We drove a couple hours out to Springfield today, as an early birthday trip for me. On the road, we saw a round barn under construction. That's an old style, so I'm pleased to see someone continuing it.
We started at White Oaks Mall
. While the physical layout is poorly designed in various ways -- including insufficient bathrooms, an "accessible" lower sink with no kneespace, and several restaurants facing only outwards -- the complement of stores is quite charming. We ate lunch at Five Guys, which makes delicious hamburgers; I had mine with grilled mushrooms. Later we got pretzel bites with cream cheese. The mall had several galleries displaying work by many local artists. That's typical of Terramagne-America, where malls often have a shop for local crafters. I never did find something there that was the right combination of appealing imagery, decent price, and somewhere to put it but I greatly enjoyed browsing them. At another store, I found several boxes of incense, along with a Celtic knotwork shirt for Doug at a very nice price for something so lavishly decorated. The coolest thing I saw, which I did not get for lack of anywhere to put it, was a splendid rainbow rug. Another convenience was having markers on the floor by the entrances that showed the length of various routes for a mall walkers club; it's nice to see somewhere supporting that.
After the mall, we went to Humphrey's Market
, which has a meat counter with exotic meats. We picked up a pound of ground elk to make an elkloaf, which was one of the things I hoped to find; and a pound of applewood-smoked duck bacon, which I did not even know of before I saw it, but sounds very exciting. I really look forward to cooking these up later.