Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

Originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees

Well today is the last day of November and I’m still at home in Kentucky. Christina and Liam left to head back to Louisville on Wednesday afternoon, so I have been home alone with the cat, while Don is at work. I have spent quality time this week cooking, reading and shopping for the Holidays.

I have a rental car for the week, while Don’s car is in the autobody shop being repaired as a result of hitting  a deer on the way to work last week. The deer sustained mimimal damage while the CR-V sustained $6000 in damage…..sorry honey!

So today I drove to Lexington alone to do some more shopping and have lunch. I spent most of the morning in Joseph Beth Booksellers, one of my  favorite stores, then I perused Wild Oats and purchased some items for the kitchen, and some French Fleur de Sel Caramel’s….yummy!

It is difficult to imagine that Christmas is right around the corner, because the weather here has been great this week, in the 40’s-50’s instead of the 20’s in Maine. I believe we had a snowstorm yesterday that left us with a couple inches of snow. The holidays will be here soon and I wish that I was creative enough to handmake gifts for everyone on my list, but instead I’m at the retail shops like everyone else. One observation today at the Mall, was that almost every woman I saw shopping was carrying around a Coach purse……and looking to purchase other ones…..I saw one today that sells for $800, I guess I will stick to my Vera Bradley bag……hehehe!   Well off to the kitchen…Ciao!

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A Happy Thanksgiving to all today. This photo was taken last fall while visiting a local Shaker Village. I wonder if is this bird is still around today? Perhaps a Presidential pardon? No turkey for me today….just waiting for the stores to open at 4am tomorrow for Holiday shopping. On Saturday I am off to Kentucky for a week. I’ll be blogging from my other home. 🙂

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November days

Well the month of November is into it’s second week already so that makes Christmas around 6 weeks away! Yikes! The beautiful colors of fall are now past and time stand still till spring here in Maine. Leaves crunch underfoot and the air smells heavy of snow. Possibly tonight the weather forecasts indicates that we can receive a few inches. I’m not ready for that. I do enjoy fall, however winter will be right around the corner. Cold winds blow in the evening, rustling leaves around the yard, and frost on the pumpkin every morning indicate that winter has not forgotten us.

I have had to prepare my mother’s house for winter this year. As her injury has prevented her from doing any sort of work. Putting lawn items away, raking some leaves, hauling trash, taking out the snow shovels and de-icer. As well as taking care of her inside her home. Laundry, washing dishes, preparing meals, vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner as well. Our tradition for the last 27 years has been to head out early for the Day-after-Thanksgiving madness at 4am in the morning. Many a year, have we traveled in snowstorms to brave the long lines and our favorite stores. This year I am a bit worried as to how we will take on such a dramatic feat. I have secured the use of a wheelchair, and of course her walker, and temporary handicapped placard for the car, as a means of getting her closer to the doors when they open. Insanity at it’s best….when people ask us “why?”, well it is easy to answer, as it is “always what we do the day after Thanksgiving.” It has become a mother-daughter tradition. Even after having to reschedule my visit to Kentucky, I waited till the day after the day after Thanksgiving before I leave. So when I arrive in Kentucky an my dear hubby picks me up at the airport, I can continue the shopping mode with him! 😀

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Has anyone seen this purse?

Pink Purse

If you have seen this purse please let me know. I am very disappointed. I wanted this purse. I didn’t get it. Now I’m furious.   😦

It was on Ebay and I bid on it. The last few seconds someone else bid higher than me by .50 freakin’ cents and they won it. I’d love to have it in my possession.

So if you if you see it around, please me know. A reward is offered.
PS. (grumble, grumble) This purse should have been mine!

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A deluge of Rain…

Here we are are in our usual fall weather pattern…..rain. It is pouring right now and supposed to last for the next 48 hours….after all this isn’t London. It is not supposed ot rain on the weekend! What’s wrong with this picture.

It is black, cold, and very dreary outside. I have plans for a glorious weekend, but perhaps I’ll have to change them to include shopping. Therapeutic shopping will cure what ails me. I AM in the market for a new fall purse… 😉

I would definitely consider myself a purse snob, or purse whore, whichever is more politically correct these days. After all if Al Gore can will a Nobel Peace Prize, than I can buy a new purse….but the rate the weather is going perhaps, I should just design an Arc.


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Theraputic Shopping….

Ok, Ok, is there really such a thing?

Well for those of you that know me a new purse or pair of shoes will always cure what ails me…hehehehe. 🙂 So I had a meeting to attend today…what can I say. I walked into my favorite shoe store, a little on the vulnerable side and I came out with these!


Hehehehe, perhaps I need to go home and now and bury my head! Ciao y’all… 🙂


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Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am an extreme shopper. Always the first in line for the day after Thanksgiving shopping, so when I travel shopping is often at the top of list of “things to do.” Italy is no exception, in fact I consider it as a shopping destination.

Shopping can be considered an art. To me I have fined tuned it, into a skill that I am happy to expound upon. On our recent trip to Italy , I was compelled to visit the San Lorenzo Market and the Mercato Centrale again. Shopping at it’s finest. For those with a culinary appetite, appetite’s can be whetted at Florence’s famous Mercato Centrale in the San Lorenzo district. The inside market contains food stalls, as well as meat markets, seafood, flowers, frest fruit and veggies, cheese and other meat products. In another section, finds include spices, dried fruit, pasta both fresh and dried, coffee and teas. I love to stroll through these stalls with an open mind, afterall strange items are often found here.

Outside the Central market one can enjoy the sights and sounds of beautiful San Lorenzo’s marketplace. Located on both sides of the Mercato Centrale, this market offers extreme shopping. Clothing, purses, shoes, souvenirs, leather wallets and belts, jewelry and numerous other momentos from travel. What I love about this place is the bargains, one can find by haggling for price reduction. I find it to be one my travel delights. I have had the opportunity to shop like this in other locations in the world such as the Caribbean countries, but non compare to the markets in Italy. Most shop vendors are extremely proud of the wares and most are willing to negotiate the price down. Afterall I do consider myself a professional shopper and with that said, wouldn’t even a bad day of shopping be better than a great day at work? 🙂

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Monday June 18th, Day 9 of our 2007 Italian Adventure!

Well an early morning wake up call had us up and about at 6 am. Another road trip was scheduled for the day in the Jag. Our plans were to go to the coast and then drive back to Florence. Our travels took us to Pisa, for photos and and another view of the Tower and the Duomo. Along the way, we stopped for some ciccolatte brioches and water for the trip. Pisa was crazy…people and tour buses coming from every direction! This was the first time we had ever driven in Pisa and with the assistance from “Scanducci”, our plans went off without a hitch!

Soon we left the city of Pisa for the Mare…….we headed out to the Marina di Pisa. What a beautiful drive along the coast and the traffic was great! We found a place to park along the main street and took a stroll down on the beach. The sun was very hot and the sea was spectacular…a very green-blue color. Reflections danced across the surface. People swam and boats sailed on the horizon. We were soon hungry for lunch so we made our way into the Ristorante di Cliff. A great spot for lunch, we opted to sit inside the air conditioned rooms, instead of outside, which is something we rarely do, but the sun was intensely hot today.

I opted for spaghetti with seafood and fritto with calamari and shrimps. Don had spaghetti bolognese and the fastest wood fired pizza I have ever seen cooked right in front of our eyes! The pizza oven was not quite fired up and ready for the day, when the ristorante opened for business that day. So the baker fired it up and waited for some coals, while we enjoyed four first course and my house bianco frizzante. He prepared Don’s pizza in front of our eyes, then placed it in the hot coal filled furnace. Within 4 minutes the pizza was cooked to perfection. After lunch we enjoyed more scenery as we headed south to Livorno.


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As we headed south along the coast we admired the scenery and beaches and longed for more time to spend near the sea! Perhaps next year….. Our time in Italy is running out on us, so now my thoughts of sadness start to enter my mind. Soon we will be on our way home to the States and my travel addiction will begin again. What is a travel girl to do?

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After returning to Florence via the scenic route we decided to on a bit of SHOPPING Therapy! To cure my heartache. So off to San Lorenzo market we headed. As we headed through the streets thoughs of purses ran through my head! What size, what color, what texture, what shape? Whatever! I love a good bargain, in fact my husband would probably refer to me as the “Haggling Queen”. I’ll give them a run for their money. I walk up, pick out an item, being careful not to show too much excitement. Ask the price, then say ahhhhh, I’m not sure….then slowly start to walk away, brings the attention back to me for another round of price dealing. I have it down to a science now.

Don purchased some soccer shirts for Christina, Ron, Liam, and Aaron, then retired to the steps of San Lorenzo Church. I, on the other hand shopped for scarves, jewelry, calenders, purses, more soccer shirts, and anything else that came to mind. I made a big find when it came to jewelry, earrings and necklaces for gifts! I came away with a great orange purse for ME! We were exhausted from shopping so we stopped for a gelato on the way back to our hotel. I had my cocco & nutella combination, and Don has his usual concoction. Real good gelato, in fact some of the best in Florence nearby the San Lorenzo market.

We finally made it back to our room and dropped our bags in exhaustion…..afterall shopping does wear one out! hehehhehe 🙂 After a relatively short siesta we decided to go back to the Golden View Open Bar for dinner again. We were greeted at the door by a familiar face and seated with a prosecco on the house. I perused the menu and decided upon a delicious caprese salad with bread and lots of EVOO once more and a Filetto di Manzo. While Don decided on his penne bolognese and Filetto di Manzo. The steak was cooked superbly. Very tender, moist and flavorful. Accompanied by spicy arugula….great! I opted for another 1/4 liter of house bianco to wash things down.

We strolled over to the Ponte Vecchio to watch the festivities of the evening and to take some more photos of the bridge at night. The ponte Vecchio is magical, especially at night! Filled with people, music and life! Florence is always difficult to leave, and this time was no exception, we alwasy savor our “lasts” while in this city. Last meals, last gelatos, last photos, last walk…….etc. For sadness had started to overwhelm me. Thinking about packing for home and the long flight. To be continued….


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Well, Memorial Day 2007 is now a memory….not even a good one. If anything could go wrong this weekend it did. Friday night was fine…after work I went to purchase my fishing license…I had plans to do some brook fishing this weekend…it didn’t happen though. On Saturday afternoon we found out that my elderly Uncle Larry had fallen the night before and broke his hip and laid on the floor all night until the mailman found him on Saturday morning. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital for observation to see if they would be able to operate to repair his hip. Well at 95 years old and lots of medical complications they decided yesterday morning to take him into the OR and do the repair. Two hours later he came through with flying colors….well as flying as they can be at 95! I drove my mom to the hospital and we were there in the ICU unit when he woke up from his sedation…he was given a spinal for the surgery. So far so good no complications yet. I will keep him in my prayers. So needless to say NO fishin’ this weekend.

Our travel to Italy will soon be upon us….in 11 days to be exact. My anticipation has now peaked…..just you think it couldn’t get any higher did you? Last night I started going through my prepacking list to make sure I had everything….I’m close to be set with supplies for our travels. Since we are not having our travel guests with us, I’ve had to make a few changes to our itinerary. Don and I will meet in Boston and then fly to Milan and then to Florence together, then take a cab to our hotel in Florence. Since we have had so many problems with our Alitalia reservations we plan to be at the ticket counter when they open in Boston. I’m dreading this….but I’ll keep an open mind and stay positive! 🙂

We getting so excited….only 10 more sleeps before our trip! I did have a chance to purchase yet …another pair of shoes for my journey….on the clearance rack at The Grasshopper Shop. A pair of Clark’s Privos only mine are tomato red! Good for maneuvering the cobblestone streets of Italy!


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So wait a minute…I guess I can honestly say that I am hooked on the Travel Channel as well as The Food Network….my evenings are focused on detailed reviews of the newest episodes of these channels. Last night was no exception. I watched Shenaz of Culture Shock on the Travel Channel and her adventures in India…..interesting to say the least, but I think this will prove to be interesting weekly event. Although India would be an interesting place to visit I’d stay away from the Church of the Holy Rats and the Monkey ruins.

Another edition of Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods followed after Culture Shock. Andrew once again out does himself on consuming intestines, testicles, chicken parts, poisonous fugu fish, bats and the smelliest fruit in the world, all from Asia. Is there anything this guy won’t eat? No wait…don’t tell me !

On a lighter note, I’m in the market for a new spring purse…I wanted to purchase one from Brighton’s when I was in Louisville last month, but I didn’t have the heart too. So instead I found this one on the web….let me know what you think?


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