Thursday, September 30, 2010

304 to 30: September 30, 2010 [Red Vines]

Growing up, Red Vines were a staple in my family's social calendar. Movies? Red Vines. Sporting events? Red Vines. Got the munchies? Red Vines. I remember I used to bite the ends off and use it as a straw for my soda. My childhood would not be the same without Red Vines.

Last week at Spamalot, I was a little hungry - we had just eaten a few hours ago but I still had a snack attack. I was craving red licorice, so I went to the snack stand and asked for some. I didn't look as I grabbed the package, threw it in my bag and went to our seats. As the show was about to begin, I told R I bought us a package of red licorice for the show. I pulled the package out of my bag and said "Oh, I thought I bought Red Vines."

Now, in California, I think it is rare to go somewhere, ask for red licorice and get Twizzlers. I could be wrong but I feel like whenever I wanted red licorice at the movies or a game or whatever - my only choice was Red Vines.

R looked at me and said "What are Red Vines?"

My heart nearly stopped.

"Excuse me?" I started rewinding through my mind all the movies, ball games, concerts, and carnivals we'd gone to since I moved out here. I can't remember seeing Red Vines and I don't think I've had them since I moved. I started panicking. "Please don't tell me they're only a West Coast thing." So I asked his mother.

"Have you heard of Red Vines?"

"Is that a restaurant?"

The panic increased and sent a text to my mom. "R has never heard of Red Vines? Are they a CA thing?"

She responded they are made in California and may not be on the East Coast.

NO! This can not happen to me!

I quickly posted to my Twitter and Facebook and asked my West and East Coast friends the fate of my beloved Red Vines. As the responses came flooding in, it appeared no one on the East Coast had ever heard of Red Vines, and my West Coast friends could not fathom the thought of growing up without them. I decided to make it my mission to find Red Vines here.

On Sunday (before the photo shoot) I set out to find Red Vines. I went to 4 (FOUR!) different stores and could only find Twizzlers.

Twizzlers, my friends, are NOT Red Vines. They are plasticky and rubbery and chewy and they are NOT the same.

Saddened, I informed my mother of the fate of one of my favorite candies. She vowed to send me a package or two.

When I got home that evening, my East Coast friend Courtney informed me I could find Red Vines at Target (yet to be confirmed.*) This brought me great joy, however, Targets out here are not as plentiful as they are in Irvine (ahem...three Targets within 5 miles of my Irvine apartment) so my Target journey will have to wait until I need something more than Red Vines or can afford to walk in for Red Vines and walk out with Red Vines + $50 in stuff I don't need but looked cool (I KNOW I'm not the only one this happens to at Target).

Flash forward to today (ok, last night but I didn't open the package until today). I received 3 packages of my beloved Red Vines. I informed R that Red Vines are the best when you open the package the day you get it - they're fresh and soft and like velvet. But these Red Vines, while still delicious, had been traveling for several days across the continent and were slightly less fresh (though still soft). He took one bite, looked at me and said "I think I can imagine them softer. But I still prefer Twizzlers."

HOW DARE HE SAY SUCH BLASPHEMY! I may need to reconsider this relationship.

[*UPDATE 10/16/2010: I have confirmed you can, in fact, buy Red Vines at Target]

Photo #62: Red Vines