Today I drove to one of my favorite wine shops.  It’s about a half-hour’s drive from home.  The staff is friendly and very knowledgeable.  Today, though, was unusual.  It was the first day of “Dollar Days.”

During this event, all wines and liqueurs are sold at the shop’s cost plus $1.  Depending on the wine, this discount averages about 25% when you add in MD sales tax.  It’s a good enough deal that when I arrived (15 minutes before the shop opened), there were at least 50 people waiting in line. 

The experienced shoppers had tote bags; one pro even had a hand truck to haul cases around the store.  Amazing.

The gentleman behind me commented that the line reminded him of “waiting for concert tickets in the ’70’s.”  He had a point.  We were all of “a certain age” – except for one enterprising mom with a curly-headed toddler on her arm.

I thought I knew how hectic this sale would be.  I was completely unprepared for the number of people literally filling grocery carts with bottles of wine.  I helped one gentleman box up nearly the entire supply of one type of extra-dry sparkling wine.  Some people had strategies  – one person had the cart in an out-of-the-way spot and the spouse filled the cart.  Some had lists of desired wines.

As for me?  Well, I write two online wine columns.  I only had a shopping basket, so I filled it with wines from Spain, France and Italy, and hit the checkout line when I felt I couldn’t possibly add another bottle.  I brought home some nice Spanish reds and some old favorites from my years living in Europe.  I picked up some French chardonnay for my husband.  It was fun, fascinating, and at least somewhat frugal.

Maybe next year I’ll bring our hand truck.

For something completely different, read my newest travel Hub, about using airport cell phone waiting areas.


I’m off to the airport to pick up my husband, who’s coming home after nearly a month away.  This is the kind of errand I like to do!

My latest travel hub is on Indiana’s Conner Prairie.  Click here to read it.

This is not a road trip week.  I’m working hard on lots of writing projects, hoping to earn money for a future road trip or ten, so postings will be infrequent.  The only road time I’ve had in the last couple of days has involved retrieving children or groceries.  The fall activity schedule is cranking up, so I’ll be out and about with the kids before it’s really fall.

We do have some day trips planned for the near future.  Weather permitting, we plan to hit St. Mary’s City for the first time and to check out the Claude Moore Farm.  Maybe I’ll learn why my zucchini wouldn’t prosper.

My latest travel hub is about free concerts in Washington, D. C.

I logged 4.5 hours behind the wheel today, all on D. C. metro area roads.  I hit the Beltway, Route 32, Route 29, I-66, Kenilworth Avenue, Route 50 and more.  For what?  Picking up a camera, taking a child to dance camp…that’s pretty much it.  Adding to the thrill was the fact that my first errand of the day, putting my new tire onto the right front wheel, had to be rescheduled, so I did all this with no spare tire.

Ouch.  I think I’m headed for a dose of Vitamin M (that’s Motrin to you and me) before bed, as even the tip of my nose is now aching.  I’m not qualified for the WNBA, but I’m a bit taller than the average bear-ette, and sandwiching myself into a Dodge Stratus for hours isn’t my idea of fun.

On the good side, the car did well in spite of the brutal pre-rush hour traffic, the 90-degree weather and the lack of spare tire.  I completed my errands without major problems.  We have the whole evening free to cuddle kitties and watch Animal Planet.  All’s well that ends well.