Of Long Doughnut Lines and Cold Coffee – The Rest of the Story

Last May, I participated in the Windy City Travel Tweetup.  Met some “old” friends (Lola and Leah) and some new ones (Francesca, Pola, Aaron, and Ted) – by the way, check those blogs out!  As part of any tweetup, we like to hit some neat local spots and discover the unique places in a city.  So, it was exciting to run into a list of the best doughnut places in the U.S. that had been published by Food & Wine as one of the places WAS in Chicago:  the Doughnut Vault.

The story has been eloquently told with awesome pictures here.  But I thought it’d be good to tell the story from my side…

The Pickup

Our fellow tweetupers, Leah and Aaron, volunteered to grab doughnuts at the Doughnut Vault and get some coffee for the rest of the gang; key word is volunteered – which made them my favorite people, of course.  Not being one to pass an opportunity for yummy doughnuts AND sleep in a little, I accepted.  Lo and behold, the doughnut place had a line that took our friends an 1.5 hrs to clear!  Leah texted me informing me of the horrible situation (it was also raining some) they were in.  I offered to join them after a leisurely shower but Leah very kindly told me to not worry so I didn’t. Now, I have to go a step further and show some evidence as I have to show my thoughtfulness… (I learned this trick from a lunatic blogger a little over a month ago…)

1st set of messages (local time 1 hr less than displayed); yellow text is Leah’s

2nd message

Notice how I expressed my appreciation up there?

The Tasting

When they got to the hotel, we were eager to try the doughnuts.  I was almost salivating looking at the doughnut and was dying to try it.

They are taunting and tempting me

As I took a bite a few pictures were taken.  Leah showed the non-airbrushed picture in her post but here is my preferred shot:

Aforementioned preferred shot

OK, so I take a bite and… it was OK.  Inside my head neurons start wildly spinning trying all branches of logic to see what the right statement was going to be.  My programmers didn’t factor in the Leah factor…

Meltdown!  Core Dump!

I was in trepidation at saying anything other than “ausgezeichnet!  wunderbar! completely out of this world; I have never had a doughnut like that and will never again” yet I couldn’t lie to a friend either.  What to do, what to do??  Amperes were flowing through my brain’s electrical wiring seeking the coded instructions to no avail; it was an IF statement without a proper switch for the current situation.  It finally hit the ELSE statement and “it’s OK” came out of my I/O device:  my vocal cords.

Aforementioned IF-ELSE statement (not the ACTUAL one in me)

Action in the room froze.  I detected a slight shaking in some of those present.  Leah’s eyes became red.  A red that only the core of the sun has.  Lightning flashed in front of her.

Lightning strike indoors

Aforementioned lightning strike and aforementioned Leah

Cold as Ice

And then I had a sip of my coffee.  Cold as an iceberg.  The heat of the glare evaporated as this not-intended-to-be-cold cold coffee worked its way down my esophagus.  Now THEREIN the real crime in the morning with nary a microwave in sight.


I hope my post clarifies some of the finer points of the morning, adding to what Leah shared.  Leah who so generously gave of her time (along with Aaron) so we could try those doughnuts. Further, I hope this post communicates the extreme duress I was under with the pressure to LOVE the doughnut and with having to drink that hyper-cold intended-to-be-hot coffee.

We have learned something here.  We all have, dear reader, haven’t we?  What have we learned out of all this?  Do not trust all “”best” X lists you read and watch out for the Doughnut Vault:  they don’t take cash and don’t tell until you approach the door an hour + after you get in line!

(No pets or children were harmed in the production of this post.)


  1. You forgot to mention the vein bulging from my head and the mild tremors that shook Chicago’s skyscrapers.

    Good stuff, Raul. I especially love the lightening picture. I had no idea you caught that on camera with your hands full of big, fat doughnuts.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Chicago’s Great Doughnut ConMy Profile

  2. I should have known the shaking was Leah’s job!! No wonder I was almost late for the boat tour – it was dangerous out there with all the debris. 😉

    Raul, you are such a computer guy!! Loved your statement haha.
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Melodies and Travel MemoriesMy Profile

    • LOL, I was wondering if the computer non-sense was going to ring a bell with folks. I can’t believe I was googling IF-ELSE statements!

  3. I’ve actually written code like that. Love the reference! 🙂 I missed the initial reactions of the coffee and doughnuts, but now that I think about it I did feel some tremors as I was parking the vehicle at Sofitel. I thought it was just from someone who had the music turned all the way up haha.
    Aaron recently posted..Photo of the Week: Where to New York?My Profile

    • That’s what it was, Aaron! I forgot you had gone to park. I haven’t written code like that in 20 yrs and I like it that way 🙂

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