I didn't get any free/discount turkey deal this year, so on Thanksgiving Day, I went out. Actually, it was the ideal day to find geocaches at or near shopping centers. All the stores were closed so I could park anywhere I wanted and I was able to search for caches in peace. "Just Hangin' at the Mall" was a prime example of that. It's a somewhat difficult cache hanging in an evergreen outside Macy's at Willow Grove Park Mall. Normally, the parking area is busy and there are security patrols but on Thursday, I was able to take my time searching and I finally found it. The rest of the day, I geocached my way towards Philadelphia, through Jenkintown, Chestnut Hill, and Mount Airy. For dinner, I figured I'd just go to the first open restaurant I saw because many were closed for the holiday. Fortunately, "Tall and Tan", the last cache of the day, was just outside a Korean shopping center / food court! I picked something at random from their picture menu and had Hae Jang Gook, a broth with beef parts and cabbage. And for dessert, I had blueberry-stuffed French toast at their pseudo-French bakery. It's an interesting place.
Friday was about going to the pre-opening of the new Red Robin in Cherry Hill. I had no idea Red Robin offered free dinners to the public when they train employees, but when I saw the invitation on their Twitter, I pounced on it and made a reservation. That was in the evening, so I went geocaching in South Jersey first. I went from Runnemede to Ashland, Somerdale, Stratford, and West Berlin, just going for caches that have been published since January or so. Since it was Black Friday, I avoided shopping centers until late in the day. Unfortunately, the new Red Robin was in Cherry Hill Mall, so that was the worst traffic I encountered that day. Anyway, dinner was interesting. For training purposes, the menu was restricted but I still had an entree, a dessert, and a root beer float. I only didn't have the option of getting an appetizer, although I was allowed to add onion rings to the entree. Service was actually better than at a regular Red Robin because they showed a lot of enthusiasm. I did overhear some basic questions from trainees though, so they still needed to nail down some details to be 100% ready for the grand opening. After dinner, I went to Haddonfield to see the town's holiday carolling event and to get two geocaches downtown. There was a band playing right next to the hadrosaur but I was still able to sneak around and find the "Haddon Hadro" geocache.
Saturday was a car maintenance day to get some misfiring cylinders fixed. I still had time in the afternoon, so I tackled some geocaches in Newark. I hiked over 3 miles in White Clay and Middle Run Valley, so that was the first test of my left foot since the injury. I guess I have no excuse not to do yardwork any more since I didn't have problems hiking. :) Anyway, "Scale of Geo-Justice" was the most interesting cache of the day. At the first stage, I had to assemble a scale from a box of color-coded parts and use it to weigh a few items to get coordinates for the final stage. The scale was not perfectly balanced to begin with, so there was a bit of uncertainty about the numbers but I got some plausible coordinates and found the cache, so I must have done it correctly.
On Sunday, to round out the weekend, I returned to where I was on Thursday but went north instead. I geocached in Horsham and Warrington. The remarkable thing about the day was 29 out of the 32 caches I found were placed by Taxman, the local maniac who has hidden over 800 caches! I'd figured out enough about his hiding style so most of those were a snap to find, although there were a few placements that were strange.