A stormy day...Power outages...Credit card frustration...


Across the Bay in Vancouver, we could see the Olympic Mountains.  At first, we thought this was a view of clouds, not mountains.
Yesterday morning, after our usual complimentary breakfast at the Country Inn & Suites country kitchen, we sat in the comfy lounge/living room to work on the day's post.

With the storm raging outside, we were content to be indoors while the rain pelted against the windows.  It took a little longer than usual to upload the post due to our distraction over the weather, both curious to see what was transpiring on the news.

By 1:00 pm, I was out the door amid a few sprinkles with heavily overcast clouds for my first visit to a Target store for the first time in many years.  Tom desperately needed a new pair of black jeans and has always preferred the basic brand, Wrangler which Target sells.

His old pair of black jeans had developed white lines where they were folded, most likely due to over washing and years of use.  I asked him to come along with me to try them on and he agreed. But I knew how much he dislikes shopping and offered to go on my own.

When I arrived at the Ridgehaven Mall Target Store in Minnetonka, I could tell something was amiss.  Upon nearing the entrance I could tell the lights were out, surely caused by the storm. 
A tall totem pole in Victoria.
Entering the store an employee greeted me, offering a cart and explaining the power outage would prevent the sale of any refrigerated foods and that the current generator wasn't sufficiently powerful to allow for ample lighting, especially toward the back of the store.

Well, the men's jeans are located in the back of the store.  Bound and determined to find Tom the black jeans I headed toward the department, my little LED flashlight in hand.  From a lack of recent use, the battery was dying providing only a little light.

Luckily, a helpful employee offered to assist me in finding the correct size in near total darkness.  Alas, we were in luck and found Tom's oddball size, 36/30 (short for a guy at 6' feet tall).  I was thrilled, to say the least.  I had little interest in returning to the store on another day.

After rolling the cart around the dimly lit store, I managed to find a few toiletry items, two large handled insulated mugs (our two such mugs desperately needed to be replaced) and a big glass Ball jar to hold our iced tea. (I wasn't about to drink one more glass made in that toxic plastic bottle Tom had been using in our hotel room).

When I went to check out, my Visa credit card was declined.  There was no reason why this should happen.  I used a different card but felt frustrated.  Immediately upon returning to the red rental SUV, I called the number on the back of the card only to be told, my shopping in the USA was suspect. 

"Was the card stolen?" they asked. Ha!  That's ironic.  Here I'm using a US credit card in the US and its use is suspect.  Then, they asked for a phone number to verify my identity when their "caller ID" showed my new SIM card number which they didn't recognize according to my record. 

Pond view from the moving vehicle.
The only number they had in their system was my old cell phone number from years ago.  I guess I never bothered to update it using our Skype phone number in Nevada. 

When I tried to give the rep that number, oh, she didn't like that.  When I reminded her to look up my account and our world travel with charges from many countries, in addition to many years of flawless payments paying it off each month, she reconsidered, especially when I asked to speak to a supervisor.

In moments, I answered her identity-verifying-questions correctly, she apologized and released the card for use. I supposed I understand they're trying to prevent theft of the card but it was annoying none-the-less.

A wild deer grazing in a park.
Leaving the Target parking lot I headed to the Payless Shoe Store in the same outdoor mall only to discover a handwritten sign on the door that read, "Closed due to the power outage."  I returned to the SUV and was back on the road again, this time to return to Macy's for their huge sale.

As we take every possible moment of free time to shop to replace our old and worn clothing, a trip back to Macy's was on the agenda for me.  I'd already purchased enough for Tom and a few items for me but now it was my turn to finish it up..

Within an hour, including time in the fitting room, I was done.  I'd purchased six items, valued at $397 for a paltry $94 considering all the discounts the store was offering.  One item was $79 for which I paid $20.  Wow!  With a sale like that, I was actually enjoying the shopping and loved every item I'd selected.
Historic house in Victoria.
Now, minus a few other items, we're almost done shopping. What a relief!  Starting fresh with new items feels rewarding and elicits more enthusiasm than one might experience by "adding" to a wardrobe, as opposed to "replacing" a worn wardrobe.

Back at the hotel, I raved to Tom about my deals.  He smiled, happy that I'd enjoyed the bargains but in his usual manner had little interest in seeing what I'd purchased.  I suppose for some it's a "guy thing."  For others, gender is of little significance in determining who's interested and who's not, concerning their beloved partner's wardrobe.

A short time after I returned to the hotel it was time to meet TJ, Sarah, Jayden and Nik for dinner next door at Grizzly's.  We had a great dinner together amid idle chatter among the six of us.  We lingered at the table for quite awhile and then, they were on their way after goodbye hugs all around.  Another good family gets together!

Hilltop view of Victoria, British Columbia.
Last night, I began preparing today's post when we brought our laptops down to the hotel's living room while watching the Tony Awards on the big screen TV (larger than the TV in our suite). 

As tired as I was, it made no sense to wait to prepare a post in the morning when I'd have grandson Miles with me for most of the day, picking him up at 8:00 am this morning in time to return to the hotel for the breakfast which ends at 9:30 am.

I haven't decided what he and I will do tomorrow but I'm sure once we chat in the car we'll come up with a good plan.  Whatever we do, Miles and I will have a good time.  Tom will be gone part of the day to attend a railroad association meeting, returning later in the day.

That's it for today, folks.  Finally, I'm close to wrapping up the photos from Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia and, I apologize for not taking many photos so far here in Minnesota.  Soon, I'll be out of photos and will have to get the "show on the road" sharing new and interesting photos of Minnesota.  Humm...maybe that's what Miles and I can do tomorrow, weather permitting.

Have a good day! 
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Photo from one year ago today, June 12, 2016:

Ants carrying off a dead gecko in Bali. For more photos, please click here.

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