While packing for the trip, I couldn't find a hat. When I went shopping before the trip, I found a hat at the Gap but thought, "oh, I'll find a better hat at the beach - no big deal"...famous last words.
Tuesday morning, Wally, Ben and I set out to find a pair of flip flops for Dad, a beach chair for Ben and a hat for me. We went for breakfast first at this really great diner but more about that in another post. We then stopped at Wings (the beach version of a 5 and 10) and even if I found the most wonderful hat there I wouldn't buy it (on principal), but, as expected, no fashionable hats. No chair, not hat, no flips at Wings. Moving on, we saw the Corolla Surf Shop next to Harris Teeters but we thought there was an entrance further up but there wasn't so we had to turn around. At the Corolla Surf Shop, I looked for a hat but lots of straw hats no cotton/cloth hats like I was looking for - I could wait. I was sure the perfect hat was around the corner. No chairs - at all but lots and lots of flip-flops for Wally to choose from. While Wally is searching for a pair he likes, Ben has now decided that he is going to start being a sales associate at the store. He gets behind the counter and thinks he can start ringing people up. Thank god the sales chick is very sweet and amuses my son who thinks he now owns the store. Wally finds the perfect pair (they look like a cork board - perfect, I can leave him notes posted on them) and wears them out of the store. One down, two to go.
The cool sales chick tells us they have another two stores one by the Food Lion (right by our house) and the other is in TimBuck II (across the street - why you would have the same store about 200 yards from one another is beyond me but moving on). We head to the Food Lion. I can't seem to locate the Corolla Surf Shop but I do see the store Birthday Suits and think I can definitely find a hat there so Wally drops me off and heads across the parking lot to find a chair for Ben. I look around and find more straw hats and the same cloth hat I saw at Wings in this store. I leave still no hat in hand. I see Wally across the lot and wave him down. He wants to head to Ace Hardware to get Ben's chair but pulls over the car so I can run into a few stores to see if they have a hat for me. I dash in and out of five stores (in about 40 seconds) and don't see anything I like. He pulls over one more time and tells me, "find a hat." I tell him I will. I don't. Oh and I still have no idea where the Corolla Surf Shop in the Food Lion Shopping Center is.
We then move on to Ace Hardware to get Ben's chair. Wally runs in and pokes his head out of the door a few minutes later with a plastic mini-Adirondack chair in hand. I give him the thumbs up and think, "I will never find a hat." Wally is back with chair and super shovel for $1.49 in hand. Chair down, no hat.
Wally feels bad and says, "let's see if we can find the Corolla Surf Shop in TimBuck II." I say, "forget it" but I really mean, "do you mean it and you won't be pissed to stop at yet another shop?". He says, "come on." We find the store and run in. I look around and see no cloth hats and think that very sweet sales chick lied to me. I ask sales chick II (as in TimBuck II - talk about having an unfortunate name and still wanting to be an egomaniac), "do you have any cloth, cotton hats?" She starts to say, "we have them at..." but I rudely interrupt her because my patience is wearing thin, "ah, no you don't have it at your other store I was just there." I can tell she is thinking in her head, "this lady is crazy" which I am on the verge of being at this point. Sales Chick II says, "no, we have them in the store across the street." I then ask (because I am a glutton for punishment) where it is because I can't seem to find it and she launches into an inarticulate explanation of where it is. I resign to the fact that I have to buy a straw hat which ends up being made of paper - very eco-friendly of me. I buy the hat. I come down the stairs triumphantly calling to Wally, "I got one!"
Now you are thinking, the story is over but wait...We get back to the house and we get ready for the beach. I put my big, floppy straw hat on and head for the ocean. On our short walk, my hat flies off 5 times. Wally says, "Jen just take the hat off!" We get to the beach, sans hat on my head. I put the hat back on. Once again, it takes a stroll down the beach without me as the breeze takes it away. I chase after it and put it on my head and sink into my chair. I can't see that my son is walking towards me because the darn hat is so floppy. He walks right up to me and takes my hat off and takes his hat off. He then puts his hat on me and my hat on him! That one moment made up for all the aggrevation, searching and missed beach time for the crappy hat I got. I love that boy!