The mall. Oh, the mall. If there's an actual mall in D.C. proper, I don't know about it. Yes, there is the National Mall, but to many people's surprise (you'd be surprised at the surprising number of people this is surprising to) there's not a whole lot of shopping to be done there. Unless Smithsonian gift shops and ice cream trucks count. And sometimes that's just not going to cut it - I need stores galore, the unmistakable wafting scent of ubiquitous food court offerings, oodles of loud children, and a constant supply of recirculated air.
So, I drove myself out to Tyson's Corner, home of the mecca of malls. There's not only Tyson's Galleria, but also Tyson's Corner Center, just across the road from each other. Both with a Macy's. How many Macy's do you need in one square mile? Anyway, you could conceivably, and very easily, spend the entire day (and an entire paycheck) out here. An absurd amount of stores. A movie theater. On my last two weekend treks out to Tyson's, I finally saw "Julie and Julia" (LOVED it, and must attempt beef bourguignon in my own home). With a ridiculous amount of restaurants and food vendors at my disposal, I really only dealt with the overzealous saleswoman manning the Starbucks register. No, I'm sure venti is even better, but I'll just stick with the grande, and NO, I don't want a pastry to go with that!! Oh, I also had to get one of those Auntie Anne's pretzels yesterday with that neon cheese sauce that defies both science and nature. And a pedicure, too? Yes, please. Turns out the only tangible goods I purchased were edible. Well, that sounds about right.
Do other countries believe in the mall the way America does? I'm guessing not. I want everything and I want it now - a very American way of thinking. So...just go to the mall. On top of the endless retail possibilities, where you're limited only by how much you want to carry around, there's also some excellent people-watching opportunities. Talk about a cross-section of America making its way past you. I also personally turned down at least three mall cart people who wanted to straighten my hair, thread my eyebrows, and give me permanent eye makeup. Am I that visibly in need of beauty help, or did I just happen to time my walk-by to coincide with the remote-control car guy's break?
Next time I'm totally going in the Lego Store, just because it's there. Watch out, kids.