Since I’ve been traveling for the past 2 1/2 weeks I have become quite spoilt with the availability of Starbucks every where we turn.

I have fallen in love with the trenta unsweetened, shaken green tea.

The people that make questionable decisions have decided that our home turf is not worthy enough to have a Starbucks. I have mentioned before that the closest Starbucks is at the nearest Thruway service area, so if we want to visit that Starbucks, we either have to drive 20 miles to get on the Thruway, stop at the service area and then exit at the next interchange and pay the toll, or, we have to drive to the “deliveries only” back entrance to the same service plaza, hop the fence and make like we’re employees while we slink through back entrances.

Either way, we have to pay service area prices for anything there, and service area prices can be quite high. And that Starbucks is a Host Marriott franchised Starbucks, so they can’t even scan our phones for payment, they grab the phone out of our hands and manhandle it whilst manually plunking in the code that is printed in tiny numerals. I do not like anyone touching my iPhone. I’m funny that way.

The options for “real” Starbucks are limited: we drive 45 miles to the west to Syracuse or 60 miles to the north to Watertown.

I’m in Watertown this evening.

Since Earl is in Chicago getting Jamie all settled this weekend, I had a little bit of spare time on my hands so it was the perfect night for a drive with the top off the Jeep.

I drove up by way of where I grew up. It’s kind of weird to me to drive up the road that I grew up on and to pass by my grandparents’ farm and then my dad’s house and not be able to stop and say hello to anyone. I miss doing that. And the other weird thing is to realize what seemed like a “huge” bike ride when I was in sixth grade is really not that big of deal today. What felt like a busy road isn’t really that busy at all.

I then drove around some neighborhood streets to see what had changed in the village and then headed north. I have always loved the North Country in New York State (Watertown and north) and I ended up driving Interstate 781 from end to end again (all four miles of it). A soldier out on his motorcycle this evening had a very impressive lighting scheme on his bike.

After driving Interstate 781, I decided on Chipotle for dinner where I was pleasantly surprised when I was carded for the Corona I ordered. Yay for a clean shaven face (well, I still have the short mustache). Everyone at Chipotle called me “sir”, which negated my feeling young just a little bit.

And now I’m sitting at Starbucks enjoying my trenta unsweetened, shaken green tea. The folks at this Starbucks are quite nice.

Earl and I need to move out of the sea of Dunkin’ Donuts. But in the meanwhile, I need to drive home.

It’ll be a happy drive.