Last weekend My Harley Stud and I had plans to go out for the night. We were going to check out a new shopping center that we hadn't experienced yet and then go for pizza. I thought it would be a nice way to spend the evening. You might be scratching your head now wondering why I would say "experience the shopping center." Well, allow me tell you. There is a new trend in shopping centers here. They are no longer just places to run in and buy that new pair of socks or shower curtain that you need. Noooooooooooo, it's a virtual amusement park of commerce. These shopping plazas are an open-air delight to the senses. There are beautifully landscaped botanical gardens complete with waterfalls and statues. You can meander in and out of the many shops at your leisure. Coffee shops complete with outdoor tables and chairs, restaurants aplenty, cute little boutiques and organic grocery stores are all at your disposal. You can catch a movie and then be entertained by the singing, dancing servers at Johnny Rockets while you enjoy your burger and fries. Or……………………..you can refinance your mortgage and indulge yourself at one of the many gourmet restaurants. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and you can smell ………….the money. While the entire world is in a mudslide that is our economy, Palm Beach County has always been the land of milk and honey. It takes a little longer for the Palm Beachers to feel the pain. I suppose they have this type of shopping center everywhere now but I'm from a small town in Indiana and even after 28 years here, I am still amazed at all the razzle-dazzle.
Remember my friend the Trophy Wife? She called just before we were about to leave for our little outing. The TW and I hadn't spoken for awhile and needed to catch up. I explained what our plans were for the evening and asked if she and the Rocket Scientist would like to join us. She said that the RS wasn't home from work yet but she would call to see where we were once he got home. She told me to be sure to check out the menu at one of the higher-end restaurants at the plaza. It's a steakhouse where she and the RS went with the VP of his company. I gasped when she told me their portion of the bill for the meal was over $200.00. I laughed and told her that meant she personally consumed over $100 worth of food and beverage. "That can't be good for your diet." She laughed and agreed that it would be a long while before they went there again. I've always considered myself a cheap date (not THAT kind of cheap date) because I'm so easily entertained. The idea of forking over $200+ for two meals leaves me speechless. OK, nothing really leaves me speechless, I know. It's a steak for Pete's sake! I know the alcohol tab can make the total skyrocket but these two are not really big drinkers.
My Harley Stud and I enjoyed our walk through the plaza and we made it out of there without spending a cent. I entertained the idea of a coffee creation at Starbucks but decided I wasn't really in the mood for coffee. We explored Urban Outfitters and laughed at all the entertaining phrases printed on napkins, cups, notepads and t-shirts. MHS indulged me by escorting me into just the cutest little gift-shop EVER where I got thousands of ideas for future gift-giving. The pièce de résistance was strolling thru the kitchen store where I was like a kid in a candy store telling MHS, "I want this and this and this."
We left the plaza and went to a little Italian restaurant where we ordered a pizza. Just as our pizza arrived, my phone alerted me to a voicemail. I hadn't even heard the phone ring. The message was from TW and she had left it an hour earlier. Cursing mobile phone technology, I called TW only to discover they had given up on us and went to another restaurant. We were all disappointed that we missed a rare opportunity to get together. The Rocket Scientist travels frequently in his job and they have a much busier social calendar than MHS and I have. But on a brighter note, the pizza was great as was the service and we really enjoyed ourselves. The best part: Our bill WASN'T $200.00!
TW called this week so we could have our catch-up session that we missed on Friday night. She had a great story for me that was related to the plaza of which I speak in this post. Stay tuned for tomorrow where I share the Trophy Wife's story.
** It just occurred to me that this post might qualify as a MONEY IN THE BANK tip. **