This past Friday Husband and I were facing a weekend with no plans. Not that we have to have plans every weekend, but there we sat at our respective desks pondering a couple of days with nothing to do. And then Eustacia stepped in with a suggestion that soon became a plan.
She was scheduled to take the Megabus from Cleveland to Chicago, leaving Saturday morning at 1:00. People her age can do that, whereas people my age would not appreciate riding a big bus all night long with little sleep. She had a ride to the bus stop, such as it is as an unmarked spot on the sidewalk, but she wondered if her parents would like to drive up to her college and have dinner with her. That's when Husband thought that if we were going to drive to Cleveland, we might as well spend the night there, and it seemed logical to stay at the hotel adjacent to the Megabus stop and see the kid off ourselves. So, that's what we did.
We checked into the Renaissance Hotel in Tower City and had a leisurely dinner overlooking the city square. Then we spent several hours watching TV in the room, gnawing at the complimentary chocolate bunny we received when we checked in and wishing we didn't have to stay up so late. Just after midnight, we escorted Eustacia through Tower City, which among many things, is a large mall, three stories high with restaurants. All the stores were closed, of course, and the main doors were guarded to keep out the homeless people, so we walked through the empty mall on our way to the bus stop.
Have you ever fantasized about spending the night in a shopping mall? Of course you have. Everyone has, and we talked about that on our way up the escalator. Just in front of the Hard Rock Cafe, there was a small band of people waiting for the same bus, and we all settled in for what would be a long wait. That end of the building is large glass wall that looks out on the river, so when a storm blows through, you get a full view of the sky. Well, let me tell you, a storm blew through. Lightning streaked the sky, sometimes so bright you had to shield your eyes, and thunder boomed just the other side of the windows. Rain came down in sheets, and wind blew enough to knock over a quarterback (possibly my football analogy ever!). We waited and waited and waited until around 1:00 when the security guard kicked us out so he could lock the doors. We would all have to wait outside, he said, with no regard for our well-being.
So, we all spent the next 15 minutes or so pressed up against the side of the building to keep from getting wet, and then the bus arrived. We said good bye to Eustacia as she got in line, but Husband wanted to stick around to witness her actually board the bus. The storm had cleared by then, so we were dry, but it was building up again just west of the city, firing up for another round, and the lightning and thunder kicked up with a vengeance. Before long, we found our way back into the mall by way of a different hotel entrance but discovered our own hotel had locked it's mall-entrance door, so we had to walk outside after all. By then, rain was coming down in buckets, and by the time we made it to the lobby, we were drenched.
Throughout the whole experience, I kept thinking that just earlier that day I was wondering what we would be doing with ourselves that evening. It never occurred to me we would be in Cleveland standing outside in a thunder storm at 1 o'clock in the morning. Just goes to show, you can't always predict what's going to become of you. And don't spur-of-the-moment events make life interesting?