It's no secret I love to eat (and do so in copious amounts when I travel). So imagine my dismay last summer when my friends and I headed to Delaware for a beach weekend only to be told we would not be dining out all the time but instead we'd be doing something called "saving money," as one of my friends is something called a "responsible adult." Pizza Friday night, grilling out Saturday night, and nary a brunch in sight.
What was this fuckery?
Apparently it's the kind of fuckery that leads you to a discovery of rare, yet epic proportions -- a place both affordable yet rife with delicious treasures.
OK, yes, I realize Wawa isn't the unique, hole-in-the-wall gem I may have led you to believe we had "found." In fact, there's one seemingly every few yards in Delaware. But let me tell you about the beginning of my love affair with the American staple known as Wawa.
Thinking of food constantly, as one does, I asked Friday night where we were going to get lunch during the long beach day ahead of us on Saturday.
"We'll stop at Wawa on the way to the beach."
I wrinkled my nose at this reply. Wawa? WTF. Wawa was a gas station, right? I hadn't ever been to one growing up. Although they exist in Maryland, I guess they were few and far between around where I lived. And they certainly weren't abundant in New York City when I was in college.
Why in the fuck would we get lunch at a gas station? Was Delaware that desperate? I realized it was mostly cornfields and junk shops, but there had to be some actual restaurants by the beach.
"What does Wawa have?" I asked.
"EVERYTHING," was the reply.
It was true. My preconceived notions about Wawa were completely misguided. Sure, they are attached to gas stations. And sure, they are technically convenience stores. But that shit is ELEVATED. And in the tax-free land of Delaware, all of the "everything" you can get there is dirt cheap.
I stocked up on water for the beach, treated myself to some delicious Wawa brand mocha mint iced coffee, and best of all, I created a custom sandwich for lunch using the touch screen to order (which I LOVE because it means I don't have to talk to people to explain what I want).
I was in heaven.
I happily swallowed my elitist scoffing at Wawa and was thrilled when someone suggested we go there later that night after hitting the bars in Dewey. And I was extra happy to nurse my hangover the next morning with some Wawa goodies for the car ride home.
Even though I've since discovered that there is a Wawa five minutes from my house, I've decided to save Wawa for the beach only. I don't want to ruin its novelty (yes, a convenience store is "novel" to me). And lucky me, I'm headed to the Eastern shore multiple times this summer. My first trip was this weekend, and while I typically eat pretty healthy (traveling aside), all I could think about before I left was goddamn Wawa.
I was the date of a friend of mine and stayed with her and another friend. They were both in the wedding I'd be attending Saturday night, and while they went to go do bridesmaid things Saturday morning, I happily headed to Wawa before meeting a different set of friends for a day at the beach.
It was just as wonderful as I remembered. I got a sodium-laden breakfast sandwich, that beloved mocha mint iced coffee, and a pre-packaged soft pretzel. And that pre-packaged soft pretzel was way better than anything pre-packaged should be.
After the beach, because said pretzel wasn't much of a lunch, I decided to stop at Wawa on my way back and get a smoothie. And after the wedding, when my friend Amy announced she was hungry and another lamented that nothing would be open, I pointed out that Wawa is 24 fucking hours and full of everything drunk wedding goers might ever want.
Amy deliberated between a sandwich and a milkshake. I have no idea why. Getting both seemed like a perfectly viable option to me. Then she showed me the "f'real" machine. Below it was a selection of ice cream flavors in their own single serve cups, and all you had to do was pick your flavor, pop it in the machine, select your desired thickness, and in a few seconds you had a milkshake. Excuse me. A F'REAL.
I wasn't hungry (I had two pieces of wedding cake), but I had to have one.
Unfortunately, *this* drunk wedding goer accidentally put her "Towson Hot Bagels" rewards card in her clutch rather than a credit card, so I sadly didn't think I could partake. Fortunately, my buddies had me covered.
Amy and I got our f'reals and Wawa outdid itself yet again.
And I have to tell you. I should have been hungover after that wedding. I don't drink as much as I used to in my younger days (which wasn't all that much to begin with), and now if I have two glasses of wine at happy hour, I feel crappy the next day.
Yet, after a glass of rosé, an orange crush, a drink the bartender gave me after I asked for "whatever you can make that's as fruity as possible," and (doge help me) three shots of Fireball courtesy of Amy's husband, I wasn't hungover AT ALL. Not even a tiny bit. In fact, I felt fucking FRESH when I woke up.
And there's only one explanation -- Wawa gave me life. Wawa is the f'real deal.
P.S. When I got back to the gym Monday, my body was basically like "um, fuck you if you think we can work out properly on a diet of pure shit," so I guess Wawa can't excel at everything after all.
P.P.S. Take a peek at my beach day at Cape Henlopen and Nicole's beeeaaautiful wedding!