Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Day in Buffalo

**Read the previous post first**

After lunch yesterday, I hopped into the car and made my way to the land of Chicken and Sauce, otherwise known as Buffalo. In preparation for this excursion, I solicited the help of my dear friend google maps. For those of you who have not experienced the extent of its power, did you know you could input multiple destinations and create your own little road trip? Seriously, I spend a good 45 minutes punching in random destinations, one after the other to get myself what amounted to about 12 days worth of driving. I'll never do it, but it helped me put the life of a truck driver into perspective. With my map, package, computer, day bag and coffee in hand, I embarked on what has been a pretty fun day. First stop: DHL drop box.

Although I accidentally passed the box on the first time round, I eventually made one of the world's ugliest U-turns and arrived. I filled out all the information, sealed the package, applied what seemed to half a roll of clear packing tape to affix the shipping label to the pouch, and put it in the box. Wouldn't it be funny if I sealed the envelope but forgot to put the keys inside?!?!?!?!?! (Insert nervous laugh here...)

When the package was safely sitting inside the big yellow box, I thought to myself 'What next?' Then it dawned on me. I haven't checked my email in 2 hours. I must find myself some internet. So off I went. Originally, I was thinking of going back to Schwanny's, the place I spent many, many hours in when my flight to Charlotte kept getting delayed and canceled. But I thought that if I did, I would need to buy something, and if I didn't, I would feel bad. So I kept driving and thinking. Then it came to me: Maybe there's a Panera Bread around here. For my Canadian friends, Panera Bread is a cafe/deli/sandwich joint that has franchises all over the US, all of which offer free wireless. So off I went in search of my internet savior.

As I was looking around, hoping beyond hope that I would spot a Panera, I saw a movie theater, which caused me to get all excited and giddy. I haven't seen a movie in the theater for a while, so I though that since I've got about 7 hours to blow before my brother arrives, I thought what better place to do it than in the theater. As I drive up, my eyes scan the movie menu. It wasn't long until I found the movie that I was gonna see. I had wanted to see it ever since it came out a few weeks ago but haven't gotten the chance. I park, walk up to the counter, and say to the gentleman behind the glass:

"One ticket for '300' please."

I get my ticket, but realize that I've got about 20 minutes before it begins. So I hop back into my car and resume my quest for Panera.

I drive for what feels like forever, looking left and right, all the while losing hope as I pass intersection after intersection. But just as I was about to give up hope and make another ugly U-turn, I see something in the distance that piques my interest. My wireless internet senses start to tingle as my Mazda Protege 5 putters down the street and brings me closer and closer to my destiny.

...is it?...

...is it?...

IT IS!!!!!!!

Huzzah!!! I have found Panera!! As I round the corner to enter the parking lot, I start giggling like a little school girl for the successful expedition. I had planned to use my computer from inside my car, but since the sun was out and there were chairs and tables outside, I decided to step out and "borrow" internet in broad daylight. I did what I needed to do in record time and made it back to the theater just in time to catch the previews.

I'm not going to give a review of the movie in this blog post, but let me just say that it was everything that I was hoping it would be. It was what movie reviewers called a cinematic masterpiece, a feast for the senses. In other words, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would not mind seeing it again.

After the movie, I still had a few hours before Dennis' flight arrived. While I was out searching for Panera, I saw that there was a Barnes and Noble near by. For my Canadian friends, Barnes and Noble is the US equivalent to Indigo/Chapters. So I decide to go there, but not before a quick stop back to Panera to see if I got any emails or blog comments in the last couple hours.

Finally, at around 10:00, my brother rolls up with his black suitcase and black trench coat while carrying a black computer bag on one shoulder and a black bluetooth headset adorning his ear. Man, I'm so proud of him.

While he's checking in, I'm closing up my computer and wrapping up a chat with jojo. (Yes, they have free wireless in the lobby...and in the rooms too) After dropping off our stuff, we head right back out to grab some eats. At 10pm, Buffalo doesn't leave you with many dining options, so we end up going to T.G.I.Fridays. We eat, we chat, and have a really great time. Although I only got to spend about a few hours with Dennis, I really enjoyed it, because it's not necessarily all about the quantity, because quality goes a long way.

And finally, when I wake up tomorrow, Dennis will already be off to his meeting and he won't have time to have lunch. Although that's a bummer, I'm kinda excited because there's a Cracker Barrel around the corner, so before I head back to Hamilton, I'm gonna stop in for a good dose of Country Fried Steak and all the fixin's to put a gravy drenched exclamation mark onto the end of this wonderful trip.

Again, thanks Natasha for swapping shifts and making all this possible!! You're fantastic, girl!!


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