Drinking a milkshake in an American diner #40thingsbefore40

You may remember that back in April, around the time of my 35th birthday, I set myself the challenge to come up with a list of 40 things to do before I’m 40. Some, like swimming outdoors in Iceland, are going to require quite a bit of time and money. Others, like making my own lemon curd, not so much.

A couple of weeks after starting my list I went to America for SoFabCon. SoFabCon is a blogging conference organised by Collective Bias, the fab shopper marketing company I work for, so it was fantastic not just because I got to go on a plane all by myself like a grown-up, but because I got to meet so many of the wonderful people on the team – people I had met by email and Google hangout, but never in person.

It was also a great opportunity to tick something off my list.

I’ve never been to the States before, so when I was asked ‘so what would you like to do while you’re here?’ I’m not sure I gave the answer people were expecting.

“Actually,” I said, “what I’d really like to do is drink a milkshake in an American diner.”

This might seem an odd thing to have on the list but for me it represents so many things – partly the general influence of American television on my life over the years but primarily an addiction to Grease as a child. Never having been to the country before, drinking a milkshake in a diner felt like it encapsulated everything I always wanted to be when I was watching the Pink Ladies looking super cool with their ice-cream floats and turned up collars.

I will never be as cool as Rizzo, but I do like milkshake.

Fortunately, as I had quickly discovered, there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as cynicism amongst the Collective Bias team. Childish excitement is more the general tone. “That sounds awesome!” they said, and much high-fiving ensued.

This is something I really enjoyed about my trip – everyone was so genuinely excited to be coming together and sharing ideas, and something that may have seemed silly to some people, like wanting to drink a milkshake, was totally embraced. Nobody seemed afraid to speak up, share what they were thinking or dance around madly, even at the risk of making a fool of themselves, and I totally loved that. I think I may be a little bit American inside.

I want to say a big thank you then to everyone, especially Kim, who made it their mission while we were in Bentonville, Arkansas, to take me for a milkshake. And just to prove it, here we are:

American diner


American diner

Drinking a milkshake in an American diner

Two down, 38 to go…




  1. 27 June, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    I’m going to put that on my list. And you are SO Rizzo… :)

    • admin
      28 June, 2013 / 1:30 pm

      Haha! I wish :-)

  2. 27 June, 2013 / 6:25 pm

    I think that’s a great task to put on a list. Lots of dreams are things that come from childhood, so why not aim to achieve them now you can as an adult, where as a child it might have been impossible

    • admin
      28 June, 2013 / 1:31 pm

      Very true Emma, I guess it’s often the things that seem silly that have the most meaning.

  3. 27 June, 2013 / 8:06 pm

    Who needs a reason to drink a milkshake? Glad you have one less challenge :)

    • admin
      28 June, 2013 / 1:31 pm

      No one! A bit of a long way to go though when I could have just gone to KFC :-)

  4. 27 June, 2013 / 11:01 pm

    It was a pleasure crossing one of the items of your list with you! What’s next?

    • admin
      28 June, 2013 / 1:32 pm

      Well, I did buy a voucher for a helicopter flight on Groupon, so I reckon that might be number three!

  5. 27 June, 2013 / 11:22 pm

    HA, had a bit of a giggle, that of all the places in the US to visit, you were in Bentonville, AR, mainly because that is where my dad was born and raised, and I used to spend time there every few years the summers visiting my grandparents. Of course the biggest attraction there was that it was home to Walmart’s headquarters:) Hope you had fun!

    • admin
      28 June, 2013 / 1:33 pm

      I know right? Even the security guards at the airport were like ‘you’ve come all the way to the States to come to ARKANSAS??’

      And of course I went to the Walmart museum while I was there :-)

  6. 28 June, 2013 / 12:35 pm

    I enjoyed this and when I first went to the states I had the same thing in mind, mine was more from watching shows like Happy Days and Cheers etc. though. I know that Cheers is a bar but I was dying to check one out too as well as a diner.

    P.s I have just added your blog to my page :o)

    • admin
      28 June, 2013 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks Adam, that’s really kind of you!

  7. 28 June, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    This really reminds me of the diner in San Fransisco I went to on my honeymoon. Happy memories but my heart aches at your photos because I really really want to go back.

  8. 29 June, 2013 / 11:31 pm

    Childish excitement may be the best form of excitement in an adult! It looks a bit brilliant but you didn’t say what flavour milkshake? :D

  9. 28 July, 2013 / 5:13 pm

    Hi there, for all time i used to check blog posts here early in the dawn,
    because i enjoy to find out more and more.

  10. 22 August, 2013 / 1:12 pm

    This is such a good idea, and since I’m turning 35 in just a few months I may need to write a list of my own!

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