Friday, October 29, 2010

Charles Barkley: A tribute

Since the temperatures in Phoenix are finally cooling down, Conor and I got out and did a little exploring of the city.  In true Conor/Laura fashion, we crammed as many things into one weekend as possible!  Friday night we had the opportunity to go to a Suns preseason game.  Although they didn't have the best performance, we still had a blast.  When I was younger my family took a vacation to Phoenix, and we went to my very first NBA game!  I believe I was nine at the time, so it was 1994 and Charles Barkley (my favorite player) was on top of his game.  Not the best role model for your child, but I loved to watch him play and get technicals and get kicked out!  So here I am 16 years later, in the same arena, but no Charles Barkley :'(  We went to the game with a friend of Conor's, John, from work.  He is from the area and went to ASU, so he took us out to a cool bar in Tempe, Four Peaks Brewery.  As you all know, I DO NOT DRINK BEER, but I fit in perfectly here because they carry hard cider on tap! Delicious!  The bar was packed, but we finangled a table in the indoor/outdoor area.  I love bars with patios and can't complain about being able to sit outside late at night at the end of October.  Given this, Phoenix scored a point with me.

Then it was Dawg Saturday!  We woke up and had a bottle of champagne in preparation for gameday.  The game was in Tucson, which was an easy drive...maybe 1 1/2 hours.  We got there early so we could tail gate, but all that really consisted of was having a few drinks in the jetta.  Then we were ready to brave the Arizona crowd...The first 10 minutes among the sea of red and blue were pleasant, and just as I was going to comment to Conor that everyone was being so nice...the heckling and rudeness began.  Waiting in line to go to the bathroom I was constantly boo-d and yelled at (the game hadn't even started) and I was standing between two extremely intoxicated Arizona girls who I thought might vomit on me....We had great seats, but were surrounded by very interesting fans.  I was not expecting the grandpa behind me to be a heckler or the couple making out in front of us to be so angry about the UW band and cheerleaders!  It didn't help that the Huskies played awful....With all this aside, it was so great to be back on the west side of the country watching UW.  Neither of us has been to a game since we graduated.  I can't wait til we're back in Seattle with season tickets!

Wearing my Cody Pickett jersey that I've had since 2004 
Sunday Funday.  Conor and I went to check out this olive farm, Queen Creek Olive Mill, that we read about somewhat close to our house (we kinda live in the country).  I am always anxious to check out new places and support local businesses.  The place was incredible with a huge variety of different olive oils & balsamic vinegars, yum!  My favorite was the Pomegranate White Balsamic, i could practically drink it.  After a delicious lunch and glass of champagne under some olive trees we headed to our next stop....

The Pork Shop!  Every city we live in I try to find a local butcher shop.  A must have.  Spokane: Egger's Meats.  Seattle: Pike Place Market.  Newark: Herman's Quality Meats.  Chandler: Pork Shop.   But since there's obviously only pork here, I will have to keep looking.  Nonetheless, we found some great stuff here.  Fresh chorizo for a special chili recipe.   More on that in the next blog. 

We ended our weekend at a pumpkin patch.  Having grown up in Spokane with instant access to Greenbluff, I am very picky when it comes to pumpkin patches.  Necessities include:  fresh apple cider, hayrides, and a pick-your-own patch.  In Delaware, we lived really close to Milburn Orchards where we went the last two halloweens and they even had apple cider doughnuts.  My standards are high, so I was little disappointed when we couldn't find a pick-your-own patch anywhere in the Chandler area.  There is just something special about getting your pumpkin off the vine, instead of picking it out of a huge pile of pre-picked ones.  We settled for a place called Mother Nature's farm.  Although I was upset about the pumpkin situation, I got a cool tractor sticker when we got there.  Who doesn't like stickers?!  The highlight of the farm was the week old piglets.  They were so tiny. 

My favorite was a white one with big black spots...I called him cow.  Conor wouldn't let me have him.

Finally we picked out the perfect pumpkins!  Conor's is HUGE!  I refer to it as Big Poppa, but Conor doesn't think it's very funny.  Can't wait to carve them!

Practicing safe backseat riding!

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