We really like to go to St. Cloud (3 hours) to go shopping. Because of schedule (and other places we needed to go) we had not been there since early last fall. We were surprised at these changes.
1. The Lambs called Granite City the Balloon Restaurant. They always ask to eat there if there is one in the town we go to. After we ate we asked for balloons. They said they had not had balloons available for several months. They can't give out balloons because of latex allergy. The Lambs were very disappointed.
2. St. Cloud has an Aldi now! We didn't go because we were pretty stocked up on groceries after recent trips to Costco. But we now have this option for the next time we go to St. Cloud. Out of all the towns we regularly go to, this is the first Aldi that I've seen. There may be Aldis in some of the other towns we go to, but they aren't on the main street where we are shopping at other stores.
3. Once Upon a Child had moved some items around in the store. I don't know if it is the economy or if they found things weren't selling, or what the reason, but there was very little that I was interested in buying. The only snow pants they had over size 3T were brand new. Lamb 1 needs new snow pants so he can pass down his snow pants to Lamb 2. Out of all the towns we go to, the Once Upon a Child was my favorite in St. Cloud-they didn't seem to have much competition for thrift stores. We'll have to see if this continues the next time we go to St. Cloud or if it was just a bad time of year to go shopping. I'm afraid the economy may be making this a permanent change.