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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

90s ReSURGEnce? Coca-Cola Brings Back SURGE Soda (but I'm not trying it)

Oh, the late-1990s were such a strange place, indeed. In 1997, the same year I met the girl who would eventually become my wife and the mother of my children, the Coca-Cola Company unleashed their citrus-tinged SURGE as a competitor to reigning "extreme" beverage, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. The commercials were the epitome of late 90s culture - embracing a mix of the "Nu-Metal" look and extreme sports lifestyle (including cross-promo with WCW Nitro) while bearing a soundtrack featuring artists like Fatboy Slim. I drank more than a few cans and bottles of SURGE in that time, but by 2003, SURGE was done. Now, thanks to a grassroots effort known as the SURGE Movement, the beverage is back - available in a first-of-its-kind deal, exclusively through Amazon.

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Giveaway: CONTIGO West Loop Travel Mug 4-Pack #BestGotBetter

Last week, I shared some thoughts on the redesigned Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Travel Mugs and how the #1 selling line of spill-proof travel mugs was able to improve upon what I already thought was perfection. Well, the #BestGotBetter, and after deeming the new mugs "Rock Father-Approved," Contigo and I have teamed-up to get one lucky reader hooked-up with a four pack of 16oz mugs (ARV $85!). With Fall pretty much here and the season for Pumpkin Spice upon us, it's a great time to refresh your mug selection with the best of the best!

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Contigo West Loop: How Do You Improve on Perfection? #BestGotBetter

For over a year, I've been singing the praises of Contigo and their crazy-good line of travel mugs and water bottles. As an on-the-go Dad with two little girls, there's a pretty good chance that we're rockin' some Contigo products whenever we're out and about. I'm a big coffee guy (I tend to mention that), and one of my personal favorites has been the AUTOSEAL West Loop (yes, named after a geographic region of Chicago) Stainless Travel Mug. It's always been the best spill-proof mug out there, but how can you improve on perfection? Well, the best got better, and Contigo just proved that. The secret is in the lid.

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The Great American Road Trip: The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe

Regular readers of THE ROCK FATHER know that I'm a big fan of The J.M Smucker Company. Smucker's is an American tradition, so when I had a chance to visit their headquarters in Orrville, Ohio last Fall for their Holiday Traditions gathering, I jumped at it. While I had a great time and learned a lot (want a killer Brussels Sprouts recipe?), I couldn't help thinking that my family would like to visit there as well, so on our first-ever Great American Road Trip series, I took my wife and daughters to The J.M. Smucker Company Store and Cafe for a late lunch and a little bit of shopping as we made our way back to Illinois last month.

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The Great American Road Trip: A Sweet Adventure at HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD...

I love to think that there was a time - a time not long ago, just over a century ago - when you could build something in America that was able to become such a success, that an entire town could be named in it's (and your) honor. That happened when Milton S. Hershey created a "company town" that became known as Hershey, Pennsylvania, or "The Sweetest Place on Earth" back in 1894. Now, in addition to boasting the birthplace and main manufacturing hub for the Hershey's brands of chocolate-based goodness, Hershey, PA also includes a ballpark, arena, a theme park, and the original HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD. As part of our first Great American Road Trip series, my wife and I took the girls the Chocolate World last month to experience it as a family.

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