How to Find Local Numbers When You"re Not A Local

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I just returned from a vacation and have I got a story for you!

I don't take a lot of vacations, but the opportunity came up at work where they were sending me to Oklahoma City for a conference, and I decided that my spouse should join me for a few extra days of R&R. I figured that once the conference was over, the two of us would get to see a bit of a city we had never visited before.

Great idea, right? And it did turn out to be but as always, for me, things didn't start off smoothly to say the least.

On the first evening, just after the conference had ended, we headed over to a fabulous Italian restaurant called Carrabba's Italian Grill. They have a great wine list, many specialty dishes, and let's get to it; they have desserts made from scratch. Now you are talking my kind of vacation.

Being unfamiliar with the rental car, I proceeded to lock the keys in the car. Now, my first thought was, "who am I going to find at this time of night (it was after 5pm after all) to unlock our vehicle". I was very frustrated but insisted we go in and enjoy a great meal before starting what I was sure would be a journey to nowhere, trying to locate someone to unlock the vehicle. Our server caught on to my somber mood and did everything but a back flip to make our dining experience a pleasurable one. I finally explained what I had done and thanked her for everything she was doing to make our visit a fabulous one. Well, she went one-step further in providing the excellent service customers have come to expect at Carrabba's. She told us about a service called directoryofoklahomacity, relatively new, that provided information about local businesses online. More than just phone numbers, it provided a link to their web site where I could get information about their hours and whether or not they had 24 hour emergency service, etc. I was thrilled!

She checked with her manager and got us permission to use their computer to try and locate a locksmith who could help us out. There was one listed, Oklahoma City Locksmith, and after just a quick look at their website and seeing words like, "Emergency Experts', "Operating 24 hours a day", and "Rapid Response", I was in. We gave them a call and they showed up just as we were paying our check (and yes, we did leave a generous tip for our savior, I mean server, after all of her phenomenal help).

We were able to get back to the hotel quickly and safely that night. But we didn't forget about our new found service. For the remainder of our stay we checked the site over and over locating some quaint shopping spots from those selling antiques to those selling reptiles (did I mention I'm married to a treefrog nut). We found movie theatres and science museums, everything that made our stay in OKC so enjoyable.

When I returned home, here in Madison, Wisconsin, I found out that the service existed here, too, providing local searches for businesses that I needed. It was the same directoryof(city name). I just substituted Madison for Oklahoma City and I was in business.

I will be forever grateful for the help our server provided us that night and will think of her each time I use the service.
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