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.
I have chai!!!