I eagerly told the lady at the pharmacy in France that I was traveling “all by myself” to New York for a conference, and sadly did not realize how ridiculous I sounded until I had left the store holding my bottle of cranberry pills. What am I – three years old?
But there was something about traveling “all by myself” to New York that made me so happy, whether it was for the adventure, or the chance to meet all my blogging friends and heroes, or whether it was simply to watch movies on the plane.
I watched one movie – what I believed to be a comedy – wherein Kate Hudson ended up dying from cancer and I ended up bawling quietly in my seat. I ate my little meal, stepped off the plane, and I soared into the City for the BlogHer conference after a peaceful little overnight retreat at my friend Rosalind’s house.
It was so fun to meet everyone, and I’ll probably share some of the highlights in another post if I can sort through the PTBD (Post- Traumatic BlogHer Disorder) overwhelm.
But what really struck me was the caffeine-withdrawal headache that accompanied me everywhere I went throughout the conference – and this even when I ditched the hotel and went to Starbucks for coffee.
I am almost certain that the Starbucks coffee is stronger in France than it is in the States.
I was invited to the Starbucks sponsor suite to check out their new Verismo machines. I went because I was invited (and nobody else had invited me to anything). I also went because I was having caffeine withdrawal and I hoped they might be able to help.
In all these different colors? The burgundy one would be so pretty in my pink and granite kitchen.
They showed how a properly brewed espresso will have different colored layers, like a strata of sedimentary rock. They showed how you could stick a cool little milk capsule in and let the machine froth it into a dreamy latté cloud. And they explained how you could take your coffee capsule and turn it into a brewed cup rather than a latté, accompanied by some explanation about pressure sensors on the capsule depending on what you wanted to accomplish that was so fly it flew right over my head.
And when I complained about the weak American coffee, because that was what I was there for, they said next time I should order an “Americano” because that was the stronger version of their daily joe. And I was all like – hello irony.
So then we got to try making one. Of course I asked immediately if I could have a double latté and they immediately said yes.
Probably the steamiest thing I did the entire conference. And when I tasted it and wrinkled my nose a little bit, they asked if I wanted a triple shot, so I nodded and put my cup back under the machine. And it was finally what I considered to be a proper cup of coffee – three coffee capsules and one milk capsule later.
I left this friendly crew of people with my triple shot latté and a gift certificate for $5 in hand, and finally had the necessary caffeine to head over to the Serenity Suite.
And then in the morning I went over to Starbucks to use my $5 gift certificate on a grandé Americano, took one watery sip and wished I was back in France.
* I was compensated with a triple shot latté and a gift certificate for attending the demonstration. But I wrote the post of my own volition so that I could complain about American coffee.