Monday, August 1, 2011

Featurette: I'm Puzzled! in Pacific Grove

{puzzle pieces}
When my friends and I decided to road trip down to Monterey this past Saturday, I knew exactly where we needed to go at some point during our adventures.
I’m Puzzled! is a wonderful puzzle store in Pacific Grove whose owner, Mary, is in the running for ‘Sweetest Woman on the Planet.’ My parents and I discovered this place last year while walking Zoe, our border collie, around Pacific Grove on vacation, and since my dad and I ran out of puzzles to put together last week, I knew I had to stop by and pick something out while we were down there.
Here’s a few of the reasons I’m in love with this shop:

{puppy love}
1. I’m Puzzled! is dog-friendly. There’s a water bowl out front for your pooch and free doggie treats in a bowl inside the store. If Wally, the Official Greeter Terrier, doesn’t mind, your dog can come inside with you as you look around. {Wally’s super friendly, so those of you who aren’t dog fanatics needn’t worry}.
2. There’s always a work-in-progress puzzle set up and you can work on it for as long as you’d like. Locals will come by just to work on the puzzle sometimes. *grins* It should tell you something that my parents and I visited I’m Puzzled! twice over a three day vacation and Mary didn’t mind at all that my dad and I practically finished a full puzzle during that time.
3. Mary has a table set up with refreshments for those of us who can and do spend hours in her shop. Coffee, tea, cookies, pretzels, chocolate—it’s all there just for you if you decide you can’t pull yourself away to go grab lunch. Yum.

{present, anyone?}
4. If you make a purchase, complimentary gift wrapping is included should you wish to take advantage of it. And the paper selection is gorgeous. I’ll try to take a picture of the lovely wrapping job Mary did on the puzzle for my dad {though keep in mind that the paper and ribbon’s for me, not him, so that’s why it’s the color combo it is}, but I might use the paper for picture frames before I remember to snap that photo. Remind me.
5. The puzzle selection is humongous. Floor to ceiling jigsaw puzzles categorized by type {travel, wildlife, art, history, fantasy, mystery, difficult, etc}, plus brain teasers, other non-jigsaw puzzles, and all sorts of puzzle accessories. So many choices. If you’d like, I’m Puzzled! also offers to create custom puzzles for you from your favorite pictures—impressive!

6. You feel welcome as soon as you step in the door. The three friends that I brought to I’m Puzzled! weren’t shopping for anything in particular, so Mary taught them how to play a game {I’d describe it more, except that I was busy looking for something to get my dad while they played}. When they started looking for something to write down the score so they could keep track, she provided pencils and paper. She teased them about who was winning and gave hints to those who were falling behind. Mary’s knowledge of puzzles and her ability to help you find just what you’re looking for is fantastic.
I really do love this place and my only complaint is that it’s an hour and a half drive away from me. On the upside, I’ve been told that I can just call them up and ask them if they could send a certain puzzle to me. I might just take advantage of that… *grins*
So yes, this is my recommendation that you stop by I’m Puzzled! next time you’re in the Monterey/Pacific Grove area. Lovelovelove.

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