Monday, June 28, 2010

Mission Accomplished

My boss and I are both fans of "The Celebrity Apprentice."  This season's show came down to Bret Michaels and Holly Robinson Peete, with their final task to create new flavors of Snapple.  Due to being busy with other things, I did not watch the finale until several weeks after it aired, though I had a good idea of who won because a certain co-worker of mine (who doesn't watch the show) kept asking if I watched it yet. (No, you did not ruin it for me).  Miraculously, I did not find out from the Internet prior to watching so there must have actually been real news to report during this time.

Once I finally watched and discussed the finale with my boss, we made the decision we had to try the two types of tea created for the show and see which we liked better.  I had heard commercials for them so I figured they would be in the stores.  About 3 hours after my boss and I made the decision to have our own taste test, I was doing a volunteer project at the Food Bank and what should come down the sorting aisle:  the two "Celebrity Apprentice" Snapple teas.  So I knew someone in the Portland area had them.

Or so I thought.  What happened next was a two week quest to find the tea in which my boss and I went to several stores and gas stations only to leave empty handed.  I went to the Snapple site to see who should have them.  I posted a request on to see if any other members had seen them. I got no response.  Bound and determined, I tried store after store getting frustrated with each one but bound and determined to complete this challenge.

Then my boss got a great idea:  he tracked down the distributor and called them.  Even the girl he talked to there didn't know where to find them so she took his name and number and she actually called back.  And told us to check out the stores we already tried--in a week or so.  They had been advertised but were not actually being carried yet.  Victory was in sight.

And then it happened: a week before they were to be in the stores, I happened to be at the Gateway Fred Meyer for some odd reason (most likely to use the bathroom before getting on MAX).  I came around a corner and there they were on the endcap.  Angels sang.  (Ok, not really).  I did a happy dance (just a small one) and bought a six-pack of each since that was my only option (at least they were on sale).  I wanted to send my boss a text that I had the goods, but he has a tendency to leave his phone in the car and I didn't think it was really appropriate.  So I waited until Monday morning to tell him.  I'll admit having to wait all weekend did take some of the excitement out of it.

It ended up being late Tuesday afternoon before we tried our taste test.  We decided to try Bret's "Trop-a-rocka" first since it's diet and that tends to have that weird aftertaste.  I was dismayed to see my bottle had floaties (I like Snapple but don't drink it often because of the floaties.  I really hate floaties).  My boss didn't have floaties so he switched bottles with me.  We took our sips and the first thing I tasted was peach.  I like peaches but not peach flavoring or scent so this kind of ruined it for me.  So we tried Holly's "Compassionberry," which is a regular tea.  We were disappointed that there was nothing really "wow" about it.  It turned out, however, Bret's tea was a lot stronger and sort of muted out the flavor of Holly's when tried back-to-back.  When I tried hers again later, I liked it a lot better.

I really wanted to like Bret's tea better.  I am glad he won because I think he deserved to.  Yes, Holly did make more on one challenge than anyone in "Apprentice" history, but most challenges had a fixed winning amount and I feel that Bret was an overall better player.  But when it comes to the tea, Holly is the winner in my eyes.

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