Monday, January 5, 2009

The Groovy Zone

There are most certainly times when I wonder why I wanted this job/lifestyle.  Those are the times when we have to do things like back down a steep, curving hill to a loading dock (AND it was just beginning to rain!).  Then there was that time we had to go to the meat packer for hides (so nasty it was surreal).  

But then there are those sweet days when one of the main reasons we chose this job comes shining through.  We chose this lifestyle because we had been holed up in that extremely isolated desert extravaganza known as Telingua (also known as The Stinking Desert when temps top 115 or so).  One of our greatest pleasures with this nomadic life is finding new places to eat, shop and enjoy.

Typically, Phoenix is not one of our favorite cities.  The traffic here is brutal - no, make that brutish.  The drivers on the city's freeways are so bad that the local law has installed speed monitoring cameras every mile or so.  These things are called "Photo Enforcement Zones" and they take your picture and send you a ticket.  What a great idea!!!!!!!

Anyway, we don't usually spend any more time in Phoenix than required.  Tony will chose to go around it if he is driving - especially during week days.

Yesterday, we came in to make a delivery and ended up having an entire day to wait for our load heading out to Pennsylvania.  So, we dropped our trailer at the Con-Way yard (where we will return later to wait for said load) and I used the handy laptop to find out where the local "groovy" zone was.  I knew there was at least one Trader Joe's here and so we zeroed in on that.  Sure enough, we found it and headed that way.

To our delight, we did indeed land in the Groovy Zone.  

Long ago, Tony learned that it was expensive (not to mention space consuming) if I went into a grocery store hungry.  So, we opted for lunch at the Cyprus Grill.  Delightful.  We had some delish homemade hummus with warm pita quarters.  Lovely fragrant  dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice) and lemony dipping sauce.  Then we had some succulent pork cubes on skewers with luscious yogurt dill dipping sauce.  What a great lunch.  Tony has never been a really adventuresome eater, but has been a good sport at trying new stuff.  And almost always, he likes it!

And, this was next door to the Trader Joe's!  So, we headed there.   We must be the last old hippies in America to visit this mecca of all things organic and wonderful.  Much less sterile and big boxy like Whole Foods can be.  I especially liked that the aisles were set on the diagonal and that they were really wide.  In fact, there weren't even very many aisles in the store.  The store was actually rather small.  I don't know if all Trader Joe's are like that or not.  But I really liked this one.  The produce section wasn't huge either, but had some of everything.

The checkouts were another treat.  Small and personal.  This was our cashier - I don't remember her name, but she shook our hands and was absolutely delightful.

  I know that I must be the only person in America who drives around the country and gushes about the grocery stores that they encounter.  But I just can't help it.  I want to move here just so I can go to this grocery store every day!  Of course, there is that lovely store in North Bend, Washington too.  Oh well, guess I'll just keep visiting them instead.

If all of this wasn't enough groovy goodness, there was a great re-sale shop called My Sister's Attic in the same shopping center.  I'm pretty much set with clothes right now, but decided to go look anyway.  What luck.  What a find.  And find I did.    I found a beautiful sage green leather Coach handbag on sale (on sale at a thrift/re-sale store is really something!) for $14.95.  I had found a great little red leather Coach purse at another thrift (Goodwill in Joplin) and had been using that one for 6 months or so.  But, it seemed too small these days and a new purse is such a "pick-me-up".  I never in my life imagined that I would have a Coach handbag, much less two of them!

So, we are off to Pennsylvania in the morning . . .

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