My Lunch At P.F. Chang’s

I planned it well in advance. It seemed to execute without a hitch, and then …

Our County Mayor reopened our restaurants for inside dining (at 50% capacity) this past Monday August 31ST for the first time since the 2ND week of July. (They were previously open during the 2ND-half of May, all of June, and into July.)

I decided to eat inside a restaurant for Lunch on that first day of business, and that restaurant was P.F. Chang’s – about 17 miles away from home. It’s been over 6 years since I ate a meal at P.F. Chang’s, and I had a unique craving – for their banana spring rolls with caramel-vanilla drizzle and coconut-pineapple ice cream.

Well I never got to that epic finale. As I’m about two-thirds done with my beef and broccoli with brown rice lunch bowl (delicious) – the restaurant is plunged into darkness. The music stops, the lights go out, the air conditioner shuts-down, and the staff start panicking and yelling at each other to “check the breakers ! – check all of them !”.

The manager then started making some frantic telephone calls, and he soon realized that the “biggest breaker” that serves the entire outdoor shopping mall (100+ stores and restaurants) blew, and it could be anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes before it could be seen and repaired.

I was their only dine-in customer at the time. My waiter came over to me and apologized for the situation, and we had a good laugh about it. I was able to finish my meal in the dark. (I was seated at a booth by a window, so there was plenty of light to see.) I also started sweating while finishing my meal since temperatures were rapidly climbing inside the restaurant.

I paid my bill – manually – the old-fashioned way – before modern credit card devices existed – and I departed the now closed shopping center for home.

Those banana spring rolls with caramel-vanilla drizzle and coconut-pineapple ice cream await me for another day.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Fort Myers Beach

Surprise ! I’ve returned home from vacation again. Just 23 days after returning home from my 9-day / 2-state / 1,690-mile road-trip vacation I embarked on a much shorter road-trip vacation to a beach that’s much closer to home.

This trip was not quite 50 hours and just 271 miles from start to finish. I visited Fort Myers Beach for the 9TH time in 9 years. It was 135½ miles up – and 135½ miles back. I drove up there right after my church service on Sunday. Once I arrived at my hotel I parked my car, and it stayed parked until I departed on Tuesday morning.

I first discovered “The Island” (as the locals call it) of Fort Myers Beach at the end of April 2011. I spent 3 nights there, and I fell in love with what I saw. I also visited in October 2011, March 2012, June 2012, June 2013, October 2013, June 2015, and July 2019. So I visited 6 times during the first 2½ years, and then I skipped a year before my 7TH visit, and then I skipped 4 years before my 8TH visit. This year’s visit was exactly a year to the day after last year’s visit.

I did the same thing that I’ve done on previous visits. I walked the beach several times near my hotel. I took the trolley to the other end of the island and back. I visited the 560-foot-long pier. I walked the downtown shopping district. I enjoyed big meals at some of their unique restaurants. I took lots of photos everywhere I went to remind me forever of the good times I enjoyed.

I love viewing my photos of all of my previous visits to the island – both the “best of the best” photos that made it onto my Flickr site, as well as those that weren’t as good. Even the bland photos remind me of good times at my favorite beach town in Southwest Florida. You can check out my Fort Myers Beach album on Flickr here.

None of the photos from this newest trip are on there yet, but some of them will be soon. In the meantime here are 3 from this 9TH visit to “The Island”:

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries