Taco Bell has a gravitational pull on the students of North Lakes Academy. It could be the various taco treats that the menu provides, the unique flavor of beef and processed meats, or the atmosphere and familiarity of Taco Bell’s employees that grabs the attention of students. Regardless of these facts, Taco Bell has become a hotspot for students who need something to eat, or simply a place to stay.
The root of my taco addictions began with a group of Juniors in the year of 2012. I first came to NLA my freshman year of High School that same year, not knowing what to expect since I had previously been homeschooled my entire life. During my time at NLA I was introduced to a group of Juniors through a basketball program. These young men guided me through the majority of my lower classmen years, and were a continuous light of guidance during their time here. They shaped my character, as well as the emphatic addiction I developed for crunch wraps and gordita crunches. Before every basketball practice, every day, these Juniors would leave school to satisfy their taco fix at the Bell. Eventually, after a series of events, I and countless others were hooked on Taco Bell’s unique flavor. We visited Taco Bell every day before practice alongside our upperclassmen to indulge our taste buds in the heavenly, beefy goodness that only Taco Bell could provide. I credit the introduction of my Taco Bell addiction to alumni Cody Warren, who I know is proud that we continue to carry the torch in continuing his legacy. Throughout High School many of my peers have joined our graduated upperclassmen in carrying this legacy. These are their stories, these are the Taco Bell Diaries.
Travis Fish is a Junior at NLA, and has been attending this school since his fifth grade year. Before coming to NLA’s upper campus his freshman year he had never developed a true appreciation for the wonders of Taco Bell. Once he became a part of the culture here at NLA he fell into the trap quickly. “Started going to Taco Bell every day before practice, kind of stuck.” Fish stated, explaining the beginning of his fixation for the Bell. Travis regularly goes to Taco Bell to settle his appetite after school. It’s become a common habit for students across the board at NLA. “When the new Cinnabon Delights came out for the first time… I was like, holy crap these things are amazing. I ended up getting like three orders of them.” Fish explained, emphasizing the taste of the white cream filling that every Cinnabon Delight posses. Travis has been attending Taco Bell regularly now and credits his dedication to the four alumnus Cody Warren, Dylan Beatty, Derek Beatty and Marshall Beyer, who created the legacy that now he has a part in carrying out.
Aaron Herr and Brandon Rowe are both Juniors at NLA who share the same love for Taco Bell. Both of these students developed their cravings around their freshman year, Aaron was influenced by the alumnus and Brandon by his friends. Aaron and Brandon have had countless adventures that always end with Taco Bell, just like the rest of us. “Noah broke this sauce packet once all over the window, and Sunitha (an employee at Taco Bell) made him clean it up… that was the first day after the new remodel” Aaron said with a slight smile on his face, “We’ve had a lot of good times”. Brandon and one of his close friends visit Taco Bell every morning on Fridays for the unique breakfast they provide, “It’s a fun tradition that makes me look forward to the end of the week”. These two have had their fair share of crunchwraps, breakfast burritos and quesadillas, but they still continue to devote their dollars to the Bell. Not only is the food affordably delicious, but the memories are priceless.
William Tiedeman is also a Junior at NLA who has been attending the school since his fifth grade year. He’s seen the school evolve in many ways, including the Taco Bell takeover which occurred over his freshman year. He visits the Bell regularly thanks to the influential power of his peers, “I never really liked it (Taco Bell) when I was younger, but during high school I began to finally enjoy it as soon as my friends started going regularly”. Along with the famed food that Taco Bell prides themselves in, it has become a place of memories for William. “There was one time we were throwing snowballs in Brandon Flasch’s (an alumnus of NLA) car, it was really funny, he just got his BMW, it was like January, and he left his moon roof open or something. So we threw snowballs all over his leather seats.” Will claimed barely keeping himself together, holding in laughter as he spoke.
Although Taco Bell has been labeled an addiction throughout this article, it’s a lot more than that. It’s not just a physical or psychological habit. It’s a way of life for students at NLA. Students and graduates of all sorts have ventured the quarter mile walk, or driven daily, during their high school years to the Bell. Students go before practices, rehearsals or straight after school with nothing to do but enjoy the aroma and taste of Taco Bell. It’s become a place of safety for students at NLA.
We want to thank the staff of the Forest Lake Taco Bell of Minnesota. We thank you for the home you have provided for us, the five star beefy goodness, as well as the friendly service we’ve been offered over the years. It is because of these employees that our students remain devoted towards this restaurant. On behalf of NLA’s student body, this article is dedicated to their service, we thank you.
Editorial by Noah Nei