When I lived in the Twin Cities, there were two main choices for grocery stores. There were the gigantic ones, Rainbow and Cub Foods, which were almost like Sam’s Club– big ol’ warehouses where there weren’t a lot of specialty items but we would save lots of money and bag our own stuff. Or there was Lund’s or Byerly’s, stores with carpeting, fancy delis, and cavier. At those stores, we most decidedly did not bag our own groceries. Then in Florida, there was Publix. Ah, Publix. So pretty, so clean. The best of both– big enough to have everything I needed in one place, but good stuff, too — Cuban bread, awesome sushi. Southern hospitality and beer, too. It was win, win, win.
Then there’s Milwaukee. Pick-n-Save; that’s it–literally, the only choice. I like that in Wisconsin (unlike Minnesota), I can get my booze at the grocery store, but I still need to go to Target to get the frozen vegetables and Ben & Jerry’s flavor I like (creme brulee). Today I went to P-N-S to get a few items that the BF forgot while he was there earlier and I brought a grocery bag from home. I walked around the store, picking up the forgotten items and a few impulse things (like fruit!), scanned the frozen vegetable section in case they miraculously started stocking the Bird’s Eye blends I like (no luck), and placing them in the bag I brought. I got to the register and poured out the stuff and told the cashier to please use the bag I brought (because they bag stuff there. I’d REALLY rather do it myself). I paid and went to grab my stuff, and saw that she did indeed use the bag I brought, but she put the bag inside another bag. wtf???
There are things about north Florida I don’t miss. The roaches with wings. The shoeless kids in stores. The drenched clothes after being outside for three minutes in June. The water in the Gulf at St. George Island, so warm it was like taking a jacuzzi, and thus not at all refreshing. But some things I miss. Publix. The Cuban food, the good Thai and Japanese restaurants. The canopy roads. Soul food. Lightning shows. Unlimited puns on Church signs. Peaches and citrus driven in from Georgia and central Florida and sold by men wearing white overalls but no shirts. I would love to have that shrimp with basil and chili peppers from that Thai place in Tallahassee on Thomasville Road. Low country boil at Cypress. Or the gingersnap and mascarpone dessert from Kool Beanz. Sometimes I want to take a trip to Tallahassee just to eat.
Maybe one day, I’ll do just that.