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Our 2019 Road Trip, Part 7: Silly Yonkers and the Coca-Cola Factory

Coke Bear jazz hands!

Yes, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear sort of does jazz hands…if you meet his terms.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.

Atlanta is home to a few major companies with international reach and historical impact. Among them, Coca-Cola may be the largest and/or oldest. The World of Coca-Cola, the official museum for the 133-year-old drink, was originally next door to the Georgia Statehouse (a bit farther south) but relocated across the street from Centennial Olympic Park in 2007.

I lost my taste for sugary drinks after my 2004-2005 diet, but I remain a fan of Coke Zero even though some recently decided they should lengthen the name to overexplain the product to customers too obtuse to get it. Nonetheless, we had to explore it. Like the drink, much of it was loaded with sugar, but we found a few sweet spots to our liking.

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Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 8 of 10: Dr Pepper Picked a Place for Prepping Peppers

Dr. Pepperbot!

Dr Pepper-bot welcomes you to Waco, not to Westworld.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

I’d love to say our whirlwind tour of Texas was a two-week sightseeing spree through all the major cities you’ve heard of from movies and TV, but time didn’t permit and they’re not all in a straight line five miles apart. (Houston and Corpus Christi were particularly disappointing to miss because at the time we knew folks who lived in each.) If all our Plan A’s had worked out, right about here would be a bonus chapter on our first expedition into Mexico, but time didn’t permit and two of us three travelers chickened out. Part of me is also annoyed at past-Me for skipping out on any Austin research altogether, but time didn’t permit because we hadn’t earned enough vacation time in our respective office jobs to take more than the single week we’d set aside.

But as always, we did the best we could with what we had to work with. And if that meant taking a slight detour to go Be a Pepper, so be it.

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If We Were Having a Coke and a Smile But You Stole My Name…

Randy v. Randi.

…I would try very kindly not to make a big deal because you’re one of the only six people on Planet Earth named “Randi”. Despite your rarity, whenever someone writes my name down on a form, application, sign-in sheet, Starbucks cup, or speeding ticket, your kind is the reason I’m too frequently asked, “Is that with a ‘y’ or an ‘i’?” I try to keep an open mind here in the 21st century, but I’ve been fielding that largely nonexistent dichotomy since the 20th.

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