Yes, in order to go shopping at Target we must make it a full-blown outing. The nearest store is 55 minutes away without traffic.
Despite being a sizable community (we’re not out in the boonies, for crying out loud!) we have very few large-scale retailers here in town. No Target, no Wal-Mart, no Sam’s Club within a 50 mile radius. Thankfully, we do have a Costco just over the freeway and we recently added a Ross Dress For Less to the list which made people salivate the moment rumors of its opening began to spread. We’re that desperate for accessible value.
Back to our Saturday outing. We were all in need of some article of clothing or another, so we decided to spend one of our precious 3-day weekend holiday days and make the trek down to Camarillo. Not only does this town have a Target but it is also home to a large outlet mall with a plethora of stores. And guess who was having a 50% off Fourth of July sale? Everyone! Our timing could not have been more perfect.
Except for the fact that all other shoppers had the same timing. It was pretty packed at the malls and at Target. Surprisingly, though, all four kids did well. Warren and Maddie enjoyed hiding in the clothing racks and Jake and Joe tried to fend off the many adoring onlookers who constantly stopped to tell them how cute they were in their red jogging stroller and coordinating outfits. Twins get A LOT of attention, in case you didn’t know.
Plus we let the big kids run amok in the large fountain since it was a particularly warm day.
We ate our Panera Bread lunch by the water and soaked in the July sunshine.
They even got a chance to ride the $.50 kiddie helicopter and Snoopy doghouse coin-op machines. Happiness is a gently rocking metal seat.
We walked away from the stores with almost everything on our list. A successful shopping day! We patted ourselves on the back that we could accomplish our goal and still drive home during nap time. We pictured at least 3 sleeping children in the back of the car.
Instead we hit major traffic the entire way home. And then the melt-downs began. Joey was screaming from the middle seat while Maddie asked incessantly for a drink of milk. When she wasn’t asking, “Can I like some milk, please?” she was requesting the same for food over and over and over again. We knew after 45 minutes of driving and 25 more miles to go that we would need to stop for dinner.
When we pulled up to The Grill at Padaro we realized that in the 5 minutes we had made the decision to stop Maddie had fallen asleep and the babies were on the verge. Only Warren–the only child we didn’t want to nap– had crashed despite the ruckus.
No matter. We woke up the crew and dragged them out to enjoy a dinner at one of the best spots in Carpinteria. Outside dining and a sandpit playground in the middle of the venue. What more could a tired family ask for?
It was the perfect end to a long outing.