Sunday, 12 June 2011

Dan goes international.

So a couple of weeks ago Mister and I headed down south for a quick weekend get away. Grand Forks, North Dakota might not sound like or look like much, but it's less than two hours away and satisfied our need to shop and gave me an excuse to drag Mister around as many stores as I could. That and I finally got to fulfill my American dream. That's right. I went to an IHOP for the first time...

All joking aside, Grand Forks actually has some surprisingly good shopping...there are gazillions of deals to be had.  It basically got the point where I had to spot myself from looking around or from going into certain shops....I easily could have maxed out my Mastercard at Kmart of all places. Here are some highlights from our adventure -

The Kmart store was a bit of a dive (Mister was not impressed....), but if you dug around they had some awesome pieces that aren't available at home. I loved the Country Living collection of products which are inspired by pieces seen in the magazine. Everything was stupidly cheap and the quality was surprisingly decent. I was very impressed by the mix and match pieces of furniture on offer. It's ready to assemble, so it's not exactly the same as the heirloom pieces that you see in the magazine, but for a hundred bucks the writing desk was still pretty cute - and would good painted in something like a turquoise or bright red. Maybe next time it will be lucky enough to come home with me....
I also loved the Jaclyn Smith collection of stuff. I don't care if she's best known for being on Charlie's Angels and bunch of made-for-TV movies...the woman (or the people behind her branding) know good design on a budget. My camera died half way through our visit, but if you're ever kicking around a Kmart check out her stemware collection - four pieces for under $9.00. Also, a lot of the pieces from her outdoor collection were really neat. I can't find a picture of it online, but there's a really cool looking outdoor chandelier for under $20.00....I'm still kicking myself for not getting it.

Next up we hit up TJ Maxx. I've got a bit of a love / hate relationship with this store. I'm always impressed with their mix of clothes, but I can never find anything in my size. Perhaps a good thing though....otherwise I would have come with with another coat that I don't need (I would have been able to justify it though....I don't have a Michael Kors leather it would be good for it was nice). Anyways, their selection of home goods is similar. Sometimes I see pieces that I really like, other times I come away not that impressed.

This time around I came away uninspired. I mean, there were a few nice pieces, I liked some of the in-store displays, but there was nothing that really blew me away. Well, there was this lamp, but I had no idea where I would have put it. Okay so it was only $27.00 and for that price, I would have found it a home, but even it wasn't enough to make me all giddy.

TJ Maxx was followed by my idea of Heaven. That's right my friends. I'm talking about Target. Target announced this past spring that they're going to be setting up shop in Canada between 2012 and 2013, and I for one can not wait. Okay, so I was a little bit sad when reading that Zellers was going to be disappearing, but at the same time, Zellers doesn't have the Dwell Studio Line or Moroccan tea glasses for $3.00 each (from the Calypso line). I was surprisingly good in Target. I could have gone all out, but held myself back. My apartment is only so is the limit on my credit card.

Mister wasn't too keen on the bright patterns of these Dwell Studio cushions, but I thought that they were amazing. I'm thinking that I might have to invest in some new bedding later on this summer after seeing these...I love the randomness of the blue and green...the print is uber funky and has a fun vintage vibe to it.

Obviously we did more than just shop....we also ate. Lots and lots and lots. Grand Forks has a surprising number of Mexican restaurants, plus my new fave (which I'm going to keep a secret) - but the frog legs and deep fried pickles were delish.

So there you have it. Two days, two guys, two wish lists of things to buy, one very full trunk (and an English only Taboo game! No more annoying two language cards to confuse us while playing!)

Oh yah. I can't forget to tell you about one of my favourite moments. Most of Grand Forks is in North Dakota, but part of it also spills into Minnesota. We really wanted to hit-up a movie and ended up venturing into the strangest, most interesting theater that you'll ever find....the interior was log. Two tickets and two drinks came to like $12.00 USD and the best part - the drinks were refillable. That and we saw this amazing sign when were leaving the theater and walking back to our car....

Wouldn't it have been easier to say 'cyclists use sidewalk'? Maybe not? Oh well....only in America.

Where are your favourite places to run away to for the weekend?


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