Thursday, May 8, 2008

In with the new - out with the old!

After being spoiled with a series of super sunny and warm days back in mid-April - May has greeted us with cooler temperatures and plenty of rain.

Now - don't get me wrong - I do believe that rain is good for cleaning up all the muck on the streets that our harsh, snowy winter left behind and it's also great for the newly sprouted plants, but I was not prepared and properly attired for these forthcoming rainy days. I don't own a raincoat or a waterproof jacket nor do I have waterproof shoes or rain boots. So these past few rainfalls, I have been wearing my old, decrepit and holey Pumas. Let me tell you now that those sneakers do little to protect your feet from puddles and rainfall. They actually absorb water like a sponge.

This is when I decided to visit my local MEC. Now for those of you that do not know, MEC or Mountain Equipment Co-op is a Canadian store that sells outdoor hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, camping and 'roughing it' equipment and supplies for the outdoorsy types.

I am not an outdoorsy type. I LOVE nature and I LOVE wildlife (which includes insects too!) but I cannot live in a tent or sleep in a sleeping bag. I have tried. I was miserable and achy. And yes I am a Canadian but I can't say I'm a fan of camping. My husband on the other hand is a seasoned camper. I do not know the first thing about canoing or rock climbing. He loves all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking. Oh dear!

So when I mentioned to hubbie the other day that I wanted to stop by MEC and pick up some clothing he was surprised. "What?" YOU want to buy clothing from MEC and not Etsy? Whoa!!

Yes that's right! I want to get a waterproof jacket and a soft fleece or hoodie and perhaps a couple of organic cotton t-shirts and maybe a pair of Keen sneakers.

Well, suffice to say, I made my purchases at MEC. I spent a good hour or more combing the racks of clothing. Saw some very nice, fluffy Patagonia fleeces which , in my opinion, were wayyyy over priced. I passed on that. I tried on the Keen sneakers that they had on display and found them very stylish and cute but not the MOST comfortable. Then I tried on this pair of urban walking sneakers and yes! - I bought them. They fit like a glove. Ergonomic and contoured to my feet. And comfortable - hurray!

I also picked up a raspberry-coloured, inexpensive hoodie that is very soft, and a light waterproof jacket lined with fleece in grey. Actually, I wore this jacket home as it was raining when I left MEC. It is waterproof!! And warm!! The jacket is great for our rainy spring weather but I do have a critique to make. It is not the greatest fit for a woman with curves. It is form fitting on the torso BUT with no extra room around the hip area. I hope it loosens up with regular wear. What was MEC thinking? That every customer that shops there will have an athletic and buff physique with broad shoulders and a narrow hips?? Real woman do have curves!

So yes, my trip to MEC proved to be a success and now when it rains on Sunday - I can actually go outdoors and not worry about getting water in my shoes and drenched to the bone.

I still have my eye on these short-sleeve organic cotton t-shirts and their longer-sleeved counterparts, although I do find them a bit on the plain side. I think I'll visit Etsy to see their collection of creative t-shirts for the time being.