Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Fun Week

Now that I've finished my Sedona trip, this week has also been full of fun.

I haven't been running at the gym as I would like to. I do however, run for about 5 minutes in between walking. I am still doing the Body Pump weight class on Thursdays and am going to add in another class this week called Body Active, which is more of an aerobic class.

J finally got all of the curtains up in the living room/great room. They keep the hot sun out to keep the house cooler. The curtains were such a challenge for me, but I conquered it! It's really hard to buy curtains for big windows without having custom curtains made. Either the curtains are too short or too long or you have to keep raising the rod to make it look right. I solved most of our problems by buying the clips, I recommend the clips! The clips added the needed length.

J bought tickets a couple of weeks ago to a Diamondbacks game. His favorite team are the Braves so since the Braves were going to be in town, it was his opportunity to see them. The game started at 6:30 and we were down at Chase field by 5:00ish. Chase field is amazing! It is air conditioned with every type of food and drink you could imagine! They have a Fridays in there up at the top, they have a pool, and huge kid play area in which you can watch the game from any of those places. It was like a baseball resort. Of course the roof opens and closes. When we arrived it was closed. About 6:15 they opened it, but they kept the air conditioning on. It was such a nice and comfortable place to watch a game. We'll be going back for sure.

After the game we headed over to Cooperstown. Yes, this is Alice Coopers restaurant. He opened it in 1998. It is only 3 blocks from Chase Field and 2 blocks away from US Airways Center. They have bands there on Saturday nights and if you bring in your game ticket you get in for free. I had an Ozzy Devil Dog drink and a Frito Bandito pie. YES! A frito pie!! I've never seen that on a menu before. J ordered the buffalo chicken sandwich with fries and baked beans. The food was great and reasonably priced. There is Alice Cooper memorabilia on the walls. The servers have black makeup on their faces and wear all black. The tables are covered in Alice pictures and a black and blue bar with 4 large screen projectors showing your favorite sports. It has a large outside area covered and uncovered with a stage. We were told that Alice comes in 3-4 times a month and will actually work and visit with guests, just like one of us. We want to go back on a Saturday night to check out the bands and of course to see if Alice makes an appearance.

Saturday J and I met Mary and Barry for lunch. They wanted to take us to their favorite catfish place but it turned out it was closed and didn't open until 3. We were there at 12:30, so we decided to head over to Apache Junction to take them to Filly's. Of course I got my fried chicken there, it's so good. That night we met up with Stephen and the gang at Abuelo's for drinks and dinner. It had been about 2 months since we saw everyone.

Sedona: Part 3

Sunday was our last day in Sedona. Anne and Vern cooked breakfast then we all headed to the nearby town of Cottonwood. It took about 20 minutes down the mountains to get to Cottonwood. This is a much larger town that includes all the fast food places, Wal Mart and everything you need to get by in a small town. Since Sedona only had 2 fast food places and a couple grocery stores, Cottonwood is the place that Sedona homeowners go to for all their needs. We carried onward up to Jerome. Jerome was a old copper mining town. It's high in elevation compared to Sedona, sitting at 5,200 feet. After the mining had subsided, it became a ghost town until some hippies found it and decided to bring it back to life. It is now ran by hippies which includes many little shops, lots of places to eat and you can do a tour of the old mine. The mine was closed, which surprised us since it was a holiday weekend with lots of out of town visitors, but we proceeded to check out the shops. Jerome is now know as the "America's Most Vertical City" and "Largest Ghost Town in America". It was also known for being a brothel. There are a few plaques with prostitutes pictures on them. Bikers like to go up to Jerome to a famous biker bar and there were a ton of them there! We went up to have an afternoon snack at The Haunted Burger. This old building is supposedly haunted. J and I shared the BBQ burger with fries. It was delicious! After spending most of our day in Jerome we headed on down the steep mountain and back into Sedona to pack up and head back home.

We had a fantastic weekend in Sedona. We saw a lot of great things and did a lot of great things in our short stay. We can't wait to go back someday, whether it be to cool off from Sun Valley or to have a quick weekend getaway.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sedona: Part 2

Saturday morning we woke up around 7:45ish, got dressed and met Anne and Vern upstairs to head out to breakfast. We were going up to the Sedona Airport restaurant for breakfast. They thought it would be a good view for us since the airport is on top of a mountain. After breakfast J and I hopped in the Benz and headed to check out Oak Creek Canyon. It took about 30 minutes to drive up to the look out. It's also the same way to Flagstaff. After our scenic drive we headed back down to the other side of Sedona to the see the Chapel of the Holy Cross . We think it has the best view of all! Afterwards we strolled through some of the shops just inside town. We stopped at the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill for a drink and appetizer. I'd recommend going there if you're visiting. One last visit for the day, we went uptown to the various souvenir shops where we saw a Native American performance. We didn't stay long, mostly because I knew I wasn't going to buy anything, I buy my Southwestern items at the Mesa swap meet nowadays, and it's a tourist trap so there were a ton of people walking around. We headed back to the house by 3:30.

We met Anne and Vern's neighbors and good friends, Phil and his wife (I can't remember her name!) and their new puppy-Nico. Phil is a hoot! He's retired from the Air Force. Anne's mother-Doris also join us. Anne fixed a nice supper as part of my birthday celebration. Salad, with homegrown lettuce with homemade vinaigrette dressing, garlic butter rolls, oven baked potatoes and a fantastic steak. She also had a cake for me all set with Happy Birthday candles I got to blow out. I haven't done that since high school! It was very nice of them to make my birthday homey and familish. Doris and Anne even had a few gifts for me. The rest of the night we visited and drank wine.

Keep checking back for the last part of our trip...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sedona: Part 1

I'm not much in the writing mood at the moment and my weekend post will be really long. So I'll start with Friday for now....

Friday I dashed home from work, changed clothes and packed up Tory. We were out the door by 4:25 to head to Sedona for the weekend. My cousin Anne and her husband Vern have lived there for 13 years and I've yet to visit them. In fact I haven't seen them in about 10-13 years. After stopping at Circle K for J's "road trip mt dew" we were on our way out of town. Well, just past Phoenix we ran into traffic that slowed us down a lot. The sky was cloudy and dark, not the usual Sun Valley we are used to. Finally out of the slow traffic, we trucked on through the mountains and a few rain showers. We arrived in Sedona by 7:30. It was such a beautiful sight to see coming into Sedona. Red rock mountains and read dirt all over. We found their house up in the hills of the mountains and made our way in their gate. They greeted us, showed us their downstairs guest quarters and then had a small supper for us. The rest of the night was conversation and we headed to bed just after 10.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Countdown to the Weekend

I wish tomorrow would be Friday. Even though I had Monday off, this week has been looong. We've been busy with the Canadian conversion and it's been hectic.

The high price off gas is making me mad. In some places it's anywhere from $2.09 to $2.15.

The temperatures here have gone back down to normal temps of in the 90's.

I've been keeping up with running at the gym. I haven't done 10 minutes straight. I'll walk for 10 minutes, run for 5, walk for 10, then run for 5. I'll stay on the treadmill for a full hour.

It's countdown to our weekend trip to see my cousin Anne in Sedona. We'll leave Friday afternoon as soon as I get home from work. It will be nice to get out of town for a weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Extended Weekend

MMM Chocolate milk! Especially after a nice warm brownie with homestyle vanilla ice cream. I made the best brownies tonight. I highly recommend a box of the Hershey's brand that comes with the chocolate frosting. It's called Hershey's Supreme. I also recommend using 3 eggs instead of 2 to be more cake-like and a pan smaller than 13x9. I discovered the best vanilla ice cream about 2 weeks ago. You can find it at Basha's grocery store, for us in Arizona anyway. It is the generic Food Saver brand for Vanilla Homestyle ice cream.

Today I had to go in to work. I was in by 8 and wasn't sure what time I'd be getting out. Luckily I was home by 2. This abled me to enjoy my afternoon. Which consisted of pool time of course, baking brownies and Texas Roadhouse. I received an email for a free appetizer. We ordered the baby blossom, indulged on the bread and I added a Cesar salad and J added a bowl of chili to complete our meal. Of course I always have their sweet tea.

Saturday afternoon J and I had Peter, his wife Sheila and their new baby girl Willow over for a BBQ. It turned out to be a good time as always. You might remember, Peter is our realtor. He worked hard for us to find our home and were able to establish a friendship with him and his wife.

Friday night J and I went to the symphony downtown Phoenix. We grabbed supper from Mi Amigos then headed over to the symphony. They played songs from Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music. It was really good. We ended our night at an Irish pub called Seamus McCaffrey's.

Now, I can't wait for my day off on Monday! Tory goes in for surgery on her belly. I have a massage appointment and a chiropractor appointment in the morning to start the day off.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This N That

For those of you who like Alice Cooper, you'd like hearing him on the radio. He lives in Phoenix and he does the night time shift on station 93.3. He has a nice radio voice.

Tonight I went to the Body Pump class. I haven't done this in 4 weeks! It felt good to be back and now I am sore. I did a 6 minute run before the class along with a 10 minute walk.

On the weather portion of the news, they mentioned that we have had 9 days of triple digits this year. Compared to the 0 they had last year. The weather has been unusual ever since we moved here. They've had more rain than average, more wind than average and now more heat-earlier than average. Generally, it doesn't really heat up until mid June, early July. Although there have been high temps, I can only say 3 of those days were pretty heated for me.

On the agenda for Friday this week, J and I are going to a symphony. Rogers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma. I've never been to a symphony, but I've been to plenty of plays so I'm pretty excited.

Sunday I have to go in to work for a full day. We are having a clearing conversion on the Canada side and it becomes effective this weekend. Although, I would love to have my 3 day weekend I've been waiting for, I'll be able to take off a different day of my choice. At least I get Monday Victoria Day off!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wow Wednesday

Today President Obama came to Arizona for the second time this year. He spoke to the graduating class of 2009 from ASU. It was interesting to see how this all panned out. Friends, family and guests had to be there 4 hours before the commencement. You weren't allowed to bring your own water, food etc. in. In fact 95 people were treated for heat stroke or heat related conditions. It reached 101 degrees today. We got to see Air Force One come in on the t.v. and watch his speech. What a cool thing for these students to experience. What a crappy time to come into this job market too. It was mentioned that Arizona ranks at #43 for education. Yikes! I hope they improve their schooling before my kiddies get in!

Tonight was my day off from the gym. Not to worry, I replaced it with pool lounging and pool volleyball.

It's finally Wednesday, the downhill slope to the weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Torture Tuesday

About a month ago I subscribed to the Phoenix magazine. It was only $24.00 for 2 years worth. I love this magazine! It has articles about the Valley, best rated restaurants and a calender of happenings. My June issue arrived today and on the cover it says: Summer Getaways, 25 of the Valley's coolest pools, plus 8 easy beach vacations, Top 10 Arizona Summer festivals. Once I start to read this issue I'll post a list of the locations. It's such a great informative magazine!

My run tonight was kinda weak. I didn't think I was going to make it 8 minutes, but I refocused and made it through. Tomorrow will be rest day, then back at it on Thursday.

Tuesday's are the most anti-climatic days and I hate them. Today drug on. At least we have our weekend to look forward to. It is filling up already!

Monday, May 11, 2009

It Keeps You Running...

I made it 8 minutes for my run tonight! Last week I ran 4 times for 5 minutes each day. Five minutes doesn't sound very long, but it sure is when you're running and watching the time. This week I am upping my time to 8 minutes. I'll have to see how the 8 minutes go this week before I can decide if I will up it again next week to 10 minutes. I'm pretty proud that I've started running again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cactus Burgers

Another weekend come and gone. We spent time in the pool everyday this week. The temperatures reached as high as 105 one day. It's not as bad as it may sound. Friday night J and I went to San Tan Flat. This would be our 3rd time there, but our first time going at night. In which case, I've explained this place several times. We arrived there approximately at 8:00 and it was packed! It's a great place for families to go, because the adults can be around other adults and drink while the kids run wild, roast marshmallows or mess around on the dance floor. It was like a giant wedding reception or country-cornfield party out in the middle of nowhere. We found an empty picnic table near the dance floor. J placed our order at the inside window and brought back some drinks. The band, Nick Nicholson, was doing their system check. J ordered the Flat Iron steak dinner and I went with the chicken strips. Afterwards, a couple of guys asked if they could sit with us. All the tables were pretty much occupied. So we met Tim and Garrett and chatted with them for the remainder of our time there. The band covered good country songs and added in their own written songs. It was a perfect night under the stars with good music and people.

Saturday was a busy day. J and I went for a walk in the heat of the day. I took a few items back to Target then Bed Bath & Beyond and replaced them with more items ;) Got in the pool for a while, then headed in to get ready to go out for the night. We went up to Tempe Marketplace to check out Cadillac Ranch. We sat outside, had a few drinks and shared an appetizer. We left before the night club action started, but we'll be going back for that soon.

Sunday we took a drive down to Maricopa. From there we drove down past the Estrella Mountains and I think there were 4 or more other mountains we went through. We stopped in Gila Bend to check out a southwestern souvenir shop called CactusNStuff-Home of the World Famous Cactus Burgers. We were greeted by a shirtless man in his fifties holding an iced tea. He asked if we would like an iced tea and before we could answer, he yelled back to Shirley to make up two iced teas. Out they came in colorful, made in Mexico ceramic glasses. The tea sure hit the spot! We moised around for a while, I picked up a few souvenirs. I asked the old man what a cactus burger was. He told me to follow him and took me back in their little kitchen to show me the burgers with chopped up cactus in it. With my purchase I was given a free gift; a pin-cushion cactus. It was a nice experience! Onward we went, the back way through Casa Grande. You may remember I've written about the Casa Grande Ruins, however, we never actually went to the town. Casa Grande isn't that far from our house. Our Sunday drive turned out to be great. It was pure desert. We passed through the entrance of the Sonora National Park.

We ended our Sunday night with a splash in the pool, pizza, chicken wings and a great movie: "We Are Marshall".

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Heat Wave

It has heated up nicely this week. It was over 100 today, but I never would have guessed it. I thought is was mid 90's. We've spent a lot of time in the pool this past week. Last night we were in it at 7:30 under the stars.

I'm taking tonight off from the gym. I've done 3 straight days of heavy cardio and today I am exhausted.

Have you been shopping lately? Have you paid attention to the fashion that is coming back? I went to Forever 21 last Saturday and Wet Seal. 80's is coming back! They have purple, green, pink jeans, frosted jeans. Plaid shirts, brightly florescent colors, bright-bulky plastic jewelry, jelly sandals, spandex tights; these all are trying to make a comeback. Do you think people are buying it and that it will come back? I still have some of my sisters old 80's jewelry and hair accessories. I loved the 80's music and the fashion. It was kinda bulky and comfy. I like the bright colors too. Although, I didn't buy any of the 80's fashion this time around, I'll wait to see if it truly comes back before I start to rock it.

If you haven't been shopping lately, I encourage you to go. There are so many good deals on clothes right now, it's nuts! NY & Co have been offering buy one get one 50% off, mix and match. That comes in real handy if you like to buy outfits together. I never buy anything unless I have a coupon or it's on sale.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Last night was the first time I visited the gym in over a week. I've decided to do more cardio than weights for a while. Last night I did the stairmaster (as usual), added in the elliptical machine, then hopped on the treadmill for a 15 minute walk along with a 5 minute run. Yep! I ran for 5 straight minutes! I'm pretty proud of that, considering I haven't ran since high school. My lungs were a little sore from it though. I know that in order to see results that I would have to run. Running tones your body and helps reduce weight. I haven't done my measurements with my trainer in over a month; I need to get back on track with that. My goal is to run 5 minutes the rest of this week, probably 3 times this week and do weights once. Next week, I'd like to up my running minutes to 8 and add in 2 days of weights. Hopefully I'll be able to see faster results.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Been a While

It's been a while since I've been on here. We have been very busy. Last Wednesday J's friend Gary and his wife Penny came out to visit. We picked them up from the airport at 9:00 p.m. then stopped at Jilly's American Bar and Grill on our way home. Thursday J and Gary played golf while Penny relaxed around the pool. That night we took them to see South Mountain and ate supper at Serranos.

Friday, J and Gary played golf again, Penny relaxed and I got off from work early so that we could get our weekend started! I quickly changed my clothes, picked up Penny and headed to meet J and Gary at San Tan Flats. We shared appetizers and drank a few cocktails. After coming home for a couple hours to relax, we headed up to San Tan Village shopping center for supper. We sat outside in the beautiful weather at Gordon Bierch Brewery. Afterwards, we walked over to Blue Wasabi for a drink.

Saturday while J and Gary were golfing, Penny and I decided to support the economy and go shopping. We started at 10:30, ate lunch at Johnny Rockets then made it back home at 4:00 to meet the boys. The Chihuahua races were going on as well. I wanted to go check them out to get a feel for them since I will probably enter Tory next year. J and I headed to check the races out, but by the time we got there the races were over. First place wins $1,000 and a giant trophy, 2nd place wins $500. They also have a King and Queen contest. I'm pretty excited about trying it out next year! Around 7:00 that night we headed up the street to my old gig, Red White and Brew for supper and drinks. We sat outside once again and listened to the two singing guitar playing guys.

We were up by 5:00 a.m. on Sunday to take them to the airport. Their time here went by too fast! There is too many things to do, lots of places to eat, not much time to do it all in. Sunday was nothing by relaxing for me and J. We were by our pool the whole afternoon.