I wanted to sleep in a little this morning, but I was just too excited. Instead, I read short stories from the Disney anthology Storybook Land and The Paddington Treasury, the first two chapters of Felicity Saves the Day, and the first chapter of Samantha Saves the Day. Lissie and Sam demonstrate common vacations in their respective time periods. Colonial Virginian Lissie visits her beloved grandfather at a plantation. Sam and her family travel to Piney Point in upstate New York to enjoy a vacation in their private cabins by a lake.
Even before I had breakfast, I finished the last of the packing. Tossed the laptop, mouse, and all the attendant wires into a bag and loaded it into the blue rolling suitcase. Added other things I'd needed to use in the morning or the night before, like my toothbrush and hair brush.
Ran Strawberry Shortcake In Big Apple City while eating Honey Bunches of Oats and blueberries for breakfast. Strawberry is off to the title metropolis to compete in the Big Bake Off and win a fancy gazebo. The Peculiar Purple Pieman is the other contestant. He'll stop at nothing to make sure he's the winner! Good thing Strawberry made a lot of new friends in Spinach Village who are willing to help her out, including long-time series regulars Orange Blossom and Lemon Meringue.
The train to Cherry Hill didn't leave until 12:20. I didn't feel like sitting around in my apartment for two or three hours, so I took a ride to the Oaklyn Library. It was still very hot and humid (though not quite as hot as yesterday), and the heat once again must have scared people off. Once again, it was just the librarian, the TV, and me. She had on Women's Field Hockey when I came in. (New Zealand won 4-2 over Australia). They were about to go into Individual Dressage, but she changed to CNN, insisting horse-back riding isn't a sport. (I know quite a few people who would disagree with that, including my friend Linda Young, my cousin Samantha West, and her daughter Faith.) I looked over the DVDs (the adult titles were especially bad) and worked on the easy reader and picture book shelves.
Spent the rest of the morning making my bed, gathering the last few things I needed for my trip, and doing a few things around the apartment. Ran cartoons while I puttered. Garfield In the Rough takes the famous fat cat outdoors for a camping trip with Jon and Odie. He'd rather be doing anything else, including exercising. Just as he starts to wonder if nature ain't so bad, they hear that there's a black panther on the loose...and it's heading their way...
The Pink Panther has an even harder time on the road in "Pinto Pink." He's trying to find an easy way to get to California and thinks a horse is a perfect solution to his problems. The horse, on the other hand, has other ideas.
Rose picked me up at 11:45. I had far fewer problems than I did when I traveled to Albany on Columbus Day last year. None of the trains were remotely full. The train to New York was right on time. The one going to Philly was about 5 or so minutes late; the one going to Albany was almost 20 minutes late, thanks to having to sit on the track and wait to pick up passengers from another train. Had a tasty Waldorf Turkey sandwich for lunch at the 30th Street Station Au Bon Pain. 30th Street Station and Penn Station were busy, but not abnormally so. I took advantage of the extra time to color an old Care Bears coloring book (did Harmony and Cheer in a field of flowers) and work on story notes.
I learned my lesson last year. I checked a digital departure monitor when I arrived. It wasn't anywhere close to showing the gate yet. I sat down on the other side of the monitor and had a snack, then went for a walk around Penn Station, checking out a large Hudson Booksellers. On my way back, I noticed a sign that said it was the queue for the train going to Albany. I was the third person in line.
Met Lauren and her parents Mr. and Mrs. Miller at the gate. As soon as we loaded the luggage into the back of their van, we headed to a Denny's about ten minutes or so from the station. It was nearly 8 PM by then, well past the dinner hour, and they were very quiet. Mrs. Miller had a vegetable omelet. Lauren had a ham and cheese omelet. Mr. Miller had the Grand Slam. I had the Banana Pecan Pancakes, turkey bacon, and egg whites. (And Mr. Miller and I split Lauren's hash browns when she couldn't finish them.) We all had lemonade iced teas. Supposedly, Denny's had improved their buttermilk pancakes. I didn't see any difference, but they were still very tasty. I liked the turkey bacon, too. I might have to try that at home.
Mr. Miller, Lauren, and I were originally going to have Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie for dessert. Alas, they were all out. Mr. Miller and Lauren shared the Apple Crumble with Ice Cream. My Coconut Cream Pie was just as tasty as chocolate would have been. Mrs. Miller stuck to her cheesecake.
I'm set up in Lauren's room downstairs as we listen to an 80's pop station on Pandora, chat online, and enjoy the cool temperatures. It was in the mid-70's by the time we got out of Denny's, much cooler than it's been even here, and certainly down south.
We were originally going to go to Six Flags Great Escape tomorrow. First of all, the weather isn't supposed to be great. They're talking about major thunderstorms. Second, I just took three trains for 7 hours. I'm dead tired. We're going to ride back to Albany to hit up some malls there Lauren likes instead.