This week it was back to the grind for me. Last week, we were happy to spend time doing various activities in Arizona. I know not everyone loves to hear how great of a time I had while they were here working away in cold North Dakota but I wanted to recap our week to make sure I had all our memories in one place.
I have to say that I highly recommend taking at least a week’s vacation every year. Taking 3-4 days off is just not enough. A week away really gives you time to reset, forget about work, forget about eating healthy, forget about working out and just enjoy living and experiencing things you generally don’t have the option to. For those of us in cold climates, I also really love going on vacation in February. This is the second year we have done it and it really helps break up the winter. Sure, we will still have cold weather and snow yet, but at least I had a week to break out those summer clothes. Although I am pretty sure I will have to get back on the healthy wagon to fit into those clothes again, ha! One nice surprise is when I was leaving for work on Monday morning, I turned around to turn off a light and was pleasantly surprised to see it was actually the SUN shining through my window! So at least our days are getting longer and we can enjoy some more Vitamin D.
Above is the golf course at the resort we were staying at. Such beautiful weather.
We flew out of Bismarck on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 12:30pm. The flight was lovely. We had a few drinks and before we knew it, we were landing in Mesa. My parents were on hand to meet us and take us to where we were staying. My folks rented a park model home for the month of February and had been to the Mesa area before so they are fairly familiar with the area and things to do. We viewed their home and resort and then were off to stay at our resort in a different retirement community. Don’t laugh! It worked out really well as my parents friends had just moved into a new park model and still had their older one for sale and open for us to stay in. Therefore, we saved $$ on a hotel and still had our own space. We also saved money by eating breakfast at home each day. It was wonderful and I’m so grateful to my parents for hosting and their friends for letting us use their home and both couples for carting us around and entertaining us!
Saturday – after viewing everyone’s resort and homes we basically unpacked, had dinner and drinks, played cards and enjoyed our resorts pool, hot tub and sauna facilities.
Lots of 7 Up 7 Down card games – fun!
Sunday – we were up and hit the Mesa Swap Meet, aka Mesa Market.This is a huge mostly indoor market open Friday, Saturday & Sunday in their high season, winter. I can liken it mostly to the commercial exhibits at the ND State Fair maybe? There are sales – food mixes, indoor furniture, rugs, jewelry, trinkets, gadgets, food, beer and live music. Almost anything you could want! It took my Mom and I HOURS to cover the tents of 900 merchants and 1600 shops!! I ended up buying a tank top, jalapeno popcorn, some amazing low-calorie bread (seriously loved this stuff) and beer.
My tank which I wore to the pool each night says: I Love My Red Cup Let’s Have A Party
I enjoyed this bread so much I took a photo. I think it was made in California? It was like 40 calories a slice and seedy which I like.
To refuel we hit up the nearest sports bar called Uncle Bear’s Grill & Tap. This was a wonderful dog themed place with their own dog-themed named brews. Bear was the owner’s lab dog so I was in love with the place and all the dog photos. They served nuts in a doggie water dish. Love those little touches. My flight of beer came on a dog bone paddle. I got the chicken street tacos and they were delicious! Later that night? More games and pool activity.
Monday – this was my husband’s birthday. I started my day out slightly hung over but determined to run my first ever double digit mileage outside. I struggled a bit for obvious reasons and texted my hubs to meet me on his bike for the last mile. (I should mention we got to use two bikes throughout the week and they were awesome to get around the area!) I finished a little over 10 miles a bit sore in my hips but super happy! Maybe I’ll work up to some more miles this summer?
We decided to go to the local clubhouse to celebrate his birthday lunch. The restaurant is called Fat Willy’s – they have a good half dozen locations in the valley area and it was a fun, laid back atmosphere. They have an excellent happy hour and daily specials. All burgers were on special so I got a California burger with guacamole. It was wonderful. I was able to sneak off and request a dessert birthday treat of apple crisp for my man.
Later that day we went to the market in Mesa. I’m not sure what they are called but they are like little Farmer’s Markets dotted everywhere. Food is SO cheap there. I suppose it because they have access to locally (maybe Mexico) grown fruits and veggies? We are talking 3 lbs. of strawberries for $1! 3 heads of broccoli for $1. 5 heads of lettuce for $1! It was insane. I’d probably eat so many fruits and veggies if I lived there. We were also able to get locally homemade soft tortillas as we were treating all our hosts to a homemade taco bar that night. Best tortillas of my life. Super thin but very strong. Stuff dreams are made of. I must also mention most of the “regular” groceries (the local place we went to was Fry’s and I LOVE that store – I have a thing for grocery stores I guess) were quite a bit cheaper than here. A gallon of milk was $1.99 compared to $4+ here. They do seems to have a lot of dairy farms in AZ. Beer was quite a bit cheaper – $20 for a 30-pack versus $24 for 24-pack here for light beer. Maybe I am sheltered but I was surprised at the price differences on most items.
We hung out at the pool at my folks and then prepared a big taco spread and played more games with everyone. I think we went home and probably hit up the pool – you might sense our evening theme?
I made a fresh batch of pico with all the cheap onions and peppers and guacamole was only $0.50!!
How fun is this tank my Mom scored for my husband at the swap meet? LOL!
This is already getting kind of long so I’ll be back soon with the next few days recap! I hope you enjoy reading along with our travels.