Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's Great to Be a Traveler

Brrr! It was chilly and very windy when I headed out today. I had a lot that I wanted to do, starting with a volunteering session at the Oaklyn Library. I got in around 10:30. They'd only been open a half-hour, and needless to say, there wasn't much going on. There weren't even many people on the computers. I mostly organized the DVDs. Gave the kids' books a cursory glance, but they seemed to be in order.

I next rode up to Barrington to catch the bus to Deptford. I learned my lesson on my last excursion to Deptford in April. I was just going to stick to browsing Target and AC Moore this time and not even bother with the mall. I really couldn't find anything in the mall that I couldn't pick up at those two stores or in the closer Cherry Hill Mall or Voorhees Town Center.

I just made it with barely three minutes to spare. I picked up the bus around quarter of noon. The lunch traffic hadn't picked up at that point, and the bus was barely half-full. There were no problems getting there.

Target wasn't busy when I arrived, either. I spent about an hour or so browsing. While I'm not a big fan of Target's cheap clothes (barely a step above Wal Mart's), I like their prices and selection on a lot of other items. I always get my underwear there - their prices are about the same as Wal Mart's, and with far more selection (and they actually keep them in stock). Also grabbed a Playtex undergarment on sale.

As Matt of Dinosaur Dracula could tell you, one of the best things about Target is their large and extensive seasonal aisles. From Valentine's Day to Christmas, I never fail to walk out of there without at least one really nifty seasonal item. This trip was no exception. I'd never seen Pillsbury's new Caramel Apple Cake Mix in any store near Oaklyn, including mine. They had a cookie mix too, but the cake mix was cheaper. Found one of the first season Backyardigans sets, It's Great to Be a Ghost, in with the Halloween DVDs. Also snagged a small bottle of canola oil for $1.87 - the Acme's is $2.99! I didn't have as much luck with Halloween costumes. It's too late in the season for those - everything was picked over.

(And for those of you who are Dinosaur Dracula regulars, yes, I found the retro Monster Cereal boxes, including Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy. They had quite a few of them, too. No, I didn't buy any. I don't eat sugary cereal, and I don't have the room to keep and preserve them. I was glad to have seen them in the flesh, so to speak, though. The older-style designs are pretty cool, especially for Boo Berry.)

Went across the parking lot for lunch. I was originally going to eat at Pizza Hut, but to my dismay, a sign on their front door stated that they no longer had their lunch buffet. Darn it! Disappointed, I went next-door to Applebee's instead. I had their $6.99 classic mix lunch combo meal. I ended up with a spinach salad with bacon and "Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos," which turned out to be grilled chicken in wontons fried to be shaped like tacos, topped with cheese and slaw. Yow! The salad was delicious (especially the vinaigrette dressing), but the tacos were much too spicy for me. I don't know what sauce they used, but it wrecked havoc on my mouth. I gulped my whole glass of water.

I was starting across the parking lot to AC Moore when I heard a familiar voice. A neighbor in Oaklyn who also frequently shops at the Acme was running some errands in Deptford. Did I want a ride? Sure, why not? We talked about her dogs and my family on the very short trip over to AC Moore.

The AC Moore is in a shopping center that includes a Babies R Us and what I think was a K-Mart (like the one in Lawnside, it went under and the building is now empty). It turned out to be a really big store, three times the size of the former JoAnn's in Westmont. I spent another pleasant hour browsing around there. Much to my delight, they did have Springfield Collection doll things - not just the clothes (though they had tons of those), but shoes, dolls, accessories, and furniture, too. I just bought glasses for Molly - I'll save larger doll items for Christmas. I was a bit disappointed to see that they were already clearing their Halloween items, even as I was walking down the aisles. They did have a nice selection of Thanksgiving decorations (I seldom see much for Thanksgiving), and already plenty for Christmas. In addition to the glasses, I bought adhesive-backed foam and headbands to make adult-sized Winnie the Pooh ears for my Halloween costume.

I walked back to Target. It remained windy, but the sun was now hidden behind clouds that looked like they kind of didn't know what they were doing. I was hoping to go around the bridge over the freeway, but alas, there was only freeway on three sides. I just trooped over the bridge, ignoring the wind blasting across the sidewalk and enjoying the warmth of the sun when it finally emerged from the clouds.

I had to go to the bathroom anyway, so I went back in Target. Browsed around some more. Picked up peanut butter. I forgot it earlier, and their generic natural brand is far cheaper than Smucker's or Crazy Richard's. They even have chunky - the Acme doesn't carry Smucker's natural chunky, and they no longer have their own generic natural peanut butter brand.

I picked up the bus across the street from Target, in front of another empty building (it was a Bally's Gym a few years ago). Turns out that I could have just stayed at AC Moore and crossed the street there - there was a bus sign there. They even picked up someone. I'll remember that for my next trip into Deptford.

When I finally got back into Barrington, I grabbed my bike and went as straight home as I could. It wasn't easy. It was almost 5PM, right in the middle of rush hour. Both of the Pikes and Clements Bridge Road were busy, and even some back roads weren't easy to navigate. I didn't pull into the apartment until past 5:30.

I just had leftovers for dinner while watching It's Great to Be a Ghost. The first two episodes did have genuine horror themes (which is why this was included in the Halloween section). The title show had Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone as ghosts in a haunted house who hope to spook fearless Tasha. Uniqua and Pablo are enjoying their spooking, but the whole idea just makes Tyrone nervous. It takes a costume to get him "in the spirit" of things. "Monster Detectives" has Pablo as the title character, a monster who has stolen Uniqua's soccer ball. Uniqua and monster detective Tyrone are on the case. The pair search the "monster's" castle for the ball, but they have to be quiet - if they're caught by the "monster," he'll turn them into monsters, too!

I had seen the other two episodes on the disc, but not recently. Tasha is spoiled Princess CleoTasha, the ruler of Egypt, in "The Key to the Nile." Tasha's always been rather bossy, but here she's very rude, too. She never says "please" or "thank you" to her pages Austin, Tyrone, and Pablo, even when the boys retrieve the presents she needs to give to Sphinx Uniqua to find out why the Nile ran dry. Uniqua finally reminds her best friend of the importance of good manners and being kind to others. Uniqua and Austin and Pablo and Tyrone race to find "Pirate Treasure," then work together when they realize they have two halves of the same map.

I finished the night in the bath. Lauren got a job working at her local Macy's for a couple of nights a week, so I thought I'd get in later than usual and go for longer. It was a great idea. A hot bath felt so nice and soothing after my long trip.

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