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Sep 21, 2011

 It was during this Summer vacation that my family and I came across the best toy shop that I have ever been to. It was in the town of Coeur d'Alene, in Idaho, the state that is to the east of Washington State, and next to Montana. As we were only on vacation for a few days, we had a very short time in this particular town, a few hours in fact. The town itself is very clean and organized, with lots of greenery, and right on a lake. It's a tourist attraction, and has a seaside feel to it. It's main street is called Sherman Avenue and is a quaint mix of cafes, restaurants, and specialty shops. It was a hot day, so we stayed on the shady side of the street. You could tell that it was Summer; there were people everywhere, especially in the outside seating areas of the cafes and restaurants. As we walked down towards the lake, I noticed several children a little further down, getting excited, pointing at one of the shops, and going in. My kids soon picked up on this*, and before I knew it, we were inside 'Figpickles Toy Emporium'.It wasn't my intention to buy anything, “We're only going to look,” I said. Well, you know how that goes*, don't you? It was an impressive place, not because of its size (it was a fairly small shop, but long, and divided into different sections). There were ornate, wooden decorations attached to various parts of the ceiling, creating the theme of a magical ship. The shelves that were on every wall, reached to the ceiling, and were completely full of modern, classic, and old fashioned toys. I assumed that they would have the typical toys that you find in big department stores, but they didn't. This was definitely a specialty shop. There were books, puzzles, and building kits about ancient civilizations, pirates, and major battles. I think that my children became so engrossed*, that they forgot about their parents completely. I stood back and watched. The 'girls' toys were tasteful: detailed wooden houses, paper doll kits, dressing up clothes. And actually, most of the toys were unisex*. We must have spent about an hour there. We couldn't leave because the young man who was working there that day was playing with the toys himself. He was using a rubber bow and arrow, firing it from one end of the room to the other, over the heads of the customers! He was having a whale of a time*! So, how could you not get involved when the employee was having so much fun. Thankfully, my kids got hungry after a while, so they were willing to leave. We did buy a couple of things, not because we needed any toys, but more to commemorate our visit.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary and expressions: unisex, engrossed, you know how that goes, to pick up on something.

  1. That jacket is unisex; both males and females can wear it.

  2. The boys were so engrossed in their soccer match, that they didn't notice a storm moving in.

  3. We told the kids not to get up too early on Christmas day to open the presents, but you know how that goes (i.e. they did get up early).

  4. The two men argued in a civilized manner, but I picked up on their mutual loathing.