Last Christmas, we loved the old-fashioned, daylong shopping expedition. We strolled the sidewalks, stopping here, stopping there, late into the afternoon. It was fun, it was enjoyable, it was relaxing. Instead of having much of our shopping done by mid-September, we saved it for a few days before Christmas. It has become our new tradition. And, no, we are not the harried shoppers looking for those perfect, certain or unusual gifts.
With Laurie and Andrea having Tuesday off, we again chose Old Colorado City, on the west side of Colorado Springs, as our prime shopping location. The variety of shops along the avenue is an eclectic mix of bookstores, art galleries and specialty stores. Along with several restaurants, large and small, it has a decidedly slower pulse compared with our local malls.
Our first stop was a jewelry store. After picking up a couple of special orders, we made our way to a small breakfast place. Since the tables were small, Laurie was quick to commandeer two of them for us after getting her latte.
in shade and light: Laurie saving our tables
She gave the mom look when the girls were deciding whether they should sit in the shade or in the sunny spots. They settled for sunny. Laughing our way through breakfast, we decided which shops to visit next. One place the girls wanted to visit was the jam-packed hardware store. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the other places, this hardware store is the place to visit. And, the store owner knows where every item is located. It was not like the girls needed hardware from the store, but they love the highly-organized clutter.
We window shopped for the most part over the next two hours before taking time to visit a couple of art galleries. One specialized in southwest art, the other in landscapes. The one gallery we took time to visit was Michael Garman Galleries, a long-time fixture on the west side. The centerpiece of his gallery is a 3,000-square foot exhibit called “Magic Town“. It is a 1/6-scale representation of a small town from yesteryear (circa early 1950s).
After looking through the galleries, it was a stop at Tara’s favorite bookstore. The store offers selections ranging from out-of-print to newer titles, a mix of hardcover and paperback.
down the fiction aisle
A committed reader of books, Tara can often be found with a book, or three, in the process of being read. She reads from nearly every genre. In her room, Tara has two bookcases – one for those currently being read, and the other for titles worthy of a re-read, or two.
No shopping trip is complete without stopping at a Christmas specialty store. The store we visited strictly sells Old-World style ornaments of every size and style.
seeing in red: color of the season
Before calling it a day, it was time to visit the new store. The fast-fading daylight brought out the varied colors, reflections and flickers of the various lamps. The shop was softly lit by the lamps, allowing one to appreciate the artisan designs.
of eastern influence: lamps from the Near East and the Far East
By the time we finished looking at the lamp store, the night sky was taking hold. The lights, the colors. It was no mistaking Christmas is almost here.
the Christmas effect: street lights and traffic lights
Christmas lighting: outside the lamp store
Having found the gifts we needed to find, it was time to call it day. Before heading home, we stopped at our favorite small BBQ restaurant for dinner.
It was a good end to our day.