Monday, December 04, 2006

Waylaid in the Windy City

Installment #2

We got the word that a shuttle bus was leaving for a great shopping mall at 6 pm.

"Hooray!", I thought, "Here's my chance to find The Ultimate Duffel Bag!"

That's how my traveling companions and I found ourselves at The Dumbest Mall in the World.

How dumb? We are in Chicago. It's 5 degrees below zero here. Lake Fred (Don't ask...) has already frozen over...

And this Mall is OUTSIDE.

It's not a strip mall, mind you. It's a full sized, "We've got a Macy's, a Nordstrom's, We've got escalators and everything" kind of mall. But it is also a "We've got no roof on our hallways," kind of mall.

You come walking out of The Disney Store and the wind just sort of whips you down to The Gap.

Here's an actual excerpt from their
web site...

Oak Brook Center:
Located just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, Oakbrook Center is one of the most prestigious and striking(1) outdoor shopping destinations in the Chicago area. In fact, it's the largest open-air premier shopping center in the country (2)! Always on the cutting edge of fashion(3), Oakbrook Center was voted the #1 shopping destination by Illinois shoppers(4). And no wonder. With six major department stores and over 160 upscale shops and restaurants set amidst lush gardens and flowing fountains(5) it's a spectacular(6) outdoor shopping experience.

(1.) Cold and Depressing
(2.) Think "Mall of America" conceived by Idiots.
(3.) Parkas & Steeger Mukluks
(4.) Bears Fans...See #2
(5.) Nope...Never seen 'em...covered in snow
(6.) Skull-Crunchingly Cold

Wasn't there someone, somewhere in the design phase of this thing who had the intelligence or courage to say, "Hey, wait a minute...This is Stupid!"?

On top of that, we simply couldn't find a Duffel Bag under $50.

We looked everywhere. We braved snow drifts, frozen earlobes and all those snotty AE teen workers who regard you like a special kind of toe fungus whenever you enter their store.

We finally found a nice "Land's End" model at Sears for $49. I justified the purchase by telling myself I could use it for Paintball Gear. (Or the Kids could take it on a choir trip, Dear...really.) Besides, I used my Sears card, so as long as I keep changing my address, I'll never have to pay for it.

After a while, the "Upscale" sales clerks began to grow weary of us running into their fancy stores just to stamp feeling back into our toes and shake icicles out of our noses. "Can I help you?" "No, just shivering..." Clearly, it was time to leave.

So we ate a Horrible Meal at Michael Scott's Favorite Pizza Place and grabbed the Shuttle back to the Lodge.

The 1st thing I did when we returned was cancel my Wednesday Night excursion to Downtown Chicago.

Rumor has it it's all outdoors.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies to Brent and Steph. We often find ourselves at dismal locals, but they shouldn't have to be guilty by association!
The Blonde

5:19 AM  

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