One of the things I love about travel is trying things that we can't do around home, even if what we're doing would seem mundane to most.

We are currently sitting in a Starbucks in Crystal Lake, Illinois. We are en route to Oshkosh, Wisconsin and are taking the back roads to get there. We are becoming well acquainted with Illinois Route 31.

Our little nook in Upstate New York lacks Starbucks. Many find this hard to believe. We are surrounded by dozens of Dunkin' Donuts franchises, and there's nothing inherently wrong with DD, but their stores lack a certain warmth and "technology comfort" that one finds in Starbucks. Plus, DD doesn't serve a Trenta unsweetened, shaken green tea. This is one of my favorite, fairly guiltless drinks. There are two ways for us to enjoy Starbucks at home: drive 50+ miles to the nearest location or to illegally sneak through the backside of one of the nearby New York State Thruway service areas and pay exorbitantly high prices for the aforementioned green tea. Plus, the service area franchisees don't believe in attaching scanners to their point of sale systems, so the clerk needs to manhandle my phone and manually input my Starbucks account number, whereas at a real Starbucks it's just a quick scan and we're on our way.

Sometimes it's the simple things that make a vacation a little extra special. And right now, it's sitting at a table in a real Starbucks, drinking a green tea that's getting this day off to a good start.