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I had such a fabulous weekend. It’s sad that it’s already Sunday again.
Yesterday Kayla and I got all dolled up for a charity event, Taste of the Nation. It was going to be a night of food, fun, music, and getting all dolled up, which is never bad.
Earlier in the week we had gone dress shopping. I realized I would rather wear one of my dresses I had stuffed back away in my closet instead, a very 50′s looking black dress with white polka dots that buttoned all the way down the back. With Kayla’s suggestion of borrowing her pearls, it ended up becoming almost a costume party for me. The goal, June Cleaver with a bit of a twist.
It ended up working out quite well. I found some matching pearl accessories, a red headband and some tempting red and silver sandals I couldn’t resist.
We decided to cab it to Scottsdale, and I’m glad we did. As we arrived things were already starting to get into full swing. Music was playing and people were starting to hit the many bars and gather around the silent auction items.
There were a million amazing dishes there. It was delicious. And, not only did I try baby octopus for the first time, but I had a cup of tomato soup that completely made me forget I hate tomatoes. And anyone that knows me, knows that I truly hate tomatoes.
Cathy’s Rum Cakes had a fabulous peach amaretto cake that was to die for.
A restaurant in Scottsdale Taggia, made this incredible potato gnocchi with veal and mushrooms that I *have* to have again, especially since the owner was nice and personable.
I believe we managed to hit all but maybe 4 or 5 stations. The wine and drinks were amazing as were the bartenders. One of them actually made a drink so strong I couldn’t stomach it without another splash of coke, which is a rarity. When I went back for another splash, she informed me her goal was to get everyone drunk.
The Chadwicks were the band playing, and they weren’t bad. Great selection of music.
The festivities ended at 10, but we weren’t done. Afterward, we grabbed a cab and headed to Martini Ranch, which is always a great place to see a live band, and who doesn’t like a live band? Ends up Rock Lobster was playing, which has all the same band members as the Chadwicks aside from the lead singer. It was way too surreal. My favorite part was when the female vocalist broke out the violin and played The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
This weekend I had my first visitor here from the Midwest. My former coworker at Ford and friend Megan came in on Thursday evening and stayed until this evening. I was sick at the beginning of the week and was trying to relax and recover as much as I could. I think I did a fairly good job, but have a massive headache now, so I think I will be crashing early as I don’t have time to miss work this week!
I started off by picking her up around 7pm at Sky Harbor. From there we went immediately to operation food, which took us to La Grande Orange. I had the Mushroom Party pizza again. I just love that thing! Plenty left over to have again the next evening as well. I also tried the tropical iced tea for the first time and it was fantastic. Came with a delicious slice of orange. Afterwards, we rushed over to Space 55 in Phoenix to see the finals of the Phoenix Improv March Madness Party (P.I.M.M.P.). I was excited to see my friend Todd show up to the event as well. Also equally exciting was the fact that my friend Bob’s team, Searching for X, ended up winning the entire tournament!! There were festivities afterward as usual, but with Megan being 3 hours ahead due to jet lag, it was time for us to head home and sleep after.
Friday morning we headed out to breakfast at U.S. Egg near my house. Then we made a quick stop at my house before heading out to Scottsdale Stadium to see the Giants host the Indians in a cactus league game. It was the first cactus league game either of us had been to. It was super fun, and I am all over going to a ton of them next year. I saw by some eye candy that was fun to look at but too young to date Sat by some Indians fans but also our share of Giants. The Giants ended up kicking the Indians ass and we left before the 8th inning was over. We spent some time walking around Old Town afterwards. That evening we had an after work social event to go to. It was a bring an interesting beer to share party, and I found a great brew at Bevmo for the event. Kona Brewery’s Pipeline Porter. Kona coffee and a brew? FANTASTIC!!
Saturday we had a full day as well. We got up super early and wandered around the Old Town Farmer’s Market. Megan picked up a few items and then we had breakfast at Metro. It was phenomenal. I had bananas foster french toast and a mimosa. Mmmmmm. Pure heaven. We then picked up a friend and went to the South Mountain lookout and took some absolutely breathtaking pictures. On the way back we found a great little farmer’s market shop. I picked up some mouth watering looking cupcakes, some other produce, homemade bread for lunch and the best tangelos I’ve ever had. I had an hour or so to nap and then it was off to the pool/grill area in my development for a grillin’ spectacular party with some friends followed by some hot tub time! Yes!
Sunday we were up early to go to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. I had been there once before, but ended up seeing entirely new areas this time that we didn’t have time for or realize were there the last. It was a gorgeous day. At the gift shop I purchased a book that had all the trails with secluded waterfalls and ponds and cliff diving. I cannot wait to check some of them out. Around lunch we headed to Los Hermanos for a great authentic Mexican lunch. Then it was time to get home for some relaxing before the return flight to Michigan. Of course there was some Rock Band before that!
Megan took more pics than I did so I’m sure I’ll have some eventually to show. I don’t feel like uploading mine now. It was a busy but fantastic weekend. I love showing people the beauty of Arizona, and of course get a great tan while I’m at it!
Last night was girls night (a small gathering but still all women)! Three of us decided to head out and see what damage we could cause. The first stop was a wine bar and bistro I heard about through east valley friday nights called D’Vine. It truly lived up to its name. The place was packed but we were seated within minutes. All of us were starving so we added some dinner to our wine. I had two glasses of an amazing Riesling recommended by the waiter. For dinner I had a scallop salad and a side of sweet potato fries that were to die for. Absolutely incredible. Everything on the menu looked fantastic and I will be heading there again and again. The wine menu and atmosphere was spectacular as well.
Afterward, our goal was to go to rockaroke at Dos Gringos in Tempe. However, both Tom Tom and Sprint Navigation failed us (I hate being a recent transplant sometimes) and so we ended up going to the Martini Ranch in Scottsdale. There was a great band playing that was something kings (a little angry I forgot the whole name I loved them). We danced it up… okay I danced it up and sang and had a blast. Some married guy kept flirting with me occasionally as well as this chick. Makes a person wonder.
It was a great night. Sucked to have to wake up so early this morning though.
Add another fantastic find to my list. As I stated yesterday, I was determined to start going out more. In particular my goal was to find a sports bar (I really wanted to watch the Packers / Bears game, can you blame me?). I looked through the metromix guide and found some good ones and just as I was about to pick between some upscale ones, I found an actual Green Bay Packers themed bar in Old Town Scottsdale. Mabel Murphys which is in Oshkosh, WI, is apparently also in the Phoenix area. I got there late as I had to run back to Tempe first to do some stuffs, and it was completely packed by the time I got there, but the more the merrier! This place is PERFECT.
First, here are a couple things you see as you head towards the entrance:
Inside was crazy insanity and I felt like I was back in Wisconsin, no joke. Everyone was dressed in their GB gear and the game was on every single TV in the joint. I was drinking Sunset Wheat and yelling at the screen like the rest of them, and didn’t feel the slightest bit out of place. In fact, I might’ve been the milder of them all, seeing as I had been at work all day and hadn’t had much of a dinner yet. During commercials the song “The Bears Still Suck” would play occasionally and everyone would join in song.
Here are some photos. You’ll have to mind the quality. All I had was my camera phone and it was dark inside and just not a good atmosphere for award winning shots.
Also, here is a video of everyone breaking out into song. Once again, mind the quality and the movement of the camera. It was bad enough I was trying not to sing while taking it.. don’t make me stop dancing!
Most of my friends here are married, as well as most of the other acquaintances I know. I don’t mind it really, I love my friends. However, nights in get easier as you “get big” and I am going to try to break that habit for me. I need to make friends and get my own “circle of trust” going.
This lil socialista is going to start going out on the town . . . alone (EEK!)I figure it’s time to start exploring all the awesome things the area has to offer: figuring out where I like to hangout, where I don’t. Where it’s a meat market and where I can just chill, which is preferred. The best karaoke spots and the best dance and jazz clubs.
I’d like to say I’ll try a new place every day, but I’m thinking this might not be reasonable. However I can tell you that I will be updating you on my experiences as I go along. After all, that was really the whole point of this blog wasn’t it? I have been abandoning that lately, and I apologize.
Tonight’s goal? Finding a great sports bar to watch the Packers / Bears game and also a great karaoke joint.. I could use to belt out some tunes tonight.
If you are in the area and reading this, let me know.
Here you go, the third photo portraying why everyone should come visit me. This is a photo of the Scottsdale Waterfront where you can see a gorgeous view of water, palm trees, and mountains all in one shot.
Thanksgiving was such a blessing this year. It didn’t end up as I had originally planned, and I was graced with some additional guests, but then again, what is the fun in that?
My brother and Alex arrived around 9am that morning with their two other travelers. I set up the futon for them to take a nap and put out the air mattress as well, but Billy and Alex were not tired. Billy and I then started preparing the turkey and the sweet potatoes I was to make. I made a glaze loosely based on a recipe on my roaster oven box, which used olive oil, pepper, and dry white wine, but I added my own touches as well and pretty much just used every spice in my cabinet. Since we had until about 4pm or so, we set it on very low.
My brother took a passing at recreating my grandmother’s gravy made from flour, pepper, a little water, and the turkey parts no one likes to talk about. I have to say, it was a damn close comparison to my grandmother’s.
Two of my other friends who were joining us for dinner came over around 1:30 to prepare what they were making. They brought asparagus, salad, cheesy potatoes, and cherry crisp. We had some wine and played some rock band, watched some football, and enjoyed a new Cranium game I picked up last week at Starbucks.
Dinner time started getting closer, and it appeared as if the turkey was never going to finish. Around 4:15 we turned it up all the way and in 5 minutes the steamer thermometer popped and it was ready to go.
My brother’s two traveling friends had plans that ended up falling through and were going to head out and venture on Thanksgiving. We all decided they should stay as we had enough for them as well and Thanksgiving is not the time to be wandering a new city. It was a great night, but we were all worn out by the time midnight rolled around.
Luckily for me, they all decided to stay another day as well and I got to spend Friday with Billy and Alex. They joined me in my venture to check up on Jack and Jill, cats of friends of mine, and then took me to a restaurant I had never been to before for breakfast, First Watch. Not bad. Afterwards we headed to Old Town Scottsdale for the afternoon, discovering a winery on the way, toured Tempe and ASU, and then relaxed and bought some items to cook for dinner. Billy and Alex made me an amazing fettuccine Alfredo with homemade Alfredo sauce and broiled chicken and sautéed vegetables. It was delicious.
Another visitor joined the slumber party at my house Friday night and also brought me back a Riesling having heard that I like sweeter wines. It was such a good time, and I made some great new friends. I think everyone enjoyed their time here and I enjoyed playing hostess.
I have determined that I need to start scheduling visits from friends and family. This is probably the best form of motivation for me to get my house in tip top shape.
So, if anyone would like to visit, realistically I can start accepting visitors the week before Thanksgiving. Let me know, and get your dates in now. I have a nice warm place and am expecting (and hoping) it becomes the new vacation spot for my crew
Need some enticing?