Serendipity, I'm all about it.
This morning I took my kids to a gas station after my oldest daughter's orthodontist's appointment. We went to a brand spanking new gas station. I know it doesn't sound all that exciting, but it was something else, believe me.
I felt like going for a Starbucks coffee. It often happens with me in the fall; I have to be careful not to let money pour out of my ears. There's a Starbucks by the gas station I normally partonize, but the kids wanted to go to the new gas station by the orthodontist's. I pulled in, and everything was so lovely and new, bright and sleek. No gang signs carved into the touchscreens. No faded signs advertising donuts and cheap coffee and huge sodas. Even the pavement seemed to shine in all its freshly-poured splendor, untested yet by the Phoenix heat still oppressing us in the afternoons. And as I filled up the tank, I thought, I can get a coffee here much cheaper, and they have donuts for the kids, too. We can go in.
I don't take my kids into gas stations unless we're on a trip and have to use the potty or their Papa is agreeing to a quick snack or fast food lunch. Going into a gas station instead of doing a drive-by is therefore exotic, associated as it is with road trip adventures and alluring towns like El Paso, Texas and Gallup, New Mexico. There was that one time in Wakiki, too, when we stopped at the gas station for breakfast, because it was the only place with available parking.
So gas station = adventure in our books.
And I'm telling you, this station was sleek inside as well. Even I was ridiculously attracted to the donut and muffin display cases, the coffee bar, and the wide, non-sticky aisles. My kids ran around in a fit of excitement as I valiantly tried to corral them, and an older gentleman laughingly said to me, "You would think it's a theme park!"
I got a big cup of pumpkin spice coffee and snagged an accompanying pumpkin spice creamer. The kids joyfully scanned the pastries and picked out large, filled ones. We topped off a huge cup with coma levels of a sugary drink combo for Berto, my teenager, who had decided to stay home and play video games, missing all the fun.
When I paid, the attendant commented, too, on how much fun my kids had had, and I laughed and said, "I never bring them into the gas station. It's like Disneyland!"
It wasn't yet nine in the morning when we left clutching our pastry bags and syrupy drinks, happily walking out into the still cool October air, and I thought, It's going to be a great day!
You gotta love it.