ALEX: Ready to try another? I hear there’s one from Peru that comes with a Surgeon’s General warning.
Peru, a country on the west coast of South America. Despite Alex’s warning, Peruvian coffee is said to be mild and light in flavour.
The surgeon general of the United States is the operational head of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States. The US surgeon general is nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.
In 2003, the Surgeon General of the US was Richard Carmona (born 1949); he was in the post from 2002 to 2006. In 2014 he wrote a book called 30 Days to a Better Brain, where he actually promoted coffee as a healthy drink that could improve mood and memory.
RORY: I learned my seven continents on Hug-a-World, don’t you remember? We used to squeeze it as tight as we could and then wherever our pinkies would end up, that’s where we were going to go together when I grew up. LORELAI: Yes, many a trip to Uzbekistan was planned that way.
Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asia which is part of the Turkic world. It is a doubly landlocked country, being not only landlocked itself, but surrounded by other landlocked countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. It’s capital is Tashkent, and the city of Samarkand in the country’s south is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world, with a fascinating history, part of the Silk Road route. It’s been a drawcard for adventurous travellers since at least the 19th century.
LORELAI: [on phone] Oh, no, sir, I’m afraid we don’t offer a complimentary breakfast … Uh, yes, sir, I realize the Ramada does.
Ramada is a large multinational hotel chain, and the first Ramada hotel was opened in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1954. The name is literally Spanish for “branch”, but ramadas (“porches, arbors”) were temporary open-air structures, popular in Arizona at harvest time. The company translates their name as “shady resting place”. It is now owned by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
There are two Ramada hotels in Connecticut – one in Windsor Locks, just north of Hartford, and the other in Groton, where Lorelai’s relative once lived. Presumably the customer is considering remaining in Windsor Locks [pictured], which is at the airport. It’s a modest budget-priced two and half star hotel, and in reality they don’t offer a complimentary breakfast – they don’t serve breakfast at all, some days. It’s obviously nowhere near the luxury and charm of the Independence Inn.
[Lorelai walks up to Michel at the front desk] LORELAI: Okay, so you’ll come in early and set up the conference room for the group from Michigan.
Michigan, a state in the Great Lakes region of the upper Midwest in the US. It has a population of over 10 million, and is the largest by area east of the Mississippi River at 97 000 square miles (250 000 square km). Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit, among the nation’s most populous and largest metropolitan economies. The name Michigan derives from a Gallicised variant of the Ojibwe word mishigami, meaning “large water” or “large lake”.
[Rory walks through an empty parking garage. She hears a noise, and turns to find Francie] FRANCIE: Good, you’re here. We need to talk.
This scene is based on the Watergate investigation by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who secretly met a contact known as “Deep Throat” in a parking garage between 1972 and 1973. Their information would help lead to the uncovering of the greatets scandal in US history, and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon.
In 2005, attorney Mark Felt would out himself as Deep Throat, after which Bob Woodward told everyone exactly where they had met – Space D3 in The Quotidian Underground Parking Garage beneath the Oakhill Office Building in Rosslyn, Virginia [pictured]. It has since become a tourist attraction.
RORY: Paris, the cafeteria workers serve hundreds of students a day. A little gravy spillage is natural. PARIS: I see. So I should just sit quietly and shovel in whatever slop they throw my way like some inmate in the chow line at Leavenworth doing twenty to life? I don’t think so.
The United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth (USP Leavenworth) is a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas that was the biggest maximum security prison in the US from 1903 to 2005, after which it became a medium security prison.
Deer Hill Lodge is probably inspired by historic Deer Hill House in West Cummington, Massachusetts, a small town in the foothills of the Berkshires. First built as a hotel in 1832, it has since been an inn, a dance, and a café. It is now an Airbnb property, made into four separate apartments for rent.
JOHN: Now this is a lovely property that has just become available right outside of Litchfield. SOOKIE: It’s a sales pitch? LORELAI: They spend two hours telling us nothing, then try to sell us lame property? SOOKIE: We already know the place we’re buying. LORELAI: I know.
Lorelai and Sookie say they already know the property they will buy (the Dragonfly Inn), but the owner (Fran Weston) has refused to sell it to them. Is it really such an insane idea that they might look at some available real estate that somebody actually wants to sell, if only to give them some idea of the market? Maybe they could actually use a couple of business classes.
Also, the one day seminar that Lorelai talked about seems to have ended up being the two hour class Michel derided after all. I guess Lorelai meant “one day” as in the entire course takes place on only one day, rather than over several weeks.