Above Average Buffoonery

More about the buffoonery (mine, of course) later.

Today in a word: Shopping. Not for this, though…

Rolls Royce in Boca Towne Center

 Details follow…

A slow start to the day, with nothing pressing. I was vaguely aware of Nick getting up and heading up to the Lounge. It was something past eight when I woke and got myself sorted then went up to the lounge myself. It seemed appropriate that my breakfast was Special K, washed down by Florida OJ.

Nick’s turn to drive and I navigated us to Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall. In the land of huge shopping malls, this one is certainly a contender. We split up to sort out our own shopping lists (Nick’s being somewhat longer than mine) but despite the size of the place, we managed to bump into each other several times. First was in FYE (a DVD/music store) where Nick finally tracked down the 2013 World Series DVD we’d been searching for. Even better, not only was it on sale, the final price was even less than the marked-down price.

Next time I bumped into him was outside Starbucks. I was there for a much needed Pike Place, he was there to iMessage with Chris courtesy of their WiFi!  After a full circuit of the mall (no mean feat) my final stop was back at the Levi Store. There I treated myself to a new denim “Trucker’s Jacket” – £95 at McArthur Glenn, but thanks to a 30% markdown (outer wear doesn’t sell well in Florida for the next 10 months, I guess?) it was £31.26 with tax! Not a bad saving. The fact I already know exactly how much has been charged to my credit card hints at the headlined buffoonery, but I wasn’t to know it yet.

I met up with Nick, this time as planned, in the food court. I had a pretty decent lunch courtesy of Charley’s Grilled Subs…

Lunch at Sawgrass Mills

The next part of the day was made up pretty much on the fly. I had a pressing need to visit an Apple Store, and a less pressing need to visit a branch of Colorado Bags & Baggage – both have a presence in the Boca Town Center mall. If I told you Boca Raton was 30 miles from where we were (i.e. about the distance to from Derby to Leicester), you might think we’d find something a bit more local. The thing is about US distances, however, is that our journey seemed little more than 5 – 10 miles. Weird. The most stressful thing about this particular journey was the tolls – not the amount ($1 on and 75c off) but the fact they needed paying in coins – something we were quite unprepared for. Luckily, we managed to scrape together enough shrapnel between us to avoid the $100 fine for toll dodging.

For Nick it was a trip down memory lane as his friend Eileen (a longer story than I have the inclination to relate here…) used to live in this area, so he, Sue, and Chris got to know the neighbourhood quite well. It was new ground for me, however. The Town Center Mall is quite up-scale with some serious brand shops, perhaps exemplified by the car dealership flogging the Rolls Royce shown above. There was also a Tesla dealership. What to tell you about Tesla? It is probably coincidence that their ‘shop’ was across from the Apple Store – two companies which continually get ‘linked’ despite continuous protestations from both sides to the contrary. Check out the interior of these classy all electric cars and deny this is a match made in heaven..

Tesla Interior

Excuse the wonky photo, I got the impression photography was discouraged so I was going for discreet!

Tesla External

After I finished admiring this vision of the future, I went over to the Apple Store to make my purchase (nothing too extreme, just a little indulgence!). When I came to pay, the first stage of my Buffoonery manifested itself – a missing credit card. D’oh. I paid with another and scooted back to the car (luckily bumping into Nick in the process to get the car keys off him). The last time I’d used the card was in the Levi Store in Sawgrass Mills, so my hope was that I’d dropped the card in the bag. No such luck. I turned out all my pockets, swore a lot, and double-checked (nay, triple-checked) my wallet. The futility of my actions reminded me of my “lost” camera on Lancaster station.

I had no doubt that I’d simply forgotten to pick up my card from the cashier in the Levi Store. An honest mistake (on the part of the cashier, total buffoonery on my part, of course). Even so, it was obvious I needed to cancel the card, just in case I was wrong and I’d dropped it on my way out or something. I was quickly the phone to a helpful and empathetic agent in the Nationwide’s call centre back in Blighty who confirmed no transactions since the Levi Store, and duly cancelled the card. A new one will be on my doormat at home within the week. Just as well today is the last full day, of course – though I have alternatives if need be.

Once I ended my call with the Nationwide I rejoined Nick and related the tale. He made a good point, saying that the chances of fraudulent use were slim as every time he’d used his card he had been asked for Photo ID. —*CLANG*— Photo ID. I’d been asked for that in the Levi Store and I’d used my driving licence. I felt in my wallet for where my driving licence lives (and where my credit card does not live and should not be) and pulled out the missing credit card. BUFFOON. 

Back to the hotel by the direct route, I-95, I-595 and back to the room to chill. Nick went and worshipped the sun a little while I remained in the room to tinker with my various gadgets – and snooze a little. When Nick came back up he suggested we go up to the Lounge to see what scram was on offer. Turns out there was a little emote than last night, including a kind of stew with mash potatoes. I misunderstood the intent a little, thinking this was our evening meal, so had a generous portion. It was nominally my choice of evening meal venue and I’d suggested the sports bar that is within walking distance of the hotel. I’d got the impression Nick wasn’t too fussed by that idea though and was quite happy to go along with this perceived Plan B. When Nick made a move to head out to Bokampers, I was left-footed just a little.

Sunset Palm Trees

When we got to Bokampers we ‘bellied up to the bar’ and ordered a beer. I went with a Magic Hat (no idea what variety of Magic Hat as the tap line was obscured by glasses and the bartender — though friendly and attentive in other ways — didn’t seem forthcoming on the subject of craft bee)r. Nick pushed the envelope with a Sam Adams! Despite not long having eaten, we decided to have a small meal here; a burger for me and sirloin steak flatbread in Nick’s case.The multitude of television screens were showing college basketball, NFL rookie try-outs (live from Indiana) and a recording of Man Utd getting beaten by Olympiacos in the Champions League earlier.  More beer was drunk; Nick returning to safer ground with Bud Light, while I had a Rogue Dead Guy Ale (much better than the name would suggest!) and a FatTire beer of some description – which was bland and tasteless as it happens.

Back to the room and blog typing in front of All New NCIS followed by NCIS:Los Angeles.



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