Well we have arrived.Precisely 9 hours after leaving central Iowa. Needless to say it’s only a 5.5 hour trip according to the map and it turned out to be quite the adventure. But we are here, and so are a LOT of people. Did you know that we aren’t the only ones to descend upon Chi town? That’s right, there are so many events the Hotels are practically all booked.
It was an impromptu adventure to leave a day early and MAN o MAN did I underestimate the ability to get a hotel room. After several hours of searching online – we finally landed a one night stay at the Baymont Inn and Suites. Who would have thought that this was the only room available for a realistic price. So I asked the front desk clerk what was going on to make Chicago so popular. It appears that there is a movie being filmed in Naperville, a LARGE business convention in Dekalb (which booked all the rooms in Aurora), CHA by the Ohare, the Cub’s are playing a home stand this weekend, and of course there’s 6 Flags here. I was informed that the last 3 weeks have been like this.
WOW! I am thinking Chicago is doing its part to keep the economy going! So after a car ride filled with singing, watching movies, the classical he/she touched me fighting, and a rainbow; we are here. Nothing craft related to share yet, but I hear that Cricut has a new machine out, and that there will be LOTS of exciting things to share tomorrow! Right now Mrs Pink is snuggled in bed with little Jaxen, and it’s rather precious. I have been reminded of why we should take more trips… and per the additional 4 hours spent on the ROAD, precisely why we do not 🙂 Stop reading now if you are not interested in reading shameless plugs! (I am not selling anything, but highly recommending you have the experience I did tonight)
On a note completely unrelated to crafting, I wanted to share with everyone an throwback moment I had tonight. We stopped in Davenport, IA to, what else, get a Startbucks when we spotted one of Sarah’s favorite fast food places. Chik-fil-a, aka eat mo chicken, had a stand alone restaurant. Now I have eaten at my share of Chik-fil-a’s and always they have been at noise, over crowded malls (FYI I am not a big fan of shopping malls) and I really wanted to press on to arrive sooner. I was mercilessly over ruled with a 4 to 1 vote and we pulled in. Chik-fil-a if you are reading this please change your entrances, I nearly wrecked my car trying to figure out your parking lot.
This would be the ONLY bad experience I had with this restaurant! Immediately upon arrival in to the lobby we were greeted by none other than that darn COW! He/She was taking orders, and was so captivating that Mrs. Pink had to try really hard to get her order in. Cow and cashier A were playfully taking orders, filling up drinks, keeping the kids in stitches without being threatening. We arrived shortly (90 seconds) ahead of a rush of customers, and I was amazed to see all the workers come to the cash registers and engage the waiting patrons with eye contact, a smile, and a very warm and inviting “I would be happy to help you here.” All 6 registers were humming, the place was buzzing with orders being placed, kids laughing at the cow, and yet it never felt contrived or fake. Every employee was LOVING their job.
I wandered off because I tend to get into moods where lots of people are really hard for me to deal with, and I went and sat down near the play area. The play area was similar, but not at all like what you see at BK, or the golden arches. It was clean, looked as though someone had actually cared for it. There was no rust on any of the bolts. The noise was contained so you could hear a wail or pain, but not have your dinner interrupted with “those unruly” kids.
As I sat there and absorbed what I was seeing, I felt like I was in a 1950’s diner. The ones that you always see dreamily portrayed in Hollywood. It felt as though this was what Fast Food was intended to be, a family experience where everyone could eat, have fun, and leave refreshed. As the kids ran off to go play our table was greeted by “Ed” a sweet older gentleman who just came by to see how our dinner was, take away our trash, and provide refills. We were not the closest table, but rather way way way tucked in the back. I had watched him work the room, assuming he wouldn’t make the effort to come and visit us, surely not the last table all the way in the back… His pleasant persistence to let him clean off the table, was effortlessly spoken “Oh, you surely don’t want that trash anymore – I’ll take care of that for you.” And he briskly pulled the remnants of our dinner wrappings off the table and put them in the trash. He finished by making you feel so comfortable when he asked if you wanted a refill you almost thought his heart would break if you told him no.
“Ed” if you ever read this, THANK YOU FOR LOVING YOUR JOB and doing it with such a beautiful spirit. I am flabbergasted by the level of love and tenderness I saw you show each of your guests. Thank you!
Looking back at the experience I understood what it meant to “let your light shine.” Chick-fil-a is an unapologetic Christian organization, and my experience today seemed to communicate they take that seriously. It is my hope that as each of us goes through our daily journey that we can have the same type of enthusiasm, compassion, and warmth in the services we provide. Christian or not, the world, our country, each state, and town will be a better place because of it.
Until tomorrow –