Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Quick Jump to Short Pump

On Saturday my husband said he wanted to go somewhere. His birthday was June 2 and mine is today (June 8) and a quick get-away seemed in order.

We decided to go to Short Pump, which is a shopping mecca just outside of Richmond.

We packed some things, made reservations at a hotel, and hopped in the car.

The trip down was uneventful. However, it is a three-hour drive, and that is with only one rest stop.

My husband. Isn't he handsome?

Our destination.

We were very impressed with the development in Short Pump. Here are people who, unlike the officials in Botetourt, understand that you can have attractive and well-designed structures and businesses will still come. In the Roanoke area, they seldom say no to any business regardless of what it looks like, which is why we have the shoddy McDonalds, the warehouse buildings for Walmart, and things like that. There was none of that in Short Pump.

Note that there are trees and the structures are off the highway. This is a Barnes and Noble. I don't think people in the Roanoke area allow trees to grow tall enough to hide signs.

Check out the lights. The properties were accessed from side roads off the main thoroughfare. We liked that design.

We arrived in Short Pump around 1 p.m. We ate lunch at McDonalds - a brick McDonalds that didn't have the clown and the colors, by the way. Then we went to Best Buy, where I looked at scanners. I had looked at scanners in Roanoke but was unimpressed with the selection. The selection in Short Pump was better but the customer service was very poor. The fellow who was waiting on us would only speak directly to my husband and not to me. He reminded me of Raj on The Big Bang Theory only it wasn't funny because I was the one who needed the information. I did not buy a scanner there but found one I liked that I could order later.

However, we slipped into Walmart to pick up more water bottles and found the same scanner there for $50 less. So we bought it and put it in the trunk.

We finally made it to Short Pump Town Center, where we discovered that this was not an enclosed mall but an open-air mall.

This would not have been a bad thing except that the thermometer in the car read 103 degrees and it felt like it. I wilt in 75 degree heat. Despite the heat, we walked the mall, making frequent stops for air-conditioning and venturing into the food court for drinks.

An Apple store attracted my attention and I had my first view of an iPad. It was smaller than I expected, about the size of a nice mouse pad or thereabouts. I can see the appeal of the device but not the expense of it.

Finally it was time to check in at our hotel.

We had never stayed at this motel chain before. Generally we stay elsewhere, having found that certain chains are usually clean. Some are now smoke-free, like this hotel, and that was a plus.

The lobby was quite impressive. The staff was very friendly and exceedingly helpful. We would come to learn that first hand, as you will learn later in Quick Jump to Short Pump, part 2!


  1. I hope you'll fill us in on what other stores there are...we have enough Best Buys, Walmarts and Barnes & Nobles here so I would hope there's more than those chains ;)

  2. Elena, you can see a list of the stores at the town center at

  3. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!! *sound of trumpets ensues*


  4. Happy birthday to you both! And yes, isn't it amazing how trees, grass and flower beds can transform any urban space.

  5. Happy birthday to both of you! Being a jaded city person, I guess it's sort of not a big deal to go the 3 minutes to the mall, but then again, there's really nothing that I want there.

    And so it goes.

  6. What fun to stay overnight! We've made the drive to Short Pump a couple of times, but always for one day. Yes, comfortable weather helps.

  7. I love the comparison to Raj on Big Bang! That is a funny show. Everytime I go into a Best Buy, I think of the show Chuck. It's tempting to start looking for him and his crew.

    Short Pump looks like a very nice place. I'm glad you had a good time.

  8. First of all - Happy Birthday!!! Sorry I'm late with the wishes. This looks like the mall that Becky and I went to a couple of years ago. We attended an SCBWI event and Becky wanted to stop in to visit the Apple store. It IS a nice mall. The only thing we have that even comes close to an outdoor mall is that small section over at Valley View. It sort of feels like an outdoor mall. I really like that - I hope it catches on.


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