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Breakfast in Peoria

17-Mar-2005

 Saturday morning we wanted to get an early start to our day at the ballpark. It was our last day to attend a game and we decided to check out the practice fields then take a little break and then return to the game. (Most Spring Training games are at 1:00 pm.) We thought we’d grab a little breakfast in Peoria before we checked out practice.

Across from the stadium are several casual places geared towards sports fans and families and we thought some little breakfast place might be tucked away in there. Wrong. We drove up to the closest major road, Bell Rd and cruised through it’s strip malls looking for some sort of little place. This was about 9:00 am and nothing was open! (Later we found an advertisement for a place at 75th and Bell called the 5 & Diner but we didn’t notice it that morning.)

Okay, there was one place. Denny’s. Not exactly what we had in mind but we also didn’t want to go to the Starbucks we knew was down the road. We wanted a little breakfast. So into Denny’s we went. We were seated almost immediately and the meal was decent – we split a couple of eggs over easy, four pieces of bacon, hash browns and toast. Nothing extraordinary but good.

But what I really wanted to mention was how great our server was! Her name was Deanna. She was one of the most pleasant people I’ve met! We had planned on splitting our breakfast on our own but somewhere during our conversation she overheard us and delivered our meals on their own little plates! We also heard her talking with the table next to us. I’m not sure what they ordered but she helpfully offered to place their order in a slightly different manner – same amount of food but less money. She was just a really nice, friendly person who liked her job and that showed in all she did.

We had one regret. On the way out we mentioned how pleased we were with Deanna to the manager. He was another story. Hopefully he at least passed the praise on to her but I wouldn’t bet on it. Two other servers heard our comments so maybe they shared them with her. We left a generous tip and that will say something but we hoped she’d get more recognition.

Then we were off to watch practice. During Spring Training the AA and AAA teams use the facility with the Bigs. It’s fun to see the new really young guys working out, hoping that someday they’ll get to move up to the 1st practice field. There’s so much hope and promise on those fields you can feel it in the air. (At Peoria Stadium there are six practice fields on each side of the stadium. One side is for the Mariners, the other for the San Diego Padres who share the field. During practice there are literally hundreds of baseball players on those twelve fields.) But most of our time was spent watching the 40 guys who will be pared down to 25 by the end of Spring Training. Perfect start to a perfect day…

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