I live in Lansing and hate driving in it, too.
Flat landscape, no large bodies of water, crappy roads. This place has it all.
I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to our store. The freshwater department is staffed with a bunch of fish nerds, so we do our best to keep really cool stuff in stock. Personally, I'm a fan of cyprinids, so I'm extra careful about keeping lots of cool rasboras and danios around.
We get most of our plant shipments on Thursday or Friday, and fish shipments almost daily. Other than Friday AM for first pick on plants, there aren't any really good times to come in when stock is newest because we put new fish out on the sales floor daily. This is because we quarantine every fish that comes in on a shipment for at least a week and the fish don't seem to want to all recover from illnesses on the same day.
We often call people who are waiting for a certain species the day it comes out to the floor so they get first pick... that's the best way to get what you're looking for.
As far as discounts on large orders, you can talk to me (freshwater manager) or Steve (the fishroom manager) about it, as well. We're usually easier to find, anyway. Or you can ask anyone on the sales floor about it and they'll find someone who can help with it.
Since you've got a bit of a drive from Lansing, remember to ask us to pack your fish in pure oxygen instead of just air. They do better that way.
I keep meaning to go to Vernadine's, but I usually only have time for Speedway on my breaks. I'll have to try the sweet potato pie when I get a chance, though. I've heard that's the place to eat. If you like Mexican food, go to Pablo's (a few doors down) the next time you're here... they have a spicy chicken sandwich that's absolutely awesome. It's called the "Preuss Special" because Rick orders it every time he goes there.
Thanks for posting. I'll print this out for my coworkers tonight; they deserve a pat on the back.