I’m sure we’ve all had special days that we’ve planned months in advance, down to the very last detail, eagerly awaiting, only to have the day fail to live up to our expectations. Birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, you name it. I’ve certainly been there, and it sucks. In reality, sometimes the very best days cannot be planned. Today was one of those days.
My friend Anna and I both had the day off work and were greatly in need of “me” time. So, we dropped off our little ones at their respective daycares and headed for a nearby town, about 45 minutes away, with vague plans of grabbing lunch and checking out a thrift store for funky buttons. We were looking forward to the day, but in kind of a laid-back, non-committal way.
We hit up the thrift store first, and we were pleasantly suprised. We sat down on the floor and sorted through bin after bin of buttons. Lots of cute and vintage finds to be had, and we walked away with several pounds of buttons for only $6 each!
We got back in the car, stomachs rumbling, in search of a place to eat. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I spot a small and unassuming sign on the side of the road announcing: “Sample Shoe Sale Ahead!” I quickly swerved into the far right lane, so as not to miss the turnoff, cutting off another car in the process. I offered a friendly “thank-you” wave, and all was well. As we followed the signs, I could feel my heart starting to race. Fireworks went off in my head, and I can’t be sure, but I may have heard angels singing softly in my ear….okay maybe not, but it was a magical moment.
As we parked the car, and walked up to the hotel where the sale was being held, I sternly told myself out loud “Don’t get your hopes up.” I prepared myself for dissapointment, speculating that the shoes were probably hideous, out of style, and either size 5 or size 11. Well, when we walked into the room, we couldn’t have been more pleased. Tables and tables of neatly organized, high-end European leather shoes, in dozens of fabulous, fashionable colours and styles. My eyes glazed over, and it’s possible that I may have been drooling a bit. The bulk of the shoes were size 7 (hence sample sale), but still many styles to choose from in a range of sizes.
Decisions, decisions. It was tough, but we finally settled on a few pairs each. Three pairs for Anna and two for me. But wait, at the last minute, the salesman (and my new BFF) throws in my third pair for FREE, thus relieving the great angst I suffered in trying to narrow it down to two pairs. I even managed to barter on the already rock-bottom prices, despite the saleswoman’s urging that “we don’t do that.” End result, I scored close to $500 worth of shoes for $100. Booyah! Clearly, the shopping gods were watching over us today.
Bags in hand, we headed to a nearby resort and spa for lunch. Fabulous food and super reasonably priced. I’ve honestly spent more for lunch in mall food courts! We topped off the day by stopping off at a local market, where we picked up some cheap art supplies.
Driving home, I remarked to Anna, “You know, we really couldn’t have planned a more perfect day if we tried,” and she agreed.
But alas, all good things come to an end. I came home to an uncharacteristically grumpy toddler. Normally a nap-loving, bed-time requesting delight of a girl, she needed not one, not two, but three visits from mom to help her settle in for the night. Our new puppy Patrick was jumping, nipping, peeing, and digging in the plants. Our neurotic 8 year-old dog senses things aren’t quite right (hubby is out of town for the weekend). So, he barks his awful Stanley bark MUCH more than usual. It truly sounds like the devil himself is trapped in the body of a 20lb terrier and trying to escape. I’m exhausted. The house is not up to my OCD standards. But, I had a wonderful day, and I will tune out the chaos by admiring my shoes.