We've been taking advantage of Shana's evening work schedule to fit in some daytime field trips. This week we took a little shopping trip to South Shore Plaza, the first time I have been to an actual mall in Massachusetts since we moved here. I don't count Cape Cod Mall, which is a bit on the pitiful side with smaller versions of national chain stores (plus I seldom go there except to duck into Barnes & Noble for magazines). We went into Nordstrom to be tempted by fine fragrances and fancy shmancy jeans. We also had lunch and an afternoon coffee there before returning home. Pretty heady stuff, Yes, I did buy some fragrance and some fancy shmancy jeans (which they did not have in my size and which were delivered to my home today on a hanger with no shipping charge). I must say I saw a lot of pretty things in Nordstrom and elsewhere in the mall, but we stuck to our plan so the damage would not be too bad. I can see how ruinous improved access could be, in spite of the fact that I have fairly simple clothing requirements. Cape Cod is very casual, and what I need most in the world is a plain swimsuit that will not fall off in the waves and a couple of pair of quick dry panties to wear when kayaking. REI is pretty much my kind of store these days.
Yesterday we were off Cape for an appointment, and since we would be near New Bedford and its Whaling Museum we drove over to see it. We had lunch at Destination Soups, which I can thoroughly recommend. The soups were delicious and fresh; the prices were great. They probably don't need my recommendation because they were super busy the whole time we were there. We went to the New Bedford Whaling Museum after lunch. We really enjoyed it - very educational with loads of old equipment and photos and detailed exhibits, including several whale skeletons and a half scale model of a whaling ship. There was a lot of information about whales, whaling, and the men who worked in the industry. I've read Moby Dick twice, plus watched films based on the work which let me come to the museum a little bit informed about the process, but seeing the photos and the actual equipment have me a much better idea of what it must have been like. It was sobering to think that those hard laboring men were contemporaries of the "summer cottages" built in Newport in the Gilded Age (or should I say "First Gilded Age"?). The museum also has a terrific section of scrimshaw artifacts and a couple of rooms devoted to contemporary whaling themed art. I was fascinated by a display of ceramic whales by Cynthia Consentino called "Whale Story which demonstrated the uses and fanciful stories about whales There were also loads of nautical themed paintings all over the building. We were really lucky: because there was a bit on construction going on in the building and one exhibit room was not open we got in for half price! It was probably our good fortune that we did not have any time to visit the gift shop or explore New Bedford at any length.
On we went to Fall River (birthplace of Emeril Lagasse). In addition to our appointment we had a chance to drive by Battleship Cove, which we will be visiting later this summer. I was glad to get a chance to scope out the parking and restaurant situation there in advance of our visit. It was more important than it seems - apparently some portion of the highway system in Fall River is always being torn up, so I wanted to get an idea of how to get there. Every time I have been there we have taken some kind of wrong turn.