Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Letter from Riverhead

A friend writes: “I just got back from a truly marvelous vacation and one that was unlike anything I’d experienced before. I went on a walking tour of discount supermarkets. You go to Costco, Sam’s Club and end up at the BJ’s Wholesale Club on Route 58 in Riverhead. Butterfield and Robinson is a Canada based touring company that specializes in high end biking and walking tours and there are some multi-sports of which this one should qualify since there was walking and shopping for items like toilet paper in bulk. In these economically challenging times many active vacation companies which specialize in bike trips to the Loire where they place their customers in Chateaus at night and pick up the pieces the next day, when wine tastings lead to bike crashes, should consider this growing new market. Holiday Inn Expresses can replace the chateaus with chains like Panera’s and  the Olive Garden substituting for the two and three star Michelins that still grace high end tours. The spirit of the old active vacation trips was still there, if the clientele was somewhat changed in both attitude and appearance. The high rollers, who normally would check their walking sticks and settle back by the pool with a bottles of Merlot, were now seen heading back to the same discount supermarkets they’d spent the day touring with their new found coupon books in hand.  Our trip ended with tearful fair wells at the BBB (Bed, Bath and Beyond), about a mile from I-495, the Interstate that would carry us all back into the major airports and Manhattan—from which we would all disperse to the four corners of the earth.”

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