When God Gives You a Storm…Make a Vacation

The weather this past week made my much anticipated trip to New Orleans a no-go. While I was beyond disappointed I wouldn’t be traveling to New Orleans and working with a group (The Saint Bernard Project) I have heard so many wonderful things about, I kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason.

But more importantly, I didn’t just want to sit around and let the week pass me by, while I sat around and did nothing.  Sure, I gave myself plenty of time to lounge around, watch TV and catch up on some reading while I was snowed in.  But once the weather cleared, I wanted to make the most of the last week I had before classes started and I’d return to work.

So I decided to scratch a few things off of my bucket list.  I went to Sweetness 7 Cafe, where I had a great breakfast with my friend Chelsea.  The Bohemian Rhapsody crepes, a mixture of fresh berries and whipped cream was amazing, along with London Fog tea, earl gray with steamed milk and vanilla.  It was easily one of the most enjoyable breakfasts I have had, with great company at a diamond in the rough cafe.

Breakfast at Sweetness 7 with my friend Chelsea
Breakfast at Sweetness 7 with my friend Chelsea

Next on my agenda was a adventure of snowshoeing.  Now, when a storm hits Buffalo, usually snow is the culprit, so taking advantage of that I figured how can I incorporate snow with something I’ve never done before.  So I was off to the Tifft Nature Preserve, another Buffalo gem that I have never been to before, to snowshoe, something I, again, have never done before. I met my friend Brian there and we hiked up a few hills.  We took in the nature that surrounded us from clusters of deer, to acres of trees and could see the city skyline from a distance, and the waterfront just a few feet away.  It was breathtaking.  Something so simple, yet so utterly enjoyable.  I have never been to the Tifft Nature Preserve, but standing atop a hill turning every which way to see a view so incredible was a vacation all in itself.

Burger and beer at Blue Monk, Snowshoeing at Tifft Nature Preserve with my friend Brian
Burger and beer at Blue Monk, Snowshoeing at Tifft Nature Preserve with my friend Brian

We followed up our hike with dinner at Blue Monk, one of Buffalo’s most talked about restaurants.  Hands down my favorite food is a burger, and matching that up with good beer, I wanted to find a place in Buffalo, that gives the best of both worlds and I wasn’t disappointed.  The Blue Monk Burger and a Stone Double Bastard, were an excellent choice way to delve into Buffalo’s unique places to eat.

All in all this may sound like some lifestyle column talking about some great places to check out in Buffalo.  Partly it is, but even more so, it was my way of treating myself to a vacation that otherwise would’ve been a week to do nothing but lay in bed.  I even got to catch up with a good friend, who the past few months our communication has been phone tag and barely getting to see one another.  Luckily for me, I now had the time to sit down, hear about all that was happening in his life and see the good headed his way.  It was much needed and such a good way to catchup.

The lesson in all this for me: When God sends a storm, because there will be plenty in our lives, allow that storm to be a vacation.  Yes, I missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in New Orleans, but for me, I made the most of my situation and had an incredible time exploring Buffalo–and that was just one day.  If you are trapped inside while a blizzard shuts down the city, take the time to just enjoy the solitude, catch up a favorite TV show, or read that book you’ve been putting off. I did A LOT of TV watching and reading this week.  For the most part it was time for me to just have for myself, before the craziness of another semester starts.  When I wasn’t outside trying to make the most of the week, I was inside feeling inspired enough to start working on a TV show.  I have a very, very, very long way to go with it, but it was a step I needed to take to start working toward my dream.

If my trip wasn’t ruined by weather, I would’ve never have gotten this week to explore my dreams and my city and there’s no better vacation than that.

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