Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'll Keep Vons As My Backup

Last night was another Awana Wednesday!

With Gabi safely deposited at the church for a whole two hour chunk of time, I happily drove to the nearby Vons to connect to the Internet from my car and get my bloggy groove on.

I went to grab my usual spot (I wonder if the employees there have figured out that I'm now a Wednesday night parking lot regular) and it and most of the other spots in the row were taken. The row I like is on the edge of the parking lot and looks out over a little valley and Camp Pendleton. Which was on fire.

Well, the whole BASE wasn't on fire. But a large chunk of grassland near the valley was. And it was getting closer and closer to the nearby neighborhoods. Everyone was parked in my row to watch the fire.

I was able to find a spot down the row, but the Internet waves or whatever they're called didn't reach that far away. So I backed out and only had to waste about three minutes that I could've been blogging driving up and down my row until one of the gawkers finally left. Yay!

I turned on my computer and started to do my thing. And then, not even five minutes later, I was in complete darkness. I know the time the sun sets is all incremental and scientific and whatnot, but I don't remember sitting for so long in the dark the other times that I stole free Internet from Vons in my car.

Not really a big deal, but my computer screen casts a very revealing glow on me, lighting me up for the whole parking lot to see. I didn't mind dealing with it for a BIT of time, but the WHOLE time?

Plus, the glow attracts mosquitoes. I got bit on my foot before the first little devil flittered across my screen and died a quick death. But more soon came (thankfully no more bites) and I had to roll up my windows.

With the windows up, I was swealtering! Not only was it still pretty warm outside, my laptop was so hot it almost burned me a few times. It was doing its fair share of warming up the car. And me.

(Note to anyone ever trapped in a snowstorm in their car: turn on your laptop at regular intervals to warm yourself up.)

When I started to drip actual sweat, I decided to give the nearby Starbucks a try. Kristy (from The Kids Are Taking Over) had included a gift card to Starbucks in the swap box she sent me, and I decided now was the time to cash in, and blog from a table! I ordered my Chai Latte and then casually asked, "You have internet here, right?" To which the cashier barista girl responded, "We DO, but you have to creat an account through AT&T and pay."

WHAT??? Well, that definitely put a crimp in my plans. I just can't bring myself to pay for something that I can get for free.

Yep, back to the car I went (I cancelled the Chai for fear I'd spill it in such cramped quarters) and drove to my row AGAIN (yay for another spot!). So that made a total of three times I'd parked and then moved. This time I stayed put.

And sat in my hot car for the remainder of the time, hoping that all the people watching the fire and taking pictures weren't really taking pictures of me (some of those flashes were suspiciously bright), the weird girl who keeps parking and lighting herself up with her computer.

I think I need to find somewhere more comfortable and less conspicuous to camp out while I steal my Internet. Today someone told me about a bagel place not too far away with free wifi.

I can totally do bagels (and then it technically wouldn't be stealing!). Do you think it'd be rude for me to bring in my Starbucks Chai Latte, though?


  1. Aahhh. The lengths we go to for something free!
    I love it.

  2. I hate that they make you pay at Starbucks. Seriously they can't afford to give me free internet for an hour?

  3. LOL you had to waste and ENTIRE 3 minutes finding a place to park? The nerve of those fire watching rubber neckers! ;)
    I bet you wouldn't be the first to take a Starbucks into the bagel place.

  4. Good luck with the bagel place. At least it's inside:-)

  5. i would sooo take in the starbucks friend.

    a bagel, starbucks and free wi-fi...hello bliss :)

  6. 1. OK, I had to pay at the airport for internet the last few times I went. It blows to have to pay for internet.
    2. Starbucks Chai Latte--the BEST. The only thing I ever get there because I LOVE them. Especially cold.
    3. 3 minutes is forever when waiting for parking
    4. You are funny.

  7. I had no idea they made you pay?! Most places advertise free wifi...and of all places, Starbucks?! Please, like they are barely making ends meet :)

  8. I have to laugh when I picture you sitting in your car, sweating whilst your typing away. The phrase, "feverishly posting" comes to mind.

    Oh and Vons? Wow, that makes me want to go back to see my folks out in Rancho Cucamonga just so I can take a trip to Vons. I swear, when it comes to missing things in So Cal, I miss the STRANGEST stuff!

  9. At $4 for a yummy cup o' joe (I like the Cafe Mocha - Peppermint at Christmas time) they should provide free wi-fi.

    Some places in TX (not sure if you have them all in CA) which offer free wi-fi:
    Panera Bread (mostly a bagel place - and YUM-YUM!)
    Chick-fil-A (some of them)

    I see it everywhere, but now that I'm trying to remember, of course I can't.

    You could get a laptop cooling pad...

    Good luck, girl!!

  10. Ha! Sorry for laughing...I needed this!

  11. What an evening!
    I hate how Starbucks makes you pay! I've never used their internet, as I refuse to pay. Vons makes a great backup, and I hope you enjoy your bagels. Maybe they'll have even better chai lattes than Starbucks!

  12. Do you have a Panera Bread nearby? Their internet is FREE (Starbucks...are you listening???) and their bagels are delicious. They also have Chai Tea - I've never had it before but it's worth a shot.

    (Just as a side note, I think Starbucks Chai is too bitter. I think it has too much ginger in it or something that burns my throat. I like the local place better - they serve Oregon Chai and it is yummy!)

  13. Charge for internet time--that's insane! Seriously Starbucks needs to do this for free. I frequent a local coffee shop (way better) with free internet access--hopefully you have something like that out there so you don't have to sit in a car.

    But seriously, Starbucks need to offer this for free--with the economy going nuts, they'll need another reason to bring people in the shop for their $4 coffee ;)

  14. I found your blog on BATW and its cute. I always taught AWANA so was never able to take advantage of those "get away" moments you talk about. Oh well. I live in Paraguay, right next door to Brazil. . .have you been to Brazil? We vacation there regularly (several times a year) and LOVE IT!!

    Brazilians Rock!

    And so does their coffee :)

  15. I say let's meet at the bagel shop and make Wed. night "Get Your Bloggie Groove On" night. ;)


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