antique shops. This place has changed a bit as the antiques were few and far between. They have been replaced with resale shops. We went in a couple of these and enjoyed looking at all the old things that people have discarded. Everything was clean and displayed as nicely as they could. There was a favorite shop that had some antiques and country style furniture and accessories. I found this building to be very dark and I had a difficult time really looking at things.
We had lunch at the little coffee and chocolate shop in Conover Square. Sandwiches and hot soups are very popular there. The sandwiches were served in baskets...deli style. We each had something different....one had egg salad, one chicken salad, and one had the tuna. The 1/2 sandwiches were huge and had to be eaten with a fork. A basket full of food....chips and fruit could be purchased too. The soups here are delicious and homemade. Yesterday they had turkey noodle, cauliflower cheddar and bean soup. I had the bean soup that was full of vegetables. Very different than mine. Carrots, green beans, onions, ham and delicious beans. Yum! I wanted to treat them to a chocolate truffle (the shop's speciality) but had no takers. Party poopers!! My mouth kept watering for a sweet after lunch, but I went along with my friends and decided not to have one either. (Wish I did!)
We stopped at a couple other little shops and then headed home. I was really tired and home looked so good. As we said our good byes, we reminded each other about the Christmas brunch next month. I love getting together with women like my friends. We don't do it often...maybe twice a year, but that only makes our time together more precious. Women friends are the best!