Six years ago my parents bought me my first car. It was a silver 2001 Ford Focus, named Gracie, and I LOVED her. I was so excited about it and I loved driving her anywhere and everywhere. When I went off to college, that little car served me so well! I have so many memories associated with Gracie. Lots of laughter, singing, carpooling to church and work and going shopping. I went on two road trips to San Antonio, a road trip to Tyler and all around North Texas. There were lots of scary moments too, like when the battery died at the mall at 10PM and Caley and I had to flag someone over to jump it. Or when she decided to die when I was in the turn lane of a busy road and I couldn’t get her to start back up. Or even when a radiator hose blew while driving down 360. And let’s not even TRY to count how many times she overheated during stop and go traffic! My sister drove Gracie to her first prom (and funny enough hit a deer on her way out there…). And while driving Gracie, I got into my first early morning fender bender (that caused so much traffic that many of my classmates late to class, oops!). She was such a good car with a fun personality. I am going to miss driving her and all the memories that I have linked with her, but it was time to let her go.
A few weeks ago we brought Gracie to the mechanic and were told that the coolant that kept leaking out was going straight into the engine. It was a lot to take in, especially since I had hoped to drive her a few more years so we could save up money to buy a new car. But it was either new engine or new car and we chose the latter. On Friday she was towed away to get *shudder* scrapped and I said goodbye to a dear friend. Thanks for the fun (and not so fun) times Gracie! I’ll miss you.
So car shopping, I’ve decided, is HORRIBLE. I feel so guilty when we don’t like the car or if it just seemed like we wasted that person’s time. I hope we don’t have to do that again for a long time. The only perk to it is test driving the cars, which I enjoyed thoroughly! After a few days of looking for a new car, both in person and online, Isaac and I found out that a family friend of his had found a 2009 Honda Fit (the car I’ve been secretly wanting for years) that was under our budget. We were pumped and said yes without a moment’s hesitation. On Saturday, after what seemed like eternity (which was really only 5 days), we picked up our very first car!
Now… Gracie was an old car. She had manual locks and windows and the bare basics of everything. When the car salesmen would ask “What kind of features do you want?” I would say “Anything you have is an upgrade from what we used to have” and that was the truth. So when we looked at our new Fit, I may have drooled a little. It’s nothing crazy fancy, but the sheer fact that it has automatic locks and windows, an alarm, fog lights and navigation left me in awe. We are so excited about it and can’t wait to share all the adventures we go in it.
Everyone, meet Tigger!
On our way home from picking up Tigger, Isaac and I decided to stop in downtown McKinney for lunch. We wanted something fast and nutritious, so he got on Yelp and found a cafe called Hugs Cafe. We saw that it had awesome reviews and some yummy soups and sandwiches sounded wonderful! When we walked in and started looking around, I noticed that there was something different about this restaurant. After writing down our order on the order cards, we were checked out by a young girl who was working with a man with special needs. She showed him the order cards and he typed them into the register. She was so patient with him and he was so excited to help that yes, my eyes did well up a bit. When we sat down to wait for our drinks, I noticed that all of the servers seemed to have some sort of special need. I was intrigued and looked up their website on my phone. I’m glad Isaac had gone to the bathroom at that time, because I actually cried a little when I saw what this cafe was doing. The restaurant was founded by a woman named Ruth Thompson who has been working with people with special needs for over 15 years. After retiring from teaching cooking classes to people with special needs, she wanted to do create a way to help even more. In 2013 she opened this non-profit restaurant that is run and operated by adults with special needs.
Here’s their mission statement:
I couldn’t believe that! I was so touched by what this cafe is doing that I couldn’t help but smile. I have worked with students with special needs before and it encourages me when I see people like Ruth Thompson giving them a purpose and hope for their future.
Now as for the food, those reviews on Yelp weren’t kidding! I got the Summer Black Bean soup and it was phenomenal. It had a bit of kick to it, and you could tell it was made there and not from a can (which I have experienced before at a restaurant- gross). And the bowl was HUGE! I put half of it in a to-go cup and plan on having that with my lunch or dinner sometime this week. My soup also came with some bread that was perfect for dipping.
Isaac got the Peach Gobbler, which was also delicious. We were a bit wary at first, because it was so different, but y’all, somehow it all worked! His sandwich had turkey, cheddar cheese, bacon and lettuce and was topped with homemade peach chutney on toasted sourdough bread. That peach chutney was so good. He got the half sandwich with a cup of Green Chili Corn soup, and after trying his food, I almost wished I had ordered the same thing!
Our experience at Hugs Cafe was wonderful. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was nice and I loved seeing the difference they’re making in the community. I know I’ll be back again, if anything to have some more of the Peach Gobbler! If you are ever in McKinney, I highly recommend this place. You’ll love it :)