Maya loves Stew Leonard's.
What is Stew Leonard's, you ask?
It's a mini chain of grocery stores in CT/NY that sells very little processed foods, but lots of fresh dairy, meats and produce. But that's not all. It's set up kind of like a maze---there's only one way to go through, and as you wind through the store (which is painted like a barn) you go through bunches of decorations---the produce sections has fake trees lining the ailes, the banana stand has a giant singing and dancing mechanical banana, etc. There are dancing mechanical cows and chickens.
I think that Maya might think it's a theme park.
Back in the day, when she was born (May 2008), it was HOT. After 2 weeks spent primarily hanging around the house, we were desperate to spend more time out, and the air conditioned Stew Leonard's provided a chance to shop, have ice cream (they serve food, too) and relieve our stir craziness. So "Uncle Stew's" (as we affectionately call it) was one of Maya's first outings:
See the little tippy top of her baby head?
And once she had a taste, she couldn't get enough. We can't go shopping anywhere near Stew's without stopping in, or we are guaranteeing a meltdown.
Guys, look, it's right up there! We're in the wrong place! I need to get up that big hill to Uncle Stew's! Right now! Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh. (Taken in the Costco parking lot)
Oh, and in the summer, they have animals. REAL animals. They even have . . .
wait for it . . .
COWS! (well, calves, but whatever)
I'm talkin' to a baby cow and it's lickin' my cow sticker. It doesn't get better than this :)
I love it here!
So, when we were at "Uncle Stew's" a few days before New Year's Eve, I couldn't stifle a laugh when a bubbly customer service worker came over and said "Hi, do you guys shop here often?" Ha! (the service is really friendly, by the way, they give stickers to Maya everytime we go . . . and although she's super cute, I suspect they might give stickers to all of the little kids). We said yes, and she asked if we'd like to be the "customers of the month". And that's how we became celebrities :)
They gave us the worst flowers ever and a $20 gift card:
Ok, the flowers were actually alive when we got them, but then Maya got sick and I forgot to take a picture until it was too late.
And our picture/bio is on the plaque-----if you're local you should totally head to Stew's to check it out!
I think you can click this and it will appear larger if you wan to check out the text.
It's hanging behind the desk in the customer service barn:
Maya was so excited to have this award bestowed upon her. You can tell that she's just overwhelmed by the honor: