Road Trip Led to Sad “Times Have Changed” Realization
Over the weekend my sister and I took a road trip to Reading, Pennsylvania. Our goal was to do some outlet shopping at the VF Outlet Center. We've been going there since the early 1970s. My mother was such a fan of this place that she used to organize bus trips from our neighborhood in Queens, New York! The excellent bargains made it worth the 6 hour round trip!
I remember in Reading seeing buses from all over the Northeast. As the first outlet center in America, VF was quite the destination. It's where we'd go to stock up on jeans, underwear, socks, sweatshirts, and bathrobes. Soon other brands would be available there so we bought shoes, tools, and sports gear. It was a common sight to see the parking lots filled with buses, and cars, and happy shoppers unloading purchases into the trunks of their cars so they could go back and find more great deals.
But as we saw over the weekend, this place has changed. Dramatically. There were no crowds or tour groups. There were still deals to be found and we're glad we went. But we both said we're probably not going to return.
Unless the current renovation improves the shopping experience and adds more stores back to the site, we'll keep Jackson Premium Outlets as our "go-to" outlet store destination.
Though I've been going to the Jackson stores for as long as they've been open, this Reading place is where I have such fond family memories. My treks there were never just about the bargains, they helped me feel connected to my parents who have both passed. I miss them, and now I'm going to miss this place. But I'll always have fond memories of it.
What's a place you used to love going with your parents that's now changed or been shuttered?