I craved redemption. Not for myself, but for the famous gas-station-convenience-store heaven known as WaWa. This summer Florida’s first WaWa opened to much fanfare and social media buzz. Being a Native Floridian, when I first saw my transplant friends post their excitement about the first WaWa in Florida on Facebook months ago, I had to Google it. In a stroke of brilliance, the lovely folks in the WaWa corporate offices decided that Florida’s first WaWa would open right across the street from one of Orlando’s theme parks: SeaWorld. When I attempted my first visit it had been open for a few weeks. It did not go well.
I was sent home from work on what I soon learned was a relapse of pneumonia. I headed to WaWa because I craved a smoothie and tons of water. It was SLAMMED. I could not get to one of their magic touch screens to order my made-to-order smoothie, they were mobbed. With all the raving I had heard about WaWa surely they would have an impressive bottled beverage selection. Nope. Dejected, I grabbed a few bottles of Propel zero and headed back onto I-4 for the long drive home.
Speaking of I-4 and long drive home, this evening’s traffic was not fun. When traffic began to back up real bad I headed for John Young Parkway to take it around to Lee Rd. It’s not always faster but it beats pure stop and go hell, in my opinion.
After a few miles on JYP I spotted a WaWa billboard, “huh… they usually only put those close by an actual WaWa,” I thought. Just as the thought finished completion there it was and there I went. It was time for redemption.
As I walked in I was relieved to find this location a lot less mobbed. I immediately went for the touch screen. They are quite intuitive and first-time-user friendly. I especially loved the “Under 7g of Fat” category of the menu. The ability to customize the hoagie is fantastic. After placing my order I browsed.
My personal favorite feature of the snacks offered at WaWa is the large variety of fresh food and sensible snack options. In a tropical Florida mood I selected the chopped mango. For husband and stepson, I decided to grab a small variety of Tastykakes to bring home. I also saw a selection of Latin flavored chips, I wonder if they are exclusive to Florida…? Any readers from the Northeast, please comment and let me know, please and thank you.
I walked outside to unravel my honey-roasted turkey hoagie. After hearing WaWa’s TV ad during the morning news, every… single… morning, it was time for me to see what all the fuss was about. At first unwrap I was surprised at the massive spill over of veggies that tumbled out of the sandwich. After doing my best to restuff my hoagie, I took my first bite. Pretty impressive. Not Earthy shattering, world-altering good like I had anticipated based on all the social media buzz about WaWa and their hoagies, but still pretty good. The turkey itself had a great sweet flavor and I loved the sweet peppers.
Overall, I am glad to have this addition to my beloved homestate. WaWa certainly is different than your average convenience store. Their presence has made hundreds of former Northeasterners who now call Florida home very happy. WaWa, welcome to the Sunshine State!