- Even commitment phobics can manage to commit to something hard if they try.
- Talking to strangers in grocery stores is fun (I actually knew this before this project, but this tooootally reinforced it for me).
- People are seriously nutso for Trader Joe’s – I didn’t realize how huge a “thing” TJ’s was when I started! I chose TJ’s as my “theme” for the project because we liked to shop there, we needed groceries, and it seemed “do-able”. But throughout the course of the year I have seen what a CRAZE Trader Joe’s is!! Guys, there are other review blogs (I have tried not to read many of them because I didn’t want them to influence my writing/opinions, plus I was already devoting enough of my time to a grocery store and didn’t need “homework” reading on top of it all!). But seriously, like, there are a lot of people writing about Trader Joe’s online. And get this – some people apparently TAPE THEMSELVES BRINGING HOME THEIR TJ’S STUFF! I have not watched any of those videos, but since I am nearly done here and since they are out there online, I think we should check one out now. Are you in? I am gonna Google and post one here, get ready…HOLY SHIT GUYS, people are obsessed!!! I am so glad I didn’t look at these before! Hahahaha! Look, this is a shorter video than many of them!! "Haul" video I am perhaps 1/1000th of a percentage as into Trader Joe’s as these people who videotape their purchases are… They even have a FACEBOOK GROUP if you wanna join, it is called “Trader Joe’s and Other Groceries Hauls”. It looks like it is a “closed group” so you need to ask to join, but you will have almost 1,300 friends in there if you do. Hahaha – oh my.
- Trader Joe’s has great employees. I think I knew this fact before I started writing the blog, but it was reinforced by the many, many people who work at TJ’s that we met throughout the year.
|Amy in Indy|
|Rebekah in Clarendon|
|The dancing parking lot guy at U Street in DC|
- Trader Joe’s treats their distribution centers as if they were Fort Knox. There is a HUUUUGE one in Daytona Beach, Florida and I thought I would easily be able to go in and have a little tour. I mean, we have toured several factories and always enjoyed ourselves. But not a TJ’s distro center. When I asked my local TJ’s manager if she could “hook me up” she gave me a phone number to call but warned me that it was highly unlikely… I called several times. It was BUSY. Busy, as in, didn’t even roll to voicemail. Busy. So we drove out there. It is HUMUNGOUS. Two huge buildings. Huge buildings that are not visitor friendly. But the security guard talked to us and was really nice J.
|Daytona Beach, FL Trader Joe's Distribution Center|
|It is ultra super duper TOP secret!!|
|We FOUND the distribution center (now if only we could get a tour...)|
- People you meet online are fun. I have never really talked with strangers online before. I never dated online. I only accept Facebook friend requests from people I know in “real life”. So this blog was really my first experience of connecting with virtual strangers, and I loved it!
|We got to meet Ttrockwood in person, but I feel like I know many more of you "virtually", too!|
- I am not the only person who decided to do one thing every single day of 2015 (see yesterday’s blog for info on a Washington Post article).
- Many cities who do not have Trader Joe’s stores have ONLINE PETITIONS trying to convince corporate to build one in their area. Again, another factoid I had no idea about until getting involved here.
- I have secretly done two other things every single day of 2014 AND 2015, but I haven’t completed the 2014 ones because I HATE ENDINGS (see yesterday’s blog…) and I haven’t completed the 2015 one because ALL MY TIME HAS BEEN SPENT ON THIS TRADER JOE’S PROJECT! However, now that I am finishing up here I hope to finish those other 2 projects, too!
- And finally, a project of this scope takes way more time, energy, and focus than I ever dreamed it would. Seriously waaaay more.
|Snap! Look what we found at the Jacksonville Beach, FL store - CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY TAMALES!|
|Here it is before I unwrapped it - pretty!|
|David eating his first bite of tamale - he was not so impressed in the beginning....|
|Kathy has chosen to remain anonymous, this mermaid puppet I got for Christmas is standing in for her.|
|Here it is all unwrapped|
|Works out to a buck a tamale - cheap dessert|
|I just want to make sure you knew we didn't ONLY eat chocolate for breakfast! |
We picked this papaya from the tree and ATE IT - yummy!
|See you on the KIND SIDE!|