Today I took the three hour trip up to Nashville so that my eldest could attend the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, or MTAC. We came, we saw, we bought swag, we hunted down Tim Wright from Marble Hornets, and then we went home. The con was a lot more compact than what I remember from my cosplay days.
There were some decent artists in artist alley plying their trade and a multitude of cosplayers displaying their hard work. However, I think I enjoyed the trip more than the convention itself. The weather was wet and chilly, and the drive left me exhausted, but it was worth it.
Special mention has to be made for the Shoney’s in Murfreesboro, TN where we stopped to have breakfast. There is a running inside joke between myself and the kids about Shoneys. When I was in college my friend Mary and I had a gap between our first classes and the Biology class we both were enrolled in. Often we would use that hour to find food or catch up on home work. At the time there was a Shoney’s not far from the school and we would sometimes go there for the breakfast buffet if we had the money.
That Shoney’s closed down a long time ago. The building it was in has had incarnations as various Mexican restuarants since then. I believe it may be a bank now.
My kids have heard the stories from my school days but the one time we tried to eat at a Shoney’s in another town it was a disaster. It was an experience straight from the twilight zone. The inside of the restaurant was dimly lit because most of the lights didnt seem to be on and the few people in there sat zombie like at their tables. There was very little conversation and the waitress was none existant after she pointed us at a table. We received the check before we ever recieved drinks and we never caught a glimpse of a menu. It was a very odd experience.
Since then I have been wanting to prove to my kids that Shoney’s really isnt like that. I got my chance today. And our server, Paul, knocked it out of the park. I almost thought he might be psychic because as soon as we thought of a question or had a need he appeared before we said a word. Smiling and bright eyed, Paul took care of everything and brought the check just as I finished the last sip of my coffee. This was someone who didn’t just do his job but really excelled. Honestly, the best service I’ve had anywhere in a long time.
Also, now my kids believe me. I no longer have to suffer through raised eyebrows and doubtful looks. Lol