We went to IKEA today, which was nice. IKEA is always a destination for us, not just a place to shop. Read Susie's blog for some insight there. Had a lovely lunch, the kids played in their play area, and we communed with the oddly-named flatpack furniture.
Then we went to the mall next door, Lakeside. Yesterday I said this mall wasn't a "big" one, and as American malls go, it's on par with some of the larger malls I've been to. Crossgates Mall in the Albany, NY, area is the one I think compares most closely. But malls are not what they do here in the UK. They do "the high street," which is what all the local merchants in the US are decrying the decline of. But when they DO get a mall here, they flock to it. Now, I'll grant that it's a month until Christmas, and that probably brought the numbers up, but the masses of humanity seething through this mall were enough to overwhelm the senses. They don't do Thanksgiving here, so it wasn't "Black Friday" shopping. I don't know what it was, but it was ... crowded. Let's just leave it at that.
On the other hand, for dinner, we went to a Japanese noodle place called Wagamama, which Susie was lukewarm toward as we went in but which turned out to be the calm oasis in our evening. In fact, it was calming enough that we decided to pop over to Borders (yes, Borders! In England! Woohoo!) for a bit.
Not so much. Borders closes at 8 on Saturdays. Huh?