Kristi, at Interrupted Wanderlust (in my blogroll) wrote yesterdayday of going to Target with her baby girl. She made me remember a ritual I followed religiously shortly after we moved to Raleigh, in 1969.
My son was 3 1/2, and attended the church pre-school adjacent to our apartment complex three days a week. I had a newborn daughter also. Moving to a new state with a newborn and a 3 year old is stressful, especially when your husband is taking a job with a new company. There are so many unknowns! I wanted to get to know the area as soon as possible, but I wasn't easily persuaded to drive around on my own in a strange town, at least not far. I learned about a shopping mall not far from us, and it became my refuge for the few hours a week that my son was in pre-school.
As soon as I dropped him off at school in the morning, I drove to the mall. It didn't open until 10 am, but the JC Penney's there had a coffee shop that opened much earlier than the mall. Pretty soon, my baby and I were regulars at the coffee shop, and the ladies who worked there got to know us by name. I would plop her on the table in her carrier, while I ordered coffee and some breakfast, and opened my latest book or talked to the other patrons who were regulars too. It was a great way for a newcomer to have a little adult conversation during the day.
As soon as 10am rolled around, I beat it into the mall with the baby in a shopping cart. Window shopping or actually buying, it was a nice outing for me. I looked forward to our little trips to the mall back then; they were the equivalent of a spa visit now.....LOL.