J and I got up this morning, like most Saturdays, wondering what we were going to do. The forecast called for sunny and warm ( 60 degrees). I have been wanting to get a new bike since the last one I owed was from 8th grade. We got up early, went to breakfast and the went looking for the perfect bike for me. We started at Bert's Bikes where I found a really nice red mountain bike. I tried it out in the store but wasn't sure so off to Dick's Sporting goods to see what they had. As soon as we started to look around, we realized that the red bike at Bert's was the best deal. About an hour later, I became the proud owner of a new mountain bike. J wanted to buy a bike rack for his truck but it turns out he needs a trailer hitch for it so that would have to wait. After that, we drove back to J's apartment to decide what next. J decided that he wanted to get his bike tuned up so that we can go bike riding next weekend so off to Bert's for a third time. It didn't matter to me, it was perfect weather for a drive. We dropped off his bike, which will take a few days to be ready, and discussed where we would go for an early dinner. Amherst Pizza and Ale house came to my mind first because it was in the area we were at and has a very nice patio to eat outside on. Then J mentioned JP Bullfeathers, which is located on the Elmwood strip. We have been to both places before and have had good experiences. After some thought, we decided to go to Cozumel, also located on the Elmwood strip. They have great patio to eat outside on.
We got to Cozumel and the host asked us if we wanted to sit in the sun on the patio or in the heated area outside. I, of course, said we wanted to sit in the sun. The host sat us at the only open table and we began to look through the menu. J leaned over and asked me if that was a Sabre behind me. I couldn't just turn around, making it obvious so I did what most people would have done, I went to the ladies room so that I could get a legitimate look at who was sitting behind me. I wasn't sure who it was, the guy looked familiar but because he was wearing sunglasses, I couldn't tell. J and I continued to look at the menus and decide what we wanted to drink and eat. After a few minutes of over hearing what the guys were talking about, we realized that one of the guys was Tim Connolly( a Sabre) , a NY Islander and a friend. They cracked a joke about a group of college guys coming into the restaurant at the same time J did and we all started to laugh. J and I were not going to acknowledge they were professional hockey players because they deserve to relax and enjoy dinner, especially after the amazing game they played last night. An hour or so later, Ryan Miller ( the Sabres goalie) walked into the restaurant a few guys that noticed him started to clap. He had the best save Friday night, you will see it a lot on the NHL hi light reels. So me being the smart ass I am, I turned to Connolly and said " Hey, how much does it bother you that you have been here awhile and no one noticed but when he walks in, people clap?" He said something very funny back and we all laughed. J and I continued to enjoy the rest of our dinner and a few drinks. They were met by a few more friends and even stopped to sign a couple of young boys Sabre jerseys. I didn't want to bother them but I did want a picture of them. How often am I going to be out to dinner ( unplanned and just at a local restaurant) and be sat next to a few professional hockey players? After our bill was paid for, I asked if they would mind me taking a picture. I really just wanted to get the group of people that were there, but they asked if I wanted to be in it. I said, "oh no, that's ok , I just want a picture, no big deal". J was in my ear " Just get in there, I'll take the pic" So I got in between Connolly and Miller and J took the picture. They were more "normal" then I expected. When I think of professional sports figures I don't expect them to be as nice, friendly and funny as this group was. They were what you expect from true Buffalonians. We are the city of good neighbors and they represented that today.
Connolly, Me, Miller and Peters ( I think)
As I stated in my last blog, I have not always watched hockey but I am a supporter of local sports, events and vendors. This was a great experience.
Today's events we unexpected and they turned out to be an amazing experience. The best thing about this town, that most people over see or forget, is that it is a city with a small town feel. We stand behind our local talent, from professional players to the up and coming garage band. We love to see our teams, and locals succeed.