An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

With our son off on a weekend snowboarding trip, Jan and I took advantage by spending Friday evening and Saturday galavanting about the Triangle, catching a couple of movies we’d wanted to see, and eating out at several establishments we’ve heard about but never tried. It was fun.

It was also crowded. Every restaurant we chose was filled to capacity, though we managed to get in. “A Southern Season” in Chapel Hill, a kitchen/cooking mecca, was jammed with folks hunting the sort of spices, foodstuffs or kitchen gadgets you can’t find at less specialized stores. And when we drove over to the Streets of Southpoint, a mega-shopping area, it looked like Christmas shopping season was underway: we had to park a hundred yards from the nearest entrance, and when we left it took nearly 20 minutes to navigate back onto the highway.

We commented more than once that it wasn’t what you’d expect during a recession. Jan noted that, with the sun shining and the temperature in the high fifties after a miserably cold and wet winter, maybe people were just anxious to get out of their houses and go somewhere, whether they bought anything or not.

And, come to think of it, though we saw lots of people, few of them were carrying many bags. We spent more than an hour perusing A Southern Season’s high-end aisles, but spent less than $20. I don’t know how much others were spending, but perhaps the fact that so many were out and about harbors hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

A sunny day can do that for you.

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