Sunday, January 6, 2008


Yes, here it is - the unavoidable Arizona sunset shot. Sorry, I can't help it!

Arizona has spectacular sunsets and this particular spot, west of Tucson, has the distant mountains and the saguaro cactus that make them even more eyecatching. I have lost count of the sunset photos I have taken during our various stays. This was yet another, snapped as we was walking home last night after a hike in the desert.

We've settled into our park in Tucson for the next couple of weeks. We've stayed here frequently enough that we know how to get around Tucson fairly well, but I realized recently that we don't know where anything is! That's not quite true... we know where to find a couple of grocery stores, and I have the three Trader Joe's marked on the map, along with the two Costco's.

But say I want to visit a bookstore, or we want to go out for a good meal... or need to pick up some birthday cards, or drop by a Target. No "local knowledge". I'm gonna start working on that, beginning by paying attention and making notes as we drive around town, so I can annotate our map more completely.

In my newly "attentive" mode yesterday, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this sign, attached to a pole in the divider island on one of Tucson't main streets. We've seen a lot of odd things, but this was a first - a "client" advertising for a lawyer?

Because I was paying attention, I also managed to spot "Chopped", a restaurant that had been recommended to us by our friends Stan and Lee. Chopped serves salads, sandwiches and soup... but their speciality is "Design Your Own Salad". Pick up an order form and a pencil when you walk through the door, marking check boxes on the order form to choose lettuce, up to 5 "choppings" (additions to your salad), a protein (if you want one), and your dressing. Turn in your order form (or order from the menu), pay, take your table number and have a seat at a table.

The "kitchen" is right out front where you can see everything being made, and our soups and sandwiches were delivered to the table in a couple of minutes. Everything we ordered - Roasted Corn Chowder and a Turkey Club Sandwich for Odel; Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup and a "Gobbler" Panini for me - was delicious. Both locations of "Chopped" go on the map!

Have you noticed the pre-cooked but non-refrigerated grains at Trader Joes? I've been very curious about 'em, since we have more cupboard space than refrigerator space.

I bought two packages to try when we were boondocking recently (where water for cooking and dishwashing is at a premium): Multigrain Pilaf and plain brown rice. I haven't tried the rice yet (I usually use Trader Joe's frozen, precooked brown rice if I need brown rice in a hurry), but I liked the pilaf. It is a little more juicy than I had expected, and rather spicy... in the "savory" sense, not the "hot and spicy" sense. We had it with salmon and thought it was a good and unusual accompaniment - worth buying again.


  1. Oh, my!! I was OUT IN THAT GORGEOUS sunset, feeding the animals, last evening!!!! I had to stop, sit on a bale of hay, and just LOVE it!!! I'm glad you got the picture of it!

  2. Chopped sounds great. We will give it a try.


  3. There's a little store in the mall at Kinney & Western Way that has some interesting cards as well as gifts and a post office. Coyote Pause on Kinney just before you enter Tucson Mountain Park is a good restaurant too. There is also a good service station on Kinney north of Western Way that is full serve. It also has propane.