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Return to the South Side, October 26, 2013 October 28, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in south.
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The I-65 highway construction was finally completed around October 15. Therefore, I planned a night to go with Kate to Greenwood Park Mall. We haven’t done that since July 30. I asked her where she wanted to eat and, surprisingly, she said Ryan’s, which I am, of course, cool with doing.

Kate came to my house at 6:00 and my dad built a fire for us in the living room to briefly enjoy. Kate said she needed help getting new tennis shoes, because her old ones hurt her feet, as well as new khakis to comply with a dress code at a church where she would soon be volunteering. Surprisingly, she only owned jeans- no khakis. As I am the reverse, she knew I’d be the person to ask about buying khakis. We left for the mall at 6:20 and got there about 6:50. Since we’d be at Ryan’s later, which is on 31, we took 31 to get there instead of Madison Avenue. Therefore, we parked by the JcPenney entrance instead of the Sears entrance. It was warmer than we expected; we needed hoodies but not our winter coats.

We had about an hour and a half to enjoy the mall. I grabbed a directory and kept Kate away from Hollister and American Eagle, as per her request. Our first stop was Aeropostale, where the selection was so bad that you’d think I were at the Castleton Square Aeropostale. I almost gave up when I saw an XL striped V-neck T-shirt for $10. I decided to get it. It’s so hard finding XL anything there- and some of the clothes didn’t have any left in large; just small or medium. I also saw khakis over on the girls’ side of the store and told Kate; luckily, they had some in her size. She went to try them on and I got in line, but when Kate wanted me to look at how the khakis fit her and the woman ahead of me in line was buying $100 worth of clothes, I bailed and told Kate that the pants fit her nicely around the waist and didn’t drag past her ankles. And as an added bonus, they were only $20, which is good for any new pair of khakis. She bought those and then we both took a few cologne/perfume samples before heading to Payless.

When we got to Payless, we had trouble finding 6 ½ wide in women’s, but we had a nice girl helping us. She was a very skilled sales associate, and she owned the pair of shoes Kate wanted, so she was able to tell Kate all about them. Kate didn’t much like the color (gray and light blue), but when I told her it was already 7:47, she bought them and we went onto the next stop.

Kate and I got a quick pic outside by the Greenwood Park Mall sign like we always do. The photo came out somewhat blurry.

We got to Blondie’s and I got a pumpkin spice cookie. Those things are delicious, though I think they’re only available for a limited time. I didn’t recognize any of the employees though.

However, at Maggie Moo’s, I recognized them and they remembered me. I guessed the total of my small strawberry ice cream with Butterfinger in a waffle cone to be $3.20. Kate burst out laughing.

After that, ice cream in hand, we went to Old Navy. I had a coupon where you had to spend $25 to get $10 off, and then I had a 10% off coupon. Therefore, I had to spend $27.50 before I got discounts. I went to the clearance rack and started pulling down all the men’s XL T-shirts that looked good. The hardest part about that was not getting strawberry ice cream on clothes I hadn’t yet paid for! The Greenwood Park Mall Old Navy has a HUGE men’s section with a varied selection- both in that they carry a wide variety of items and almost every item comes in my size. I got eight T-shirts before I saw cargo khakis were on sale for $20. I could use a replacement pair for the cargo khakis I got paint on. So I got a pair of 34 x 34s and got a changing room. Kate was nice enough to wait for me. I was prepared to find out I was too fat for a 34, but no…the waist fit perfectly! The shocker was my legs were too short for a 34! I went back and got a 34 x 32 pair, which was good for waist AND legs. However, now that I had pants, I knew I couldn’t afford ALL the T-shirts; just the ones that would get me to that magic $27.50. So I got three T-shirts, and the girl at the cash register was really nice, making THREE attempts to let me combine the 10% off and $10 off coupons. That’s part of why I love this particular Old Navy so much: in addition to the wide men’s selection, the employees happily and diligently attempt to let you combine coupons. The girl kept apologizing for taking so long. I just laughed and said, “Hey, if you can combine the coupons, then it’ll be worth the wait. I’m not complaining.” She did, and I spent $19 there- pretty good for pants AND three t-shirts. After that, I saw it was 8:20, so we needed to hurry and get to Ryan’s before they closed at 9:00.

We got to Ryan’s at 8:40 and each paid $14 for dinner and sodas. Normally, I go there when I have coupons, but I haven’t gotten any coupons for a while and I haven’t been to Ryan’s since September 1st. It’s safe to say I missed the place. I had a FULL first plate with mashed potatoes (best item there), carrots, ham, shrimp, orange chicken, French fries, and broccoli. It all tasted wonderful and I got a second plate of it soon after, followed by ice cream and apple pie for dessert. Our waitress was really nice, giving Kate and me both Sprites before we asked and even giving us “$1 off” coupons for a future visit. It’s not a big discount, but it’s a big thought. Now, Ryan’s adjusted their hours for the fall: they close at 9:00 on the weekends instead of 9:30. Consequently, Kate and I were there almost an hour past closing; despite this, the wait staff was all “come back and see us again,” “glad you enjoyed the food,” “have a great night,” “Can we get you anything?”, and “let us know if we can do anything else.” Oh, and they asked us our permission before disassembling both the hot food bar and dessert bars. Talk about service! We felt guilty we didn’t leave a bigger tip, and we left stuffed. STUFFED.

Kate got me $10 of gas for $3.13 per gallon at the Speedway at 31 & Epler before heading back to my house. We sat by the fire and played PS2 video games until almost midnight.

All in all, it was a WONDERFUL return to the South Side. I missed that place so much.