Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Phoenix Week

I spent all of last week in Phoenix; it's been four months since I was there.  I decided that optimal time to check back into the office is about two months, so I'm going back in March (for a food festival and Radiohead) and in May for my cousin's wedding.  Oh, yeah, and to go into the office.

I feel like all I did was eat last week.  Nearly every lunch or every dinner was scheduled somewhere with someone.  Not that I'm complaining - I miss people and restaurants.

I started the drive on a Saturday afternoon after meeting a high school student in downtown LA and grilling her about why she wants to attend my alma mater.  Just kidding - I'm nice.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.  I was either catching up on This American Life or dancing to TATW.
I pulled up to Chantal and Meg's place and pretty much headed back out immediately to Postino with them. It turned into a night of bruschetta by candlelight and some ridiculously awesome quotes.  Quick stop at the ghetto 24-hour Walmart afterwards, and yep, I was back in Phoenix.  
On Sunday I attended my old ward, saw some familiar faces, and can easily say I'm glad I'm no longer in a singles ward.  That afternoon I drove down to Coolidge to visit dad's side of the family.  
Grandma always makes me play.  In return, she cooks an excellent meal.  

On Monday it was back to work.  Kinda weird walking into the building, but at least my security badge still works.  I'm always a little afraid that it's not going to give me the green light.  

After work I paid Damian a visit at Snapdragon; my hair needed a cut.  And it looks amazing, as always.  
Then I met up with Kari Ann and Kelly for Mellow Mushroom in Tempe, which wasn't all that great and kinda pricey for a pizza joint.  
Chantal and I needed dessert later, and when nothing else is open, Mickey D's just has to do the trick.  Sorry, Sonic.  You're still the best.  

Tuesday, another day to work and another night to eat.  Thankfully the dentist gave me the all clear on cavities in the morning, and my mouth was ready to chomp that night.  I'd still never been to Cibo on their Pasta Tuesdays, so Shannon and I had a date.  Cute bungalow house + romantic lighting + homemade pasta = excellent.  
Prosciutto, parmesan, orange juice and zest, butter, and ricotta.  
I opted for the gnocchi and fresh basil.  I like the classics.  
And of course, we didn't skip dessert.  Crepe with Nutella and mascarpone, with homemade whip cream.  Cibo confirms that it's still an excellent place to eat (especially when the line at Bianco is nuts).  
I headed back to the grandparents' place in Mesa, and met up with Chantal who hadn't yet eaten.  It was time for Filiberto's.  Thank goodness for 24/7 Mexi places.  I had zero room to eat, but I admired what she ordered - their carne asada tacos are the best.  
Here's grandma's yard at sunset.  

On Wednesday night I revived the gang for some trivia.  The group kinda got a little big over the last year, but we had a serious group that night, which was good.  I'm coming to win, not chat and eat.  Keep your head in the game, people.  The new location was a little chaotic, and we managed to place 2nd, losing 1st by only a point.  If only someone knew how many quarts in a peck.  We almost put the right answer, but changed it at the last second.  
Half the table.  Nate, Chantal, Jeff.
The other half - King, me, Marc.  
Who I am to turn down dessert after?  I always need a trip to Bahama Bucks while I'm in Mesa.
And I must drive by the temple.  Lots of family history in this particular one.  
Thursday - another crazy day at work, with some gelato with Nabeha afterwards.  
Then a race to Postino (the other location this time) for an Anna and Robert reunion.  I could eat a whole bruschetta board myself (prosciutto and fig, ricotta and dates are the best ones).  
Quick stop at King's for documentary movie night - I caught the last bit of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop.  Then back to Mesa for girl chatter with Kelly and Kari Ann.  

This girl here just made a 'unicone' video at the McD's drive thru.  I love her for that.  Believe!
And Einstein.  He loves me.  

Friday was a work lunch.  Clarissa wanted to hear my Mexico City tales since we'd swapped emails about it before I went.  She's been several times and had lots of good suggestions.  And of course we had to eat at the Mexico City restaurant of Phoenix.  
Driving home on Friday afternoon.  AZ still has the best sunsets of anywhere.  

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