Sunday, July 16, 2017

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Started my first day of vacation by sleeping in. By the time Lauren got up around 10, I was dressed and ready for breakfast. Had a bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios and a peach (Lauren's not a fan of eating in the morning) before heading out.

An antique center about fifteen minutes from Lauren, just over the New York State border, has a big flea market every Sunday. Lauren's not the only one who loves it. The gravel lot was so full, we ended up parking in the grass.

The grounds were crawling with tents selling everything from collectibles to comics, floral sundresses to used toys. Lauren comes here every week and is well-known by several of the sellers. We started off with one she spoke to as a friend, a man who mostly sold boxes and boxes of CDs and DVDs (along with some toys and die-cast cars). The DVDs were buy two, get one free. I ended up with a second set of Bing Crosby movies, the original 30th anniversary Bedknobs & Broomsticks DVD release (it has a few interesting extras that didn't make it to the re-release from a few years ago), and National Lampoon's Animal House. Lauren bought a season of Gomer Pyle she didn't have and some things for her parents.

We headed inside next. Lauren says they're not normally open on Sundays, only once a month. I'm glad they were. She didn't find anything, but I picked a copy of Starlog off the magazine racks on Star Wars' 25th anniversary. I'm not a fan of most paper publications. They just take up too much room. Couldn't resist this one, though, especially the Harrison Ford interview. (It was only a dollar, too!)

We browsed around for a little while longer after that. Lauren bought a bolt of teddy bear-print fleece from another seller she knows well. (He evidently also sells vintage postcards.) I bought a Star Wars: New Hope picture book, probably from the late 90's re-release. (It had a "shimmer" theme.)

We'd passed a few more outdoor antique sales on our way to the flea market. Since it was only noon when we left, we thought we'd give them a try. A smaller antique-oriented flea market mainly had ancient furniture, but Lauren found a Coca Cola polar bear glass. A booth in the front held no interest for me, but Lauren picked up Christmas tree-themed pins and earrings for her job as head teller at a local bank. Went across the street to a smaller sale, but it was mostly junk and yielded no finds.

Finally headed home around 1. Spent the next few hours snacking on trail mix variations and playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch. Unlike the previous versions of Mario Kart for the Wii and Wii U, this one uses the regular buttons, not the motion controls. (Lauren says it's an option, but they annoy her, too.) Made it much easier for us to race other players from around the world. Neither of us got further than 4th place, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

(I love some of the imaginative courses! Along with updated favorites from previous Mario Karts like Rainbow Road and Toad's Turnpike, you get the neon Blade Runner-esque New Bowser City, the colorful Toad's Harbor, the twisty Tick Tock Clock, and slippery Mount Wario, among others! There's also rounds based after other classic Nintendo games, like Animal Crossing and Excitebike.)

Around 4 PM, Mr. and Mrs. Miller called us upstairs. Did we want to toss bean bags on the porch? Sure, why not? The Millers have a huge back  yard and porch...which they seldom use. They all burn easily, and none of them are outdoor people. They don't even have any porch furniture.

The bean bag toss was a slightly better-made version of the typical game many kids probably still play in school. You throw ten yellow and blue bean-bags into targets marked 3, 2, or 1. If you miss, you have to toss it again. I came in last. I have terrible aim. (Though I did get better as we went on.) Lauren, who played softball in school and has great aim, won with 101 points. Mrs. Miller came in second, followed by her husband. (Mr. Miller did get the best points on an individual round, 18.)

We went back downstairs to Lauren's room while Mrs. Miller got dinner started. Lauren switched to Yoshi's Wooly World on the Wii U. Somewhat similar to Kirby's Epic Yarn, this one has Yoshi also finding himself in a textured universe made from knits and fabrics. He has to not only defeat villains, but find skeins of yarn to put his friends back together. We got half-way through Grass Island before Mrs. Miller called us to dinner.

The kitchen/living room area smelled wonderful when we came back upstairs! Mrs. Miller made ground veal patties, (boxed) scalloped potatoes, and amazing glazed carrots with cinnamon and maple syrup. Mr. Miller and I also had slices of bread and butter. We had Friendly's cherry chocolate chunk ice cream and Pepsi for dessert.

We watched episodes of Cheers from the 10th season as we ate. "Rich Man, Wood Man" has Woody the bartender returning from England with his sweet, wealthy girlfriend Kelly. Woody's trying to act rich, too, but it annoys the others. When Kelly realizes what's going on, she claims she'll try to get along without money. Lillith and Fraiser Crane deal with "Smotherly Love" when her mother visits and more-or-less forces them to repeat their wedding because she couldn't make it to the real one. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" gives Sam one last shot at reviving his pitching career when he wins a spot on a minor-league team. Trouble is, most of the other players are younger than him and are acting silly and immature. Carla comes to tell him how proud they are of him, but he just wants to go home.

Finished the night back downstairs with more Wooly World. We were more than half through the second desert world when Lauren started insisting that her controller was running low on batteries. Not to mention, we did want to get online. We went on our laptops to chat around 10.

One of our major concerns this week is the weather. There's minor threats of rain all week. We'll be heading east to the Holyoke Mall in order to avoid storms here and in Upstate New York.

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