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Tip 13 | The Best Things in Life are (Almost) Free

I’ve travelled the world over, lived for 4.5 decades  – so I’ve learned a few things that are unassailably true.

You don’t need to have a lot of money in your marriage to enjoy great places, great food, and great relationships.

Most rare foods are gross and the more common a food is, the better tasting it usually is. The best locations on earth are generally national parks which even Bill Gates can’t buy. To illustrate the point, the following are a few items on “John’s Best of” list.

The best cheese: Tillamook Medium Cheddar
The best mac and cheese: Kraft and the perfect meal to come home to after a trip to Asia
The best potato: Idaho Russet
The best mash potatoes: Grandma Brown cause she cheats on the butter
The best national park: Yellowstone! Where else can you go visit an ancient cauldron with dozens of hot spots, boiling water, geysers, buffalo, etc.  Yosemite is a close 2nd
The best hiking spot: Mt. Zion National Park
The best mountain: Mt. Rainer! Jennifer and I went here when we were dating and discovered it is true that mosquitoes do have a preference. Sitting on a big rock in a beautiful flower strewn field we started to count how many mosquitoes would try to bite me vs. her.  The ratio was about 50:1 for my O+.
The best orange juice: Tropicana
The best diet soda: Diet Dr. Pepper
The best fast food chicken: El Pollo Loco
The best salad: Jennifer’s strawberry and spinach salad
The next best salad: Jennifer’s orange and almond salad
The best fast food salad: Jack in the Box – Southwest
The best fast food chili: Wendy’s
The best fast food coffee: McDonald’s
The best girl coffee: Caramel macchiato from Starbuck’s
The best homemade chili: Jennifer’s version of Wendy’s chili
The best chocolate cookies: Jennifer’s
The best soup and salad deal: Olive Garden
The best redneck activity: Build your own hot tub from scratch
The best dinner rolls: Texas Roadhouse
The best steak: Costco New York Steak
The best fast food ribs: Armadillo Willy’s with the hot BBQ sauce
The best ribs period: Too many great options
The best oyster deal: Pappaadeaux
The best spaghetti: Jennifer’s Bolognese
The best museums: Washington DC and a close second is London.
The best fish: fire roasted King Salmon
The best enchiladas: Jennifer’s Chicken enchiladas
The best black berry: Washington Armenian Blackberry
The best freedom movie: Braveheart
The best science movie: October Sky
The best marriage movie: Fireproof or the Taming of the Shrew
The best pet: Dog
The best sub: Togo’s Pastrami
Charity claims the best sub is: The MR. Pickle from Mr. Pickle’s
The best sub <$5: Subway
The best crab: King – pre-split
The best rendition of How Great Thou Art: Carrie Underwood
The best rendition of the Star Spangled Banner: Whitney Houston Super Bowl
The best animal: Honey Badger
The best chicken sandwich: Spicy Chic-fil-a
The best cereal: Post’s Blueberry Morning
The best fiber cereal: Fiber One
Aunt Julie’s best activity: Bubble bath
Aunt Jackie’s favorite thing: Kisses from the kids
The lowest cost fast food calorie: McDonald’s $1 menu The closest thing to heaven: Finding a McDonald’s next to your hotel in China
The best computer: Apple MacBook
The best Presidents: 1. Lincoln 2. Washington 3. Reagan
The worst steak: Almost any high end restaurant – too much salt
The worst steak again: Kobe beef is disgusting just go chew on fat if you want and save yourself the money – but after paying so much most people won’t admit it.
The worst tourist trap: Any wax museum
The worst investment: A big expensive boat
The worst car investment: A Shelby Cobra that breaks down every few miles. My brother calls me up one day and says do you want to go 50/50 on a Shelby Cobra. Why oh why did I ever agree to buy a convertible sports car in Western Washington were it rains 9 months of the year?
The other worst car investment: A Jaguar that breaks down every few hundred miles
The most overrated coffee: Starbuck’s
The best ice cream: Heated debate between Breyer’s Chocolate Chip Mint and Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia
The worst movie: Pride and Prejudice for the 9th time. Charity strongly disagrees.
The worst movie: Anything with Twilight in it
The most uneventful pet: Guinea Pig
The worst Presidents: 1. Wilson, 2. Johnson, 3. Carter, 4. FDR with President Obama striving every day to make the list.

While this list is true :), feel free to add to it or make your own.