25 July 2011

Dog days of summer.

I really had been in denial.  I coasted through last week, despite listening to the news reports, and of course the keeper of all knowledge when it comes to this topic, thinking someone would surely sweep in and save the bookstore at the 11th hour. It didn't happen.  
 I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of emotion I felt when G and I went down yesterday to get T after his few hours of work before we gallivanted around Portland.  I mean, I KNEW it was happening. I listened to T tell me how customers had taken on a vulture-like mentality, trying to get the discounts even deeper, despite the fact that Borders doesn't even exist anymore.  (I've been affectionately referring to it as "Liquidators" since Friday).  Yet pulling into the parking lot as I've done so many times...it just really hit me. Every window was decorated with either a Going Out of Business Sign or a Store Closing sign.  Far cry from the signs I'd grown used to seeing, promoting the latest book release or author event.  Then to walk in and see the near empty shelves, the computers dismantled, the cafe MIA.  Borders has turned into, as my dad would say, "a shadow of its former self". 

A friend had prepared me for the yellow 'crime scene' tape that was strewn around the cafe, warning people that it no longer existed. What a crime indeed. And yet, the employees were still bustling around, still trying to help as many people as they could, still maintaining the warm, friendly demeanor that has become a staple to a Borders shopping experience.  I asked T if he noticed the regulars coming in throughout this first liquidation weekend, and while some, he said most were people who may never have stepped foot in the building before, but who were just looking for a deal.   One of his employees even caught a shoplifter, who, when confronted, nonchalantly shrugged and said "You're going out of business anyway."  Classy.

Needless to say, we didn't stay long.  We had a gorgeous day ahead of us and hadn't spent it in Portland for so long.  First stop?  Lunch at Five Guys, which opened on Fore Street not long ago.  Five Guys was a place we had acquainted ourselves with in Arlington, VA.  Unlike the clean, corporate look this one has taken on, we remember the Arlington store to be a dive, with peanut shells littering the floor (they're famous for giving you peanuts while you wait for their most amazing burgers and fries).  But the burgers and fries were just as we remembered.  Ah-mazing.  G quite enjoyed his grilled cheese.  

King for a day
From there we meandered our way through the cobbled streets, stopping here and there, marveling at all that has changed in the city where we spent the first few years of our Maine lives.  Final stop? Tree House Toys on Exchange Street.  We must have spent a good hour in there.  Now that G is vertically mobile, he has great fun exploring all the little nooks and crannies that are just perfectly at his height.  Finally, we could sense that alter ego Major Crankypants was likely to make an appearance very soon. Home we went. Despite barely sleeping in the car, he did not want to nap once at home.  Next best thing? Playing in the pool! 

Suffice to say, he had a blast.

I want to drink out of this red bowl!
Frolicking in the pool definitely made him sleepy. As soon as we got him dried off, changed and up to his room, out like a light.  Love these active summer days.
Where did I put my keys and wallet?

To back track, the earlier part of the weekend was brutally hot.  Well, the whole week had been pretty miserable.  I was used to these days in DC, but Maine? Where were the coastal breezes? Where were the cool nights?  Nowhere to be found.  Saturday was super busy.  We had a dual party to go to--celebrating a 2 year old and a 1 year old. Fortunately it was at the same spot, so while it was terribly hot at the 3pm start, it was fun to see the birthday guy and gal enjoy their guests, games and food!  G and I hung out under a tent in an enclosed space with another friend and her two kiddoes. 

The party was in Harpswell. I'd made a plan with my pal to meet me and head down to Stover's Cove to let the dogs swim, Gabby and her bff Buckley, and let the boys enjoy a cool dip.  Imagine our surprise when we arrive to find a car, Prius no less, stuck in the sand at the very entrance, being heaved out by some Good Samaritans.  After they cleared, and two other cars zoomed their way through, leaving a trail of dusty sand in their wake, my pal started to inch her van through the sandy entrance.  I saw brake lights.  She too was stuck.  Well, this bummed us out, as we now had two very cranky toddlers, two hot panting dogs, and two irritated mama's.  We turned around and instead headed to the old standby fields in our town.  Ah well. The dogs got a quick swim in the river, and the boys got to explore the field. Good times had by all.

This reminds me of an old man with a top hat and cane.

1 comment:

  1. I should have warned you about the beach, but didn't think of it. There was a sign posted that said 4 wheel drive only, but I didn't see it the last time we were there. We have AWD and just gun it through there, but I've seen others get stuck.