Damara was just about to leave her bedroom when she found Bronté Keats and Margaux Bercher outside. "Good morning, Damara. Sorry for disturbing you so early, but we have thought to show you the village if you don't have any other plans, yet." Bronté greeted. Damara was quite surprised. She met both Margaux and Bronté briefly on her first day, and immediately sensed that they were best friends. "Thank you ladies, that will be lovely." Damara agreed.
Bronté explained that they first needed to stop by the nursery school to deliver Larkin's snack. In the hustle and bustle of the hectic morning, it was forgotten on the kitchen table. Damara was very pleased about the detour, she loved children.
As they approached the nursery school, she could see the teacher, Delia Chiffon, reprimanding two little boys. "Hughie, Rally, that was very naughty. You must learn to wait your turn. Larkin and Burl was at the slide first, and when they have finished sliding, it is your turn." she explained. "Yes ma'am." little Hughie said. "Sorry ma'am." Rally apologised.
Bronté waited for Delia to finish her disciplining before approaching her. She explained the reason for her unannounced visit and then introduced Damara to Delia.
While Bronté stole a hug from Larkin before handing him his food, and Margaux played with little Skimble Macavity and Jocelyn Chantilly. Damara chatted to Delia. She liked Delia, who was obviously a kindhearted woman, for being a nursery school teacher. But Delia also disclosed that she needed to be strict, as some of the little ones like taking chances.
"Now for some shopping." Bronté suggested excitedly. "Yes, indeed," Margaux replied, "but unfortunately Innes asked me to help him with some orders, so if it is alright I just want to stop at the Toy Shop first?" Damara almost squealed with excitement, she loved toy shops, and always looked for a reason to visit one.
Bronté and Damara indicated that they have no qualms about dropping by the toy shop first, and the three friends headed for the Toy Shop, where Innes was already waiting for them.
While Margaux assisted her husband, Damara and Bronté looked around. Damara was pleasantly surprised by the variety of toys that the Toy Shop stocked. She was relieved that her suitcase was already full to the brim, otherwise she would've bought toys for all her friends' children.
Innes was finally satisfied with the orders, thanked Margaux for her help and waived the ladies good bye, "Enjoy the shopping, ladies!"
"Now Damara, we will take you to the fanciest and newest shop in our village. It only opened a few weeks ago, and I am telling you it is the best thing that could happen to the women of Sugarbush Valley." Margaux was visibly excited about this shop. When Damara turned around she stood in-front of the Sugarbush Valley Boutique. Her jaw dropped. Bronté and Margaux was already making their way inside, but Damara took a few seconds to admire the beautiful window display.
Damara finally felt ready to venture inside. Though it sounds impossible the interior was even more stunning then the window displays.
"Damara, close your mouth and come here." Bronté jokingly said. "Oh I'm sorry, I am just mesmerised by all I'm seeing." Damara replied. The two friends introduced her to Camilla Hunter-Smyth, co-owner of the beautiful Boutique. "You have a stunning shop, Camilla. I'm sure the ladies of Sugarbush Valley, are very happy that you opened it." Damara commended. "Thank you, Damara. You are so kind." Camilla replied.
Damara admired the beautiful jewelry, and was stunned with the prices too. Though it wasn't cheap, it surely was affordable.
"So Damara, are you enjoying your stay in our village?" Camilla approached Damara. "It is wonderful. I must admit, I am a bit homesick and miss my husband, immensely, but the villagers here are so kind, and I'm never alone, so I don't get time to get depressed." Damara replied.
After inspecting and 'oohing' and 'aahing' over every item, it was finally time to leave. Damara once more congratulated Camilla on their wonderful Boutique and promised that she will tell everyone in Rooibosh Hill about it.
"Now we are taking you to the Sylvanian Market. It is also a wonderful shop, and what makes it so special is that it stocks a wide variety of items." Bronté informed Damara. Damara was relieved, she was in desperate need of some toiletries, and was glad that she didn't need to search for the shop. "Oh no, it is Hatty." Margaux whispered. "What on earth are they doing here in the middle of the day?" Bronté asked softly. "I guess the Inspector is reprimanding the Headmaster." Margaux replied tartly. "Who is Hatty?" Damara inquired.
It was evident that Bronté and Margaux didn't like Hatty and wanted to avoid her at all cost. Unfortunately Hatty never missed a thing. "Yoooo hooo, aren't you Damara, the travelling Sylvanian." Hatty shouted. Damara could hear the quick shuffling of feet behind her as Bronté and Margaux hurried up the stairs. She found the behaviour really odd, but she answered politely, "Yes it is me!" Hatty smiled, "Welcome to Sugarbush, wonderful to meet you, we must have tea soon." Hatty suggested. Damara thanked Hatty for the invite, and scurried up the stairs, she wanted to find out what is up with Hatty.
But as Damara entered the shop of Spencer Maces, she forgot all about her questions, 'They sure do have wonderful shops in Sugarbush.' she thought to herself.
Margaux introduced her to Spencer, and Spencer invited her to have a look around. Damara like that about shop owners, giving one time to look around on ones own time.
Damara selected the necessary creams and pastes she needed, as well as a crystal swan ornament. It was beautifully made and she had yet to buy a souvenir from Sugarbush. Spencer carefully wrapped the ornament, and packed everything in a brown paper bag. Damara thanked him.
While waiting for Margaux to pay for her purchases, Damara looked around some more. It was then that she met Hatty again. Within minutes she understood Margaux and Bronté's odd behaviour. Hatty fired questions at her about her journey, not waiting for any answers, also making rude mentions about some of the villages and its residents.
Luckily Bronté came to her rescue and reminded her about the lunch date she had, and that they were already late. Without greeting Hatty, Bronté and Margaux pushed her out the door.
"Oh my, what an obnoxious woman!" Damara couldn't help herself. "I'm glad you understand, and that we don't have to give our opinion about Hatty" Margaux replied, visibly relieved. "Yes, though we don't like her, we don't like saying bad things about our fellow villagers, especially to strangers." Bronté explained.
Damara smiled, she understood too well, "Did someone mentioned a lunch date?" she asked jokingly. Bronté and Margaux both smiled slyly. "Glad you picked up on that, we will now take you for the best hamburgers you have ever eaten in your life." Margaux replied.
Inside the restaurant, the found a table for three, and a friendly but visibly shy mouse showed them the menu. She introduced herself as Bridget Fielding, and after she left Bronté told her that the Fieldings own the Hamburger Restaurant. Darcy prepares the food, and that Bridget is the hostess and waitress.
Damara enjoyed the time with Margaux and Bronté. Not only did they discuss Hatty and her ways a bit, but they also shared interesting tid bits about other villagers too. Not to gossip about them, more to give Damara an idea of everyday village life in Sugarbush Valley.
Sooner than expected the delicious food arrived, and Damara realised just how hungry she was.
"Sorry to interrupt your lunch, but I would just like to introduce myself." a small mole stood next to Damara. It was Heidi Mcburrows. She and her husband had just finished their lunch too. Damara had a quick chat with Heidi, while Digger settled the bill.
Though satiated, Damara regretted that lunch was over. She thoroughly enjoyed that meal. She thanked both Darcy and Bridget for it, and when she wanted to pay they told her that hers was on the house. She was even more thankful, and showed her gratitude.
"I know it wouldn't make sense, but I quickly have to get a few things for dinner." Bronté informed Damara. Damara giggled at the irony, but replied. "Very clever Bronté, they do shay that 'one should never shop on an empty stomach." The other two ladies also laughed at Damara's clever remark.
Once again Damara was in awe of the well stocked Supermarket. Though she wasn't hungry at all she immediately wanted to start shopping.
While Bronté looked for the groceries she needed, Damara chatted with the Redwoods, owners of the Supermarket."
Wilbur and Fliss was two wonderful people and again Damara commended them that they too had a wonderful well stocked shop. "I really thought it would be difficult for a village laying so far South, to have fresh produce, but you are so organised, that I regret ever wondering about that."
Bronté paid for her goods, Damara greeted Fliss, and they were on their way.
'Whereto next' Damara wondered. "Now for our final stop, and one of my favorite places in the village." Bronté informed Damara excitedly.
It turned out to be the Bakery of the Honeybears. They were met with the lovely smell of freshly baked bread and pastries, and though it was hard to believe after the meal she just had, Damara's stomach gave a loud growl, on smelling and seeing all the fantastic baked goods.
Damara was introduced to Bertie and Tamsie, and it was evident from the first second that they were extremely proud of their business.
While Bronté and Margaux bought bread and cake respectively, Damara appreciated all the delicate baked goods, not being able to make up her mind, she decided to revisit the bakery that afternoon before closing time, to spoil herself with something delectable. "You are most welcome," Tamsie replied to her inquiry, "we close at six." Tamsie winked.
"Bye-bye, Tamsie and Bertie. As always you surprised me with your wonderful goods." Bronté greeted warmly. "Always a pleasure, dear." Tamsie replied. They left halfheartedly, wondering what else they should've bought.
Back at that Commune, they unpacked their shopping in the kitchen, "Thank you so much, Bronté and Margaux, for a wonderful day and the lovely outing." Damara said. "Of course, we loved spending the day with you too." The two best friends replied in unison.