I Don't Need No Wawa

(George Harrison fans: hope you get a laugh out of the title of this post)

Late last month a survey by Market Force Information confirmed what I already knew Wawa is #1 in convenience stores.  In my book, Wawa is just plain old #1.  It's easy to understand why:  good products and good customer service. (Sadly a rarity in today's world; or at least in my world.)

There is no Wawa close by to me. (This is a good thing...and will be explained at the end of this post.) The nearest one is ten or so miles away, but it just happens to be in the perfect spot right off the highway when I am picking up or dropping off my son at summer camp.   After I drop off (and am feeling those empty nest blues), I stop by for a drink. (Nonalcoholic; although I hear Wawas in Virginia can sell wine!  Have no confirmation of this; maybe it's time for a drive south?)  With all  Wawas in possession of Coke Freestyle machines, the selection seems to be somewhat endless.  (I don't know how many mixes I'll be trying as I just found what might be my favorite of all time:  Fanta Zero Peach.  I confess that it's especially good if you pour a little Peach Schnapps in it to give it a kick.  But don't worry; there's no drinking and driving for me,  I don't make that mix until I am safely at home.)  Add half (or whole) soft pretzel and I'm feeling better about the day.

Camp pick up is done on a Saturday morning, which means I can swing by for coffee. I confess that I'm extremely partial to their Mocha Wake Up (which is probably more chocolate and less coffee).

Most of my Wawa-ing however, is done when I go to the NJ shore.  "My" store is #949 and sometimes I feel like I am the "Norm" when I go there.  (That's a "Cheers" reference for those of you who might be too young to get it.)  Most everyone knows my name and even on the busiest of days (and believe me it gets pretty busy in the middle of summer), the staff treats you as if you were an old friend.  If I've just brought the boy down for the weekend, then the day must start off with coffee for me and a donut for him.  Plus I will pick up a Diet Peach Iced Tea or two for later in the day.  (Wawa still  hasn't listened to me and started bottling it in the half gallon size, which means I am doomed to buy at least two of the individual sizes to get me through the weekend.)  If my husband is with me, he'll pick up some breakfast as well as an Extra Large coffee. (He's more of a French Vanilla guy than a Mocha Wake Up.)  When the weekend is over, to make the drive home (almost always in terrible traffic; this is after all NJ), I'll get myself a diet peach iced tea (or now that I've discovered it maybe it will be a Fanta Zero Peach) and my son a slushie.  (That is unless I'm leaving my son down for a week of Marine Science Camp, in which case I'll be heading North on a Monday morning and will be needing that Mocha Wake Up coffee to get me to work.  And no one there will even blink an eye if I fill my Dunkin Donuts mug with Wawa coffee, which by the way, is much less expensive and just as delicious in my book. )

I may have never had a hoagie from Wawa (which has little to do with Wawa food and everything to do with my food allergies and fears of cross contamination), but I have celebrated "Hoagiefest."  I still have my first bright yellow tie dyed Hoagie Fest shirt with "Hoagie Man" on it.  (And how Wawa managed to pull off such a creation which looks any awful lot like "John Lennon" from the movie "Yellow Submarine" is a mystery to me.  The first time I wore it to a Beatles convention, people from all over where asking me where I got it and how they could get one!)

I know that summer is over when the parking lot at Wawa #949 is not jammed packed (seriously, people start making their own parking spaces!) AND you can find their Pumpkin Spice coffee. (As much as I love their Pumpkin Spice, I am glad that it is NOT yet in their stores.)  Knowing that I won't be at the shore as much in the fall as I am in the summer, I stock up on several bags.  (Trust me, their Pumpkin Spice is really good.  Better than any other of the competitors.  So good that I've sent bags to my cousin in Australia.  Yes, that's how good I think it is.)  It gets me through the cooler months.  (Pumpkin Spice coffee can only be consumed from September - Thanksgiving; that's the Bfth rule.)

When Superstorm Sandy came through, like everything else, "my" Wawa was closed for a long time. When I heard that it had reopened at the end of January 2013, I knew that the shore was truly on the road to recovery. Not that things were good, or would ever be the same, but Wawa #949 reopening brought some sort of normalcy back to that strip of island; it brought some hope.  (It also brought back some much needed hot coffee and food to those contractors who were working around the clock on the devastated island.)

With all this praise, why I am HAPPY that there is no Wawa nearby?  Truth be told, I'm not exactly happy, but my wallet is.  Whenever I get close to a Wawa the money from my wallet just seems to disappear.  (Truth be told, that money ends up on my Wawa card so that I can get "rewards" and then quickly gets spent.)  If there was a Wawa close by I'd be going way too often and those special treats wouldn't be so special. They'd most likely become part of my weekly (or even daily) routine. (Ok, let me be honest here; if a Wawa opened close by I'd go HOG WILD!)

So for my wallet's sake (and the sake of my finances overall), I need to stay put.  I DO need my Wawa!  I need the coffee, the iced tea, the Coke Freestyle...I want it all.  But to remain financially solvent, I need to keep my self-control in check.  I love you Wawa, but please don't move into my neighborhood! :)


(Update:  There IS a Wawa not too far from my office.  It's relatively new and to be honest is not quite up to par with my other Wawa experiences[No one will ever match Sean and his team at Wawa 949.]  While it's less than 5 miles away, road construction made the drive extremely aggravating.  So for now, despite Wawa's best efforts, my wallet remains safe!)


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