Saturday, March 28, 2009

2 Outlets; Extra Funerals

There are sometimes in a journalist's life when he (or she) knows he's onto 'the big' one; there are other times he just get's lucky-- Dick Stolley on the stake-out in front of Marina's Oswald's house.

Me? What can I tell you...this might not be breaking news... but this factory outlet stuff is a far bigger economic and sociological story than I ever imagined when we first started this journey to Texas.

Granted, yesterday was Friday and Friday's tend to pop even at 9:55AM when crowds began to gather at the Camarillo Outlets.These guys were not the early morning mall-walker types; they were gripping plastic and shouting for service.

We had spent the first night on the road at La Quinta on the far side of Ventura and yes, Ventura is a lot larger than you think it is. The next morning, we only had one or two exits before arriving at my favorite strip center in the area which is not really an outlet mall.We shoot off on exit 62A, Vineyard Avenue for the Esplanda Mall. When off the highway, you turn right and then right again at the JIffy Lube. This may seem simple to you, but actually, once off the highway, you can't see the retail center.

The strip is your pretty much average American middle clasws suburban pit stop for everything destination with a Target, World Market, Borders, Bed,Bath & Beyond, etc. In the cneter of all this stand a large Marshall's and a Nordstrom Rack. Pay dirt! Mon-Sat hours 9:30AM-9:30PM; SUn 11am-8pm.

There's also Starbucks and plenty of fast food if you are tempted to stay all day. We pushed on back to the highway, past more strip centers, past Babies R Us and car delaers galore. We were wistfull over the Marshall's and Ross combo on the other side of the divided highway but we pushed on until we saw-- five minutes later-- the sign that read FACTORY STORE DRIVE NEXT RIGHT.

I won't bore you with the adventure this brought on, the frustration, the questions or the cursing. The sign at this gorgeous outlet mall said The Promenade Opening Soon-- not one store was open. We went berserk.

A consultation with Aaron Gershman, the great part-time shopper, revealed that the Camarillo outlets were huge and not in renovation. While I chatted, Sarah spotted our true destination, leapt across five lanes of traffic and got us safely intot he parking lot of Camarillo Premium Outlets.

Some lucky shopper will someday soon get a double header. We were content with Coach, Off Fifth, Calypso (from St. Barth's) and the usual cast of characters.

I really do have lot smore to say, and yes there was a funeral-- an extra one-- but time and road conditions do not make for regular blogging. Stick with me.

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