I’ve Been Where?

December 20, 2016

You know how people have weird, sometimes laughable collections that make little to no sense? The ones that commemorate vacations or visits to destinations like The Corn Palace or Pike’s Peak with items like spoons or thimbles or decorative plates? 
Well, I have one of my own, and if you laugh at me, I’m totally cool with it. 

Have you seen the “You Are Here” series of mugs from a certain behemoth coffee retailer? I have to confess I love these things, although I’m not entirely sure why. It’s probably the 10-year-old kid in me who just HAD to collect all the Transformers I could afford, combined with my weird fascination with trying to get to every state in the Union (currently at 44).


The ingenious thing about this collection is that it drives me to a store any time I find myself in a new city or state. It’s like the ultimate loyalty program that simultaneously sells me (and presumably others) unnecessary stuff.

The first in my collection was the New York mug. Upon returning home, I promptly picked up the Twin Cities mug, and voilà, an obsession was born. Since then, I’ve picked up mugs from Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville, Los Angeles, Utah, Miami and California.

Detroit: where the mug is cooler than the city.

Detroit: where the mug is cooler than the city.

The latest in my collection: Miami

The latest in my collection: Miami


My only irritation with the collection is that I prefer to have some consistency:

  • Twin Cities? What is that? Give me a Minneapolis and a St. Paul. We are two very different, very worthy cities.
  • Smaller locales get no love… hello, no Salt Lake City? I can’t wait to get to Fargo to see if they’ve been snubbed, too.
  • And how about these random state mugs. California? Utah? No! I want cities. You’re messing up the whole vibe!
Not cool, Utah and California!

Not cool, Utah and California!

And of course the worst thing ever is when I get home from a trip and realize I’ve forgotten to pick up a new mug. In just the last few months I completely spaced and missed out on Denver and New Orleans. Seriously… I just kick myself.

Now, one might ask, how much coffee must I consume to make all these mugs worthwhile? The answer is simple: I drink one cup in the morning, each morning. Therefore, I dirty up seven mugs a week. So what happens when I hit 20 mugs? Thirty? Well, I guess we’ll just wait and see. Maybe I’ll start filling them up with an ice-cold Coke Zero, a refreshing Dasani Sparkling (Raspberry Lemonade flavor) or a delicious Newcastle Brown Ale. Because I can.