As we head north to the Canadian border madly tallying up receipts its always a tad alarming to be faced with how much money we spent. And then the justifying begins, "It was such a good deal, marked down from $129 to $29, I mean they were practically giving it away"....... "She really needed new jeans"...... "His PJ's were up to his knees"...... and on we go. Much of this is true (although in truth Davids PJ's were just above his ankles) and the clothes will all be used and they were all good deals and we didn't stray too far off the list I made before we left (I find this helps stop too many impulsive buys). But we did do more shopping for gifts...... the books are cheaper in the USA no question and we came back with several.
I LOVE that my family (kids to Grandparents (10 points if you knew my Mom is a librarian by training)) think 2 hours in a bookstore is a treat... ok.... the Elliot Bay Bookstore (which has relocated from Pioneer Square to 10th Ave on Capitol Hill) is a treat! They wandered around, browsing happily, reading several of the reviews the staff write up which are interesting and useful, and then curled up in chairs to chat and watch other book lovers exclaim over their finds. The coffee/tea/hot chocolate in the bookstore cafe was a fitting end to a lovely time in the warm, wooden bookshelf filled morning (I think they make the bookshelves in the back - they are all a bit off kilter). There will be a good many books under the tree in this house this Christmas and through them we will travel the globe and the to the depths of our hearts and minds..... a book is a powerful thing!
And then the grocery shopping on the way home in Bellingham. 2.2lbs of Tilamook cheese for $3.99 - incredible!!! and several interesting goodies at Trader Joes like Applewood Smoked Bacon ($3.49) and Honey Goat Cheese logs ($3.99) and a gallon of milk ($2.49).
And to top it off a Border Guard who could sense that we were honest, decent people and waved us through with our $6.99 Yellow Tail Shiraz - Yahooo.
So there are bargains down south for sure....... but the best deal........ a family get away with memories that will last forever (a little Christmas schmaltz for ya!).