Day 53, Year 11: Shopping Our Way to Nyack
Date: Monday, December 14, 2015
Weather: Foggy All Day, High in the 60’s F
Location: At Home with Ed and Lynne Kirwin, Nyack, NY

Today we said our farewells to Heather, Jed, Sam, Jonah, and Oliver. We had a great week with the boys and are sure going to miss seeing them over the holidays. After the farewells, we got in the car and started the drive to Nyack, New York to visit with good friends Ed and Lynne Kirwin. We did, however, make a few stops along the way to look for specific items for Christmas gifts that we can only afford to buy at outlet prices. If we ordered these small things online, they would cost twice as much. But our first stop ended up being a very expensive wild goose chase. The only Columbia Sportswear Outlet we could find was at the Tanger Outlet at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashuntucket, Connecticut. This was nine miles off the highway, but we decided to give it a try. When we finally got to the outlet store, we found it to be very small with nothing that we wanted. So it was back in the car to drive the nine miles back to Interstate 95. I had to take a country road and then I 395 back to 95. When I was switching from 395 to 95, I saw a police car lurking on the shoulder that pulled out right behind me. Then the lights and siren went off. I was going 74 in a 50 mile per hour section of the highway. I had no idea the speed limit had changed, but there was no denying that I was going 74. The state policeman “gave me a break” by only recording my speed at 60 miles per hour, but still the fine was $157. I guess that will be my Christmas present for this year! Upset as I was, the show must go on. So we traveled to the next outlet mall on our list. It was located just off the exit and the stop was a little more successful. The last stop was at IKEA in New Haven to buy Christmas wrapping paper. They usually have beautiful paper, but not this year. It was just not a great Christmas shopping day. But the day got decidedly better once we arrived at Ed and Lynne’s in Nyack. We had a nice visit before dinner, and while we were talking, Lynne prepared a fabulous dinner of wild-caught King salmon, Brussels sprouts, white and orange sweet potatoes, and a salad loaded with goodies. We continued to catch up on happenings as the evening progressed and are now headed to bed. We need to hit the road early in the morning as we have an eight to nine hour drive tomorrow and Ed and Lynne have to trek into New York City to meet with Ed’s oncologist. Onward we go to southern West Virginia to do a little family history research . . . and no Christmas shopping.