I began my vacation by blissfully sleeping in after staying up late last night with Lauren. I made French Toast for breakfast while listening to some of my Disney kids' records. Splashdance mostly spoofs 80's technology trends with "Digital Duck" and the odd "Hoedown at the Robot Farm," but it also features one of my favorite songs from the Disney 80's character records, "You Can Always Be Number One," as well as "Happy Happy Birthday To You." Mickey Mouse Disco is what the title implies, disco spoofs and covers of popular Disney standards. The standouts here are "The Greatest Band" with the Disney gang, "Welcome to Rio," and a really fun version of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah."
I went out for a nice long walk after the records ended. It was the most gorgeous day I've ever seen in mid-April, sunny, breezy, and in the mid-to-upper 60's. After a quick stop at CVS for a half-price coconut cream egg, I headed to Newton Lake Park. They were almost as busy as they were last Monday. I watched kids play on the swings and a dad help his little son on the slides at the first playground. Parents and kids rode bikes together. People walked their dogs, strolled with friends, and rode skateboards and motor bikes. A boy and his dad fished together.
Newton Lake Park is fully immersed in spring now. Soft, tender pale green shoots are starting to appear on most of the trees. The banks of the lake are carpeted with deep yellow buttercups. I watched a female duck clean herself while her mate floated along beside her. Another duck chased them as I made my way down the path. I saw the first dandelion of the season, too. Little purple and lavender wildflowers have popped up everywhere. The new grass is emerald green and soft as silk.
I headed up a steep stone stairway to Collingswood Avenue in Oaklyn. The neighborhoods are looking pretty nice now, too. Pansies, daffodils, lilies, and hyacinths brighten every garden. Many people were cleaning up their lawns, washing their cars, or chatting on patios.
I had lunch at Amato Bros on the White Horse Pike. It was one of the only restaurants in the immediate area open on Sunday. Watched the Nationals-Phillies game as I ate the "Bruschetta Di Parma" mini hoagie, prosciutto ham with bruschetta tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and sliced fresh mozzarella. The prosciutto was incredibly salty; otherwise, it wasn't bad. (Which is more than I can say about the game. The Nationals were up 1-0 when I was there. They went on to win 4-3.)
I took a detour into Veteran's Memorial Park next-door after I got back to Manor. It was just as busy as the larger park in Haddon Township. A dad helped his son ride his first training-wheel-less bike. Mom kept an eye on his younger brother as he sped around the blacktop on his training wheels. A college student reclined on a blanket and studied. People tilled the soil and laid new mulch on the gardens in the center of the park.
When I headed inside, I plopped on my couch to just hang out and rest for an hour. I crocheted while listening to the original cast album for the 1953 musical Kismet. Based on the music of Alexander Borodin, this Arabian Knights-style tale takes us to ancient Baghdad. In the course of one day, beggar Haji (Alfred Drake) becomes Emir, defeats the evil Wazir, and falls for Lalume (Joan Diener), the Wazir's head wife. His daughter (Doretta Morrow) falls in love with the handsome Caliph (Richard Kiely) who was disguised as a gardener. This is a cute Aladdin-esque operetta with some of the finest music of the 1950's, including the lovely ballad "Stranger In Paradise" and the hit "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads."
Went in the bath for an hour or so. I'm so glad I've had more chances for baths. They've really helped both with stress and my sore feet. I looked over cake decorating magazines while listening to jazz vocalists and basking in the soft spring sunlight streaming into my bathroom.
Finished out the night with the last of the leftover black bean and vegetable soup and one of my Have a Nice Day! 70's CD collections. It's one of my favorites - songs include "Dream Weaver," "Right Back Where We Started From," "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," "Afternoon Delight," and the themes from Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.