Traveling with my daughters used to be easy. They would gamely explore anything, as long as there was the promise of ice cream at the end. But when Anjelica, 12, and Natalia, 15, each hit middle school, they rebelled.
All they wanted to see in a new city was … the mall. Overnight, I became an earnest guidebook-toting frump. During a recent trek to Phoenix and Scottsdale, though, I decided to spiff up my image and walk a mile in my daughters' Hollister Co. flip-flops.I proposed a girlie itinerary that included pampering at one of the area's legendary spas, browsing for vintage bargains, and (legally) checking out downtown Scottsdale's burgeoning nightlife scene. And just so the girls wouldn't think I'd completely turned over a new parenting leaf, I also snuck in a culturally enlightening museum visit. A car is the best way to get around town, but luckily my two are still too young to drive.
1. Buffalo Exchange
To distract my daughters from thoughts of the mall, as well as to save my wallet, we headed to Buffalo Exchange. Founded in Tucson, the clothing resale chain is vintage nirvana for teens and 20-somethings hoping to put together a buzz-worthy look. During our visit, we scored 7 for All Mankind jeans for $42, Guess jeans for $18, plus some retro-style belts. 10-8 Mon-Sat, 11-6 Sun. 730 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix; 602/532-0144.
Natalia: A- "Designer stuff at good prices."
Anjelica: B+ "I liked their weird shoes."