Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pleasant Valley Sunday

I couldn't have been happier to awaken to blue skies, sunshine, and warmer temperatures. Lauren and I were up until quarter of 3 last night! I slept until around 9:30-10; Lauren didn't get up until nearly 11. I read in bed and wrote in my journal, then messed around on my laptop until she was up and moving.

Made us Berry Banana Silver Dollar Pancakes for breakfast. I had a banana that was so ripe, it was practically turning into a smoothie in its skin. Dumped that into the whole wheat batter with some of Lauren's raspberries. Yum! They came out very well, just sweet and tangy enough. Lauren enjoyed them, and I thought they were some of the better pancakes I've done in a while.

We headed out to get our laundry done shortly after 12. They were totally packed when we got in! We were lucky to get a washer and a dryer. We messed around with our phones and half-listened to Sunday shows and news on ABC. Good thing I didn't have a ton of clothes to wash anyway. The majority belonged to Lauren, who needed clothes for the rest of the week.

Action News had mentioned that there was a storm on it's way. Indeed, thick, dark clouds were building over the area, even as we hurried home. Fat drops were already falling as I dashed the last few steps to the house and up the steps. Lauren, who walks slower than me, didn't get as lucky. She was a bit wet when she hurried in. Thankfully, this time the rain ended almost as soon as it began, and it never returned. It was sunny or mostly sunny for the rest of the day.

Lauren and I put our clothes away, then relaxed for an hour and played Lego Indiana Jones. We started Temple of Doom in the infamous Club Obi-Wan, where Indy met Willie and got poisoned by a gangster looking for his ancestor's remains. You're supposed to toss diamonds to Lao Che's goons, but it can be hard to figure that out if you don't have a guide or check tips online. Short Round joins you on the streets of Shanghai, first to repair his car, then to fix the propellers on the plane that takes them all to India.

The sun was still out around 4, and it remained sunny, breezy, and much warmer. We figured we were fine to have a very late lunch-early dinner and run errands. We ate at Phillies Phatties, which was surprisingly busy for an odd hour. All the teens and older kids may have been watching the Phillies play the Cardinals (whom they lost rather badly to, 5-1). Lauren had two slices of pepperoni pizza with a bottle of Mountain Dew Baja Blast. I had a slice of broccoli and a slice of cheese with a can of Dr. Pepper featuring a Jurassic World T-Rex.

Next up was a quick stop at Dollar General. I was out of pads. We both got drinks. Lauren grabbed a Cherry Dr. Pepper. I got a Bai Brasilia Blueberry. (Not bad, although you can kind of taste the sweetener on this one; it's a bit harsher than the Coconut and Coconut-Lime.)

It was a beautiful day for a walk in Newton Lake Park. We strolled past the bridge and into the park itself. A gaggle of kids and their parents and guardians were throwing a football and running around on the playground. We sat on the swings; I was on until my sore thumb got tired, then went for a ride on the awesome roller slide. Lauren went shortly after. We watched the kids chase each other and laughed at their antics.

The rest of the park was almost as busy. Two little boys went fishing on the narrow bridge over the causeway. A grandfather and his grandson fished off the wider bridge on Bettlewood Avenue, between two parts of the park. We passed families out for walks with their children, kids riding their bikes and talking with friends, and families out for strolls with their dogs. I took Lauren up the hill to the Haddon Township Enviormental and Historical Center, avoiding the muddy ground as much as possible, and down Ormond Avenue to the White Horse Pike and into Oaklyn.

We were hoping that the line at Phillies Yummies wouldn't be as long when we got back. The only people there by quarter of 6 were three goofy college guys who couldn't decide what they wanted. They let us go first. Reversing what we had yesterday, I went with birthday cake ice cream, and Lauren had a root beer water ice. My ice cream wasn't bad, sweet with blue "icing" swirls, small cake bits, and lots of sprinkles. We sat at a picnic table and enjoyed our treat, watching the passers-by and listening to the college guys make bad jokes at each other.

Went back to Lego Indiana Jones when we got in. The trip to Pankot Palace is more complicated than the palace itself, which mostly involves breaking pieces and dealing with Thuggee members. The Temple of Doom itself has a lot of getting pieces up and down, blowing up slavers, and jumping onto barely-visible ledges that made the rounds a lot harder.

Ended the night doing something completely different for a late dinner-snack. I was wondering what to do with the turkey pepperoni I bought on Friday when I remembered Alton Brown's pocket pie episode. One of his filling suggestions was what amounted to home-made Tostinos - pocket pizza pies with pepperoni, sauce, cheese, and green onions. We gave the recipe our own touch by eliminating the onion and tearing the pepperoni into small bits to make it easier to load into the pie. I cut the rounds from the pre-made pie crust, did the egg wash, and loaded the sauce and cheese. Lauren tore the pepperoni and folded and docked the pies. Listened to my new WOR classic rock collection as I ate.

It was too hot to bake them, so I opted to pan-fry them. I did make a few a little too dark, but most of them came out just crispy enough. They made for a wonderful snack-meal with leftover farm market asparagus. We just shot the breeze for a half-hour after that, talking about our families and our interests, before going online.

Tomorrow is the first of two mall trips in a row, to the Moorestown Mall about 40 minutes away. Thankfully, it looks like it's going to be fine tomorrow, sunny and far warmer than it has been.

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