Friday, June 03, 2022

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Kicked off a cloudy morning with Match Game '73. I wanted to show Lauren episode #11, the first one to feature Brett, Betty, and Charles. It's also the first time Brett insists Charles isn't wearing any socks, and Betty's first try at the Head-to-Head in the regular show. 

We headed out around 11. This time, I lead Lauren down the street and to the stone steps that lead to Newton Lake Park. The clouds were starting to clear by then, and it was turning into a lovely, if somewhat humid day. We passed by two young men fishing across from the steps as two blackberries dropped off a tree and hit me in the shoulder!

Got into Collingswood by 11:30 and hit the Pop Shop for lunch. The Pop Shop is one of the most popular restaurants in town, a 50's style chrome-and-tile storefront situated in a former early 20th century Acme. We timed it well. It wasn't busy at all when we arrived. Lauren had a huge breakfast burrito stuffed with sausage, cheese, and vegetables and topped with more cheese. I had a tasty vegetable omelet with lots of mozzarella, bland hash browns, and barely-toasted whole wheat toast with no butter.  

We had to wait a little longer for our milkshakes. By 12:30, the main dining room was filled with parents and their young children who didn't attend school yet. The little kids were so funny to watch! They ran around, laughed with their parents, and played quietly at the tables. As Lauren pointed out, they were certainly better-behaved than the high school boys who slung around F words at Sonic on Wednesday

Our treats were worth the wait. The Pop Shop makes the best milkshakes in the area. I had a coffee shake to wake me up a bit. Lauren went with a more decadent peanut butter cup shake. My coffee shake was perfect, thick and rich and just coffee-tasting enough. Lauren's shake had so many peanut butter cup pieces, she ended up spooning them out with her straw.

After lunch, we headed down Haddon Avenue and past PNC Bank and Bank of America to the PATCO Train Station. The train to Philadelphia arrived just five minutes later and was barely half-full. We got off at the 13th Street stop. Lauren, who is far better with directions than I am, lead us upstairs, around a few corners, and down the street to the Philadelphia Macy's. 

I love this store. It's the historic former Wanamaker's, and it's what every department store should aspire to be. It's big and beautiful, three stories of clothes, accessories, toys, and every home item you could imagine. Signs scattered throughout the store claimed they were in the midst of remodeling. Thankfully, that mostly seemed to be confined to a few areas on the third floor. They even had all the escalators working for once. (One did stop while we were there, though thankfully after we used it.) 

Other than using the bathroom, we spent most of our time on the second floor, where the women's clothes are. Usually the Plus Size section at the Wanamaker Macy's is really picked over, but I did manage to find a pair of gold cargo shorts to replace my similar light brown pair for about $18. Lauren bought a few shirts and looked for something her dad wanted (and couldn't find it). 

Our next stop was Primark down the street at the Fashion District. They're an Irish department store that sells fairly cheap clothing and accessories. Trouble is, they only just started carrying plus sizes about three years ago. I did look at their shoes, but ultimately just went out into the main mall. Lauren had far more luck, picking up a cute linen cap, shorts, and shirts. (At least they weren't blasting their music like they did when we went there last year! In fact, they had no music on at all. Wonder if other stores in the mall or on Market Street complained.)

Headed to the other side of the Fashion District next to check out Burlington Coat Factory. It was the biggest Burlington I ever saw, two ocean-sized stories of clothes and accessories. I considered a tank top, but the line was so long, I finally decided I didn't need it. Lauren also found nothing.

We didn't do well in the rest of the mall, either. Peeked at a small GameStop, but Lauren saw nothing she wanted. She was going to check out the new Shopper's World that replaced the now-defunct Century 21, but said it wasn't open yet. Besides, by quarter of 4, they were starting to fill up with noisy teenagers who were just let out of school and looking for something to do on a Friday evening. After getting turned around, we finally hurried to the 8th Street PATCO station near the Burlington entrance as fast as we could. 

Had dinner at Cafe Antonio's, a pizza parlor that's only three blocks from the Collingswood PATCO station. It was only about 4:30 at that point; we were the only people there besides the workers. Lauren had a slice of pepperoni and sausage and a slice of cheese. I had a slice of broccoli, tomato, and ricotta and a slice of cheese. We enjoyed them at a nifty wooden table by the window with cute wooden bench-like seats with heart cutouts in the backs.

Went straight into Match Game '79 when we got home. Started off the episode with Brett having a tough time figuring out "__ Exchange" on the Head-to-Head. She was so upset, she held up her sign fro the opening rather than her answer! There were a few iffy answers on what a weird man tried to do to his TV dinners as well.

Match Game '74 began with Avery Schreiber's first episode and Phyllis Newman's only week. Richard had more fun doing his best Tony Bennett to answer "I left my __ in San Francisco." Meanwhile, a sweet camera girl ran out to bring one of the contestants tissues, and got quite embarrassed when she was caught on camera!

For some unknown reason, they skipped way ahead to New Year's Eve '74 episode. Singer and prolific TV director James Darren and magic-loving Juliet Mills got to hear Nipsey Russell's poem on prosperity in the New Year and Betty White discuss her long-time stint hosting the Rose Bowl Parade with Gene. The episode ended with streamers and balloons falling on the audience and hats for the panelists as everyone celebrated the start of 1975. 

The PM episode was the first without Richard Dawson. Bob Barker got to make a few Price Is Right jokes in his old seat, including wondering why Johnny Olsen hadn't called anyone to "come on down!" Richard Deacon did far better figuring out "Lois __" in the Audience Match.

Took a shower, then finished the night before and after checking out the new Strawberry Shortcake show on YouTube. The full show is apparently on Netflix, but there's bits and pieces on YouTube. I got enough to piece together that the show is about country girl Strawberry moving to the big city with her Aunt Praline and working on a food cart with sporty Orange Marmalade. 

Mixed feelings on this one. On one hand, they restore some details from the 80's and 2000's shows that were left out of the more cutesy Berry Bitty Adventures. Most of the girls have their original pets from the 80's (except for Huckleberry Pie, who has a ferret, and Orange, who has Pupcake), the raspberry character is back to being Raspberry Tart, and the city is Big Apple City and retains several of the jokes from Strawberry Shortcake In Big Apple City

Strawberry is the only one who doesn't have an entirely changed personality. Lime Chiffon is a sweet-natured know-it-all Hispanic girl, Blueberry Muffin is a mellow Asian ice cream seller with a gift for exotic flavors, Orange Marmalade is sporty and sensible, Raspberry is a tart-tongued brat who doesn't like Strawberry outselling her, and Sour Grapes is her goth buddy. The biggest change is to Lemon Meringue. She's always been played as a bit of a ditz throughout the entire franchise. This is the first time she's ever been the resident tomboy, mechanic, and science lover. Huckleberry Pie is closer to his lazy 80's character as a laid-back street musician. 

Strawberry also has an aunt, Aunt Praline, one of the few non-villainous adults in the franchise. Her aunt encourages her baking, even giving her a strawberry spoon that's a family heirloom. Most of the stories seem to go back to Berry Bitty Adventures territory without the Berrykins and bugs - they compete against each other for a Golden trophy, they get Raspberry Tart off their backs. 

While I'm not entirely sold on the changes, it's cute enough that I'm hoping more of it turns up on YouTube and other places besides Netflix eventually. 

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