Kegan is a total "foodie". He loves nothing more than a really good meal at a really good restaurant. Me? Well...I'm not. I love nothing more than a really good grilled cheese, regardless of where it comes from. Thankfully Kegan is willing to indulge my dining preferences, which means we often eat at Friendly's.
This restaurant chain recently filed for bankruptcy, so every time I go I wonder if it will be the last time I eat there before it shuts down. Trust me, it is nothing to write home about, but I actually am attached to Friendly's. During marathon training I regularly rewarded myself with ice cream from Friendly's at the end of each week. Now I can't eat a peanut butter cup sundae and not associate it with accomplishment. My childhood friends and I spent a lot of time there. Whether it was the post-swim meet celebration meal with teammates, or the summer evening destination my neighborhood friends and our moms would walk to, Friendly's was a mainstay of my youth. . My sister used to pick me up from elementary school so that we could have a mid school-day lunch together. Nothing makes a 5th grader feel more cool than having her 17 year old sister pick her up in the middle of the day, and I always valued that time together. I've always taken my nieces and nephews there, since I was a very young aunt and could more or less only afford lunches out there with them. Even though I can afford to take them other places we usually still go to to Friendly's, because nothing beats a fountain coke and sundae dessert (they are all related to me, after all). My hope is that the chain somehow sustains or has a recovery so that I can take my children there. The thought of sitting across from them in a booth, watching them get hot fudge all over themselves as they eat a conehead sundae is one of the aspects of motherhood I've always looked forward to.
There are so many important places in my life- Disney World, Boston, Bermuda. Equally important, though rarely valued, are the simple places that are meaningful. It's nice to go somewhere grand. But it's also nice to go to that place just around the corner, that place that's always been around-- so much so that you expected that it always would be. And it doesn't hurt if you can get a good grilled cheese while you're there.