Tag Archives: Starbucks

The way it is now

A friend who lives out of town came to Fresno for a dentist appointment. She was going to get into town early enough for us to meet and catch up. This is the friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We agreed to meet at Starbucks that is close to the dentist office and is actually in my neighborhood.

I don’t go into Starbucks very often. When we lived in San Francisco, the Starbucks right across the street from our apartment was a favorite stop of mine. I often stopped in and even had a small Starbucks card that was attached to my apartment keys. The crew knew just how to make a mocha that I liked and I could pick up a Chronicle at the same time. It was a nice place and filled with a variety of people. I still have the small Starbucks card, and Terry, bless his heart, keeps money on it for when I do decide to stop by and get something, but that is very seldom. Usually, like yesterday, it’s to meet up with someone since Starbucks is every where and a good meeting place.

Because she was coming from out of town and I was only coming from across town after my school chaplain duties, I easily got to Starbucks ahead of my friend. I hadn’t eaten lunch at school because I was showing a visitor around campus so I was parched and hungry when I arrived. I ordered a peach-flavored tea and a slice of banana bread and sat myself down at one end of the communal table that runs the middle of the store. There are lots of individual tables in the place, but they were all filled. Some with students. A middle-aged couple who were flirting something fierce and left entwined in each other’s arms. One corner table had four very well-dressed, well-coiffed older women, playing cards. A business meeting taking place that involved selling insurance to new homeowners. Do people not think anyone can hear them in Starbucks?

Right before my friend arrived, the strangest thing of all occurred. Two people, man and woman, again middle aged, dressed casually, came in with McDonald’s bags and sat next to me at the communal table. There is a McDonalds across the street and has just been remodeled. I could not understand why they didn’t eat their big Macs there. They never ordered anything from the Starbucks counter except the man did get a newspaper (for which one is supposed to pay but he didn’t) and read it while noisily scarfing down the hamburgers. He left the paper on the table but at least cleaned up the wrappers and fries’ boxes.

So, is this the new thing to do at Starbucks? Hold your canasta parties in a corner? Meet for an afternoon tryst? Plan your wheeling and dealing for the next sale? Eat food from another establishment?  I was just meeting a friend to catch up on her life since moving out of town.


More about that Starbucks reward card

I know, dear Reader, that you have been sitting around for months now, wondering when I was ever going to do an update on the infamous Starbucks reward card.  What, you say you don’t even remember the card?  I am aghast.  It should have been on the top of your list.  ok, go over here and read all about it, and then come back so I can bring you up to date.

The gold card arrived in the mail.  We had attained this glorified status with Starbucks.  In other words, we had made enough transactions at their ubiquitous stores.  It took only 30 of these to get to this level, so really, no big deal.  Terry’s name is on the card so he gets to carry it.  I don’t really want it because it is not the type I can attach to my keyring.  He likes the fact that it doesn’t attach to a keyring.  We’re different that way.

An aside:  the same day the card arrived, Terry got new glasses.

Today, while killing time while new tires were being put on the Subaru, we hung out at Barnes & Noble where they have a Starbucks coffee bar.  After ordering his drink, Terry learned that they do not honor the Starbucks reward card, and the coffee costs more there than at a corner Starbucks.  I thought it was all pretty funny.

So, here’s Terry with his B&N coffee, gold card, and his new glasses:

And, yes, I know you can’t see anything exciting about the glasses.  That’s the way he likes it.

Catching up with the weekend

Although I wrote some posts about the Microfinance 2010 Conference, there were a few pieces of the weekend that were still lying around.  So wanted to share those pictures with you.

The conference was held at Yerba Buena Gardens and Metreon.  It made for a beautiful setting.

Breakfast on top of the city

Maria Shriver, California’s First Lady, along with the head of Kiva were the opening speakers.  Even though I sat up close to the stage, on an aisle seat, I still had trouble getting a good picture.  There were so many others jockying for a picture.

After all of my conference duties were finished, Terry and I went to a movie, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”  We came out to a cold, windy evening, and these great views:

upper level of the Embarcadero Center

Looking out on the Financial District

Ran across the street to our neighborhood Starbucks and got an assortment of goodies.  Starbucks is the reason for the demise of the neighborhood bakery.  Look at all the good stuff I can get:

Now, it’s back to school for the last three weeks.

Another Starbucks Reward Update

Remember, dear Reader, when I was waxing ecstatic about the Starbucks Reward Card?  Terry and I both got one, put money on them twice, and used them A LOT.  It is a handy little card that I keep attached to my apartment keys so that I can run down to the corner Starbucks and get my tall soy mocha, a Chronicle, and divine pastries.  Terry goes over to get beans to make coffee in the apartment.  He also uses his here in Fresno for beans.

Well, you may be wondering if we have gotten any rewards?  Yes.  I got a free tall soy mocha and Terry has gotten a free cappuccino.  Ok, not much so far, but Terry checked our status online, and lo and behold ! we are just a few steps away from GOLD status.  I know, you are so excited.  So are we.  This must just be the most wonderful of all statuses.  It is so overwhelming.

Ok, back to reality…we have to spend more money to reach this status.  When we do, I will surely share with you all the wonders and gifts and magic that goes along with GOLD.  Please check back here often to learn more.

Free coffeecake via Facebook

Starbucks gave away pastries today.  I found out about it from Starbucks Fan Page on Facebook.  Printed out the coupon for hubby to use.  He went in, got a cup of coffee and a piece of coffeecake.  Nice deal.  He said everyone else was doing likewise. The place was packed.  Maybe I can take advantage of the next promotion.  Yay for Starbucks and Facebook.

Another Monday in SF

We are in whiteout mode here, 17 floors up.  The fog has come into the bay, obliterating all hint of any water or bridge out there.  The streets aren’t bad and traffic is flowing nicely, well below the fog ceiling.  I could probably go a few blocks west and be walking in sunshine. The fog horns consistently blow to keep track of the ships and barges coming in and out of the bay.

There is quite a mess left on the streets after last night’s flash mob pillow fight.  There were even feathers in the elevator as I went down to the Starbucks for paper and soy mocha.  The innards of a foam pillow littered the sidewalk and I could see the remains of another pillow had been tossed on top of the canopy of the apartment building.  Someone has a big cleaning job today.

Although a holiday, there are many who are working, but in more casual attire than I saw last week.  Starbucks had a line out the door and tables were filled, at 8 a.m. with Apple laptops.  I am always happy to see Macs as I have a love/hate relationship with PCs.  Mostly hate.

Terry and I had a conversation about this, though, when I returned from my morning walk, and I realized that most of my PC experience is based on the computers at school which are controlled by Oz, the district’s IT department.  I don’t struggle with my Macs at school because I am the one to control them.  Of course, the district will no longer allow me to update machines or software.

Tomorrow is an inservice day, so although I will be at work, there will be no children there.  I had considered staying an extra day in SF, but I don’t want to use any more of my sick days than absolutely necessary.  I have so many that they add almost another year to my retirement schedule.  I have rarely been sick in my 21 years of teaching and most of my sick days have been taken for doctor or dentist appointments and an occasional stress day.  I am scheduled for jury duty in March and this time I am not putting it off until vacation time like I have in the past.  We’ll see how that works.

Parallel universes on a Sunday morning

This morning is a Fresno Sunday.  The alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and it is still so dark.  The local paper is on our driveway.  It is a small, puny shadow of its former self that has seen better days.  I can read the whole thing in less than an hour as I munch on my cold cereal.  I have cancelled the San Francisco Chronicle subscription due to the high cost and the hope we would be in San Francisco most Sunday mornings, but this morning I want the Chronicle so I gather up $2 in quarters, put on my glasses, get my keys and drive a half mile, in the cold, to find a paper dispenser.

Fortunately, there is a dispenser outside the corner liquor store, only a half mile from home, but it takes $3 to extract the paper.  I fumble around in my wallet, which I brought along because it has my driver’s license, and find 2 quarters and 3 dimes.  Ok, that’s $3.05, but it makes the dispenser work.  I get the last paper.  It’s only 7 a.m.

I get back home, about 6 minutes after leaving, with just the newspaper.  My husband has made coffee and cooked bacon.  I settle in to read my paper in the comfort of my suburban house.

Now, if I had been in San Francisco, I would have gotten up whenever I felt like it, usually around 6:30, as the light comes over the Bay Bridge and into the apartment.  After dressing and making myself presentable, I would grab my keys with my Starbucks rewards card, ride down the elevator, cross the street, and in a warm, well-lit Starbucks, pick up the Chronicle AND get apple fritters or some other pastry.  Back across the street and up the elevator where Terry has coffee ready.  Less than 5 minutes.

In Fresno I have to hand wash the breakfast dishes because our BRAND NEW GE dishwasher is still waiting for the repairman.  In San Francisco I can load all the dishes into the dishwasher, which although an older model, works just fine.

An update on that reward card

Terry checked out the Starbucks reward card.  Here is what you do:

Buy a Starbucks card with any amount of money

Register the Starbucks card at http://www.starbucks.com/rewards

Use the card instead of cash every time you buy something

Get stuff like free birthday drink, 2 hrs free wifi, free refills of brewed coffee, free flavored syrups, free soymilk, free tall beverage with every pound of coffee purchased, free trial offers.

I think it would be great to go in and not have to fumble with cash when I buy my pastries and the Chronicle at the store in SF so I’m definitely going to get one.


My husband’s veins flow with coffee.  Strong, black, bold flavored coffee.  Espresso is his beverage of choice and he makes his own, at home.  Occasionally, when we travel, he will stop and buy coffee, usually at a local cofffehouse, if possible.  Otherwise, he goes to Starbucks for his liquid refreshment.  The new apartment has a Starbucks right across the street which makes him happy.  I like it too because I enjoy their pastries.  Coffee is not high on my priority list.

In a regular week, hubby goes to Starbucks to buy ground coffee by the half pound.  He uses their bold flavor like Yukon Gold for breakfast; espresso grind for later in the day.  He makes these trips during the day, when he runs other errands, while I am at school.  I, on the other hand, run all my errands on Saturdays.  Never the twain shall meet.  Except when we are both on holiday, like today.

After Target and PetSmart, we pulled into Starbucks so Terry could pick up espresso.  As I often do at Starbucks, I sat in the car until I noticed a banner in the window advertising their rewards card.  Rewards card?  Never heard of one for this place.  (I have them for other businesses)

I run in and intrude in the middle of the transaction with questions about the card.  It seems that you must go online to get the card and it mainly rewards those who buy DRINKS.  So many drinks and you get free stuff and discounts, etc.  The delightfully young, female, attractive, barrista looks at my husband and says, “I’ve never seen you buy a drink.”  And then she pointedly looks at me and says, “And I’ve never seen you before.”

“You didn’t know I existed, did you?” I come back at the delightfully young, female, did I mention attractive, barrista.

“Nope, but I figured there was someone because he’s so nice and well cared for.”

Aww.  She won me over too.

Beyond the school walls

What did I do this week?

On Monday I took four seniors to Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis to scope out the site for our chalk competition.  Went to Starbucks to revive our lagging energies.

Chalk artists meet here

Chalk artists meet here

On Wednesday I went along with the sophomores to Fashion Fair Mall to study visual display.  My nine students worked from Macys to Penneys, and did very well.  I treated all the sophomores to lollipops from Sees to tide us over until lunch back at school.

Nine outstanding sophomores standing outside Macys

Nine outstanding sophomores standing outside Macys