Are you ready for our Starbucks road trip?

This is a blueberry muffin and breakfast sandwich order at Starbucks — the usual for my ten-year-old son, Iden, and my eight-year-old daughter, Erysse.

They’re Starbucks regulars.

During the next month, we’ll be trekking across the United States and Canada by car, stopping at random Starbucks restaurants along the way until we reach our final destination: the Starbucks at First and Pike in Seattle.

Starbucks is not sponsoring or endorsing this odyssey of coffee and pastries. I’m not sure it would.

We have absolutely no reason for doing this, other than that Starbucks serves a consistently decent cup of coffee and bagels, muffins and sandwiches that are up to our standards. That’s important when you’re on the road, and there’s no consistency from one place to the next, except maybe those set by the Food and Drug Administration or the county health department.


During our last five years on the road, we’ve come to rely on Starbucks for its predictability. Whether we’re in Honolulu or Paris, we know there’ll be a Starbucks, and that it will be perfectly adequate.

This picture was taken at our the Willasprings Starbucks in Winter Springs, Fla. It’s our home Starbucks.

We’re here most Saturdays to order the usual: the boys get a breakfast sandwich, their sister gets a bagel or muffin, Kari has an iced tea, and I order a grande Americano.

On a day like today, I’m tempted to ask for an iced Americano. The heat index is supposed to exceed 104 degrees. But I have this quirky rule about coffee on days that exceed 100 degrees: I always order a hot Americano before noon and then iced Americano after lunch.


If you go to enough Starbucks restaurants, you start to notice the differences. At Willasprings, they stock “local” items like mugs inscribed with the words “Orlando” and “Florida” — something we’re not likely to find as we head north.

I’m not sure if we’re going to make any profound discoveries, but we may learn a little bit more about our go-to fast food restaurant along the way. Perhaps a month of contemplation will lead us to a higher level of enlightenment about coffee?

Since this is a completely unsanctioned trip, I’m fairly certain that this exercise will leave Starbucks corporate a little jittery. But what’s the worst they can do? Cancel our Starbucks gold cards, maybe? I’m shaking.

Why are we doing this? Not to promote Five Bucks; they’re doing just fine without us. We’re doing it for ourselves.

And dammit, we need coffee. Isn’t that enough reason?