...this week, Carole's asked us to share our ten favorite stores...the "real" brick and mortar ones. A few years back I'm sure this would've been an easy list for me (and a few of my choices come from more years ago than that), but lately - and mostly since this little guy arrived...and I could choose between spending an hour reading to him over an hour (or more) out in my car... well, yeah, you know what I chose!
There are still some things I prefer to buy in person - yarn being first and foremost on that list, followed by groceries, antiques, jewelry...and a few more. Here's my list. A few of these stores do sell online, but a visit in person is still the best.
1. Cast-on Cottage. My LYS, and a truly top-tier one. Along with the next entry on my list, these two stores account for nearly all of my regular shopping.
2. Costco. We've had a membership for years, but for the first few of those years, I refused to go. I have no idea why now... and since it's about five miles from home, this is a regular stop.
3. Whole Foods. Newly opened and also five miles from home.
4. Target. I always wonder how I can possibly spend $100 (or more) every time I go in. Even if the only thing on my list is A birthday card and candles.
5. Sundog Books. The best independent bookstore on the Gulf coast; it's in Seaside, Florida. For the ten or so years my sister and I vacationed there with our kids, a trip to this shop was always a highlight. We'd plan it for mid-week...just as we finished the first few books we'd brought and the ones we had left didn't seem quite so appealing. There was a record shop upstairs that was a big hit with the older girls...once they got older.
6. Zoo Gallery. Another beach favorite, located in Grayton Beach, Florida (about 3 miles west of Seaside). When the girls were young we loved the t-shirts. Every summer there was a new one (at one point, I think Sara had six in her wardrobe). And as the girls got older, we discovered Sorreli earrings (I still have a pretty great collection) and the wonderful artwork and stories of Brian Andreas. (sadly, I haven't visited either of these stores in at least five years...I'm not even sure they're still in business).
7. Queen of Hearts. This is an antique mall (the kind where different vendors rent space) with a couple of locations in the northern Atlanta suburbs. One is just past Costco (so maybe six miles from home). We found a few things for our new home there (lamps and tables mostly) and I added a few blue and white and depression glass pieces the last time I visited. I was hoping to get there last month with my folks, but we ran out of time.
8. Nordstrom. three things. Shoes. Bobbi Brown. Jo Malone. (ok maybe four - they have a great no-questions-asked returns policy...and five - someone playing a grand piano). There are two locations in Atlanta and one is just about 15 miles away. Nothing beats a really nice department store. in person. How can you try on perfume otherwise?
9. Brown & Company. the local jeweler. for years, their only location was in Roswell (the town where we used to live). Personal, attentive service. My favorite gifts from Marc have been wrapped in their gold boxes. and when I visit occasionally to get pieces cleaned, they recognize me. and Holly!
10. Penzey's. I first met this company online about 20 years ago...and had the pleasure of visiting a real store this past summer in Madison. Fresh spices, great customer service...and like perfume, it's best to buy what you can smell, right?
I'm curious to see what shops y'all love... I may not frequent any of these as much as I used to, but I do believe in small businesses...and know that there are some things better purchased in person!
p.s. photo credit to Katie. That's me and Charlie from this afternoon. My first time reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I have to say...I like the book even better than either movie (and that's saying a LOT!)