Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Love and Gingerbread Latte
I know Starbucks is a "big bad multi-national" and I'm supposed to shun them, but I can't help myself. The first time Ren Evans bought me a Gingerbread Latte, I fell in love.
It was December 2000 and I was fresh off the plane from Australia (actually, crushed and exhausted off the plane from Australia), landing in the USA for the first time. Nathan's brother Ren was picking me up from the airport in Dallas because Nathan, who I hadn't seen since we first met in Europe, was in New Orleans taking finals. Ren and I had never met – he arrived at the airport with "Helen. Blonde. Australian. Japan Airlines" written on a post-it note. So it was an odd little arrangement, really.
Ren and Chad, his mate from the lumber company, picked me up at DFW and took me on an impromptu tour of Dallas – lunch at a revolving restaurant overlooking the city, dessert at a place that I think was called Love And War In Texas, and shopping at a mall called The Galleria which, to my amazement, had an indoor ice-skating rink. It also had a Starbucks.
Ren asked if I'd ever had a Gingerbread Latte. I hadn't. In fact, I'd never been in a Starbucks before (I lived in Before-Starbucks Brisbane). "Come on," he said, "They're genius." He bought me a Gingerbread Latte and although I was an avowed coffee-hater, he was right – it was genius.
So I blame Ren. That's where my soft spot for Starbucks started, and I can't shake it to this day. It mainly surfaces around November, really, when they bring out the Gingerbread Lattes again. But I may have a larger problem on my hands: Berry has decided Starbucks (or "Cake. Shop." as she calls it) is one of her favourite places.
The first Starbucks for our little part of the world opened in November, and we pass it every day. We go on little "dates" there, the two of us, more often than I should admit. She already thinks the large red chair in the corner belongs to her, which creates trouble when another customer has the nerve to sit in it. She likes to have milk in a big-girl cup, and dance to the Christmas carols and practice her jumping on the carpet.
She is a Seattle baby, so perhaps I should've expected that she'd have a soft spot for Starbucks too. But I'm going to blame her Uncle Ren anyway. He can take it.