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YOU WENT WHERE? MY FAVORITE COFFEE MEMORIES

Please note that the cityPASS links are afflinks meaning I’ll get paid a few pennies towards my next dream vacation at no extra cost to you. I am only including the pass for towns I’ve visited and would love to return to with a cityPASS

Some people’s favorite memories bubble to the surface after seeing an outfit worn, hearing music played, smelling a familiar scent or feeling a season come around again. Many of my favorite memories (no surprise) center around coffee! 

I am the reigning champion Most Caffeinated Mom of my domain. I absolutely drink coffee to ensure that I can stay up later than my teenagers. No falling asleep on the job here. However, I also legitimately love to try different coffee flavors like one might try and savor fine wines (that post coming soon…).

The best part proves to be the town I’m in, or the company I’m with, even if I’m alone. For some of the towns, I sipped while skimming cityPASS info – sizing up my options and discounts for other nearby activities!

Take time to brew a cup, warm up a friendship or simmer on memories! I appreciate you indulging me with a few of my coffee highlights…

BIRD ROCK COFFEE ROASTERS 
Del Mar
Sometimes Moms just need to get away. I rented an Air BnB for the first time and headed out for a solo weekend (sort of – my son and his pals were staying in a beach house so I stayed close in case of emergency and to throw food at them one night). Mentally, it helped me begin to admit that he’s about to leave home and gotten more independent! 

The vibe here felt peaceful starting with the barista’s gratitude journal that you’re encouraged to add to, to the amazing view of Los Penasquitos Lagoon and Torrey Pines State Reserve. The wide open spaces helped breed large ideas!

The SoCal cityPASS has multiple San Diego, Anaheim and Los Angeles attractions and so many various options for you to choose from to plan your perfect visit! 

CAFE DEMITASSE
Santa Monica
After a fast-paced morning playing cars with my friends – real friends and real cars – they raced off to their next amazing destination. Since I didn’t feel ready to downshift yet, I wandered around walking to the pier, down 3rd street Promenade and found this spot.

The specialty drinks drew me in with ingredients I don’t usually see in a latte. When they made my chamomile strawberry latte, the sprinkle of strawberry brightened my morning! I can’t wait to go back!

This beautiful latte is located in a town many people visit when touring SoCal cityPASS attractions!

THE COFFEE HOUSE AT DISNEYLAND HOTEL
Anaheim
Another sign that my kids continue to grow and mature – they now just need me for a ride to Disneyland Resort but don’t me to go with them. I remember walking in those shoes when I grew up so I gladly spent the day exploring Downtown Disney and the many resort hotels until they exhausted themselves.  I’ve been a huge believer in Disney magic ever since my first tour of the park when I worked there during college.

Many surprises hid in every corner of the Diesney properties.  I found the coffee house while wandering through the festive property trying to see what was new. The coffee satisfied my craving but the magic appeared in the themed Snow White’s apple pastry.

Yes! Even Disneyland is part of the SoCal cityPASS!

COPA VIDA
Pasadena
This place felt productive – like important and creative work and conversations took place daily. It felt important that I finally caught up with a friend of over 22 years! I could not remember the last time we caught up without our families.

I ordered a turmeric latte. Is that even coffee? I think so?! It mixed steamed milk with turmeric and espresso. It felt very smooth with just a bit of spice. The anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric made it good for me too.  

Though a little out of the way, you are able to visit this coffee shop when on your way to the Los Angeles stops of the SoCal cityPASS!

GRAND CENTRAL STATION
New York
We did a whirlwind trip to the East coast as my son narrowed down college choices. Not only did it feel fantastic to make it to and pass through such a famous, historic building, but we navigated the trainlines, got tickets and filled the remaining time in line to buy snacks and coffee.

The kids preferred to ride in their own section of the train leaving me in my own little world for our long 2-stop train ride.  We enjoyed that campus and the East coast vibe but he landed at a West coast school for college.

When visiting the City that doesn’t sleep, the New York cityPASS gives you the option of visiting the top 6 NYC attractions, or to choose 3 out of 11 attraction options!

HEARTHSTONE LOUNGE AT DISNEY’S GRAND CALIFORNIAN
Anaheim
I love the network of Korean adoptees (KADs) that I’ve found in recent years. A few of us met in Downtown Disney to discuss things like first trips back to our birth country, birth searches.  I met one gal in San Francisco at the AKA | IKAA conference and they met since they found out they were related. We’ve definitely opened cans of worms by doing DNA – I look forward to see who comes forth. 

The Grand Californian offered one of my favorite places to hang for a while. Feels relaxing sinking into their sturdy but comfortable chairs! The cast members quickly spotted us and took my order. The latte cup, and my company, filled me with warmth!

With the SoCal cityPASS you can choose 2-5 days at the Disneyland Resort and the more days, the less the tickets cost!

LOFTY COFFEE CO.
Encinitas
My childhood friend – well, family by friendship who fits in as our 4th sister in our family (she’d be the oldest and we’re all still 4 years apart) – came to visit!  Since it’d been many years since she last visited, she wrote a short bucketlist and I could not wait to travel as much as I could with her.

We started in Encinitas at my folks’ beach house. We started exploring the charming stores up and down PCH – beginning at the Lofty coffee shop!  It felt like the local hangout, the corner coffee shop where you would find all your fastest made friends.

Take a ride up the coast to drive from the San Diego Zoo to Carlsbad’s Legoland visiting the best SoCal cityPASS attractions! Fill your lungs with sea air and your heart with latte love!

SCALA’S BISTRO AT KIMPTONS SIR FRANCIS DRAKE HOTEL
San Francisco
I flew to to Northern California for a book reading of the anthology that I contributed a story to: Mixed Koreans: Our Stories. Though many of the Korean Adoptees stayed together, I chose to stay closer to where I feel my heart in San Francisco – Union Square.

First of all, they greeted me with free brewed coffee in Scala’s. Instantly won me over! As I stepped down into the cafe, I couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful, lofty ceilings with my mouth wide open.  It immediately set a classic but casual tone with amazing views of the city through its huge front windows! As I sat, sipping my coffee, it absolutely convinced me to come back to grab coffee and croissant for the next leg of my travel. Perhaps next time I’ll have enough time for a real meal.

Structured like the NYC version, the San Francisco cityPASS allows you to either choose the pass with all 5 top San Fran hot spots or you choose 3 out of 8 hot spots for slightly less.

SEARS FINE FOODS
San Francisco
This restaurant marks many milestones in my history. I’ve sat down for breakfast with my kids, with many teams of Team In Training athletes, and with friends. As I sat down once again, I immediately jumped back in time to my other visits and also to the time when this place was built! So much history here.
 

The coffee and comfort food arrived quickly and the portions exceed the plates. Have you tried Sears? You must. 

One of our favorite attractions is the Exploratorium and tickets are available through the San Francisco cityPASS!

STARBUCKS
New York
I leaped at the opportunity to shadow the footsteps of what would be a dream job for me! Grabbed a Venti triple latte and headed to Hearst! Sadly I cannot move to New York right now but I penciled it in as part of my 8-year plan!

To be honest, the tour of O, The Oprah Magazine gave me a pep in my step over the coffee that day but I still loved the holiday flavors.

I need a week to spend in New York. It’s been so long since I visited any of the attractions, they’d be brand new now.  So glad to get a break on so many stops with my NYC cityPASS!

STARBUCKS RESERVE
Palm Springs
While in the middle of my friend’s So Cal visit bucketlist guiding me through my first mid-Century Modern Architecture Tour of Palm Springs, we stumbled upon a huge Starbucks Reserve! I had to take pause from this memorable trip traveling back in time to graduate to Starbucks Reserve.

Starbucks Reserve’s huge store blew me away. They boasted a daily menu featuring special brews and a multitude of brewing methods. I chose Sun-dried Brazil Vale Verde Estate featuring hints of dried fruit and sugar – clover brewed: Full-immersion and vacuum filtration to yield exquisite balance and body (Their words). My thoughts: It tasted about the same as always. Still cool to visit and I’d love to do a flight of coffees!

Palm Springs is a little off the beaten path from the SoCal cityPASS but if you can fit it in, I recommend it. With mid-century modern art & architecture, this desert is a real escape!

TRULUCKS SEAFOOD, STEAK and CRAB HOUSE
La Jolla
Though I grew up in San Diego, I don’t visit as often as I used to. So when I dropped in for the weekend, I felt so grateful that two of my friends made it for happy hour!  They’ve been such a source of friendship, reason, conversations and balance.  I love that we’ve gotten to know each other even better than when we walked home from 8th grade!

We arrived during happy hour and enjoyed a variety of appetizers, delicious cocktails and smooth music. But the chocolate bag dessert and fully-loaded coffee were the most memorable and beautiful together.

It’s worth it to detour through La Jolla to see native Sea Lions and amazing ocean views and experience a restaurant like this between themeparks you found on SoCal cityPASS!

WICKED SNOW
(and a few other coffees that helped me during my first trip back to my birth country!)
Seoul, S. Korea
After spending an amazing day-in-the-life with generous Korean host families who spoiled and fed us so much Korean street food, they brought me and a friend to experience this amazing dessert Mango Bingsu! It tasted like a dreamy creamy cloud! I got a simple coffee to counter the cold of the Mango Bingsu and because I took advantage of any opportunity to get simple brewed coffee while in Korea!

Around the main picture you can see how I fed my caffeine addiction while in Korea. I felt like Korea’s insta-coffee technology was more advanced than I’m used to in the USA.

HONORABLE MENTION:
MY OFFICE
Los Angeles
Every morning my office-mate and I make ritual foam for our coffee and whether I brew my coffee in the office or I brought it with me, it becomes the best part of the morning.

Now that I see the added value of my coffee ritual, I may have to figure out a way to extend this! Meet up with my friends all over for conversations and their favorite coffee (or wine)!

What about you?
What sparks the most memories for you? Sights, sounds, scents, etc.?
Do you have a favorite coffee shop or cafe?
Do you stick with big chain coffee shops or seek out independent chains?
What coffee drink is your part of the world known for?
Do you get coffee for fuel or to spark conversations?
Does the foamy coffee or the tiny espresso from my office has more caffeine?
Does anyone here drink decaf?! Speak up, I’d love to meet you!
…or do you drink tea?

There are 14 cityPASS destinations in the USA and Canada! Use them to simplify planning for your next trip! Which cities have you visited with cityPASS?

#memories #butfirstcoffee #connections #communication #lattelove #bepresent #coffee #cafe #espresso #caffeine #highlycaffeinated #begrateful #shopsmall #Disney #afflink #Canada #Disneyland #makesmewander

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RED STARBUCKS CUP (inspired by Toby Keith)

red

RED STARBUCKS CUP

Inspired by Toby Keith’s

“Red Solo Cup”

.

Now Red Starbucks cup is the best receptacle

To fuel me through work-days, ball games and festivals

And their coffee is strong but some say they lack testicles

To Decorate Merry Christmas

.

Hey Red Starbucks cup is trash, inexpensive

In all my years, ain’t seen folks so offended

And unlike most gripes it’s something NOT printed

Folks seein’ red ‘bout missing holidays

.

CHORUS:

Red Starbucks cup, I fill you up

Order a grande, why not a venti?!

I love you Red Starbucks cup, I lift you up

Why’re they so whiney? Had too much caffeine!

.

Now I’m cracking up how you’re taking a stand

But I don’t relate, these’re First world problems, man

Cause you’re pouring your passion into the wrong plan

Am I wrong, it’s just a cup

.

But the “Merry Christmas” name campaign ain’t that hard-hittin’

All’s lost anyway when barista fouls the name written

On you with a Sharpie when they get real busy

Take a sip, steamed milk hit… relax

.

Chorus

.

Now I’ve seen you in white and I’ve seen you in green

But only you, Red, will do for this coffee queen

Cause you are the palette on which I scribble scenes

To bring the real warmth of the holiday

.

Red Starbucks cup, your season won’t last, it’s

More than a color, you’re contents – fantastic!

And believe me that I’m not the least bit sarcastic

When I look at you and pray:

“Red Starbucks cup, you’re not just Winter (No, no, God no)

Stay all year, yea (Year-long)

Thank you for bringing me cheer”

.

Chorus

.

[repeat]

.

I couldn’t help it, I had this rolling around in my head since the issue started simmering in the press.  Now it’s hit a boiling point with politicians chiming in and competitors taking the chance to do it better.  Without pointing out the obvious – if this is ruining your hoilday, the cup ain’t the problem.  Ellen said it best with a hand-crafted dose of holiday humor.

For real holiday cheer, buy someone who’s not expecting it a warm Starbucks drink and see how THAT makes you feel! Warmer than a Quad Latte in winter!

random

DAILY PROMPT: PROCRASTINATION: If you give a girl some homework…

If you give a girl some homework,
She’ll want to brainstorm some suggestions to begin work on it.
You’ll text her some of your favorite ideas.
She’ll probably get all giddy and inspired,
So she’ll want to jump online to research.
She’ll ask you to do a Google Hangout to chat about it.
When you give her the go-ahead,
She’ll probably ask you to wear a virtual crown and accessories.

WTF: With technology facelift

WTF: With technology facelift

You’ll have to find the best on-screen shades.
The shades will remind her of the cute barista where she was studying yesterday.
She might feel distracted and want to visit her favorite coffee shop again.
She’ll want you to come too.
She’ll look through her closet for a cute book bag,
Then she’ll look under her bed for her car phone charger.
When she’s under her bed,
She’ll find her old F*ck me strappy sandals.
She’ll try them on with the barista in mind.
She’ll probably need something special to wear with them.
When she’s all dressed she’ll hunt for her headphones.
She’ll play her very best divalicious playlist.
And she’ll start dancing.
Then she’ll want to, and want you to, take some selfies.
So you’ll both have to post them on Instagram #Procrastination.

Prime Procrastination

Prime Procrastination

When she sees and likes the pictures online,
She’ll ask you to take more.
Then she’ll want to send out copies by emailing each of her friends.
You’ll have to get her to close some windows and pop-ups to free up memory,
And get her to empty her spam folder.
On the way, she’ll see her blog stats in her back row.
She’ll want to build a blog post about barista boy.
She’ll want to add pictures to it.
She’ll look for new wall paper and google his pictures.
When she is on google.com,
She’ll see the online history.
Seeing the history will remind her
Of your favorite brainstormed ideas.
She’ll probably ask you to narrow them down.
And chances are, if she asks you for some ideas,
She’ll want to finally finish her homework in time.

Adapted from “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” by Laura Numeroff.
Laura is the author of one of our favorite series of books!

Love the rhythm of her books!

Love the rhythm!

FULL STEAM AHEAD!

Facing down the peak of 8 loads of laundry that came out of 4 suitcases that occupied the living room floor this week, I ponder my day.

Finally having a Saturday and filling up at the 7-11 before hitting the day. I’m not full-steam ahead yet, but the high octane blend put together by my daughter will help.

20130112-091807.jpg

My son is already at scouts working to warmly welcome eager 5th grade webelos, my daughter is cleaning her room before softball practice hoping to have a play date (simultaneously at their house while her buddy’s brother comes here) before my son’s baseball tryouts this afternoon – all in the next 6 hours.

1/12/13

Embraced in my hands
A warm rainbow of creamer
And sun in a mug

SICK HAIKU

I don’t mean sick as in sick jams, or a sick trick on a skateboard, I mean sick as in sniffly, whiney, coughing haiku…

1/8/13

Creativity
It does not come easily
When I’m a sicky

1/9/13
I drank three coffees
To keep my butt awake for
Piles of cruise laundry

Image

WTF: White toed foot?!
Thanks for the use of the shot, Doviende!

WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE: COFFEE MUGS – From Mundane to Meaningful

My reputation precedes me. Around these parts I’m known as the Most Caffeinated Gal in the West.  Triple lattes in the morning then a Grande booster around 3pm would get me through the day.  Although I’ve lowered my octane, settling for drip coffee, my simple goal remains… to stay awake longer than my kids!

So today, a child-free weekend morning, rather than settle for whatever jet fuel comes in a paper cup, I allowed myself the luxury of a slower start. I foggily shuffled my feet towards the coffee machine, aiming to boost myself enough to swim this afternoon after tackling school financial aid, creating a writing desk, and sifting through the house preparing for a garage sale.  Besides the pool, the rest wasn’t very inspiring but when I’m fully caffeinated, I just jet around til it’s done!

About 12 years into my 13 year marriage, we bought ourselves some beautiful dishes. I’ll admit I pushed the agenda with these. It was a beautiful parting gift.

I opened my cabinet to grab for a mug and lowered my reach from my top-shelf matching jewel-toned mugs, to the more colorful selection of mugs on the well-used every-day shelf.  As the coffee brewed, I glanced through the shelf to see if any could retire to the garage sale box.

Just Grab One, they all hold coffee just as well…

First, I saved my favorites, chosen initially because they hold the most coffee. Today, as I searched the darker parts of my cabinet, my vision grew clearer and I realized the treasures it held.  I picked up each mug, wrapped my hand around the cup, weaved my fingers through the handle, and felt the weight of the memories that each one held.

First couple – elegant but don’t take themselves too seriously while perfectly complementing each other!

Some came from friends and family providing the warmth of snuggling up with them for great conversation – even when they aren’t there.

Best gift from a warm friend, two mugs and hot chocolate! Although the partner shattered long ago, this one connects me to her in between long stretches of actually seeing her!

Others sent a shot of inspiration – far more effective than espresso shots.

This gift from my sister has grown more valuable with every relaxing and reflective read!

A few mugs represented life highlights and unique experiences.

Recalling on my fondest memories playing in Imagineering and my character experience while reading the new Pixar book! For a Diznoid, it doesn’t get any better.

Some reminded me of the joy from favorite adventures.

What a sisterly bonding day was spent at ellen! Visiting Graceland on my first “business trip”! No work trip has matched that fun level yet…

Even my children agree that ice-cold milk, insulated with a heart-warming shot of nostalgia, tastes better out of the glossy mug than out of their child-proof plastic cups.

Lovely reminders of my son’s childhood sporting adventures and my daughter’s sense of fun and adventure – Arrrgh!

I am so grateful this morning for the side of sentiment served with my morning coffee.  I vow to relish more than just the rich blend of coffee, but the rich memories!

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS…

…you go to a coffee shop, grab a lemon bar and latte and write about the *&^%#@!!

With most of my life, I am even-keeled. I dance through life, roll with it – Hakuna Matata! On occasion, a zinger gets through and under my skin. Recently a missile compromised the boundary of my personal dancing space and I could not let it go. I kept trying to work creatively on my blog but really, REALLY wanted to rant!

I never want to pollute my blog with negative sentiments and I made a pact to not trash things or reputations here. Then, I worried more, causing more blogging delays… This blog represents me wandering through life – good and bad. Am I filtering and falsely representing myself if I only present the glittery moments?

I clarified my purpose to capture the conflict and my experience, learn lessons, and share them with everyone. It’s like taking Grimm’s tales and Disneyfying them! Let me explain…

• Fairy tales happened a long, long time ago – so two days ago allows enough distance from the conflict to return with a fresh perspective.

• Fantasy stories weave negative, often scary or sad, situations with many make-believe threads. Sometimes reality hit levels so unbelievable that you couldn’t make this shtuff up!

• Great stories contain good, innocent protagonists battling evil antagonists who needs to be slayed to save humanity…

• Sprinkle with Magic – found in fruit, wands, sidekicks or anytime your influence changes someone else’s course.

• The purpose of documenting your conflict becomes to resolve it – usually after at least 3 different attempts. You only have powers to change yourself, but give them the benefit of the doubt – suggest positive paths. Then, figure out what you need to change internally instead.

• Happy endings may result from protagonists attitude make-over. More likely, the change in perception and behavior will be within you. Knowing that your writing may help even one person still instills happiness.

• Re-state the moral of your story and teach others to live it.

I used to warn people that if they tick me off they’d become a character in my books. At least now, it’ll have a happy ending!

I know I'm not the only one to find sanctuary in coffee shops!

IT’S YOUR DAY!

Did you know that March 26th was Make Up Your Own Holiday Day?! Hallmark didn’t warn me! What a spectacular opportunity to name and define a best day ever!

My daughter immediately wanted to do “Free Day!” Perhaps this is her way of saying that she really needs an allowance. The first thing she’d stock up on are free Pokemon cards. She also wanted to celebrate with the wind blowing through her hair, riding her bike – for free!

My son wants 24 hours of Girl Scout cookies! He’d fuel his morning with a wholesome burst of peanut butter Tagalongs, add roughage with coconut-filled Samoas and finish with simply minty Thin Mints. For dairy, a serving of ice cream sprinkled with fresh cookies on top! I’d implement March 27th as Vegetable Day to counteract the sugar.

My holiday focuses on all children –a day to pay close attention to what they say, their challenges, what they want – not just from the toy section. One interaction might change a child’s life. Take them to college sporting events to build larger dreams! Take kids to Disneyland to show what’s possible with imagination! Introduce them to the arts in local museums, even coffee shops. Make them feel like they matter thereby administering large boosts to self-esteem. Don’t have a kid, get one – your family or friends would love your offer to babysit and you get an excuse to recapture childhood excitement!

My informal survey yielded inspiring responses to follow our fancy! Relish our mochas! Eat rainbow sherbet slowly focusing on the joy it brings us, not just the sweet-tooth satisfaction! Celebrate individual victories – especially milestones! There’s only one “First time” before it threatens to become ordinary. Celebrate each morning you wake up to make a difference in the world! Most important – celebrate YOU! It’s not selfish to treat yourself or spend the day alone getting in touch with your wants and needs and figuring out how to get back on track if you’ve strayed.

We say we’ll do this regularly, but the grind gets in the way. At least once a month pencil in Make Up Your Own Holiday and celebrate! It’s a fun excuse for some unadulterated fun!

Make a wish and share it with the world! Love it!
I'm considering equally as romantic options to balloons though...

STRONGEST ATHLETIC SUPPORTER

It blows my mind how every sports season, despite agreeing not to do it, adults lose it and SCREAM from the sidelines.  This crushes the self-esteem of their child, and puts a damper on the fun for the rest. I hold coaches in high esteem for volunteering to pour their hearts into practicing every possible scenario but sometimes the games are out of our control.

LET COACHES COACH

In Peanuts cartoons, kids hear adults as “Wa WA wa!” On the field, kids struggle to focus on 2 coaches’ throwing orders and baseball gang signs.  Add to that the number of parents. When the droning nonsense hits the kids’ ears, it’s all mucked up. Stick to shorter, general, positive cheers such as “GO!” or “GREAT JOB!” If you disagree with coaches, talk afterwards.  Teach kids to learn to respect their coach and to take orders from other individuals.

Strategy Session!

ARMCHAIR ANALYSIS: The coaches already review plays at the end of the game, and since I’m simply an armchair ball player, why would I pretend to know what I’m doing better than them? In the interest of goal setting, review their individual highlights and identify something to work on to build their individual skills that also help the team. Always finish up with “Did you have fun?!” That’s why we’re here, right?

BABYSTEPS GET YOU TO YOUR GOAL:  At batting practice, my daughter challenged herself to “set the record” of how many balls she hit in a row!  As each ball came at her she defiantly counted them off! I loved that she celebrated something personal, and picked one aspect in the large scheme of the game. For my son, working on one technique at a time, such as the angle of his arms or the trajectory of the ball, satisfies his cerebral approach to the game. Celebrate victories!

The whole point is... Have fun!

My children have been extremely fortunate with their coaches and the players’ parents.  This sentiment is reaffirmed when we hear other teams’ adult-voiced rants.  Truthfully, I can’t think that anything that could be so bad to warrant the outbursts that are heard.  Remember folks, crazy outbursts define you as a person, not them as a coach or as refs.

 

 

RICH COFFEE – a FUNTASY STORY

She opened her eyes, simmering in the silence of her dark apartment.  Kicking the blankets off her ankles, the cool morning seeped into her bloodstream. The clock’s ticking jogged her memory of the calendar she must keep. As the fog lifted, the sound of water caused her to bolt up! She turned a bionic ear, afraid to cross the border of pillows to see what lied in wait for her!  Living in the only ground floor apartment meant anybody else’s plumbing issues become hers since, as is just her luck, it rolls downhill.  As her brain surged to squeeze the Comaquil oiled cogs, she recognized the rainstorm she’d been expecting.

After traversing the pillow mountain, she walked down the hallway, honed in on Mr. Coffee.  The floor creaked announcing her reentry to the land of the living, alerting her cats. Her grouchy old cat sat by the wall heater scolding,
“Turn on the heat!” He thanklessly curled into a ball when the heater clanked into action.
Her younger cat danced about with his huge inquisitive eyes and question mark tail,
“I don’t know what this means, but we’re surrounded! By WATER!!”  She rubbed his ears and he retreated to his bed protected in the deepest basement of his play structure. He covered his eyes with his tail and catnapped.

Tasting the coffee already, she blindly opened the fridge reaching for the coffee can and filters that sit side by side. The empty spot shocked her awake!
“Just my luck!” she cursed as her cold haze parted enough to recall the supermarket decision to buy green tea instead for her cold.  She stomped back to the hallway to retrieve a jacket to dress up her sicky uniform of sweats. In the reflection of a framed picture on her wall, the outline of a person with matted caveman hair walking up behind her scared her until self-recognition scared her more.  Gathering her hair into a black elastic band, she grabbed the keys, flip-flops and headed into the rain.

Thankful for others staying indoors, she made a beeline for the 7-11 counting down the seconds until her hands wrapped around a warm coffee.  From her perspective at the last red light standing between her and caffeine, she grimaced at the full parking lot. She scanned the street next to it for a spot, with no luck, noticing a collection of news vans. Making a mental note to check the headlines online, she silently hoped for nothing too crazy as this area suffered from a few uncharacteristically bad headlines recently. Her light and her luck changed and a spot right in front opened up!

She scanned the store from her car, planning her route to get in and out without encountering anyone she knew. The owner, now a friend thanks to her frequent visits, would forgive her appearance. The coast looked clear and as she entered without seeing a soul!  She pulled up to Coffee Paradise Island, rashly throwing any flavored creams and sweeteners into her cup. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the never-seen passageway to the inner workings of the store open and for a split second considered abandoning her coffee and fleeing if foul play were the cause of the empty store.  Vowing to boycott headline news, she continued without deliberating what combination of coffee to fill her cup to the rim.

She walked to the register, glad to see a second-in-rank smiling cashier waiting for her.  The owner then emerged from the back room tailed by the media. She whispered to the Vice Cashier,
“Everything ok?”
“We were notified that a winning ticket came from this store.”
“No way!  How exciting for you!”
“Did you buy one?”
“Yeah, but…”
“You should check it!”
“That’d be my luck to share my news with the world looking like this!”

He persisted so she retrieved the $1 ticket and stuck it under the scanner. The press and the owner, hearing the machine’s beep, stopped talking and leaned in eagerly. While waiting for the verdict, she grabbed a pen from the counter and signed the back of the ticket in case hell broke loose.
“Sorry, not a winner” flashed on-screen and everyone exhaled.
“It’s fun to dream!” she smiled and paid for her coffee.
“There’s always the Mega Lottery… it’s up to $241 million!”
“Alright, $1 quick pick please!”
“Good luck!”

NOTE: Since I didn’t make my 365 words Friday night, this made up for that plus interest – 730 words this morning!   Just a fun story as a result of too much cold medicine and not enough caffeine.

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