Never Go Downtown on a Sunday

I was recently on vacation to one of my favourite cities and on the Sunday afternoon I decided to visit downtown. As I was wandering around the pretty streets, window shopping in the rain (which isn't that pleasant in the first place) I had the brilliant thought of finding myself a decent cup of coffee. Since I live in a town where half the population doesn't even know what a latte is, getting specialty espresso drinks can be more of a challenge than it should be. And despite the fact that I was in a city where there's a Starbucks on every corner, it proved to be no different of an experience.

I have a bit of a problem with Starbucks in the first place. I prefer to find a small, locally owned coffee shop rather than a huge corporate company's creation. Partly because I work for a small business myself and secondly because I enjoy the discovery and ambiance smaller cafes offer. And frankly, I can get a cheaper, often better cup of joe.

Unfortunately my hipster mindset became the start of this story. Since I frowned upon the idea at first of getting Starbucks I tried to find a little coffee shop. I went passed one that was open and almost went in but decided not to as I had never heard of this place before (darn small town mindset). So, I continued on my way, by this point, itching to get out of the rain and into a warm place filled with delicious coffee. I walked a few more blocks when I saw my family's favourite bakery on the horizon. "Oh, I'll just go in there. Their baked goods are delightful, I'm sure their coffee will be just as amazing, even if I am unable to get a latte or mocha." But sadly, it was closed. I was a little frustrated by this point, not to mention cold and wet as well. So I continued on my way, knowing there will just be another coffee shop on the horizon. I promised myself that I would go into the next place I found no matter what. And you know what that next place was? Starbucks. Grrr. I went in and was happy to see that line was not too long. Unfortunately, I ended up in line behind an over-intrusive, over-talkative, middle-aged man. "I should have gone into that first place I walked past," I thought.

I got my peppermint mocha, which was mediocre and continued onto some much needed retail-therapy with my festive, red cup in hand. As I walked in the direction of my next destination I ran into an old acquaintance who was getting coffee with his friends at an independently owned coffee shop. WHY DID I GIVE IN SO EARLY!? To add to my kick-in-the-butt feeling, my favourite tea room was across the street and was open. Ugh.

So, the moral of the story is sometimes you end up with a red cup in your hand and you'll still be okay. As well, realize your opportunities when you see them. And if all else fails, a friendly acquaintance, a cute coffee shop and maybe even the best tea room ever are probably in your near future.



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