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Monday, March 16, 2009

A Valentine’s Day to Remember - Vermont, Part 3

We left Vermont on Valentine’s Day and stayed in Buffalo on our drive back home. We thought we had a great plan: Go directly to the home of the buffalo wing, Anchor Bar, for dinner, and then we had a room – no a suite – at a Super 8. (They take large dogs, thank God, so we always stay there while on the road.) Fancy, right?

Well, Anchor Bar was INSANE. We battled for a tiny table in the bar and thankfully got our plate of wings, despite the bartender deciding she hated Brad. (She really did!) I know a lot of reviews say there are better places for wings in Buffalo, but these were DARN good: great sauce, very meaty, not at all greasy, crispy skin. Mmmmm. I can taste ‘em now.

Then we headed to our “suite” at the Super 8. Thanks to what happened there, we now have criteria for a stay at a Super 8: It must be right on a (well-lit) highway exit and not close to any train tracks. Unfortunately, we did not know these rules yet.

While driving to the Super 8 we noticed the neighborhood becoming less than desirable, but we went ahead and checked in anyway. After the fun of walking the antsy dogs in frigid weather along the neighboring train tracks, and then feeding them in the parking lot, Brad had to leave me holding all three dogs and our luggage as he went inside to open the side entrance. I waited, listening to the background noise of yelling and bottles breaking on the road below. Hmmmm.

When my hands were finally frozen we lugged our stuff up to our “suite”, which Brad had specially requested. (How romantic.) It took us a while to find a light switch, but once the lights were on we were met with a confusing sight: a small living room area, a bathroom, a large common space with two tables and 8 chairs, but no beds. Was it a conference room? Who in this neighborhood rents the conference room at the Super 8? And for what purpose?

But no. We simply needed to notice the handles in the wall. That’s right: the handles in the wall. One simple tug and our lovely Murphy beds – two - became apparent. That is, after we moved the tables and chairs out of the way.

There wasn’t much to do but get ready for bed and wait for morning to come so we could get the heck out of there. It was extremely cold with only one thin blanket on the bed. We asked for an extra blanket, but apparently they don’t keep those at the Super 8 in north Buffalo.

Unfortunately, the dogs were less than pleased with our location. Usually they sleep very soundly and calmly, but every little noise made especially Luke bark. We’d be just about to fall asleep, ignoring our shivering, and Luke would bark. This went on for a couple hours. Desperately we considered just getting up and just leaving. Then Brad had the light bulb moment. He suggested getting down the second Murphy bed and inviting the dogs to sleep in the beds with us. Maybe that would make them feel better? Worked like a charm! Luke snuggled right up to Brad in the second bed and we all slept soundly. Luke’s favorite moment was when Brad put his arm around him in his sleep. That made Luke squirm around in dog euphoria: a rescue dog’s dream.

In the morning we did get the heck out of there. I was hoping the neighborhood would look better in the light, but no such luck. Our Super 8 rules were born as we drove towards the safety of Westfield.

Happy Valentine’s Day to us.

Anchor Bar, home of the buffalo wing

The wings were worth battling the crowd and the bartender.

Tables pushed aside, one of the beds still in the wall

Luke inspecting this strange discovery. No wonder he was disturbed that night!

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