Alex Cunnane
Jul 31, 2016 · 3 min read

I am a 23-year-old, employed college graduate working as a mechanical engineer. Thing is, I’ve never eaten a salad.

It’s time for that to change.

But with a 23 year no-salad-streak on the line, I can’t just pop down to Panera for a Summer Rainbow. No. My first salad has to be meaningful and memorable. It has to be the archetypal salad in the quintessential location — the caesar salad in Tijuana.

If you don’t understand, allow me to explain: I chose Tijuana because the caesar salad was invented in Tijuana on the weekend of the 4th of July in 1924 by Italian immigrant and restaurateur Caesar Cardini. And I chose the caesar salad because it’s the first salad I Googled.

This is a photo of a caesar salad

Of course, I could fly to Tijuana and grab a salad any weekend, but an inaugural salad is about more than the first bite — it’s about the journey. A journey that requires my full attention and deserves documentation. That’s why I’m quitting my somewhat lucrative* engineering job in the military industrial complex to drive 2,798 miles across the continent in a jalopy.

Why I’m writing… the car. As a long time car guy, and co-owner of a 1966 Lotus Elan — best known for sublime handling and an inability to travel more than 20 miles without a major breakdown — I see this pilgrimage about more than salad (though we should never lose sight of the salad). This trip affords me the opportunity to take the American road trip — coast to coast, Atlantic to Pacific.

Selecting the car is no easy task and I need help. With a budget of about seven grand, I am soliciting suggestions. The requirements are:

  • At least 23 years old
  • That it be interesting
  • And a reasonable belief that it can make it to Tijuana (which easily eliminates the Lotus)

Coincidentally, these are the same bullets from my e-harmony profile.

I plan to film the entire journey: from quitting my job and purchasing the car, to driving across the country, crossing the border and finally breaking my lifelong no-salad-streak.

This is a photo of the Lotus, which sometimes drops its left door.

For anyone who didn’t stop reading to fact check my caesar salad story, the working title is: Alex Drives to Tijuana to Eat a Salad. If you’re disappointed that I won’t be taking the Lotus, don’t worry it will star in the sequel: Alex Drives to the Nearest Possible Starbucks to Drink His First Cup of Coffee.

While it may sound bold, I firmly believe a journey to Tijuana is a pilgrimage any person who has never had a salad should accept (or to the Hollywood Brown Derby if they Googled the Cobb salad first).

And I need your help selecting the car to fulfill this journey.

*It would probably be more lucrative if I had not already quit working on Mondays and Fridays.

Follow @alexcunnane on instagram for the latest updates.

Alex Cunnane

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