I awoke at 5:30 to pouring rain...and went right back to sleep. I didn't get up again until quarter after 7, and the rain was still coming down. It was actually rather soothing as I read The Last Camel Died at Noon and worked on my journal while the Millers went to an appointment. Lauren was up at the same time, but said she wasn't driving in the rain and that we wouldn't be leaving early after all, and went back to bed until about 9:30.
I'd long had breakfast by the time Lauren rolled out of bed. It was still raining when I finished eating, but not quite as heavily as earlier. We played the Nintendo Switch port of Rayman Legends, a cartoon-y platform game that had a colorful toad and girl warrior rescuing long-nosed purple critters from pirates and other odd bad guys.
The rain slowed down enough that we were able to leave by 10:30. By the time we were pulling into the Colonie Center in Albany, NY, the clouds were starting to break up and the sun was emerging. It had gotten so warm, we left our jackets in the car near Macy's parking lot.
Colonie Center is the older of the two malls on Wolf Road in Albany, built in 1966 (according to Wikipedia). Lauren picked Colonie because it's has the only Boscov's in the area. I like Colonie because a recent remodel left it gorgeous inside and out. You'd never know it's from the mid-60's. The exterior has Art Deco influences, especially around the entrance to the Regal Cinema that lives up to its name. The interior sports wrought-iron railings, soft chairs and loungers, and huge brick fireplaces.
Macy's was our first stop. I'm not really a big fan of Macy's. I just used the bathroom. Lauren bought another nice shirt for her job as a teller in a Pittsfield bank.
The food court wasn't far from Macy's. It was 12:30 by this point, and we dodged quite a few people as we looked for lunch. I ended up with a "New England Thanksgiving Feast" sandwich from The Soup Man - turkey, mozzarella, cranberry sauce, and stuffing on a roll. Lauren had a pepperoni roll from the pizza booth.
After that, we headed into the mall. Christopher & Banks had great sales. I didn't see anything I absolutely needed, but Lauren bought a shirt for herself and a cute gingham blouse for her mom. Box Lunch, a pop culture knick-knacks store, had moved next-door. I found an awesome Han-Leia "I Love You-I Know" comic book-style t-shirt here for 15 dollars. (This was also only the second Box Lunch I'd seen after the one in Deptford.) Lauren picked up a cute Playstation 4 game at the tiny GameStop. (She apparently bought the Playstation 4 a few months ago to get a wrestling title she really wanted.) I couldn't find anything I could afford at LL Bean, but Lauren picked up a pair of plaid shorts off the clearance racks. (I saw those shorts, too, but they didn't have them in my size.)
Boscov's is the other major department store here. Normally, I love their sales, but I just couldn't find anything I needed. Hoodies like my ribbed hoodie sweater just don't seem to be in style anymore, and I'm not a fan of the blouses with the thick scarf-like necks. I did see hoodies like what I wanted at LL Bean, but they were way too expensive. I'll check online. Lauren bought a shirt and shell combo for work and a new sage-green purse. She's had her current turquoise purse for years, and it's starting to get a little worn out.
We split up here. Lauren went across the way to New York & Company. I wanted to check out Barnes and Noble. This is a huge store, and the first time I've ever seen it as a mall anchor, rather than a stand-alone store or as part of a strip mall. Like the big Barnes and Noble in Moorestown, they still have DVDs, toys, and music here along with books and magazines. I eventually ended up with another title in the Bookaphile cozy mystery series via the remainder table and Jedi the Last, the Shakespearean adaptation of The Last Jedi. The latter wasn't on sale, but I love those Star Wars-Shakespeare books and just couldn't resist.
We had dinner around the corner from Barnes and Noble at Moe's Southwestern Grill. They're a fast-food franchise that's somewhat similar to Hot Harry's - you choose the toppings and watch them made. I had a chicken soft taco and an oatmeal cookie; Lauren went with a quesadilla. Moe's has one of those Coca Cola Freestyle machines that lets you choose various combinations of syrups and sodas. We both tried the Cherry Vanilla Coke. I also had a tasty Peach Mello Yello.
Our last stop of the day was a quick peek at Jay Street Video Games. They hadn't been open when we went past earlier. Lauren has an original Atari 2600 and checked out titles for it, but didn't end up getting anything.
The sun had emerged as early as our lunch at the food court. We could see it shining through the skylights. By the time we headed out around 6, it had become an beautiful day in late summer, with nary a puddle to be seen anywhere. You'd never know it deluged this morning. We had a lovely ride home, with no traffic despite it being rush hour.
We showed the Millers our finds as soon as we got home, then sliced up a watermelon for dessert. Lauren says that some of her customers are farmers who occasionally share their extra wares with her and her co-workers. Yum. My straw hat off to the farmer who grew that melon. It was super-sweet and exceptionally juicy, especially for this late in the season!
Lauren and I played video games on the Switch for the next few hours. I haven't played Street Fighter II since my family used to rent the original fairly often in the mid-90's. Evidently, they ported a later version to the Switch. Lauren took Chinese martial artist Chun Li; I went with British soldier Cammy. We proceeded to (literally - both women have high kicks as their signature moves) kick some rear on Easy, including big baddie M. Bison. I just wish it took longer. We did it in less than 20 minutes on our second try.
Moved on to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe next. This is pretty much the same as the previous Mario Karts, only this time using the regular controls. We played through at least four cups. I had a rough time getting the hang of it and came in third on the first cup. After that, we were first and second for the rest of the Grand Prix.
We're finishing the night chatting and listening to Lauren's playlist on her computer, currently Joan Jett's "Do You Wanna Touch Me?" Tomorrow, we'll be heading into the wilds of the Green Mountain State to check out the Vermont Country Store.