Well At Least We Did Get To See The PINK Store!
- January 19, 2017
- Theresa Bertuzzi
You can’t take a trip to Florida without hitting the outlet malls. My niece and daughter wanted to get to the PINK store while we were in Florida so my sister in law, Cindy, and I packed them into the car one evening and headed out while Danny and the uncles took the boys mini putting. I punched in the address for the outlet mall that had a PINK store in the GPS and it took us right past the convenient, close outlet mall and to one much further away. Traffic was horrible and what should have been a fifteen minute drive soon turned into a 45 minute drive. When we got to the mall I was thinking “Hmmmm, this looks a little different than the last time I was here.” It turns out that they had turned the mall into a showcase of small artsy shops. I felt horrible; the girls would be so disappointed as there was no way that there was going to be any PINK store in here. We did see a lovely shop dedicated to selling only Beef Jerky and stopped into the outdoor shop to stare wide mouthed at the huge selection of guns, gun accessories, and red neck signage that we would definitely not find at home. It was kind of interesting how you can pick up a rifle, a sign that says “Warning No Trespassers, Violators will be shot, Survivors will be shot again!” and a fashionable purse all in the same aisle. There was also an area where you could recharge your cell phone by plugging it into a charger and then pedaling a bicycle so that you charged it using your own energy. That was pretty cool although it is highly unlikely that I would ever need to make a call badly enough that I would pedal my butt off for a half an hour in order to charge my phone.
We were getting ready to pack up the disappointed girls to head back to the other outlet mall when they spotted some of those huge fluffy animals that you can rent and ride around the mall. Score! They could not have been happier than when we agreed to pay for them to ride around for fifteen minutes and it was the perfect distraction to take their minds off of the disappointment of not getting to shop for clothes. On they hopped onto a giant giraffe and dog and zipped off around the mall while we ran behind them making sure that they didn’t knock over or break any of the pottery or glass wear that were in stands all around the mall. Who puts these animals in a crafter’s mall that is filled with pottery??? As we were running beside them I heard Cindy start to laugh and I looked over amazed to see this older, Latino lady zipping by on a huge bull while texting on her cell phone. It was absolutely hilarious and I have never wished so badly for a piece of red cloth so that I could run out and wave it in front of her. She so looked like the type of person that would have played along and headed right for it. Why could my coat not have been red??? Also, why was running after my daughter when I could have been riding a giant bull after her myself for only 10 bucks? Cindy and I were relieved when the fifteen minutes were almost up and Cindy was desperately trying to round the girls up so that they could get the animals back before they ran out of juice when my niece reported that her Giraffe was now weaving to the side and the wheel was stuck. Our very own little negotiators headed over to one of the drop off points to report the broken wheel. They jumped onto the dog together and smiled so sweetly at the man who was fixing it that, much to our horror, he wound up the time on their dog and let them start all over again. I swear he wound it up even more than that as I am sure we were chasing after them for about 45 minutes when it was all said and done.
By the time we got the girls’ out of the mall everything was shutting down, Cindy was feeling terrible as she had already been taken down by the plague that had decided to join us all on our vacation and it was time to get home as we were heading back to Universal the next morning. When we stepped out of the mall the girls suddenly remembered “hey, where was the PINK store???” I sheepishly explained that I had messed up and the mall had been changed into this new store. They girls were so disappointed but we were just too tired to head back to the other mall, which would have been closing by this point anyway. Then I looked across the parking lot and across the street in the distance I could see the real outlet mall with a huge, shining “PINK” sign. Crap! We were at the wrong mall the whole time and right across the street from the PINK store. I poked Cindy and cautiously pointed in the direction of the stores and she broke into hysterical laughter. The girls wandered over to ask what we were laughing at and we both quickly responded “nothing!!!!” Not that that didn’t seem suspicious at all but there was no point pointing it out to them at this point since the stores were already closed and this would just be adding insult to injury at this point. We distracted the girls as we got them into the car and I turned the opposite way from the stores as we left the mall. This was a big mistake as this one turn, not only lead us onto a highway that looped right by the PINK store but also lead us into an area that got the GPS so mixed up that we would not find our way home for well over an hour.
As our car flew by the PINK store the girls pressed their little faces up against the window and started shouting “Hey!!! We found the PINK store, turn the car, turn the car!!!!” To which I yelled “Where????” There really was no way to get off of this highway that we had found ourselves on. With no turn offs and no exits in sight we were now at the mercy of the GPS which appeared to be taking us in the opposite direction of where we needed to be. Do you like how I blame the GPS and not myself? LOL Cindy and I tried not to show our growing concern to the already disappointed and tired girls who were chattering in the back seat but those two are pretty smart cookies and soon began questioning “hey, where are we?” “Well….” I said, suddenly seeing a road sign, “looks like we are on our way to MIAMI!!!!” Yup, my fears were confirmed and we were heading right for the toll booth leading us on to the highway that headed to Miami. Cindy didn’t miss a beat yelling back to the girls to ask them if they brought their bathing suits and then blasting Will Smith’s “Miami” on her IPhone while the two of us danced along like we were rocking it out in the club. The girls did find this somewhat funny although pretty embarrassing and lame at the same time. My niece then suddenly yelled in a loud voice “oh my god!!!! What if we can’t get back to Canada before Trump takes over???? We are going to get walled in and never get home!!!!” I almost spit my drink across the car, this kid kills me!!!
After driving in circles for what seemed like a REALLY long time we finally got headed in the right direction again. We knew that we were in the right direction because we passed the PINK store again only this time it was on our right hand side of the car instead of the left and the girls pressed their faces up against the opposite window this time while they chanted “turn the car, turn the car!!!!” We zipped on by, much to their horror and disbelief as we explained that the store was closed. By now it was absolutely pouring outside and I figured this shopping trip could not have gotten any worse when it happened. A big spider slowly crawled its way across the windshield right into my line of vision. I spent a few seconds trying to calm down and convince myself that the spider was in fact on the outside of the car when the light shone right on the bugger and I swear its eyes all glared at me like it was going to jump at any second. That sucker was right on the inside of the windshield just a foot from my face. I slowly pointed out the spider to Cindy who quickly came to my rescue. She bundled up a tissue and went to grab the spider before it hopped on my face. Unfortunately she slipped and sent the spider flying right onto my hand!!! Aghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I really did scream just like that as the big furry thing ran up my arm and then disappeared somewhere into the car. Great, now we had a spider on the loose somewhere in the car and the only thing worse than a spider you can see is one that you know is there somewhere lurking in the dark but you can’t see it and have no idea when it is going to come back after you. Never did see it again so I can only assume that it hung out in our car until we got back home to Canada where it surely was frozen to death. By the time we got home we were in hysterics laughing about our adventure and agreed that the only way it would have been funnier is if the lady riding the bull would have come zipping by us on the highway. I do apologize to my daughter and niece who, in the end, were amazing sports about not getting to the PINK store but they almost did get to go to Miami!