Has holiday shopping made you crazy yet? Do you still have a couple of people left on your list and just don’t know what to do? I have a suggestion, try shopping local. I did last night and it was great.
Since my wife works for a major retailer, she had enough of the mall crowds and we still wanted to get a couple more things. We decided to try Main Street. Just about every area in the US has a Main Street type area except Disneyland. Main Street there is now 98% Disney and they are working quickly on making it 100%. The same Mickey ornaments in every shop. The Radko shop is gone as are most of the other unique shops that helped decorate the tree in the photo.
Luckily, that isn’t true for the real “Main Streets” which are making a comeback.
My wife and I started out in Huntington Beach. Since that is where we live, it was the obvious choice. Parking wasn’t too bad, people were polite and we ventured into Jacks Surf Shop for the first time in a couple of years. We didn’t get anything on our list but a peppermint hot chocolate from Java Point, and a couple of ideas for decorating a guest bedroom that has been eluding us for years.
We strolled past our friend “Bob The Greeks” Real Estate – Surf shop which could only be found in Huntington Beach to find that Bob was out. The boards still looked good along the wall, and I dreamed of owning a custom “Greek” board someday. My wife didn’t get the hint because there aren’t any long packages under the tree or hidden under her shoe boxes, I looked.
After a couple of nice relaxing hours strolling Main Street Huntington Beach, our meter was running out so it was time to move on. We made a short trip north on PCH and landed a rock star parking space near the ned of main just in time to catch an incredible sunset and watch the lights on the pier come on.
As Main Street began to sparkle it was odd to see a couple of shops that we wanted to go in close up and the owners run off. Most of the others however were very helpful and happy to be there. At each store we rolled out our remaining list and each person offered different ideas and places to try.
It got a little colder so we stopped in Javatini’s to warm up and do a little people watching. There were at least a half a dozen Irish pubs trying to distract us and the aromas rolling out of Beechwood BBQ and Walt’s Wharf were working hard to get us to cancel our dinner plans. Both had lines out the door, so we were able to resist and move on.
If you are a Beach Streeter, and can’t make it to Seal Beach before Christmas, I am sure someone will make sure the sunsets are still working just fine in January. Stop by, enjoy the sunsets and pick up a little something for yourself.
What is your favorite “Main Street”. Some of my other favorites are the new Long Beach Harbor and Old Spring just North East of Houston Texas. In fact if you are in Houston, there is a great little German shop there with real German made nutcrackers and gifts, stop in and tell them I said hello. I bought a nutcracker and a box of cookies from them every year I lived in Texas. Another is Truckee California’s “Old Truckee” area. The Trokay Cafe is a great pit stop to warm up with Hot Chocolate and the best Palmiers you will ever have.
Let everyone know your favorite shopping areas and warm up spots, so next year we all have someplace fun to go, after all isn’t the season about sharing?