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California, Zero G, etc

I’ve just returned from a very enjoyable weeklong trip to the State of California. This was my second trip (the first being about 12-years ago), and I stayed mostly within a 40-mile radius of San Francisco except for a day trip to Sacramento.

Contrary to my original intentions, I didn’t actually do or see anything in San Francisco. Part of the reason is that I procrastinated on detailing my itinerary so my plans were not as fleshed out as they could have been… but also, even though I was winging it, much of the week was extraordinarily hot and I tried to steer away from outdoor activities. I was not entirely successful at that, but spending a day walking around SF under the California sun just didn’t rise very high on my list of priorities.

I want to thank my friend Vic for inviting me to stay with him. Visiting him was one of the primary reasons for my trip; and if it weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t have gone. Thanks Vic!


Travelogue
  • Car and (Other) Drivers
  • Zero G
  • USS Hornet Museum
  • Oakland Zoo
  • California State Railroad Museum (and Old Sacramento)
  • Blackhawk Museum (Classic Cars)
  • Misc: Separation of Church and State
  • Misc: Halo 2
  • Misc: Hoo-hoo-hooo Do You Love?



Car and (Other) Drivers

I’m a driver at heart and I generally don’t go anywhere unless I can drive there or there’s a car waiting for me when I arrive… which usually means a rental. And when such trips are vacation I tend to rent something unusual… or at least unusual for me. A Caddy, Jaguar, Vette… something different to enhance the vacation experience.

This time it was a 2009 Lincoln Towncar. I planned to do a lot of driving and the cushy luxury was a nice treat.

Equipped with a 4.6L V8 and a 4-speed (overdrive) automatic transmission, this boat still managed an average of 22-23mpg. That was mostly highway, with the AC on “Auto”, and under my relaxed driving style… (as opposed to my wackadoo-crazy driving style). Like all good American cars it would go if you stuck your foot in it; but hey, it’s a luxury car, if you want to play racer then drive something else.

Not too shabby.

Memorable Car Moment: Driving this behemoth along the tight and incredibly convoluted access road to Muir Woods. Use lower gears and remember to lead with the hood ornament… point it toward the outside of the curves and you’ll do alright. I didn’t actually get out of the car at Muir Woods because it was flooded with stupid tourists… not that all tourists are stupid but these were stopping in the road and getting out to walk around; the only time during the week that I was so aggravated behind the wheel that I eventually turned around and left. This was a fun but passenger-vertigo-inducing road and the big Lincoln would not have been my first choice (I was missing my STi)… still, I enjoy a challenge and piloting this barge along this road was a unique experience.

Aside from the above, driving in this section of California was… dare I say it… refreshing. The roads are well laid out and demarked… there were no maniacs (too fast) or morons (too slow)… nobody was obviously distracted: on a cell phone, for example, or slowing down to look at vehicles on the shoulder (rubbernecking). Everyone proceeded in the order of their arrival at the all-way stop signs… almost always signaling their intentions.

Note that I did not do much city driving nor was I out and about much during rush hours, so maybe I didn’t get the “full experience”… but driving in these parts of California was indeed a remarkable pleasure. For contrast, when I arrived at Logan Airport (Boston) last night (about 11:30PM), my cab driver was talking into his headset non-stop (in a language other than English) from before I entered the taxi until (presumably) after I debarked. And today, as I drove about doing some errands, I once again found myself muttering at the wheel:

”Yes, you’re on the highway now, please press the pedal on the right”… “Doing fifty in a sixty-five zone was okay in the right lane, so why were you so anxious to pull in front of me?”… “If you’re following so closely because you want to read my bumper stickers, let me assure you that I have none… and if you get any closer you should introduce yourself.”

Say what you like about California but I actually enjoyed driving around.


Zero G

Zero G is a corporation that flies parabolic flights, which provide the illusion of weightlessness, for the general public. They also do astronaut training, a venue for filming (such as Apollo 13); as well as, if you pay attention to unusual news, the First Weightless Wedding. To celebrate my 50th birthday, I flew out to CA to take a Zero G flight.

It was fantastic! Give me an inch and I’ll go on and on and on about how wonderful it was. It’s an incredibly unique experience and probably the closest I’ll get to space flight until they shoot my ashes into the sun… but at least this time I got to puke. ;)

I’ll try to attach some pictures and may have a spot of video soon.


You get to meet some interesting folks on these excursions… partly due to the adventurousness and albeit… partly to do with the price. Not everyone can afford a few grand for a few minutes of weightlessness… (although the total experience was about 7-hours)… so the general “profile” of folks that do this is “achiever/adventurer”. As a peon beancounter I consider myself very fortunate to be able to sneak in there.

On this trip there were some folks from Google, some investors, a host and crew for a documentary on public space flight, and an actual astronaut that had been aboard the ISS. On second thought, he has dual American/British citizenship and got there and back via Soyuz so his official appellation is “cosmonaut”… go ahead, ask me about my mixed feelings. Very interesting to listen to but I won’t be inviting him to any barbecues.

The whole flight is excruciatingly recorded (one of many waivers) but still… it’s a BLAST! A sort of futuristic/LSD/roller coaster/rock concert kind of thing… indescribable… I’m struggling for metaphors… one of the highlights of my life.

A Word About Motion Sickness: I was always carsick as a kid, avoiding certain amusement park rides, and I knew the personal risk of this flight. As it turned out, even with precautions and preparations, I made it through 12 of the 15 parabolas before breaking out the “courtesy bag” from a pocket of my flight suit. My body just had enough and I rode out the last 3 strapped in a seat… retching and convulsing. That part wasn’t fun… ashen, clammy, and spasmodic… but even this did not detract from the experience… I smiled all the way through. I think it was either those freefall tumbles that screwed up my inner ear; or more likely, that floating M&M candy that I caught with my mouth like Homer Simpson’s chips in orbit. Yeah, that’s it… repeated macro- to micro-gravity cycles… and it’s the damn M&M that gets ya.

Funny thing… when you first pull on the flight suit, your name badge is upside down. That’s deliberate… they turn your name badge right side up once you complete the flight.


USS Hornet Museum

With unintended irony (the best kind) I had already planned to visit the USS Hornet Museum, not realizing that this carrier had recovered the Apollo 11 Moon Shot… (see Zero G, above). As Vic and I boarded, he pointed out the availability of a flight simulator ride… ummm… no… no no no… I’ve had enough flight simulation for this week, thankyouverymuch.

They had the Airstream trailer that served as quarantine for the returning lunar crew on board the Hornet… remember that? The 3 astronauts waving out the back window as Nixon greeted them? We were afraid of Moon viruses not knowing that the President was the greatest danger to the nation. Guess who should have been quarantined. Funny that.

I peeked inside and thought I saw, in the crew quarters, a microwave oven… and Vic agreed. This was 1969, long before microwave ovens became retail commonplace Christmas presents… yet there it was. Makes you wonder what other wondrous things the Government is keeping from us… perhaps radar- and laser-avoidance systems that would be quite handy on I-90 IYKWIM… or maybe even affordable health insurance…


Oakland Zoo

I was actually shooting for the Aeronautic Museum but they were closed… padlock on the gate, no signs, no phone response. I had several instances like this during my trip and was lucky to have backups… but it’s still kind of frustrating when advertised attractions are unavailable. So instead I went to the Oakland Zoo.

Nice as zoos go… I’m sure it would have been just a tad more interesting and engaging if it hadn’t been so damn HOT! I mean the River Otters have a huge spread like a water park… but I never saw a one. Even the tortoises were in their barn. The huge, ugly, creepy Fruit Bats (Flying Fox) were hanging there in a misting system (like lettuce in the produce department), and the most active and obvious animals on display were children… umm… you know… human children… God bless them.

Even the chimps were quiet and hiding… go ahead… think about it…


California State Railroad Museum (and Old Sacramento)

In case you haven’t noticed, big manly moving technology things are interesting to me, and the California State Railroad Museum was a real pleaser. This is the best RR museum that I have ever visited, and it was well worth the trip to Sacramento.

Quick Quiz: What does 4-8-8-2 Cab Forward mean to you? You’ll find the answer there… all 1.2-million pounds of her.

The kids love trains (and there are kid-friendly displays)… and even the ladies can enjoy things like the exquisite china patterns from the romantic Golden Age of Rail. I think this is a really really hidden sweet spot for any family California vacation… it’s very well done. GO THERE!

The RR museum is also the anchor for Old Sacramento; a state park with touristy shopping and dining along wooden sidewalks with just a touch of history. Plan to spend a day… municipal parking is readily available.


Blackhawk Museum (Classic Cars)

I got wood… Blackhawk Museum... it’s that good.

True, my “favorite” was the six-pack Roadrunner in full regalia… drive that and you can flip off everything from a Honda to a Ferrari… but what can I say, I’m an American guy. I only wish they had a 1970 Olds 442 ;)


“Classic” is not a label that you can slap on anything you like… and this hideaway museum is a like a class in “Classic”. A private collection that is associated with the Smithsonian, it’s a must-see for car buffs.

Bring a fresh pair of shorts… you’ll need them.



Miscellaneous

Carry-on reading: The Separation of Church and State: Writings on a Fundamental Freedom by America's Founders… the only thing more boring than flying cross-country, something the Founding Fathers never envisioned. Although I am now even more well-equipped to debate our supposedly “Christian” nation… I’d rather take a Dramamine with a Heineken to set it off… the Founding Fathers being a little too eloquent for their own good.

Halo 2: Nice first-person shooter… but what’s with all the darkness? Gimme a break… gimme a clue… gimme a map, a reticule, a goal more specific than “go through this”

Coffee: Where the heck is Dunkin Donuts?


Hoo-hoo-hooo Do You Love?

So I’m lying on the couch, watching cartoons, quasi-napping and trying to recover from turning my insides outside… when Vic says: TOM! Don’t move!... There’s an owl on the couch!

No kidding… I turn my head and there’s a friggin OWL perched on the couch above me… eye-to-eye.

Now… if I were a bit more quick-witted, I would have asked how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie-pop. Alas, as I said, I was napping; and was caught by surprise…

Now I’ll never know…

;)

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18 Comments On This Entry

I see you were at Moffett Field. What did you think about those airship hangars? Also, I hope you enjoyed the auto museum. Ken Behring has a lot of nice cars there. What town did you run across the owl in? Only thing we had was raccoons eating the cat food.
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Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. <_<
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DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 08:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. <_<



A-hem!
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DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 07:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. <_<


Actually, we consider anything south of Paso Robles to be Northern Mexico....
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Crawdaddy550, on Jul 19 2009, 05:29 AM, said:

DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 07:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. <_<


Actually, we consider anything south of Paso Robles to be Northern Mexico....

I consider everything except the BA to be part of CA.

Funny, when I lived in NoCal (true Northern California, not Central California where SF is really located), we used to watch Bay Area Back Yards. They would consider everything down to Santa Barbabra part of the Bary Area. The host even said, this is as far south you can go without being in SoCal. Last I checked Santa Barbabra was not part of the bay area (in fact, they are part of the LA market), and they are in SoCal.
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BlondInfidel, on Jul 18 2009, 09:40 PM, said:

DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 08:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. :nanner:

A-hem!


Ok Miss Hit-and-Run, a little help here? <_<
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Crawdaddy550, on Jul 18 2009, 08:35 PM, said:

I see you were at Moffett Field. What did you think about those airship hangars? Also, I hope you enjoyed the auto museum. Ken Behring has a lot of nice cars there. What town did you run across the owl in? Only thing we had was raccoons eating the cat food.

Yes, the flight was based at Moffett field, then flew out over the ocean for the parabolas.

I was staying in Danville which is where the owl flew in. My friend and I spent some on the Internet trying to figure out what type it was. The closest we could determine was a Western Screech Owl, although this one may have been a juvenile. I was going to spend more time searching on the Internet but my friend was suddenly called away for business for a few days and took his laptop with him; so I spent almost the entire week without 'net access.

The sign on the outside of the auto museum suggested that it was affiliated with the Smithsoneum.
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DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 11:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. <_<

I didn't interact much with the locals so I didn't have any firsthand political exposure. My host is originally from NY. :nanner:
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MADGestic, on Jul 19 2009, 10:01 AM, said:

DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 11:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. <_<

I didn't interact much with the locals so I didn't have any firsthand political exposure. My host is originally from NY. :nanner:

It wasn't so much a political statement as a tongue and cheek sarcastic remark towards the Bay Area (Well I guess it is political). People there tend to dislike every other part of the state and consider themselves separate. I was just going along with their own views. Watch the South Park "Smug" episode and they poke fun of SF as well.

http://www.southpark...om/clips/155206

http://www.southpark...om/clips/155198

http://www.southpark...04282/?tag=Smug
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MADGestic, on Jul 19 2009, 10:00 AM, said:

Crawdaddy550, on Jul 18 2009, 08:35 PM, said:

I see you were at Moffett Field. What did you think about those airship hangars? Also, I hope you enjoyed the auto museum. Ken Behring has a lot of nice cars there. What town did you run across the owl in? Only thing we had was raccoons eating the cat food.

Yes, the flight was based at Moffett field, then flew out over the ocean for the parabolas.

I was staying in Danville which is where the owl flew in. My friend and I spent some on the Internet trying to figure out what type it was. The closest we could determine was a Western Screech Owl, although this one may have been a juvenile. I was going to spend more time searching on the Internet but my friend was suddenly called away for business for a few days and took his laptop with him; so I spent almost the entire week without 'net access.

The sign on the outside of the auto museum suggested that it was affiliated with the Smithsoneum.


We had a lot of burrowing owls over by the airport. I lived in Livermore, about 15 minutes from Danville. If it was one of them it was almost full frown, they are a pretty small bird. Take a look.
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DodgerKing, on Jul 19 2009, 02:03 PM, said:

MADGestic, on Jul 19 2009, 10:01 AM, said:

DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 11:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. :tongue2:

I didn't interact much with the locals so I didn't have any firsthand political exposure. My host is originally from NY. :)

It wasn't so much a political statement as a tongue and cheek sarcastic remark towards the Bay Area (Well I guess it is political). People there tend to dislike every other part of the state and consider themselves separate. I was just going along with their own views. Watch the South Park "Smug" episode and they poke fun of SF as well.

http://www.southpark...om/clips/155206

http://www.southpark...om/clips/155198

http://www.southpark...04282/?tag=Smug

Yes, I’ve seen the hilarious “smug” episode… it’s a classic. Everyone driving a Pious… I couldn’t stop laughing. :)
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DodgerKing, on Jul 19 2009, 02:03 PM, said:

MADGestic, on Jul 19 2009, 10:01 AM, said:

DodgerKing, on Jul 18 2009, 11:20 PM, said:

Since you were stayed within the SF area, technically you were not in CA. :tongue2:

I didn't interact much with the locals so I didn't have any firsthand political exposure. My host is originally from NY. :)

It wasn't so much a political statement as a tongue and cheek sarcastic remark towards the Bay Area (Well I guess it is political). People there tend to dislike every other part of the state and consider themselves separate. I was just going along with their own views. Watch the South Park "Smug" episode and they poke fun of SF as well.

http://www.southpark...om/clips/155206

http://www.southpark...om/clips/155198

http://www.southpark...04282/?tag=Smug

Yes, I’ve seen the hilarious “smug” episode… it’s a classic. Everyone driving a Pious… I couldn’t stop laughing. :)





Crawdaddy550, on Jul 20 2009, 07:00 AM, said:

MADGestic, on Jul 19 2009, 10:00 AM, said:

Crawdaddy550, on Jul 18 2009, 08:35 PM, said:

I see you were at Moffett Field. What did you think about those airship hangars? Also, I hope you enjoyed the auto museum. Ken Behring has a lot of nice cars there. What town did you run across the owl in? Only thing we had was raccoons eating the cat food.

Yes, the flight was based at Moffett field, then flew out over the ocean for the parabolas.

I was staying in Danville which is where the owl flew in. My friend and I spent some on the Internet trying to figure out what type it was. The closest we could determine was a Western Screech Owl, although this one may have been a juvenile. I was going to spend more time searching on the Internet but my friend was suddenly called away for business for a few days and took his laptop with him; so I spent almost the entire week without 'net access.

The sign on the outside of the auto museum suggested that it was affiliated with the Smithsoneum.


We had a lot of burrowing owls over by the airport. I lived in Livermore, about 15 minutes from Danville. If it was one of them it was almost full frown, they are a pretty small bird. Take a look.


Thanks but I’m pretty such that it wasn’t a burrowing owl. I’ve created an “Owls” album, see for reference. The Burrowing Owl’s appearance is significantly different from the other images.

For the tenuous identification I relied upon the size, the black-dashed grey breast, and the features around the eyes. Note the thin dark “sideburns”, the low “widow’s brow” (the “V” of darker feathers pointing down between the eyes), and the subtle head tufts.

I’m no expert but the Western Screech (perhaps a juvenile) is my best guess.
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Ahhh, Danville! CEO-Row-EAST. I love the 680 Corridor. If I ever move back to the Bay Area, it'll be somewhere between Concord and Fremont along the 680 (look at me, all So-Cal and everything calling a freeway "THE", instead of "Hwy" :tongue2:).

Moffett Field - ahhh my Mountain View days in the late 80s. I still miss St James Infirmary. :) I remember when I had my 2nd life in Mt View in 1997...coming home from a business trip only to find that the whole place had burned down...to the ground.

Glad you had a good trip, MadG. It's nice to hit the other areas besides SF in the Bay Area.

Oh and it seems like the Oakland Zoo is either immersed in fog or baking hot!
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Heh, sounds like you had a lot of fun! I know about the Sacramento Train Museum, lots of friends have been there and I hear it is great. You may have been lucky on the driving front, come on down here and you'll see all the things you listed you didn't see. :D

BTW, we don't have Dunkin Donuts here on the west coast... not entirely certain why but we don't. I have a friend in Boston who has always told me things about them and their awesome coffee so when I went on a business trip to Washington, DC last year... I bought a whole pack of Munchkins and a couple other donuts to live up the experience. :huh:
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cirej2000, on Jul 21 2009, 08:04 PM, said:

Ahhh, Danville! CEO-Row-EAST. I love the 680 Corridor. If I ever move back to the Bay Area, it'll be somewhere between Concord and Fremont along the 680 (look at me, all So-Cal and everything calling a freeway "THE", instead of "Hwy" :huh:).

Moffett Field - ahhh my Mountain View days in the late 80s. I still miss St James Infirmary. :D I remember when I had my 2nd life in Mt View in 1997...coming home from a business trip only to find that the whole place had burned down...to the ground.

Glad you had a good trip, MadG. It's nice to hit the other areas besides SF in the Bay Area.

Oh and it seems like the Oakland Zoo is either immersed in fog or baking hot!

“CEO-Row-EAST”- Yeah, my friend lives in a gated community… (which was kind of a pain because he didn’t an extra transponder and I had to stop at the guard shack every time I drove in)… and some of the houses in there were immense. It includes a country club with a golf course that kind of intertwines and wraps around the whole thing… there’s a particularly long fairway (par 4-5) right behind his house. And you what that means… free golf balls! :D Since I noticed other such “communities” in that area, I suppose that’s what you meant.

And at first I was bit thrown by all the “80s” routes in the area, but then I realized it’s the same as Massachusetts, with 95, 295, 395, 495… plus I had the navigation system in the rental.

I’m not familiar with your references (Mt View, St James) but Moffett field is apparently also the headquarters of one of the lighter-than-air corporations; one of their blimps passed overhead and the photographer got a shot of it with the Zero G plane in the frame.

Yes it was a good trip, thank you, and although it was one of my more “active” vacations, I left myself plenty of time to relax, unwind, and nap on the couch with stray owls. ;)
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trekqueen, on Jul 22 2009, 02:49 PM, said:

Heh, sounds like you had a lot of fun! I know about the Sacramento Train Museum, lots of friends have been there and I hear it is great. You may have been lucky on the driving front, come on down here and you'll see all the things you listed you didn't see. ;) […]

Oh, I have no doubt… hasn’t the greater Los Angeles area given us the term “road rage”? ;)

Quote

[…] BTW, we don't have Dunkin Donuts here on the west coast... not entirely certain why but we don't. I have a friend in Boston who has always told me things about them and their awesome coffee so when I went on a business trip to Washington, DC last year... I bought a whole pack of Munchkins and a couple other donuts to live up the experience. :D

I like Dunkin Donuts coffee because it’s very smooth and consistent. I’ve given my order in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Texas (etc) and gotten the same cup of coffee each time. It’s been my retail-cup coffee for about 30-years now, and I was a bit flustered that I couldn’t find one. (Of course CA is Starbucks country.) My Mom is still convinced that I bought this house because there are about 5 Dunkin Donuts within a 3-mile radius… including one within walking distance. :D

Although they’re all good, I think the most popular Munchkin is JELLY! They’re all yummy, sweet, and bite-size, but that little extra squirt of goodness makes all the difference! I’m not surprised that these types of retailers are regional… Krispy Kreme tried an incursion into the Northeast and I don’t think it’s going very well for them.

Generally we favor what we are raised on… the familiar usually has an advantage over the different. Folks in some areas rave about Krispy Kreme donuts and I can understand why… they’re great! But to my taste they’re a bit more… I dunno… “heavy”… cakier and richer than Dunkin Donuts donuts. I can do DD without even thinking about it but with KK I’m more likely to need something to wash it down.

(I’m splitting hairs here and wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of them… {much to my doctor’s distress}… just trying to flesh out the regional phenomena.)

Anyway, if you ever have another opportunity, try one of their coffee rolls… it’s like a big, swirly, glazed, cinnamon bun… being one of their “fancies” it’s a little bit more expensive than a donut… but well worth it if you’re into that.

:huh:
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MADGestic, on Jul 22 2009, 05:37 PM, said:

trekqueen, on Jul 22 2009, 02:49 PM, said:

Heh, sounds like you had a lot of fun! I know about the Sacramento Train Museum, lots of friends have been there and I hear it is great. You may have been lucky on the driving front, come on down here and you'll see all the things you listed you didn't see. ;) […]

Oh, I have no doubt… hasn’t the greater Los Angeles area given us the term “road rage”? ;)


yea we probably did. :D

MADGestic, on Jul 22 2009, 05:37 PM, said:

I like Dunkin Donuts coffee because it’s very smooth and consistent. I’ve given my order in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Texas (etc) and gotten the same cup of coffee each time. It’s been my retail-cup coffee for about 30-years now, and I was a bit flustered that I couldn’t find one. (Of course CA is Starbucks country.) My Mom is still convinced that I bought this house because there are about 5 Dunkin Donuts within a 3-mile radius… including one within walking distance. ;)

Although they’re all good, I think the most popular Munchkin is JELLY! They’re all yummy, sweet, and bite-size, but that little extra squirt of goodness makes all the difference! I’m not surprised that these types of retailers are regional… Krispy Kreme tried an incursion into the Northeast and I don’t think it’s going very well for them.

Generally we favor what we are raised on… the familiar usually has an advantage over the different. Folks in some areas rave about Krispy Kreme donuts and I can understand why… they’re great! But to my taste they’re a bit more… I dunno… “heavy”… cakier and richer than Dunkin Donuts donuts. I can do DD without even thinking about it but with KK I’m more likely to need something to wash it down.

(I’m splitting hairs here and wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of them… {much to my doctor’s distress}… just trying to flesh out the regional phenomena.)

Anyway, if you ever have another opportunity, try one of their coffee rolls… it’s like a big, swirly, glazed, cinnamon bun… being one of their “fancies” it’s a little bit more expensive than a donut… but well worth it if you’re into that.

:huh:


Agreed on the KrispyKremes, when they first came out they were really the rave. Around here they've been closing because the donut has lost its luster... plus, like you said, one has to really wash it down to eat it and one cannot eat as many in one sitting. I much more prefer the style DD has or other local donut shops with the cake style and frosting.

I hate to say it but I am not a big fan of cinnamon buns but maybe I'll try one just for you. ;) I was quite partial to the basic chocolate munchkins... there's the glaze that is around it that makes it much more than just a basic donut hole! I could eat those things all in one sitting but I made sure to not do so. :D I think when I was out east on my trip, there WERE about three DDs right near my hotel within a mile or so in almost each direction. I also recall when I was on my way back at Dulles Airport, the DD in the terminal by my gate had a line of like 50 people at 7am. ;)

I also should correct myself... I've heard that some supermarkets in the state are indeed carrying DD coffee but I have yet to see it. There have been commercials but it annoys me because it isn't the full on DD store. Rather disappointing. You'd be surprised how many groups and websites there are dedicated to bringing DD to the west coast.
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trekqueen, on Jul 23 2009, 03:02 PM, said:

[…]

Agreed on the KrispyKremes, when they first came out they were really the rave. Around here they've been closing because the donut has lost its luster... plus, like you said, one has to really wash it down to eat it and one cannot eat as many in one sitting. I much more prefer the style DD has or other local donut shops with the cake style and frosting.

I hate to say it but I am not a big fan of cinnamon buns but maybe I'll try one just for you. :D I was quite partial to the basic chocolate munchkins... there's the glaze that is around it that makes it much more than just a basic donut hole! I could eat those things all in one sitting but I made sure to not do so. :D I think when I was out east on my trip, there WERE about three DDs right near my hotel within a mile or so in almost each direction. I also recall when I was on my way back at Dulles Airport, the DD in the terminal by my gate had a line of like 50 people at 7am. :D

I also should correct myself... I've heard that some supermarkets in the state are indeed carrying DD coffee but I have yet to see it. There have been commercials but it annoys me because it isn't the full on DD store. Rather disappointing. You'd be surprised how many groups and websites there are dedicated to bringing DD to the west coast.

IOW, they’re carrying the DD coffee beans (whole and/or ground)? If so, that’s not surprising; it’s fairly easy to distribute a pre-packaged product like that, utilizing existing (grocery) distribution services, as opposed to supporting one’s own franchise network. Making it at home just isn’t quite the same and, as you mentioned… no donuts.

I was thinking about a DD franchise as something to do when I retire (or semi-retire) but I learned that they insist on owner-managed franchises, the real hands-on “show up every day” approach. I definitely don’t want to be the guy shuffling out of bed at 4AM muttering: “Time to make the donuts”… ;)

Hey, no reason to try the coffee roll if you’re not into it… it’s just an example of my own “comfort food”… they make me feel good. :D
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