Lauren drove through Lee again, taking us back onto the Mass Pike. Thankfully, we ran into no trouble this time, no traffic anywhere. If they were still working on the section of road that slowed traffic on Saturday, it was further down. We pulled in at the smaller Holyoke Commons shopping center next to the main Holyoke Mall around 11:30.
Hit TJ Maxx first. They do have some great Halloween decorations, most of which I can't carry home. Lauren agrees that their clothes tend to be hit or miss. We walked out with nothing. Did much better at the huge two-story Barnes & Noble. Lauren picked up a set of the Marx Brothers films made at Paramount. I found the next book in the Shady Hollow animal cozy mystery series, Cold Clay.
Had lunch at Red Robin in between stores. We got in at barely noon. There were only one or two people there, which may be why we got our meals so quickly. We shared a small stack of those delicious onion rings. She had a "Smoke & Pepper" burger with seasoned bacon. I had the California Chicken Sandwich, grilled chicken with guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. Yum! Their chicken is far less dry with guacamole on it.
Headed to the main mall at 1 PM and parked across from the back entrance to JC Penney. Hit them first. Lauren got nothing, but I found a lovely cream-colored sweater with sienna flower trim on the clearance rack. Originally $64, according to the tag, it rang up as $15. Sweet.
We strolled across the mall to Round 1 Entertainment next. This arcade and bowling alley has become a favorite of ours in every mall we've run into it at, and this one is no exception. At least the skee ball machines worked here. We spent the next hour dashing from skee ball machine to the bean bag throw to the basketball games to giant Pac Man and Mario Kart Deluxe. Didn't make enough points to get anything really interesting. I'll try again at Deptford another time.
Running all over Round 1 made us thirsty. I initially suggested Starbucks for a drink, but Lauren didn't like the look of their menu. Went downstairs and checked out a few other booths. Lauren bought a Fruity Bubble tea, a drink with tea, milk, fruit, and tapioca at the bottom that resemble "bubbles." I picked up a nice, cold Chocolate Mocha "Chillatta" from Cinnabon.
We were in and out of a couple of stores for the next few hours. I peeked at the new Alex Bath & Toy, apparently an offshoot of FYE, as Lauren finished her tea. Saw lots of Our Generation items, but nothing I really wanted. Lauren got nothing at FYE, but I found the BBC series The Musketeers and Uncle Magoo, a collection of American history-themed Mr. Magoo shorts. Likewise, she picked up a really nice plaid shirt at Macy's, but I just used the bathroom. We looked at DSW Shoes, Build-a-Bear Workshop, and Stateline Video Games, but didn't buy anything.
Ended up at Uno Bar and Grill for dinner. If we were doing Uno's, I wanted pizza. I had the Farmer's Market individual deep-dish pizza, which I've done before when Lauren and I had lunch here. Lauren managed to eat an entire huge bowl of shrimp and lobster scampi.
The clouds that lingered off and on all day finally burst while we waited for dinner. By the time the waitress brought us our meals, it poured cats, dogs, and chickens out on the street between the mall and the parking garage. We figured that was a sign that we were done for the day. We did take a peek at the extremely messy shoe section at JC Penney (we both need new shoes for work), but eventually just headed out.
We timed it perfectly. The clouds caught up with us again about 20 minutes from the turn-off to Lee. Mother Nature put on a spectacular show as lightning flashed against the rolling green mountains. As Lauren pointed out, we were very lucky that the storm hit until just as we turned off the ramp and into downtown Lee. By the time Lauren brought down the recycling to their curb and parked the car, the rain had finally vanished.
Showed Mr. and Mrs. Miller our purchases, then played more Super Mario Party. This time, we did King Bob-Omb's Powderkeg Mine. Lauren once again won, likely due to winning the most minigames, but everyone played well except for poor Rosalina (who never did manage to get any stars).
Finished the night with a quick episode of Bewitched on The Roku Channel. Went with an early episode of the first season, "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog." Samantha is fed up with the owner (Jack Warden) of the company Darrin wants to get an account with hitting on her at a party. She turns him into a dog to get him to back off. Darrin doesn't believe he did anything wrong and demands Samantha turns him back. She does, but he tries again. He never does learn his lesson, even after ending up at the vet, but Darrin does learn to trust his wife more.