Woodbury Commons

One of the scraps of paper stuck into my notebook of things to do in New York was a visit upstate to the Woodbury Commons outlet mall village. So this is what we did on our weekend without visitors last weekend.

We had to leave New York state itself for a bit and drive through New Jersey, our first time out of the state. And when I say drive, I mean the bus driver drove us (and there didn’t seem to be a stigma attached to riding the bus like in LA and there were even a few other husbands on board). Our Caribbean driver was very chatty and told all sort of stories and I was rather amused by his pronunciation of Hudson River ‘oddsen reeeva’. The Port Authority bus terminal that we left from was huge! The buses left from level 3 and there were rows and rows of doors along a corridor, like a wide high school corridor, that you stepped out of and practically straight onto to a bus, angle parked in a line with loads of others, right up at your door. We drove out down a huge ramp leading out of the terminal in a great string of buses – not all going to Woodbury Commons – well, quite a few of them were as they went about even half hour. It actually felt pretty strange to be going so far away from the city but we got some pretty cool views looking back.

Off the island!

The bus trip felt very fast, not in time but in speed, and we figured it was because we hadn’t actually travelled above ground on anything other than our feet for a couple of months so that’s why trees and cars seemed to be whizzing by at extra speed. We travelled through some very green countryside – it was rather pretty.

Bus trip

A woman sitting in the seat in front of us had a store list printed out from the internet plus a village map and she was pointing to something on the list and locating the store on the map, showing her friend and noting stuff down – die hard shoppers who were obviously planning their route for the day to get some serious shopping done. It was about this time that I realised it was going to be very embarrassing to get back onto the bus with no shopping if I ended up having one of ‘those’ days. Luckily (I suppose) The Mister rarely comes home from the shops (even clothes shops) empty handed so I was safe.

When we got off the bus to start the day, some people collected suitcases from the luggage storage under the sides of the bus, made me wonder if there was a motel at the shops, but by the ease with which they grabbed and rushed off with their cases I realised they were empty and to be filled with the days purchases. Indeed watching people at the end of the day, that was the reason. Some suitcases and bags even looked brand new – bought to serve that purpose.

The shops themselves were pretty good – the day was absolutely stinking hot, the hottest one we’d had to date so we were forced to get back into the next shop after coming out of one. The place wasn’t a mall but seemed like a small town now deserted, lots of low rise peak-roofed sections of 2 or 3 buildings, like an old motel, with quite wide ‘streets’ with hardly anyone outside – the heat was probably the reason for that. All the big name brands were there, not just clothes but homeware, jewellery, sunglasses, shoes, department stores, sports stores with mostly last season’s or odd sizes. The shops were fairly orderly, not like bargain outlet stores in the city, these had nicely arranged racks of clothes, but when you got to them it was a bit of a search for anything resembling your size. However, I didn’t embarrass myself getting back onto the bus, I had a couple of bags containing (you guessed it) some jeans and t-shirts. Great prices if you could find what you were looking for.

Woodbury Commons 141 - 21 May 2010

Not much in the way of food out there – was forced to Starbucks for only the 3rd time in our nearly 3 months in the States.

Saw a brown furry badger type animal on the grass verge as we were leaving – was about the size of a big rabbit or wombat, with a big tail, but not a squirrel. Must Google and see if I can figure out what it was. >> UPDATE: it was a groundhog! There’s a picture on Wikipedia of one.


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