Why I love shopping in the US

If we’re looking for a little vacation a trip to the US is pretty easy and satisfies everyone. My kids, they love to hang-out in the hotel room, watch cable TV (we don’t have that at home), jump on the beds and just goof off. Me, I like to shop. Yes of course there’s the outlet malls and Target is always on the list, sometimes more than once, but one great shopping venue often overlooked by visitors is the grocery store.

I know, doing the grocery shopping at home can be such a chore, why would I want to hang out in  grocery store on my vacation? Well, here are x reasons why:

Cupcakes and S’Mores Aren’t Just for Dessert Anymore
The US is so large, which means they can support a huge amount of variety that we can’t get in Canada. Cereals are a great example. And our last trip didn’t disappoint. I mean where else can you find Cupcake Pebbles or S’More cereal. Certainly not in Canada, though that’s probably not a bad thing.

Guns and Ammo
I’m not one to eavesdrop on the conversation of others, but if you have kids you know they can be loud. One trip I over heard an excited pre-teen boy talking to his dad:

Son: Oh cool. I want the one that comes in green.
Dad: Don’t get that one. That’s a cheap one. That wouldn’t hurt a fly. Get the larger one.

No they weren’t talking about a toy or piece of sporting equipment; they were talking about a gun, a pellet gun, but a gun none-the-less. No matter how many times I visit the US, the availability and fascination with guns still boggles the mind.

Bread and Beer
Those US folks have convenience down to a science. At home a shopping trip can consist of a stop at the grocery store, another at the liquor store and still another at the beer store. But in the US, a trip to Meijer or Wegman’s and I can get all my shopping down at once: eggs, bacon, diapers, beer, Cupcake Pebbles cereal. Awesome!

Vinyl Comes in Bottles
If our cross-border visit is long enough, I like to bring back beer from some of the independent breweries, like Otter Creek, Blue Moon, Magic Hat. This trip my husband could hardly contain himself when he found Magic Hat’s seasonal Spring Ale on store shelves (Meijers of course). Vinyl. That’s the name of their Spring Ale. Although it has nothing really to do with music, the audiophile side of him couldn’t resist buying all four cases in the store. And since returning home he has also ordered from Magic Hat’s store some original art work on the label design as well as beer glasses and a shirt. But that’s another post.

Shopping Cart TV
Some stores here have shopping carts in the shape of cars or firetrucks or airplanes so kids can pretend to be driving while you shop. My kids love these carts though they are pushing the boundaries on the size restrictions. We discovered the ultimate cart on a recent trip to Meijers. Yes the car was shaped like a car with doors and steering wheel, but it also had a TV. You read that right, a TV right in the kids portion of the cart. I’m sure we looked like goofs all gathered round in the middle of the aisle trying to squeeze our head into the kiddie cab to see the thing. Kids could watch episodes of Dora as we strolled the isles. I’ve never heard them so quiet.

So on your next trip to the States, after you’ve made the required Target and outlet store stops, check-out the grocery store. You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll never see at home. And if you do, I’d love to hear about it, so I know what to look for on my next trip.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Oh, my gosh! I have never seen a shopping cart with a TV! my kids would go bonkers! We do have the “one-stop-shopping” down to a science here, don’t we?


  2. I love American grocery stores. I haven’t seen the TV in carts yet, though, I’ll have to be on the lookout for that. I can really see the upside, I bet it would reduce the constant darting for freedom that my toddler currently attempts from his seat in the little car at the front.


  3. TV in the shopping carts?! Brilliant.


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