Monday, November 07, 2005

Road Trip!

I was talking with a friend from Atlanta last week and we got on the subject of Chick-fil-A. Now for those of you who don’t know, Chick-fil-A is the best fast food restaurant ever. It even ranks right up as one of the best restaurants ever, fast food, sit down, take out, whatever. And when I lived in Duluth there was one a half a mile from my house and was on my way everywhere. We would have a meal there once a week. At least.

So when Kim was telling me she ate there the day before I got to thinking about how much I miss Chick-fil-A. (You can tell by now, I’m sure, there is no Chick-fil-A around our new home). I hopped on the Chick-fil-A website and found the nearest store was 89 miles away, in Toledo, Ohio.

Eighty nine miles… that’s not too far… we could do that in a day! But we’ve already been to Toledo since we moved up here and I wanted to try something else. Back to the website.

The next-nearest store was in South Bend, Indiana. One hundred nine miles away. Still within a day’s drive and we’ve never been there!

All this web work happened on Thursday and by Friday I’d mapped out our plan and was going around the house singing, “We’re going to eat Chick-fil-A tomorrow!!!”

Friday at dinner we all decided what we’d have for lunch the next day at our own culinary Mecca. Michael and Amy wanted chicken strips, Rebecca wanted the classic Chick-fil-A sandwich and Sean and I were going for nuggets.

So Saturday we were all up and on the road by 9:30. I was the navigator and after we got off I-80 I was giving Sean the play-by-play directions. The last step was to turn left onto Main Street; this led us up a small hill and as we got to the top I could see the red Chick-fil-A sign in the distance.

And I burst into tears.

Rebecca, in classic five year old form, said, “Mom, what is wrong? It’s Chick-fil-A! Be happy!”

I must admit I did feel ridiculous. Tears streaming down my face, all over a fast food restaurant, one that employs spelling-impaired cows, no less.

But I knew it was more than Chick-fil-A. Sometimes I get so busy doing life up here that I almost forget how much we left behind in Atlanta. But when I saw that sign all the people and places I haven’t seen for months came flooding through my mind and I could not hold back the tears.

(I am quite concerned my children are going to remember 2005 as “The Year Mom Cried.”)

I had a good cry and then we went in and had a most excellent lunch. Chicken has never been better!
And knowing that in just a few weeks I'll be home for Thanksgiving and can see all those special people I was missing -- that made everything taste even sweeter.