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Chai!
digimind
thwack
Yesterday, Jamie and I decided to drive out to the Syracuse mall. (With our central A/C broken, going for a long drive in an air-conditioned car is a very good thing.)

First we got lunch in the food court, then figured we'd walk around the 3 levels of the mall. Well, just a few stores along in the first level, I saw a Borders and said, "I wonder if they have chai..." (Borders has recently replaced all of their Borders brand cafes with Seattle's Best brand cafes, which means no more of the awesome Borders brand chai tea. I've seen people put cans of the stuff on eBay.)

Lo and behold, they still had Borders brand chai! A few different varieties, even. They only had big cans in the spiced variety, which isn't my favorite, but they had a bunch of little cans of the original vanilla, which I love, plus they had some of the chocolate mint which is awesome too.

Jamie insisted that I buy out the whole shelf. She couldn't see why I wouldn't, since I love the stuff and I might never see it for sale again. She was actually more outwardly excited than I was. I was hesitant, mostly about making a scene, but I finally decided to buy 6 cans of vanilla and 2 of chocolate mint, which was half or less of what they had there.

So we brought that back out the car so we wouldn't have to carry it around, then went back in to continue walking around. About 20 minutes later, we came out of a store and noticed that it sounded like there was now a very large fountain in the mall... you know the white noise that you recognize when there is one. Except there wasn't that noise when we walked into the store... Then we saw a flash... Then we heard thunder. The noise was actually extremely heavy rain hitting the roof, which must have been some sort of translucent plastic from the way it sounded.

Then we saw another section of roof that had clear glass windows, and we could see the water just sheeting down all sides like a river. This made us curious, so we went into a department store that had an external door so we could look out, and as soon as that door came into our view, the first thing we saw was a palm-looking tree of some sort flailing around wildly against a dark gray nothingness where the parking lot used to be. It looked like the typical hurricane footage you always see on the news. We got to the door and there were a bunch of other people gathered around looking out in awe. Someone had abandoned their car right in front of the door to run inside. The cars that were still driving around were up to their hubcaps in water in places where there is excellent drainage.

After observing the awesome storm for a few minutes, we walked back into the mall to continue our circuit. When we came out of one store, we noticed that all the stores on the other side of that wing of the mall were dark. An escalator had lost power, too. CompUSA was dark with the gate closed and a sign reading "Closed for emergency maintenance." Circuit City only had a section of lights out, but all their electronics on display were still powered. Their bank of HDTVs had a message on the screens, "Searching for satellites." Yeah, good luck with that. A minute later it said, "Satellite search failed." Ha! We went to the outside door of Circuit City and noticed that it looked "better", meaning we could now see the cars in the parking lot, however, it was still raining so hard that anyone out there would be instantly drenched.

I found it amusing that Circuit City was almost directly below Best Buy. From out in the mall, you can see both signs. I wish I had my camera.

By the time we made our way back out, the rain had stopped and the wind had even dried the pavement in many places. On our drive home, we noticed a lot of small branches blown into the streets, and on the Thruway a camper/trailer had overturned into the median.

Crazy weather.

I have chai!!!

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This image was taken inside my car a couple years ago at the Carousel Mall. Major rainstorm, and the lot was flooded (this was at the base of the hill behind the Borders.) I'm glad I wore my Teva's that day.

Wow. THat sounds like some sort of crazy storm! We had something like that on Thursday and I was stuck in the grocery store that didn't have power! It was an intense electrical storm, but not so much wind as you described. Scary!

*yea* A Dan post! (what happend to Jamie's lj, she forget her password??)

and *YEA* CHAI! :-D :-D

Wow. Hot humid days and chai. Sounds like a great combination. :-p

I made a chai freeze with my smoothie maker. Mmmmm... refreshing. :)

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It's a store just called "Fingerlakes"? Never heard of it... Do they sell the mix or only make it for you there? I want the mix to make it at work in lieu of coffee, which is gross. :)

I found that the vanilla (original) Oregon Chai mix available at Wegmans is pretty close. But today when I finally had Borders Chai again I realized how not close it was. It's just almost as good in a totally different way.

I tried Dunkin Donuts vanilla chai once too and remember that was quite tasty. And Brueggers makes a chai that is quite different-tasting but still yummy.

Still, none of them are Borders. Thanks for the tip though... Hopefully I'll get to try Fingerlakes chai sometime. :)

You're coming to Ocho, right? You better... Haven't seen you since 'nam! ;)

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Boeder's Chai Replacement

(Anonymous)
When Border's closed their cafes I was devastated! The only beverage I drink in the morning is Border's vanilla chai. I wrote to both Border's and Seattle's Best and got their standard canned response - basically that we will not be seeing Border's chai again! So I began trying every vanilla chai that I could find on the Internet. I've finally found two that are really close - one is David Rio's Vanilla Elephant Chai, made in California. (Do a Google search to find distributers). The other, which I now prefer, is called America's Chai, which comes in both vanilla and decaf. That brand can be purchased at Simplychai.com. Good luck!

Oh my... Jim and I were at Carousel on Sat too. We just visited the last store (Lidnt) that we wanted to go to, when we heard the rain pouring. And a few minutes after that all the escalators were shut down. Jim was more observant and saw the water flowing in. We got out of the mall soon after, and by that time the rain had stopped. The exit to the parking garage was pretty flooded as was the enterance to the mall. Let's just say it was an interesting trip to Syracuse. ;)

Ohhh.... and Jim and I have always found it funny too that Circuit City put their store in right below Best Buy. I guess Circuit City wasn't too worried about the competition. It sure does make comparison shopping easier when all the electronics stores are centerally located. :)

LOL - we walked by the Lindt store at least 3 times. Small world. We parked outside next to Lord & Taylor, so we didn't get to see what the rain did to the parking garage. Jim actually saw water flowing in somewhere? Wow. If felt like it might under all that noise, but it seemed to be dry and nobody was freaking out over water coming in that we could see. It's a big mall though, I guess.

Hey, any idea what's going on with the expansion? We saw all the I-beams stacked up along the road, but there was a sign in front of them saying something like "You see metal; We see jobs." as if there's some public debate going on about it.

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