It’s Black Friday. Many Americans have been up for nearly twelve hours as of this writing. They have waited in traffic, snaked their way into crowded parking lots and have dealt with surly clerks. They have been force fed tinny renditions of “Jingle bells, Jingle BELLS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY” over speakers designed for price check requests. They have scratched, pawed and clawed their way to the one laptop per store available in the unbelievable deal offered by Wal*Mart (“Always White Trash, Always”). By the way, said laptop will self destruct while still in it’s wrapping paper. Shoppers have fallen for the hype and the lure of the retailers as the almighty dollar reigns supreme and said retailers try to make their last buck in this gasping economy, all in the name of God.
Earl and I refuse to take part in the mass hysteria that grips the season. Always eager to do our own thing, we bundled up, braved the temperatures in the mid 20s and went for a picnic. Earl packed the cooler with leftovers, we loaded the Jeep and off we went.
There’s something to be said for not following the crowd and instead going for a stroll through small towns and medium sized cities while the rest of the world goes crazy with the pushing and shoving at the mall. We are currently in the oddly named Horseheads, New York at a Panera* (where else?) I’ve always liked this part of the state. It has it’s act together and has a different vibe than the rust belt we live in. We are at the bottom of the “loop” of our ride.
One of our stops was at Buttermilk Falls State Park. There were quite a few people enjoying one of Mother Nature’s countless displays of beauty. It’s here at this point that I’d post a picture of the falls, but this Panera just turned off access to Flickr, even though it was working just five minutes ago. I find this to be quite rude, must have been that “gay bears” tag on my photos that made someone nervous. I think I’ve just spent my last dime at Panera. Maybe I’m paranoid. Who knows.
After this stop we are heading back up through the Finger Lakes with the intent of catching a movie in Rochester before heading home. They have a beautiful IMAX theatre there and we’re going to see what’s playing tonight.
If you want to see more pictures, just click on the photo above. I’ll post them tonight when we get back to home base.
* Earl and I have decided to test the firewall/content controls a bit. Whenever we search for something ‘gay’, that site is then blocked for five minutes or so. This even extends to searches for the phrase “Rosie O’Donnell” on YouTube. We’ve definitely spent our last dime at Panera.