Thursday, June 16, 2016


When I awoke this morning, I heard pouring rain and Charlie's tools, neither of which boded well for the day in general. Thankfully, by the time Lauren and I got going around 10, the rain, at least, was gone. We walked to Collingswood, stopping briefly twice for Lauren to do something on her phone for her dad.

We had an early lunch at Tortilla Press, a gourmet Mexican restaurant in Collingswood. We were so early, we were the first ones there. We both had quesadillas. Lauren's was shrimp and bacon. Mine was mango, brie, chicken, and mango salsa. Mine was excellent, with at ton of melted brie. Lauren adored hers - she ate almost faster than me, for once.

The rain was coming down faster as we made our way to the PATCO Station and picked up a half-full train to Philadelphia. It was a heavy shower when we got off in Philly. Thankfully, Lauren was able to pull up a map on her phone. We only got turned around once before we made it to the FYE on Broad Street.

The FYE on Broad Street, a block from City Hall, is huge. You can get lost in there. I'm trying not to buy too much, but I did get a few things. (I wanted the cast album for Hamilton, but I'm not spending $27 on it. I'll get it online.) They were really busy for them, probably due to the weather. I made my way around people well enough to pick up the 2-disc sets for Lilo & Stitch and the 1985 Legend that I've wanted for a while, and the cast album for the musical Once On This Island. I also picked up the Mel Brooks historical epic spoof History of the World Part I on sale for $5. (Island, incidentally, was the freebie.) Lauren bought wrestling sets.

It was an almost literal hop, skip, and a jump from FYE across the street to Macy's. They were only a little less busy. Lauren wanted to look at blouses for her job as a head teller at a bank. (The Macy's at her local mall recently shut down.) I didn't see anything. Macy's was having great sales, but their plus size selection was really picked over. Lauren did get two colorful blouses with ruffled sleeves for work.

It was around 3:30 when we made our way back to the PATCO station on 12th Street. Thankfully, by this point, the rain was long gone...and this time, it wasn't coming back. It was just humid, cool, and cloudy when we got off at Collingswood.

We ended up at The Pop Shop for a snack. Lauren had a cherry soda float and the Newton grilled cheese sandwich (cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, bacon). I had a coconut shake and half of a basket of Pop Fries (basic thick steak fries with their skins and sea salt). It was around 4 PM. We just missed the lunch crowd. There were a couple of college kids and two families, but it wasn't nearly as busy as it usually is in there.

(I found out on the way home what Lauren was doing for her dad earlier. Her parents had just bought a new car. Mr. Miller wanted Lauren to compare prices online for him.)

We played a couple of video games when we finally got home. Got through Hot Land (the fire/desert world) in Kirby's Epic Yarn, then moved on to Lego Indiana Jones. The second round of Indy introduced Mutt in a rather hilarious brawl, then returned to puzzles as we tried to figure out how to get through a warehouse.

Had leftover tuna bean salad for dinner, then spent the rest of the night online and watching comedies. History of the World Part I is one of my favorite Mel Brooks movies. It's an anthology of historical spoofs, ranging from the Dawn of Man (with Sid Caesar as a caveman) to the Roman Empire (Brooks is a stand-up philosopher who gets into a lot of trouble with the Emperor), to a musical Spanish Inquisition (ever wanted to see Torquemada sing?), ending with the French Revolution (which turns into a Prince and the Pauper story as Brooks plays the man who is passed off as the a decoy for the king). Of the longer segments, my favorite is the French Revolution - some of the lines are hilarious, including Brooks' famous "It's good to be the king." The Spanish Inquisition musical number is the best of the shorts.

Lauren's favorite Mel Brooks movie is Robin Hood: Men In Tights, which also spoofs historical epics. In this case, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the huge, dark swashbuckler epics of the early and mid-90's get the raspberry. Cary Elwes is the title character, fighting for love, liberty, and laughs in a fairy tale medieval England. I love Blinkin, the blind servant who can somehow still manage to saw the heck out of a wooden post.

Stayed with comedy, but moved to the early 80's for the original National Lampoon's Vacation. Clark Grizwauld (Chevy Chase) just wants a fun, old-fashioned, cross-country vacation to Wally World. As usual, what he gets is a dose of reality - everything costs more than he planned, his hillbilly cousins try to sponge money off of him, a cranky old aunt (Imogene Coca) hitches a ride to Phoenix, and his wife (Beverly DiAngelo) is about ready to kill him. While some of the darker gags (like the one with the dog) haven't aged well, most of this movie still remains pretty funny, especially what ultimately happens to that cranky aunt.

Tomorrow, we're going to make our first of two mall trips, this one to Moorestown, with a stop in Audubon for an early lunch at Simply Soups.

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