The Burrito Diaries

UPDATED Fall 2017

In May 2006 I was rudderless and lost, looking for meaning, looking for adventure, looking for the type of exhilaration that comes wrapped in a flour tortilla.  I have taken a lot of time to explain Burritos Across the US over the years.  I wrote a post, authored a Moth story, got the license plate, and have done my best to record my progress through social media.  I originally thought that I would be done by now, but that was clearly unreasonable, but as we near the 11 year mark I should probably break it down.

But First the Rules:

  1. Its a burrito, not a wrap, not an taco, not a chimichanga, a burrito.  Wet burritos are acceptable even though they are very similar to enchiladas, but mission style hold in your hand wrapped in tin foil are preferred.
  2. Airports don’t count, neither do drive through.  Burrito must be consumed with your feet on the ground in the actual state.
  3. Chains are accepted but frowned upon and will be looked back upon with shame.  SHAME.
  4. Burritos are not obligations, they are to be worshiped and enjoyed for the goodness that they contain.

Burritos Across the US

  • Alabama- Birmingham, Fall 2009
  • Alaska- TBD
  • Arizona- Phoenix, Summer 2009
    • Most scenic burrito consumed at the Grand Canyon Fall 2009
  • Arkansas- Texarkana, Fall 2009
  • California- San Francisco, Fall 2009
    • Worst neighborhood to enjoy a burrito in
  • Colorado- Cortez, Fall 2009
  • Connecticut- Mystic, Spring 2006
    • The burrito that started it all
  • Delaware- Rehobooth, Fall 2010
  • Florida- West Palm Beach, Summer 2007
  • Georgia- Atlanta, Fall 2009
    • Consumed just feet from the world’s tallest escilator.  That needs to count for something.
  • Hawaii- TBD
  • Idaho- TBD
  • Illinois- East Saint Louis, Fall 2009
  • Indiana- New Albany, Fall 2009
  • Iowa- Council Bluffs, Summer 2013
    • Most likely gave me food poisoning
  • Kansas- Parsons, Fall 2009
  • Kentucky- Erlanger, Fall 2009
  • Louisana- Baton Rouge, Fall 2009
  • Maine- Kittery, Spring 2009
  • Maryland- Baltimore, Spring 2008
  • Massachusetts- Boston, Spring 2010
    • Was completed earlier but this is the only one I was sober enough to remember consuming.  Fucking Boston.
  • Michigan- Mount Pleasant, Spring 2017
  • Minnesota- Minneapolis, Spring 2017
  • Mississippi- Hatiesburg, Fall 2009
  • Missouri- Springfield, Fall 2009
  • Montana- Miles City, Spring 2017
  • Nebraska- Omaha, Summer 2013
  • Nevada- Stateline, Fall 2009
  • New Hampshire- Keene, Spring 2009
    • Best vegetarian burrito
  • New Jersey- New Brunswick, Winter 2007
    • I do not recognize New Jersey as a state
  • New Mexico- Albuquerque, Fall 2009
    • Best burrito related failure at the International Balloon Festival
  • New York- Albany, Summer 2006
    • Home of the Bombers burrito which is the most frequently consumed of all the burritos
  • North Carolina- Charlotte, Summer 2009
  • North Dakota- Dickinson, Spring 2017
  • Ohio- Kent, Fall 2009
    • Dishonorable mention- all restaurants were closed and I was forced to eat a gas station burrito
  • Oklahoma- Oklahoma, City Fall 2009
  • Oregon- Portland, Spring 2016
    • Best food cart burrito
  • Pennsylvania- Harrisburg, Fall 2010
  • Rhode Island- Kingston, Summer 2007
  • South Carolina- Columbia, Fall 2009
  • South Dakota- Kadoka, Spring 2017
  • Tennessee- Fayetteville, Fall 2009
  • Texas- Amarillo, Fall 2009
    • Home of the best burrito that I have ever had
  • Utah- Salt Lake City, Summer 2008
    • Best college cafeteria burrito
  • Vermont- Burlington, Spring 2006
  • Virginia- Richmond, Fall 2009
  • Washington- Bainbridge Island, Spring 2016
  • Washington DC- National Mall Summer 2017
  • West Virginia- Morgantown, Winter 2008
  • Wisconsin- Eau Claire, Spring 2017
  • Wyoming- Evanston, Fall 2009

Notes

  • During Fall 2009 I drove cross country for almost 2 months and was able to consume all of these burritos at a reasonable pace
  • I have taken trips and gone to conferences solely because it would allow me to knock another burrito off the list
  • I don’t know if I spelled the town names correctly, I don’t really care.
  • Burrito is a noun, burritoed is a verb.  I invented one of those terms.
  • I have included 2 non states on this list, just because I plan on burritoing New Jersey and DC doesn’t mean that I will be proceeding to other non states.  The Puerto Rico and Guam burritos will need to eat themselves.
  • Once things are completed I may head north and try to eat something in each Canadian Province, thinking that the Canadian equivalent would be ice cream sandwiches.
  • This was fun, the trips, the adventures, sitting here and writing this.  It was fun enough that I could remember aspects of each and every one of these burritos despite years or even a decade passing.
Advertisements

The Best Course I Have Ever Taken

I have nearly 250 semester hours of college credits.  And have taken hundreds of hours of post graduate continuing education.  I have spent thousands of dollars on personal development classes from “Productivity gurus” in order to “optimize my psychology.” Hell I even took improv and standup classes so that I could feel like I graduated.  But the most important class that I have ever taken was during my junior year of high school.  And maybe taking that simple after school class was the spark that I needed to set me up for the success that future courses would bring.

My life is busy, it always has been.  I started down my workaholic path early and was always focused on getting things done.  I was an achiever from an early age and always wanted to check all the boxes and get all the awards.  While high school was probably my laziest period it was also one of my busiest.  I would regularly leave the house at 7AM and not get back until almost 9.  I filled my time by being the class president, a member of key club, national honor society, two trivia teams (one for quiz bowl and the other for the enirothon), band, jazz band, marching band, boy scouts, and other clubs that I am sure I forgot, all while being a 2 sport athlete and working on the weekends.  Toss in the fact that I was a teenager trying to have friendships and a fun life and things were very busy.

My father is very good at time management and has a lot of experience trying to keep my chronically late mother on some semblance of a schedule.  He did a great job pushing me to stay on time and fulfill any commitments that I had made, but as a rebellious teenager I wasn’t going to listen to most of his advice.  Luckily I found a mentor who was able to make a mark and get me to live up to my potential.  I was fortunate to have a lot of very good teachers, coaches, and advisers who made a lasting impact, but this one teacher doing an after school class made the biggest difference.

Tom Ciaccio played quarterback at Holy Cross and blew up their record books, played in Europe and signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals, but then he got into teaching.  I never had him as a teacher or as a coach, but his name rang out in the halls.  He was just a few years older than we were, and a really nice and friendly guy, with that natural leadership bearing that some people radiate.  He was a local who grew up 1 town over and did something that so few people from that area did, he went found success and then came back home.  He was an inspiration, and he didn’t shy away from the fact that he could use his talents to inspire and motivate others.  So he started an after school class on time management, and for some reason I decided to give it a try.  I remember it costing something around $75 which was a bit of a hardship at the time since I was making $5 per hour under the table washing dishes, but looking back it was the best investment I could have made.

I didn’t save much from High School.  It wasn’t a great time for me and I put it behind me pretty quickly.  But I do really wish that I would have saved the workbook from this class.  I can’t even remember the proper title, but I suppose that the impact is more important than the name.  Things were perfectly geared to get us to understand our own psychology and motivations and were presented at our 10th grade level without feeling like we were being talked down to.  There was a lot of thinkwork that needed to be done at home which was a nice change from the massive amount of essay writing that high school is known for.  He asked a lot of questions that we wouldn’t normally ask ourselves at that time, the type of questions that I am seeing a lot of my friends just start asking 15 years later.  We looked at our priorities and how we sorted our to do lists, while also developing plans to set and reach our goals and strategies to maximize our impact.  In a way it was like a football playbook where he taught us the basics and allowed us to execute and trust our instincts.

At the time I appreciated it, but looking back it is unbelievable how much I got out of that class.  My life is busy to the point of being hectic, but I have put enough systems in place that I am able to handle everything with few problems.  For example last week I worked 5 days (53 hours), spent another 8 hours commuting, performed at an open mic, attended an improv show, did all my laundry, cleaned and vacuumed my whole apartment, went to a brewery, got my car fixed, packed for an 8 day road trip, all while cooking all my own meals, walking at least 5 miles a day, meditating daily, writing a few thousand words, reading parts of 3 different books, keeping in touch with several friends, and living a pretty normal life.  And I was bored.

Maybe it is the fact that I spend most of my time doing things that I enjoy or can at least see direct benefit from, or maybe it is my natural capacity to multitask, or maybe it is the devotion to Tim Ferriss theories, or maybe it is the firm belief in systems and routines, but right now I am more productive than I have ever been.  And I am able to do it all without falling into the business trap where people feel overwhelmed.  I am far from superman, but by prioritizing and executing I am able to get more done with little stress, and it makes my life feel much easier.  I sometimes use the term busy but fulfilled, where there is a lot going on but nothing worth flipping out over.  It is nice going to bed knowing that you accomplished a lot in a day but not having too much to worry about.  It may feel boring from time to time, but I will take bored in place of overwhelmed any day.

It might seem disingenuous to tie where I am right now to a single course, but I do believe that it was something that helped to hone my skills and make me look inside myself for the best results.  All these years and classes later I am still grateful that I was able to get that motivation and insight at such an early age.  From a purely return on investment standpoint in both money and time I have reaped the rewards thousands of times over.  And for that I will always be grateful.