Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Adventures

It was cloudy and cold when I awoke this morning. I ran a few snow-themed Sailor Moon episodes from the first season to combat the gloom. Serena and Raye are feeling those "Ski Bunny Blues" when they compete in a skiing contest that turns out to be a Negaverse plot. Lita thinks she's a real "Ice Princess" when a handsome professional figure skater performs with her. His jealous partner is definitely seeing red...and so is the Negaverse, who is controlling the two skaters.

Rushed out to get the laundry done around 10:30. It was cold and windy, though not quite as bitterly cold as last week. That could be why the laundromat was fairly busy. I just got one of the last washers. Thankfully, I didn't have as much problem with the dryers. I read An Artist's Way and listened to Let's Make a Deal and The Price Is Right. I was glad I didn't have a big load. I was out in less than an hour.

I put everything away as soon as I got in, then went right back out. I wanted to explore the Cherry Hill Mall area further. I was tired of the cold and tired of sitting inside. I had to get out and do something. Even with stopping at WaWa for a Mocha Mint cappuccino and a soft pretzel, I still made it to the bus stop on Cuthbert Road in more than enough time to pick up the bus to the mall.

This time, when I arrived at the Mall, other than a peek at Fashion To Figure and a quick bathroom break, I went straight to the other side of the mall. When I was looking at Google Maps last night, I noticed a gray area over Kaighn Avenue. I thought there might have been a crosswalk or a pedestrian bridge there...and I was right. I made my way out to Nordstrom's and Restaurant Row (after a wrong turn or two), and sure enough, there was a pedestrian bridge leading from the sidewalk across from the Mall to the Hillview Shopping Center across the highway.

Getting to the bridge wasn't a problem. Getting up the bridge...was another story. The steps were steep and a little icy. The bridge itself was fine. In fact, it had amazing views of the highway and the Mall area. By that point, the sun was long out, and the day had become bright and breezy. The ramp going down from the bridge was a treacherous, icy mess. I tread very carefully as I picked my way around the ice and over the piles of snow by the curb.

I finally made my way to the Silver Diner, a tiny restaurant perched on the edge of the hill. They were a nifty little 50's-style eatery, complete with working jukeboxes at each dark wood booth. The food was more gourmet, boasting that everything was fresh and locally-sourced. I had a delicious Tomato-Mozzarella Sandwich with huge slices of fresh mozzarella that kept sliding off the bun, a Caesar side salad, and a huge mug of hot chocolate topped with real whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I enjoyed my meal while admiring the view of the Mall and the surrounding area.

The Hillview Shopping Center consists of a Kohl's, a PetSmart, a Babies R Us, and a furniture store. There's also a freestanding Sports Authority, Target, and a huge movie theater. (I believe the Lowes Cherry Hill 24 is my stepsister Jessa and her boyfriend Joe's regular theater.) I was mainly in Kohl's and Target. Kohl's is pretty much the same thing as Boscov's, a department store that carries a little bit more than Macy's or Sears. They still have a small electronics section and a housewares section. (No candy, though, and their toy section is much smaller than Boscov's.) Alas, I didn't see anything in their women's clothes section I wanted. I'm still looking for a good winter skirt and winter blouse.

Went to Target next. They're not quite as big as the one in Deptford, but I made a discovery that was just as good. They had the two-pack of the Ever After High dolls Poppy and Holly O'Hair in their original book-style packaging. (All of the basic and Hat-Tastic dolls are apparently being re-released in slimmer, less elaborate packaging.) The woman at the checkout counter couldn't get a price for them. The managers couldn't find the price, either. The old packaging must not have been in their system anymore. I ended up with both dolls for $10.48, a steal considering the cheapest I've seen Ever After High dolls before this is $10 for one basic doll on Amazon.

The Cherry Hill Target has a much smaller seasonal section than the Deptford Target. I did manage to find the fruit-themed Pillsbury cake mixes from last year. Went with Orangecicle this time. Picked up some spring-themed muffin cups as well.

When I was looking out over the hill at the Silver Diner, I saw another, smaller shopping center with a shamrock-green roof next-door to the Cherry Hill Mall. I thought I'd try them next. I headed back over the bridge, dodging the ice again, then walked along the sidewalk as far as I could. Alas, the shopping center proved to be a bust. It looked 70's vintage, newer than the early 60's-era Cherry Hill Mall, but older than the recent Hillview. All that was there was a Raymore and Flannigan's furniture store, LA Fitness, a musical instrument shop, a Chinese buffet, and a beauty school. A label scar on one more modern-looking end indicated that the largest building had been a Bottom Dollar, but when they bottomed out, so did the store.

Seeing nothing there, I hiked quickly back to the Cherry Hill Mall. It was getting late, I was getting tired, and I had to use the restroom. I did browse in the Disney Store, Layne Bryant, and Fashion To Figure, but found nothing anywhere other than some cute new mini-dolls for the Animator's Collection Toddlers line. I just bought dolls. I bought a sweet tea from Aunt Annie's instead and rested on a bench while enjoying my drink.

Thankfully, the bus was right on time. There was no really major traffic, and I got to enjoy the amazing view of a frozen solid Cooper River under a half-clouded-over orange sunset. As soon as I got off, I went straight home. It was almost dark, and while the sun from earlier had gotten rid of some ice, it was still pretty slippery. It was no night for lingering outside.

After I got in and took my overflowing paper recycling canister out to the curb, I pulled Poppy and Holly out of their box. Poppy and Holly O'Hair are the twin daughters of Rapunzel. Holly is the more romantic and girly twin, a fairy tale fan who is dying to be the next Rapunzel and wants to write stories about all her friends while she's in the famous tower. Poppy, on the other hand, has no destiny or story she's supposed to be in, and she's perfectly fine with it. She prefers creating edgy and unusual hair styles for herself and all her friends.

Oddly enough, I had fewer problems with getting Holly and her amazingly long hair out of the box than Poppy and her short bob. Holly's orangy-red hair is definitely Rapunzel-worthy, long and thick and down to her knees. Thank heavens it doesn't seem to shed. I had no problems brushing it at all. Holly comes with a flower tiara, a flower necklace that keeps getting twisted under her hair, and a tower-shaped ring. Her dress is a pretty lilac floral print and very feminine.

Poppy goes for the tough-edgy modern working woman look. She has a plastic "hair tie" in her plastered-down bob. Her hair is half-lilac, half-orange-red. Frankly, it was a little too plastered down. It was stiff as heck and looked worse than Hunter's did. I washed it immediately...and had to do it twice, because it was still bad after the first time. Poppy's tighter dress has a braid-and-scissors print, and she has these really cool black and red stockings and pink boots with silver scissors heels. She trades her sister's flowery necklace for a more sensible gray scarf wrap that stays put just fine.

I put on The Scarlet Pimpernel as I had the last of the leftover Chinese Stir Fry for a quick dinner. This rousing British version of my favorite novel has Anthony Andrews in a fine performance as Sir Percy Blakeny, a seemingly foppish and dim English nobleman who masquerades as "The Scarlet Pimpernel." The Pimpernel is a master of disguise who has rescued hundreds of innocent French nobles from the guillotine, much to the annoyance of French government official Chauvelain (Ian McKellen). Blakney's beautiful and intelligent wife Marguerite (Jane Seymour) would love to know who this daring man is. The definitive Pimpernel on film; highly recommended if you can find it.

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