I must have been really worn out after all the trouble yesterday. I didn't get up until almost 11 AM! It was closer to 11:30 when I finished with my journal and joined Lauren in the main room. Grabbed a pineapple date bar and blueberries, then lead Lauren downstairs.
Got an Uber to Gloucester Premium Outlets within 10 minutes. When we told the cheerful young man driving that we were on vacation, he revealed he'd just gotten off vacation, due to his wife having a baby. That lead to a round of happy congratulations! Considering he took the expressway through Bellmawr and past Deptford, we ran into no traffic anywhere and were there within 20 minutes.
The Gloucester Premium Outlets are in Blackwood, just outside of Deptford...and they're gorgeous. Unlike the outlet malls in Atlantic City and Lenox, they're designed as a fully pedestrian mall. In fact, they remind me a lot of the Washington Street Mall in Cape May. Wide sidewalks with lots of seating connect the stores, rather than streets. The entrance sports a beautiful fountain that gurgled and splashed as we entered. Hardtop roofs provided shade and protection from bad weather on the narrower side alleys.
We started at Go!Toys & Games to make up for the one that closed at the Cherry Hill Mall. They weren't as big as that one, but they did still have some interesting items. I didn't buy anything, but Lauren found a stuffed alligator who somehow managed to be adorable and menacing at the same time.
There's only two restaurants in the mall, a Friendly's and a just-opened Caribbean place. While Caribbean sounds intriguing, Lauren's only Friendly's is hard to get to, and the other Friendly's in South Jersey have vanished in the last three or four years. This may be the last chance either of us have to enjoy Friendly's.
It was past 12:30 at that point, and there was a long line of families waiting to get burgers and ice cream. We had to wait 10 minutes before being seated at a booth all the way in the back near the kitchen. It was worth it. We kept things simple and had the soup and salad combo with a plate of mozzarella sticks for each of us. Lauren had olive oil vinaigrette and chicken soup. I had honey mustard dressing and tomato soup. Oh yum! The salad was basic garden, but the tomato soup was rich, creamy, and so thick, it was more like marinara sauce soup. Those mozzarella sticks were fat and crispy and perfectly fried, with two containers of marinara sauce for dipping.
Even after all that, we had room for dessert. I went with the root beer float I didn't have on Friday. Lauren had a scoop of her favorite black raspberry topped with her dad's favorite Swiss Chocolate Sauce. The float came in a glass taller than some children. I'm glad I only opted for one scoop of vanilla. It would have taken the whole carton to fill that glass!
We had even more luck in the claw game as you left the building. I wanted a red Beanie Baby bear, but ended up with a fat, cute little duck I named Ducky. Lauren got the bear, who turned out to represent Italy.
We were in and out of stores for the next two and a half hours. Lauren bought two shirts at The Loft; I saw nothing I wanted. She also got a plaid button-down shirt at Brooks Brothers for a good price. I found an adorable "Sun Day" yellow t-shirt at the Gap. Picked up three t-shirts, two short-sleeved, one long, at Eddie Bauer.
I found buy one, get one 70% off wireless bras at Lane Bryant. (And later discovered one is the wrong size. I'll have to take a trip back here, possibly later in the week.) Likewise, Lauren picked up two cute gingham shirts at J.Crew, but they don't really carry my size. We peeked at Jockey, but didn't get anything. Lauren found a They Live Funco Pop at the comic book store Adventureland, but I saw nothing interesting.
Didn't find any clothes at Columbia, but I did buy my own version of Lauren's string backpack. She's carried around a Hot Rod backpack with string straps for clothes finds all week. My blue planet Land's End backpack works for a grocery store run, but it's too bulky for mall runs. The red bag with pink markings is a lot less conspicuous. We also stopped in a hall to use the bathroom and the nifty Coke vending machine that had the sodas dropping down a chute into a plastic container. She got Sprite; I had a Diet Coke (since I had the sugary root beer earlier).
Settled down on benches at the entrance as I called Uber. That took about 13 minutes, so we had time to sit back and enjoy an absolutely perfect day. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the breezes were cool and fresh, and it wasn't even as hot as yesterday, barely in the 80's. The Uber driver did hit some traffic on the expressway going home, but it could have been a lot worse on a Sunday. It was likely people heading home from the Shore.
Headed right upstairs after we got in. I put on a couple of early Match Game PM episodes that haven't turned up on Buzzr yet as we got organized and had dinner. Showed her the one with Richard's unexpected "Burns and Cuts" answer on the Audience Match. We did watch the similar episode with Richard's Admiral Color TV answer last year when she visited, but it went along so well with the other that I did it again. Ed Asner, Fannie Flagg, and soft-spoken singer Julie London joined in see Richard struggle with "Tony __" in the Head-to-Head. Lauren chose the hilarious show where Richard imitates Brett for a question and Betty White does Charles.
Finished up the night online with more game show episodes on YouTube. I enjoyed those Canadian game show episodes two weeks ago so much, I did a full tribute to Jim Perry. Perry is actually a South Jersey native, having been born in Camden. He began his career up north as a popular host in Canada. His first show, the original It's Your Move charades series, seems to be missing, but I did find an episode of Bingo at Home, also known as The Money Makers, from 1969. Perry looks impossibly young and skinny as he leads contestants through a series of trivia questions to fill a bingo board.
He had his first major hit in 1974 when he took over the Hangman-style word show Definition, which proceeded to run until 1989. Alas, most of the early episodes, including all of the ones Jim announced before he took over hosting, aren't online. I went with another episode from 1986. Headline Hunters was a news-related quiz show that had Jim hosting for the full long run this time, from 1972 to 1983. He also had a long run hosting the Miss Canada pageant from 1967 to 1990.
His first major hit in the States was the original Card Sharks. I don't know why Buzzr only runs the first two and a half years of the 1978-1981 show. The entire series does exist. I went with a later episode from close to the end of the run in 1981. Likewise, they only show the last two years and the syndicated version of Perry's other major US hit, Sale of the Century. I dug up a very early episode from 1983 that still has the original "use your points for shopping" bonus round.
With his busy back-and-forth schedule jumping between Canada and the US, Perry didn't have time to appear on too many other game shows. He did turn up on Tom Kennedy's first week as host of Password Plus as part of an all-celebrity special with Nancy Walker, Greg Morris, and Judy Norton-Taylor. He had the funniest moment of the whole week when he and Kennedy argued over whether the Pyrenees Mountains are in South America or Afghanistan. Tom brought out an encyclopedia right before an Alphabetics round to reveal they're actually in France and Italy. Jim came out, grabbed the book, threw it offstage, and stomped away in annoyance.
Check out the Canadian and American sides of this local boy makes good! (Watch out for an edited tape on Headline Hunters that's missing the first few minutes and a bad tape on Sale of the Century.)
Oh, and I finally remembered to check my schedule. My only work day this week coming up is Thursday. The bad news is, it's 8 1/2 hours of cashiering. I'm glad I asked for Friday off for a dental appointment and just got lucky with Saturday.