Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hiking In Cherry Hill

Started another cloudy, windy day with volunteering at the Oaklyn Library. They were actually a little busier than Haddon Township was yesterday. A mother was tutoring her two daughters in the kids' area. I looked at the DVDs, then ducked around the family long enough to shelve and organize kids' books.

Headed to Cuthbert around 10:30 to pick up the bus to the Cherry Hill Mall. It was about ten minutes late, annoying but not too outrageous. There was no traffic, and we got to Cherry Hill with a minimum of fuss.

My first stop at the mall was JC Penny. I had a coupon for $10 off an order of 10 or more. I wanted to buy capris, but they had no capris left in my size. I did find a really cute navy-blue nightgown on sale. It's short-sleeved, but the fabric is a fairly decent weight. I think I might get away with wearing it year-round if I throw my plaid robe over it in the winter. The coupon brought it down to $7.99.

After a wrong turn by Nordstrom's that took me out near the parking garage, I finally found my way over to the pedestrian bridge to the shopping center across the street. It was past 12:30, and I was starved. I headed to the Silver Dollar Diner for lunch. They were busy, but gradually cleared out as the lunch crowd went back to work at the many office buildings in Cherry Hill. I had a tasty lunch combo of a Turkey Club (thick-sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and fresh mozzarella on toasted white bread) and a green salad. I popped a quarter into the little jukebox at my table and chose "Downtown" by Petula Clark. It must have been really busy earlier, because I never did hear my selection.

 Actually, the main reason I wanted to do the Cherry Hill Mall was to hit the Target in the shopping center. I did my biannual underwear shopping expedition early this year. Normally, I buy underwear in mid-late October, but I decided I wanted it before vacation.

Target's toy section was bursting at the seams with great new items. They finally have Our Generation's "retro" line - I saw the little coupe and the diner for the first time today, as well as two cute 50's style outfits and several accessories packages that looked like they represented the 70's. I'd like to get some of the retro outfits eventually for Whitney.

I didn't get one today because they'd also refilled their Ever After High shelves. I saw almost all of the new lines currently available but "Fairest On Ice" (ice skating outfits), Candy Coated Holly O'Hair, and the dolls that are exclusive to other stores. This was the first time I'd seen anything from the very cute "budget" "Enchanted Picnic" line, with Raven, Blondie, and Cerise in adorable, mid-60's-esque gingham dresses and flip hair dos. I also finally found Alistair Wonderland, the son of Alice who wants to be an explorer and has a crush on Bunny Blanc. He was the last one there that I could see - I snatched him right away.

Target has the coolest seasonal section. They often have items that are exclusive to just them that you won't see elsewhere. In addition to the Pumpkin Latte M&Ms Matt mentioned on Dinosaur Dracula and Candy Corn and Pumpkin Spice marshmallows (I picked up the latter), I saw the Pillsbury seasonal cake mixes, this time in Perfectly Pumpkin and Caramel Apple. I considered Caramel Apple, but ended up with the Betty Crocker Maple Bacon Cookies mix. I bought it on last year's fall Target trip and surprisingly loved it.

I made a brief stop at a newly-expanded Jay Street Video Games (which was moved to a much larger store next-door to Game Stop) and tried some Pumpkin Spice Latte Tea at Teavana, but otherwise bought nothing else. I picked up the 2:45 bus home. There was a little more traffic this time, thanks to many schools letting out around that time, but otherwise no problems getting home. I walked straight back to my place after getting off at what used to be the restaurant supply store on the White Horse Pike in Oaklyn.

Opened Alistair as soon as I got home. Alistair Wonderland is the opposite of his crush, Bunny Blanc. He loves maps and puzzles and always likes to know where he's going. He feels like he doesn't quite fit in with the other boys at Ever After High, most of whom are princes or knights. There's been complaints from adult fans about him being too bland, but I think he's a very handsome fellow. He wears a nifty blue-print jacket with khakis and a t-shirt. His blond hair was almost as rock-hard as Bunny's and Poppy's out of the box. I gave him a twice-washing and the appropriate tousled hairstyle, and he looks much better now. I did have to swap him and the Wonderland girls to the top shelf and the O'Hairs and Blondie to the bottom shelf. Alistair is too tall for the bottom shelf.

Spent the next couple of hours working on my story. Mackie goes home with Scott and Betty and ends up staying for dinner. While they eat, Mr. Eldridge and Scott give him brief explanations about the curse on Scott and what Scott's doing in the woods. He asks Mackie to deliver a package for his friend Maple LaMarsh, who owns and operates the Buttery Inn in Wennaria's largest city, Yorkalia.

After I finished for the evening, I made the Maple Bacon Cookies, then threw together scrambled eggs with farm-market fresh peppers, onions, and Colby cheese for dinner while watching Ernest Goes to Camp. Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) makes his film debut in this cute, if cliche, comedy.

Ernest is the handyman for a small camp, but what he really wants to do is be a counselor and work with the kids. He gets his chance when the counselor for a group of kids from a local detention facility is in an accident and the kids need adult supervision. All they do is play pranks on Ernest at first. They're not happy - the other kids pick on them badly, and they don't feel like they belong. Then it's announced that the kindly old Native American man who owns the camp to a strip-mining company. The kids have no desire to leave...and really, neither does Ernest. They use their pranks and his crazy inventions to show the mining company that teamwork can overcome a lot of obstacles, and true bravery can be found in the least-likely people...including a certain goofy southern handyman.

This was a surprise hit in 1987, and for the most part, it still holds up relatively well today. Though the kids come off as a little bland, their pranks on Ernest and how they use them to get back at the miners are pretty funny. I do wish some of the villains had gotten some comeuppance - neither the bullies who pick on the kids in the beginning nor the miners are ever shown getting into trouble. And yeah, a lot of this isn't anything you haven't seen before in camp-related comedies from Meatballs to Heavyweights. Still, if  you're a fan of Ernest or of goofy slobs-vs-snobs 80's comedies, you can do a lot worse than this one.

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