Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snow Day at the Market Place

It started raining even as I finished yesterday's entry. When I got up this morning, the snow was now mostly slush, but the rain was gone. It was just cloudy, dreary, and damp.

I perked up the gray morning with winter-themed cartoons. "Chip n' Dale" had their first go-around with Donald in the snow when he chops down their home for firewood. "Corn Chips" replaces the log with popcorn. The chipmunks want Donald's noisy treat, but he won't let it go without a fight! Bugs Bunny is a "Frigid Hare" when he accidentally ends up in the Arctic while on vacation and has to rescue a baby penguin from an Inuit hunter. "Putty Tat Trouble" pits a snowbound Tweety against not one, but two hungry cats. It's "Ski For Two" when Woody Woodpecker invades Wally Walrus' ski lodge for a meal.

I finally headed out around quarter of 1 (after having to go back for the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon). I hurried down to Cuthbert, dodging rivers of slushy, mushy snow. By noon, the snow was rapidly melting. There was none left on the main streets, and not a lot on the back streets. It was all just slush and puddles. The puddles were so bad by the bus stop sign on Cuthbert, I had to wait on the side of the road. The bus was about five minutes late or so, a little annoying but not too bad. There was no traffic once we got on the road, and the ride to Cherry Hill was uneventful.

Spent the rest of the day at the Market Place and Town Center shopping center. It's one of those new "Lifestyle Centers" that's supposed to be a cross between a condo community and a big box shopping center. When I got in, my first stop was a small toy store, Learning Toys. I was hoping to find the two Ever After High first wave dolls I still needed for me, or a simple but cute newborn toy for little Lilah. I saw no Ever After High (tons of Monster High, though), and most of their baby toys were overpriced. I moved on.

No luck at Barnes and Noble initially, either. There aren't really any books I'm after at the moment. I saw the "Hat-Tastic" Cedar Wood (daughter of Pinocchio) and some "Legacy Day" (fancy dress) Briar and Apple Whites, but not the ones I was looking for. I debated the newest Ever After High book, Next Top Villain (on ballerina diva Duchess Swan and her relationship with her roommate Lizzie "Queen of" Hearts), but decided I'd wait for it to come to the local libraries.

It was past 2:30 by then, and way past lunch. I ultimately ended up at Panera Bread. The Panera at the Market Place is the only one in the area, so eating there when I'm at the mall is a special treat. I was surprised at how busy it was, even at 2:30. I could barely get a seat to eat my Turkey Cranberry Pannini, tomato soup, baguette, and Diet Pepsi. The tomato soup was a bit spicy for my taste, but the sandwich was delicious, with just enough cranberry and mayo. I really liked the croutons in the soup, too. And the baguette tasted great dipping it into the soup!

I dodged the traffic in the parking lot and made my way towards Wegman's after lunch. That was probably not a good idea. Wegman's was a mob scene. They're a large grocery store, like the Acme but with more organic and fancy "healthy" foods, along with a huge section for the kinds of kitchen items  you can find for cheaper a few blocks down in Bed Bath and Beyond. I was there for small cans of pears, peaches, and mandarin oranges, which the Acme no longer sells. They also still had some of the Pillsbury Fall Limited Edition cake and cookie mixes. I went with Cinnamon Roll. I love cinnamon.

Was in and out of a couple of stores after finally edging out of Wegman's. There was nothing I needed at the Christmas Tree Shop. Went in Best Buy, bought the ink I needed for my printer, and left. (The last thing I need right now are more CDs and DVDs!) My main interest for this trip was Bed Bath and Beyond. I used that 20% off coupon on two sweater bags for doll clothes and for my winter accessories like scarves, a long under-the-bed bag for wrapping paper and rolls, and a sweater hanger for my work uniforms and the towel I use for the pool in the summer. The lines at Bed Bath and Beyond were ridiculous. It took me ages to get out of there.

By the time I made it outside, the dark clouds and slight sprinkles were finally subsiding, leaving the tinge of a lovely sunset. I was dismayed to check my bus schedule and discover that the last bus had just left at 4:40 and the next bus wouldn't be around until 6! I debated hiking down to the JoAnn's at the Garden State Pavillion and checking that out. I finally decided I didn't want to deal with the puddles or the traffic and just returned to Barnes and Noble.

The second time was the charm. I was exploring around the kids' book section when I noticed tables listed as "clearance." Among the items on the tables were piles of the original Wave 1 and 2 "signature" (i.e, basic) Ever After High dolls. I grabbed Madeline Hatter and the very last Apple White on the table. (I saw two more of Maddie, two Cerise Hoods, one Briar, and a ton of Raven.)

It was dark when I headed out to pick up the bus. I had a hard time finding the bus stop. The steakhouse it was in front of shut down, making it very dark where the sign was. The huge puddles around the sign didn't help. I was happy when the bus finally arrived. Once again, there was no traffic and no difficulty getting home. I made a quick stop for an Orange Mango Sparkling Ice at WaWa before returning to the apartment.

I got the dolls out of the boxes as soon as I got in and put on pasta fagioli for dinner. Apple White is the (blond) daughter of Snow White who desperately wants to follow the "safe" path and get her happily ever after. She doesn't understand why Raven wouldn't want to play her part in her story, or why others wouldn't want to do what they're supposed to do. Maddie is the nutty daughter of the Mad Hatter and Raven's best friend. Though she's looking forward to being the next Mad Hatter and having kooky tea parties, she also believes that people should have a choice in their destinies.

While I don't think she's "the fairest of them all," Apple is very pretty. I especially love her hair. Unlike Briar and Blondie, her pale gold locks retained their curl, even after brushing, and didn't heavily shed. She's also got the coolest purse of anyone. Her apple-shaped purse is just adorable, and even opens!

Maddie's teapot purse also opens. She's much smaller than the other dolls, at least a head shorter than very tall Briar. She has the sweetest white and turquoise polka-dot tights and teacup shoes. Though her hair was a mess in the back coming out, it's retained its curl quite well without Briar and Blondie's shedding.

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