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Sabbatical Chronicles - The Vacation Post

First off, I haven't been posting any daily musings for the past week because I was on vacation. Now you might ask, "aren't a sabbatical and a vacation the same thing?' The quick answer is; they are not. Check out my day one post if you want a reminder of the definition of sabbatical. Either way, the point is that I was traveling, and only fool in this hyperconnected, always on world tells people when they are out of town. It would be like putting the boxes of all your new gadgets on the curb right after Christmas, practically begging criminals, or your nosey neighbors to know what you have up in the crib. Well, to use and old school phrase, I'm not the herb you're looking for.

This something therapeutic about setting up shop at a resort for a week with no plans. No sightseeing trips. No theme parks. Just sitting poolside catching some rays or sitting on the balcony sipping coffee and reading a book. This is my definition of a vacation. Since I have a full kitchen in my suite, for coffee I stopped in the local Publix an pick up a bag of Dunkin Donuts ground Blueberry Muffin coffee. I don't typically get ground or flavored coffee but since I left my manual grinder at work and I didn't care about descaling to get flavor our of the in-room drip coffee maker, in the words of the esteemed Doc Emmett Brown, "well, I figured, what the hell."

The age-old question when you travel, is do you try the local fare or go with an old reliable restaurant chain. Now I don't know about you, but outside of New York City (yes, I'm biased) and perhaps if I ever travel outside of the U.S. again, I will trust a tried-and-true restaurant chain of some unknow local eatery. So, what are my go-to spots to munch on some grindage? Dunkin' Donuts, Panera, Olive Garden, BJ's Brewhouse, and the jack of all trades, Publix.

Dunkin' is easy. I know what their coffee tastes like (hello Dunkin' Midnight), and they have a variety for breakfast items that will satisfy everyone in the family. Next up in the line up; Panera Bread. Their coffee is serviceable, but our for us it's the multitude of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. As an added bonus, our Vanderbilt daughter (yes, proud poppa brag) subscribes to Panera's Unlimited Sip Club. We hit them up on the regular for their Mango Yuzu Cirtus - With Guarana & Caffeine. We may not know what Guarana is (hopefully it is not bat dung) but we definitely know mango and caffeine.

Olive Garden. Do I really need to tell you why? Soup, breadsticks, salad, and entrees for every taste. The take home, frozen entrees for $5 buck each doesn't hurt to take back to the resort and microwave later. Batting cleanup is BJ's Brewhouse. They have a great variety of surf, turf, and poultry dishes, including healthy bowls with quinoa. Their craft soda (cream, root beer just to start), personal pizzas, and flatbreads aim to please. And let's not forget their Pazookies. Warm cookie a-la-mode. The pazookie is da bomb even when you are full.

Finally, for those of us in the Southeast, our family friend, Publix. Pub Subs, tenders, chicken (rotisserie and fried varieties). With Publix you can't go wrong. You can keep, Jersey Mike's, Subway, Firehouse, Jimmy John's and the like. I will take Pub Subs over them all seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

Look, when I travel, I don't like to take risks. I don't need food poisoning or some local favorite that I hope they have something that we actually want to eat. Vacations are expensive enough and you don't want to waste any money on food that you end up tossing in the trash. I like comfort food. I can experiment when I am back home. On the road I will stick to names I can trust. Honorable mention to Cracker Barrel. I didn't include them on the list because they are more of a on there way there or on the way home stop.

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