Fountain Hills

Sunday January 27, 2013

I always thought I had a dark cloud hanging over my head as far as weather goes, but now I know for sure.  When I left Florida the temperatures had taken a dive into the 50′s and 60′s, while my parents in Phoenix, had finally warmed up out of a cold spell and were enjoying nice sunny, 80 degree days.  As soon as I got to Arizona to join them, everything flipped.  Matt is now enjoying nice days in the 70′s back at the boat, and here I am in Arizona, in the cold and rain.  Yesterday rained from morning until night, accumulation 1.25 inches, more than 1/4 of their total rainfall last year!  Yes, that dark cloud likes to sit just above wherever I may be.

Yesterday wasn’t a total waste though.  Armed with some research and new information, we went back to Best Buy and left with a new Samsung Series 3 for me.  Then after a little time at home trying to figure out how Windows 8 works (it’s easiest for those on a touch screen, but I’m getting used to it), I eventually sat it down to do some good ole TV watching on the couch.  House Hunters International and Pepsi really do make for a great Saturday afternoon.  Then it was off to the grocery store where I picked up ingredients for my famous homemade meatloaf (Ok, it’s only been made twice, but each time, it was spectacular), and then gave my mom some cooking lessons back at home so she’d be able to replicate it.

Waking up this morning there were still clouds abound, but my mom and I were not going to let it stop us from going to the area flea market that is held each weekend.  I went with the thought of not actually purchasing anything, but more just to have fun looking around at all the booths.  First on the list though was to hit up their breakfast counter, and holy crap, they have some incredibly good things for really cheap.  I think these heavy retiree/snow bird areas have it right.  Walking past the stalls once more I was left with “If you see anything you need…” to which I thought “Ok, yeah.  I’m going to find soooo much stuff I need here for me or the boat” (insert sarcastic tone).  But then little things started popping up here and there.  ”Hey, this microfiber brush would be great for keeping the solar panels clean.”  ”Cool, a collapsable strainer, and look, a skillet splatter cover so now I can cook Matt his fried fish!”  (Assuming we eventually catch something).

Slowly the backpack kept growing more full as I also found a wide brimmed hat for Matt and something called the Hip Klip that my mom’s friend had shown us the other night, a cool little mini-purse that clips on to your pants and lets you carry around small things likes ID, money, and a phone or camera without having to worry about holding on to it, or even better, someone trying to steal it off you.  Knowing how often I misplace things when we’re out and about, I think it was a very wise investment.  Just grabbing a few more small things like yummy dip mixes (I plan to eventually copy the ingredients on my own), we were tired and hungry and on our way back home.  Four 1/4 mile stalls is a lot of browsing!

Later in the afternoon after the weather had cleared up just a little bit, the three of us decided to make the drive out to the Scottsdale area to check out Fountain Park, a 64 acre recreation area with a very large fountain in the center of it’s man made lake.  This fountain goes off every hour on the hour for fifteen minutes, and has a spray that shoots over 500 feet in the air.  Packing up a cooler of wine and cheese we sat at one of the picnic tables, trying to get out of the nippy wind that kept biting at us.  When the fountain did go off, it was a beautiful sight, but it’s a shame that we couldn’t have gone there on a nicer day.  As soon as the water trickled to a stop we were back in the warmth of the truck, looking for the next sightseeing attraction.

Since we were so close, we made our way over to Old Town Scottsdale, a place my parents had taken Matt and I on our first visit out to Arizona a few years ago, and I remembered it being fun with some nice window shopping as well.  As soon as we parked and got out of the truck we were greeted with live music playing from inside a bar where a young crowd looked to be having a very good Sunday Funday.  We stuck to more reserved things and went browsing inside shops, looking at works of art and Southwest and Native American decorations for the home.  Next door at a souvenir shop we looked at funny graphic tees and coffee mugs, and I was also able to finally get the friendship bracelets for me and Stephanie that we have been talking about for the past three months.  They were supposed to have been made by hand, but shhhh, I’m cheating.

With my ‘homemade’ gift in hand we walked by the 1,000 jewelry shops lining the streets, all selling sterling silver and turquoise bracelets, necklaces, and rings.  At the end of the street a sign with old shop milkshakes caught my eye, and with live country music ringing out the door we stopped to look over the menu and debated staying for dinner.  With none of us wanting to stay for a rendition of ‘Stand By Your Man’ we thought a milkshake to go would be the best idea.  Getting a strawberry shake whipped up at the old fashioned soda counter, I waited excitedly like a little kid, barely snapping a photo before digging in to the sugary goodness.  Taking it back to the truck, we began the drive back home to couches and relaxing, a rainbow littering the sky behind us as we left.

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