Thursday, February 17, 2011

My favorite places

Today I visited two of my favorite places. We also visited a third place, not my favorite and not a fun place to go but is usually made as good as it can be and was probably the best today.

Before I take you in to these three places, I'll throw this picture in here.

This photo is not relevant to this post but I don't have any photos to accompany this post and I thought it might be totally boring if it was pictureless.

First, the place that isn't my favorite but wasn't so bad today - the pediatrician's. Addie has been sick off and on since before Christmas. Until this week I haven't really felt like it was anything other than a mild cold that just kept resurfacing every couple of weeks. Plus, we'll be going to her two year (!) check up soon so I figured anything that was lingering we could have checked out then. It's not that I wasn't concerned, I just didn't have that gut, "it's-an-ear-infection-or-worse" feeling that I've gotten before when I just knew she was really sick. And, so many people around here have been down and out with the "crud" that I just thought it was making it harder than usual for Addie to kick her runny nose. As of yesterday I thought it would be a good idea for the doctor to see her and when I saw how she was acting last night I was glad I'd made an appointment for this morning.

I think we were in and out in half an hour! Unheard of! We visited with the pediatrician for just a bit. We really like her and are thankful for her care, concern and attentiveness. After her diagnosis of an ear infection/sinus junk, with prescription in hand we headed out the door and ran into our friends Lee Ann, Ivory and Micah. It was good to see them but not good, too, as their family has been sick for a few weeks now. We got to chat and play a little and we both left with sick kiddos and instructions for meds.

That was the not so fun, but not so bad in some ways, part of our day. We have our prescriptions filled at Target, so next we made our way there. I was praying for a short wait time. At first it looked like we were going to have to wait an hour and a half, but that was quickly changed to half an hour to which I internally shouted, "Hooray!" Of course I could easily kill half an hour in Target.

Like many of you, I love Target. I just like their selection of merchandise, their kids clothes, their Up and Up brand, that they sell decent looking and priced maternity clothes (no, I don't need any!) and in general offer a pleasant shopping experience. I sound like a commercial for them, and although they aren't paying me for this endorsement, I just wanted to express my affection for the bulls eye.

Our last stop before hitting the road back to Wewa was Chick-fil-A. Armed with a coupon for a free chicken sandwich, I was hoping to eat on the run so that lunch would be taken care of by the time we arrived home since we'd be getting home in time for a nap. I've intended to write about Chick-fil-A for a while and any time we eat there I remember, and then forget. There's a special place in my heart for Chick-fil-A, which extends beyond just that I like their food. I do really like their food and what they have to offer. I like even more that Addie loves their food, too, and always finishes everything put in front of her when we are there.

We have always had good service at Chick-fil-A. One of the perks of living down here is the accessibility we have to stand alone Chick-fil-A restaurants. In Illinois I've only ever seen Chick-fil-A in malls, but here there are three I can count off the top of my head in Panama City alone. I feel like not only have we had good service, but that the associates have gone above just good service to make it even better service. I can remember one time I was there with Addie and we went in to have a little lunch date. There was a woman working the dining area and she brought us our food and got us what we needed so that I didn't have to leave Addie or take her with me any time I had to get up. I was so thankful for her!

I appreciate the little things they think of, like the plastic place mats for kids that have the post-it note type sticky strips on the back so that they don't slip off the table. Granted, they aren't exactly resistant to toddlers who like to pick at things and tear things apart, but once they are engrossed in eating it is nice that the place mat (and their food!) doesn't slip away. We visited a location in South Carolina while we were on vacation and they already had the place mats and wet wipes in the high chairs, ready to go. I also like that they give away books as the "toys" in the kids meals. We don't always get Addie a kids meal but when we do, she loves the books that come with it. I like, too, that they offer board books for younger kids for those, in our case, who still like to rip pages out of books from time to time.

Oh, and Target and Chick-fil-A know how to do it right when it comes to their bathroom doors. I'm not a germ freak, but I think it's normal to be a little grossed out by public restrooms. As far as I have been able to tell, the Targets and Chick-fil-A restaurants I have visited have the handle on the door as you are going in. I would rather pull the handle on the way in and then push the door with my arm or leg going out, after I've washed my hands, rather than the other way around.

Did I mention Chick-fil-A and their dress like a cow day? Go in dressed as a cow, get free food. I forgot it last year but we did it one year with Addie when she was really little - they even offer printouts on their website so you can easily get free food.  

Chick-fil-A is also closed on Sundays. Every now and then, when we want to take kids from church out on a Sunday night after church and we remember it isn't open I'm slightly disappointed, but not so much that realizing that it is a good thing escapes me. It is a great thing for the employees and their families and it's good that they recognize it as a day of rest. It is testimony to the principles that their company practices.

I have often wondered, in my quest to figure out what I can do to bring in a little money, if I should go to work for Chick-fil-A. It is not my desire to work in a fast food restaurant but it seems that working for this particular company would make it more appealing. I think I'd rather do something for them on the corporate level, but I'm really not sure that is so feasible. I'm don't think a move to Atlanta is in our future!

Either way, I just wanted to share a few things about these places, for no real reason other than visiting a couple of our regular favorites today, and Addie behaving really well during our running around this morning (despite not feeling so hot) made the day better.

I am thankful for good customer service and GREAT weather!

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