I’ve never been one to stay on top of the latest technology and gadgets. I am probably the last person I know who doesn’t yet have a smart phone. However, I have finally given in to the hype and plan to get one when my 2 year contract ends with Sprint in February! I got a tablet computer last year for my birthday and I really do love it. I can sit in my living room and open it up to check my emails, do some social networking on Facebook, do some online surfing, etc. But I’ve never actually taken my tablet out anywhere to see how it works outside of the confines of my home. It’s just never occurred to me.
Last week Terri and I decided to get together to work on some back-end details of our blog. We usually sit together in front of my desktop in my basement to work on our blog. But this time we decided we needed a change of scenery. We grabbed my tablet and headed out to the Main Cup Restaurant in Middletown, Maryland. Main Cup has great food, a great atmosphere, and free WiFi.
Main Cup, Middletown, MDFor those of you as technologically challenged as I am, WiFi means that you can use your mobile device, such as your tablet computer, your laptop or your smart phone without needing any wires or plugs as long as there is internet access available. WiFi Hotspots or Internet Cafes are public establishments who offer internet access, many times for free.
Terri and I got to Main Cup and walked into the cafe side of the restaurant. We ordered lunch, plugged in my tablet (it needed charging) and started on our blog work. The waitress was very accomodating with us, knowing that we were there to work. After finishing our lunches she even told us to take our time and stay as long as we’d like. Here’s a picture of me, feeling so grown-up doing the blogging thing at an internet cafe:
Ah, I’m such a nerd! But the point is, using the latest technology can be a lot of fun!! It was so nice to get out of my house and go somewhere relaxing, get served, do a little people watching, and do some work all at the same time. Plus, you don’t get the normal interruptions you would get at home, such as having to put laundry in the washing machine, answering the phone, washing the dishes, feeling like you should be doing something else, such as cleaning the house instead of being on the computer. You get the point. Being a stay-at-home mom, I don’t get out that much except for to go pick up my son from school or to go to the grocery store. So I felt a little bit more ‘important’ doing my work in a public place for a change.
This is something I could get used to doing more often. So I decided to look online to see where there might be other Internet Cafes/WiFi Hotspots in Frederick County. I found a bunch of them. I decided to narrow them down to specifically coffee shops and cafes.
Here is the list of coffee shops and cafes with WiFi access:
- Panera Bread
- Barnes & Noble
- Main Cup
- Cafe Nola
- Frederick Coffee Co. & Cafe
- BB’s Bagels & Bread
- Bob Evans
- Beans in the Belfry
- Beans & Bagels
- Zi Pani
- Dublin Roasters
- Baltimore Coffee & Tea
Just click on the blue link to get to the actual site for addresses and phone numbers for these establishments. Please call in advance to make sure that they do indeed offer free WiFi. Also, some establishments have formal or informal rules regarding the use of their WiFi, such as the duration of your stay, whether or not you are required to buy something from their establishment, and times of day that are more preferable than others.
I do know that the common etiquette whenever you are in a public place using their WiFi is that you should at a minimum buy a drink. You should also make sure to tip your server, obey their policies, use as small a space as possible (don’t take up a table for 4 if it’s just you), charge up your mobile device beforehand so you don’t have to use their outlets (oops, I didn’t know that one), and don’t wear out your welcome by staying literally all day, unless of course you are buying all of your meals there. By all means, don’t bring your own food to save money. That is frowned upon.
So let me know if you try any of these places for your own WiFi experience. Please comment and tell me your favorite WiFi hotspots in Frederick County. And most of all, have a nice relaxing, enjoyable experience while doing it!