Shopping and trying on clothes…Haven’t done that in awhile…Remembering a funny shoe story…Four days and counting…

The boutique, Azure, had a wide array of quality women’s and men’s clothing.

Feeling better yesterday, the last day taking the antibiotic Cipro which had finally had done its job, I was anxious to go shopping for a few things to wear on dress-up nights on the upcoming cruises. 

The boutique clothing store Azure, had caught my eye on a few walks through the Princeville Mall over these past four months. Of course, it caters to its local demographics, the senior population, with lots of flowing, Hawaiian themed flowered print tops, a style that has never appealed to my tastes. Fortunately, they had numerous other options more appealing to me.

With the long sleeve white dress shirt we’d ordered for Tom which is still in the plastic package avoiding becoming wrinkled until we board the ship and hang it up and, his black pants, that’s about as dressy as its going to be for him.

In an attempt to avoid over dressing as his “date” I decided that a few casual dressy shirts and tops, my style, not too flowing and not too flowery, would be an excellent find. 

Connie knew the store’s merchandise well, making this rare shopping experience as easy as possible.

In the past few days, I’d already tossed a number of clothing items to lighten the load to make way for new items. I tossed a pair of jeans shorts that were always too small, seemingly marked the wrong size when I received others at the same time, in the same style and size that did fit me. Out of the country at the time, it made no sense to return the one mis-marked pair of shorts. Instead, I’ve carried them around for two years! 

Also, yesterday I decided to toss my water shoes. With a design flaw, they hurt my feet, causing blisters, and would likely do the same to others if I donated them. I’d worn them once in Belize when we were on a tour through the rain forest when I looked down to see a black thing on the shoe, thinking it was a giant black bug.   I screamed hysterically. Everyone in the tour group laughed, especially Tom, when I realized it was an item on the shoe as shown in the photo below. 

That event transpired before we spent almost nine months in Africa. I don’t scream over bugs or, possible bugs anymore.  I flick them away or get Tom to scoop them up with the broom and dustpan. 

Now, I’m down to five pairs of shoes; one pair of Africa boots, one pair of workout shoes, one pair of white leather Keds and two pairs of sandals, one black, one tan.

Walking on a tour through the rain forest in Belize in February 2013, I looked down to see this black thing on my shoe, thinking it was a big black bug. I screamed. I no longer scream when I see bugs after spending almost nine months in Africa. I got over it. We still laugh over this shoe thing.

Also, I tossed two worn tee shirts, one worn pair of workout pants, and a pair of black Capris I’ve carried around since day one in our travels. I need to complain about those black Capris. They were of good quality that fit well in the legs and hips, to a point. 

Then, that low slung hip hugger thing kicked in that made them sit in a place on my hips where they’d fall down every time I moved. What’s the deal with that? I know I’ve written on this topic in the past, but it continues to baffle me when this style simply doesn’t seem to change as the years go by.

Whoever thought that mature women (over 30) would be interested in wearing hip huggers, no matter their shape and size must have been nuts. We have a waist, a natural indentation in most of our shapes, that’s a logical spot for the “waistband” of pants to sit. I get the disgust over “mom jeans” which I don’t wear. But, I do see a certain appeal for a slightly below the waist cut on jeans and pants. With a little stretch in the fabric and a good fit, a pleasing look may be accomplished for most women.

Due to my picky attitude over this reality and my tall stature with a 35-inch inseam, buying pants is nearly impossible for me. The only jeans I’ve found that fit me are from Old Navy when ordering an extra long in my size. A year ago, I ordered three pairs of jeans that we had shipped to Madeira along with other items. These should last me for years to come.

The boutique is arranged to take advantage of every bit of space, leaving many options for shoppers.

As a result, I have a few bottoms other than jeans and shorts, especially nothing dressy other than two skirts, one cream, and one black. Oh, what I’d give right now for an extra tall pair of white jeans. I have no choice but to wear my workout ankle length leggings that actually look OK when the top is appropriately dressed up, worn as an alternative to the skirts.

Last week, when Tom drove to Lihue to get another rental car, he was unable to list me as a driver of the car when I wasn’t in attendance to sign the documents. Subsequently, I am unable to drive the rental car these few remaining days.

Having Tom wait in the car while I try on clothes didn’t bother me or make me feel rushed. He never complains while I  grocery shop and this occasion would be no different.  He sits in the car, windows open reading his book, totally entertained for as long as necessary.

He dropped me off at the front of the store.  Hesitantly, I entered, not optimistic I’d find much of anything.  Meeting Connie, the helpful salesperson at Azure made the painful experience easier. Not painful in an illness kind of way. Painful in, who likes to try on clothes in a tiny, hot, non-air-conditioned dressing room in Hawaii or anywhere for that matter? Not I.

I’ve never been attracted to silky, flowing tops.  As for dresses, they take up too much space and weight in my single clothing bag.

Perhaps this is the reason why I haven’t shopped in a store in so many years, other than the few items I purchased in Boston last September when dear cousin Phyllis took me to a mall to Victoria’s Secret to purchase three bras (which by the way, are holding up very well. I think I can make it with these for another few years). 

After getting a pull-on shirt stuck over my head and shoulders almost having to ask for help, I decided to call it a day. I’d made a pile of six items, spending $290, surprised over the good prices. 

Connie did an amazing job of helping me pick out what I liked. Oh, what did I like? I had no idea when I hadn’t shopped in so long. We figured it out and I’m thrilled with my purchases, none of which remind me of the loose flowery tops with shoulder pads that my mother wore in the ’80s.

Finally, I was back in the car with Tom. As soon as I sat in my seat, Tom cranked up the AC when he saw sweat dripping off my brow. I guzzled my awaiting mug of iced tea. Maybe I wasn’t totally recovered enough to partake in such a vigorous clothes-trying-on session. I hadn’t exerted myself beyond folding laundry and cooking easy dinners in almost two weeks.

Luckily, after Connie helped me scour through the racks of merchandise, I was able to find six items to purchase.

I’d thought of taking all the items I purchased out of the bag and laying them on the bed to take photos to post here. But, Connie folded each item so neatly that they’ll be easy to pack. Instead, we plan to take more photos of us on the cruise as has been requested by some of our readers. 

As for packing, the third bag and duffel bag are done. Yesterday, we washed our jeans and shorts and bleached all of our white clothing which we do when moving to a new location. We packed the duffel bag with all of the jeans which we always carry on the flights. It weighs about 40 pounds which prevents us from paying extra weight fees we’d incur if these jeans were packed in our respective single bags.

Our total checked luggage: two large bags, one medium bag. As for carry-on: the duffel bag with the jeans, one computer bag with both laptops, the pill bag, and my purse all of which fits on our one remaining wheeling cart.  That’s all we own, folks, all of our worldly goods. That’s still hard for us to believe.

Almost neon-colored flowers we found on a walk.

Over the next three days, we’ll begin to post favorite photos we’ve taken in Kauai with a few from Maui, Big Island, and Oahu as we leave the state of Hawaii at long last. On Saturday, when we leave Kauai, we’ll post our final expenses for the four-plus months we’ve lived in Kauai.

On Sunday, we’ll post our one-night experience in Honolulu staying overnight in a hotel and heading back to a restaurant we loved. On Monday after boarding the ship on Sunday afternoon, we’ll post photos of our cabin, the ship and our boarding experience and then…the fun will begin.

Have a great Tuesday!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, May 19, 2014:

In Madeira, Portugal, as in other countries we’ve had to put a coin into the grocery cart in order to release it. The coin is returned when the cart is hooked back up to the chains. For more details on grocery shopping when all labels are in Portuguese, please click here.