Target Stores: Same Name and Branding, but it is a Different Store

As you travel, you will discover brands that you won’t find back home. This is part of the joys in discovering new places. What you think is cool back home might have another story in a different country. I have always loved Target stores, even when they came to my homeland, Canada. Although they didn’t survive, the excitement of Target stores entering Canada will never be forgotten…and sadly neither will their exit.

Even with a weaker Canadian dollar, Canadians have always loved shopping in the US to get deals on clothing, electronics, and even cars. When Target came to Canada everyone expected it to be filled with quality products at low prices.   The bargains they were used to getting in the states were far off from what they remembered when shopping across the border. Target did not survive in Canada and as far as I knew, Canada was the only country this company had tried to penetrate market share. To my surprise, while exploring the streets in Sydney and Melbourne, I saw Target stores many times. After seeing it so many times, I finally decided to check it out. The merchandise seemed the same and everything about the store was like the US version. I didn’t want assume anything though because I was in a different country, so I had to ask the store clerk, “Is this the same Target that is in the US?” Her response was, “No it is not the same company.”

I walked away wondering which store knocked off the other or was that employee completely off. I did a quick search and to my surprise, while the branding and the name appear to be the same, they are in fact completely different companies, with different owners, founders, and history. They were never the same company.  I’m still surprised that the two companies look the same.

What do you think about their similarities? Have you run into a similar experience on your travels?

 

The picture on the left is a Target in Australia and the one on the right is a target in the United States.

I’m not a fan of fast food, but we saw Hungry Jacks everywhere in Australia too. Since it is local to the nation, I decided to give this place a try.  Which fast food place does this remind you of?

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Hungry Jacks at South Cross Station in Melbourne

I was pleasantly surprised with Kmart Australia.  The women’s apparel was like shopping at H&M or Forever 21.  I picked up some tops, denim cut off shorts, and a wide brimmed hat.  I don’t remember Kmart being that awesome in Canada or the US.  Kmart Australia is an independent entity operating in Australia and New Zealand and was actually previously part of the American stores.

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Kmart in Australia. (Photo courtesy of wikipedia)

What I have learned is that while we are so different from country to country, we are the same.

How to Spend One Day in Miami

Let me preface this by saying that I have been to Miami many times, so I was really okay to do more than look pretty and veg on the beach.

With more than 5 hours of layover, there was time to head into the city and explore a little.  We followed the signs that led us to the metrobus.  We wanted to visit the beach briefly so we took bus 150 to South Beach.  The cost was only $2.25 per person.  I was with my sister and we both bought the day pass for $5, which allowed us to hop on and off the transit all day.  We were on the bus for about 20 minutes and we got off on Collins Ave.  Our first stop was for a bite to eat at Rosetta Bakery. I love everything about this little Italian bakery.  If you arrive early enough, make sure to get a croissant before they are sold out.  We arrived for lunch and had this eggplant and cheese savory pastry.

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After lunch and coffee, we walked to the beach and took a stroll along Ocean Drive.  After about 1 hour, we decided to take another bus to a metrostation where we then caught the train to Brickell.  I had been to this area previously, but I was quite happy to show my sister this neigborhood as she wasn’t sure she had been in the past.  Brickell is known as the financial district with skyscrapers, fashion boutiques, cafes, and patios.

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Brickell City Centre Shopping Mall – This is a 5 star mall with all your luxury cravings.

How to See Kansas City, Missouri in 6 Hours or Less

This post was originally published two years ago.  In spring of 2018, unfortunately, The Doughnut Lounge abruptly closed the doors for good, right after they had began expansion plans.  You can still read my love for what this place once was in the article below. -Sept 25th, 2018

This is for the spontaneous and fast travelers.  What you take in obviously depends on what you’re most interested in seeing and doing.  Allow me to highlight how I spent 6 hours on a beautiful sunny spring day.

I have a dangerous love for donuts and if I could eat them every day all day, I just might do that and I’m not talking about any old regular donut, it must be fresh, artisan and have a total hipster appeal. Even Voodoo donuts don’t make my list. Anyway this is not a post about donuts. I’ll write one in the future.  All this to say, my first stop was for donuts.  The Doughnut Lounge is located in Westport, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City. This charming area has a few antique shops, second hand stores, several eateries and pubs.  The Doughnut Lounge is an excellent option for creative eats.  We spent about 1 hour altogether for breakfast and exploring the area on foot.

Every city I go to, I always check out the public market.  On this Saturday morning, it was nice to take a stroll through the Historic City Market, also known as the River Market. Here you will find local vendors selling produce, artifacts, and a plethora of eateries for you to grab a quick bite including Brazilian, Middle Eastern, and Italian and more.   We were already stuffed from the bite we had at the Doughnut Lounge, so we didn’t indulge here. To my surprise, I found a Ghanaian grocery store there and bought the Ghana yam, which usually cannot be purchased in regular grocery stores.  Ghana yam has a buttery nut flavor and is packed with vitamin C and iron.  It sells for $1.99/lb and I bought a 4 pounder to take home with me.  The Steamboat Arabia Museum is here too.  We didn’t make time to visit the museum, but I’m sure it is pretty cool.  We spent about 35 minutes in this neighborhood and moved on.

Our next stop was to the Ermine Case Junior Park.  You can probably skip this one. It has a view over the city, but not as nice as the lookout from our next stop, which was at the Scout view.  We then made it over to the Liberty Memorial for the World War I Memorial. We didn’t go in the museum.  We spent about 10 minutes at each of these sites and snapped a few pictures.  These destinations are fairly close to each other (with a car).

A friend recommended LC’s BBQ and while we were not overly hungry, we knew we could not leave Kansas city without tasting some BBQ.  We ordered the burned ends beef plate and a beef and turkey combo brisket.  I see why this is ranked a top 10 destination for BBQ. The burned ends were doused in sweet bbq sauce, which paired perfectly with the smoked burned meat.  I found the portions to be very hearty and I couldn’t finish my meal.  My husband couldn’t finish his either. We were fortunate to arrive at a time when it wasn’t too busy, so we were in and out within 30 minutes and we took what we couldn’t finish with us.  I’m smiling because I don’t have to make lunch tomorrow!

At this point it was time to walk off all of that meat.  We heard about a great classy neighborhood called The Plaza.   As we drove into this area we loved the architecture and scenery and quickly located a place to park.  This 15-block district is filled with major fashion stores, like Gucci, Coach and Forever XXI.  There are a ton of restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. Tesla has also made their mark in this area.  If you don’t care to shop, it is still nice to see this area.  Also, take a few minutes to walk to the riverwalk nearby.  You will love it

Don’t worry about parking in this city.  Everywhere we went, parking was free for 2 hours.

Another short and sweet trip covered!

Experience Civil Rights History with a Tour at the the Civil Rights Museum

In May 2016, I took a trip to Memphis and spend almost an entire day at the Civil Rights Museum.  I highly recommend that everyone who gets a chance to be in this city to take the time to tour this place.

There is a wealth of information on display and it is so engaging.  I felt myself stepping in time and trying to relate with those who participated in the civil right movement.  I even overheard a conversation next to me that I had to jump in.  A white woman with her college aged daughter was speaking of her memories of the time when her high school was implementing mixed schools.

We have come so far and we need to keep thinking forward.  To know the history and rise from it, is to respect and live a more promising future as long as it serves our nation for greater good.

Walking through the Civil Right Museum gave me a variety of emotions. Most of all, I felt proud of Martin Luther King Jr. He made this world a better place.img_20160508_132201

A Very Chillax Vibe in Vail, Colorado for Thanksgiving

After years of hearing and wondering about Colorado, some friends invited us to visit Vail for the Thanksgiving long weekend. My husband I jumped at the chance and thought it would be fun to share a house or cabin in the Rocky mountains with some friends.  We booked a home on airbnb and were set for whatever snow activities and lounging we can take in over the holiday.  Skiing was on our radar, but in the end we didn’t ski for a few reasons.  Most importantly, we couldn’t ski because the beginner runs were closed as there was not enough snow last week.  We have been up to Whistler, BC several times and actually never skied there either. We just love to hang out in the village, stare at the mountains, sip on hot chocolate, people watch, and check out little interesting boutiques.

In Vail, we visited Beaver Creek, Vail Village, and Lionshead Village. Of the three, my top choice for just perusing through is Vail Village.  All three have their own little charm though and if you travel like my husband and I do (short and sweet), you have ample time to visit all three in one day!  All three offer ice skating, so if you do not plan to ski and you want an easier less expensive activity, this is it.

On Saturday morning, we left Vail at 7:30 am to take a drive to Aspen. The road trip itself was spectacular. The views of the mountains and the design of the road as it curved between mountains and the tunnels we passed through were all breathtaking. We arrived at about 9am and the town was quieter than we expected, which was likely because there was not a ton of snow there either.  The shops are in the town with Aspen Mountain right behind everything.  Here you will high end shops and luxury stores mixed in with local shops catered to travelers and local snow athletes. All the stores were scheduled to open at 10am, except for a few cafes.  We discovered a cute place called, Aspen Overeasy (thanks to Yelp!).  We both loved our breakfast and the hospitality.  I highly recommend this place.  We spend only an hour in Aspen as we dashed to get back to Vail to fly out at 12:30. It was jam packed morning and we covered exactly what we wanted.

Another moment to Thank God for the beauty in the world, the light, and life.

 

 

 

 

 

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