I was out of town for my niece Shay's twelfth birthday, so I decided that I would take her out to lunch and shopping so she could pick out her own gift. She stays really busy with school, soccer and lacrosse, but we managed to take advantage of an open afternoon yesterday.
Of course, it was also Mother's Day, which meant that we needed to avoid restaurants that were too mom-ish. Thus, we ended up at Winstead's for burgers, onion rings and fries. I had a limeade and she got the chocolate shake. We were both stuffed.
Winstead's is a Kansas City tradition and although we didn't visit the original 1940 location, they're all pretty much the same. The decor is 1950s reinterpreted through the color palette of the 1980s. I think Shay considered it kind of old and ratty. One of these days I should take her to one of the really funky burger joints my husband and I frequent.
After that, we moved on to shopping. In addition to getting her a birthday gift, we also needed to get her some new athletic shoes and buy a Mother's Day gift for my sister.
We started out at Pier 1, which was just a few doors down from the restaurant. I thought it seemed like a promising place to get a Mother's Day gift. We spent what seemed like an eternity looking at housewares and home decor items. Shay was enamored of a fleecy double papasan chair and tried on every style of fancy masquerade mask they had. She finally chose one small birthday gift there and we moved on to...the mall.
Yes, we went to Oak Park Mall, an enormous suburban shopping draw that has every chain store you can think of. I hadn't been there in as long as I could remember.
The instant we walked in the door, I had an asthma-related coughing fit. Some combination of candle store scents and food court smoke got to me and didn't let go until we'd moved to another wing. Did I have my rescue inhaler with me? Of course not.
We made our way through one store after another, gathering purchases: jasmine pearls tea and dark chocolate truffles for my sister, two cute tops and some reasonably-priced LA Gear sneakers for Shay, and an eye shadow for me.
We finished our shopping trip with birthday cupcakes from Cupcake A la Mode. I got the Gold Digger, described as, "A chocolate cupcake filled with gooey caramel and topped with our rich chocolate buttercream, rolled in crushed pecan pieces and drizzled with more caramel." Super messy. Oh, so good. I wish I had another one right now.
Shay had to be home by 4:00 p.m. for a lacrosse game and I got her there in plenty of time for her to give my sister her present and watch her show off her purchases.
We had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to another day out with my niece. No need to wait for another birthday!