Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. It’s a chilly end-of-autumn day here in my corner of west-central Florida. Currently, the temperature is 67˚F (20˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 52% and the wind blowing from the northeast at 2 MPH (6 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 66˚F (20˚C). Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 73˚F (23˚C). Tonight, skies will be clear. The low will be 48˚F (9˚C).
You wanna know what I miss the most right the fuck now about my old townhouse back in South Florida?
Going to Denny’s whenever the mood struck me.
Sure, there are other things that I miss about the condo I lived in for a whopping 38 years (and owned, legally, less than one). I had friends among my neighbors, several shopping malls and plazas were nearby, and I was close to not one but two Metrobus routes that I could take buses to downtown (on the rare occasion that I was called to do jury duty) or to at least the three big malls (Mall of the Americas, Miami International, and Dolphin) that I sometimes visited.
Right now, though, I miss the Denny’s restaurant in Park Hill Plaza on NW 95th Avenue and West Flagler Street.
I didn’t go to that Denny’s with great frequency, mind you. On average, when Mom was still in good health and could drive her Mitsubishi Mirage, we went to that restaurant twice a year, maybe thrice, and usually if we were already out and about running errands.
After Mom got sick in 2010, we went out less; my half-sister Vicky and I coaxed her out of her bed to eat lunch there sometime in 2012 in her penultimate meal at a restaurant. We tried several times to convince her to go to Denny’s – she loved the Grand Slam Breakfast – after that, but she refused. And when we did get her to acquiesce to another restaurant visit, we ended up going to one of the few IHOP restaurants in South Florida.
It was during my last 10 months as a permanent South Florida resident that I went to Denny’s more frequently. I didn’t keep tabs on my visits to that particular location; it certainly wasn’t a once-a-week thing. I think it was at least twice a month that I’d make the half-mile walk between my house and the Park Hill Plaza Denny’s.
I was then, as I am now, a creature of habit, so when I went to Denny’s I usually ordered one of these three items from the menu:
$11.29 | Cal 920-1580
Choice of American, Swiss or aged white cheddar cheese with lettuce, tomato, red onions and pickles on a brioche bun.
Moons Over My Hammy®
$10.49 | Cal 780-1270
Ham and scrambled egg sandwich with Swiss & American cheeses on grilled sourdough. Served with hash browns.
Original Grand Slam®
$9.49| Cal 630-1640
Two buttermilk pancakes, two eggs,* two bacon strips and two sausage links.
And, of course, I’d have at least one cup of Denny’s marvelous coffee. More often than not, I had two cups of coffee. Even at night!
Here, sadly, the nearest Denny’s restaurant is a whopping 7.1 miles away from where I live. That’s not within easy walking distance for me. I used to walk – a lot – in Miami back in the day, but I don’t think I’d have hiked 7.1 miles to eat at Denny’s even then. It was theoretically possible, of course; Miami geography is second nature to me even now, so….
In my corner of the Tampa Bay area, though….I would have to use GPS to get from Point A to Point B without getting lost. And a 7.1-mile walk is…preposterously out of the question.
Ah. Even though my former home had many issues that would have been impossible for me to deal with on my own, it did have its positive sides.
And being close to a Denny’s is on the top of my list.