Why did we move to Arizona? Well, let me tell you….


I apologize for not discussing this in more detail.  I have gotten all the emails asking “WHY ARIZONA”…and I’m sorry it has taken me this long to lay it on the line.

So here it goes:

We moved to Arizona to help Simon’s folks with a bit of a relocation dilema.  Background:  Simon has a brother that is 16.  Yep….he is the baby of the family.  There is a 15 year age difference between Simon and his brother.  Simon’s father builds malls. Back in the day he was one of the men that refurbished St. Louis’ Union Station (that is how Si got to St. Louis from WI)…years later he build the St. Louis Mills.  Well, as luck would have it, Simon’s dad took a postion in Arizona building not so much malls, but ‘communities’.  And as more luck would have it, the company he works for is building a new ‘community’ on the beautiful island of Kauai.  Now, the sad part comes in.   Baby brother could not move to HI with his parents b/c of school.  The school year in HI does not jive with the school year here on the mainland….so…baby brother is staying put here in AZ.  Enter the cheesemonger and his wife.  We moved to Arizono to be with Wilson while his folks do some serious commuting between HI and AZ.

There you have it.  We packed up our life in St. Louis to help out Si’s folks.  But, funny thing is….it is really helping us out as well.  We sold the house in St. Louis so that is one less thing to worry about (or pay for)…I can concentrate on going to school full time and working a traditional RN schedule (3 12 hour shifts/week) and we can hoard cash away to buy our dream farm.  It really worked out well for all parties involved.  The only downside is that we moved to the desert and left our friends and my family in St. Louis……BUT the upside is that Simon’s other brother is here in AZ with his wife and kids….so….it’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time with Simon’s family.  If his sister lived here (she’s in DC) we’d all be together.

Some have raised the question of dealing with one’s in-laws on such a personal level.  I am one of the lucky people:  I love my in-laws….it’s that plain and simple.  We get along really well….other folks are not so lucky from what I hear.

I am looking forward to this new experience.  The last time I lived with at 16 year old boy was…well, never.  By the time my brother was 16, I was at University.

This will be a learning experience.  I’ve actually learned a lot already.  For instance:  16 year old boys eat a lot….they espcially drink a lot of milk.  We’ve been here 2 weeks….I’ve been to the grocery store 5 times already…including Costco.  8 gallons of milk….that’s right 8 GALLONS!  When it was just me and Si…we didn’t go through 8 gallons a month!  But, growing boys are different…and he hasn’t even started wrestling practice yet.  And these folks are from Wisconsin, so you can only imagine how much they love thier dairy.

And to clarify our true whereabouts….we live in small town just north of Scottsdale…but we just tell everyone we moved to Phoenix b/c it’s easier than explaining where Carefree is.  Our town doesn’t get mail service….that’s how small it is.  We are about 45 mintues (without traffic) from downtown PHX.  I work at the a well known resarch hosptial (not going to name it for fear of legal action…but if you look up the hospital systems in PHX/Scottsdale…one name will jump out) in the OR now and Simon is heading up the cheese dept and a local gourmet food store….hopefully he will show these folks out here what real cheese is….cause they haven’t a clue!

So, this year will be full of suprises, challanges and lots of swimming as we now have a nice pool in our back yard.  I have a nice tan now…after getting a bit too rosy the first week.  You need to re-apply the block out here often…and you still tan.  Last night while walking the garbage out (in the dark) I heard someting rooting through the cans….I ran.  I’m still adjusting….but I’m loving it so far.  We have a list (see previous post) of new spots to try….there is a new farmer’s market going into downtown PHX and we have a very cute little local market here during the fall/winter/spring.  Most things are closed down now b/c of the unbearable heat.  But there is a cold front moving in….only 106 today.  And as much as I hate to admit it….it really is a dry heat…it’s still effing HOT but not as stifeling as St. Louis heat+humidity.

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One week down….51 more to go…


Well, it’s been an eventful week here in AZ.  I’ve managed to scorch my skin, get bitten twice by God knows what, eat out at some mediocre restaurants, have delicious home-cooked meals in my mother-in-laws kitchen (of which I have craved for since July.  We packed up our entire house back in July prior to our departure…so we were relegated to eating out exclusively….and I grew very very tired of the restaurant scene) and spend some good quality time with my nephews.  I have a list growing in my head of all the restaurants I want to try before we leave AZ.  I keep reminding myself that we don’t need to rush….we’ll have plenty of time.  Here is the list so far (please feel free to comment or add to it):

Cafe Bink (new cafe by Amy and Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s fame)

NOCA

Digestif

Cowboy Ciao

Mosaic

Pizzeria/Pane Bianco

The Estate House

Cheuvraunt

Humble Pie

Roka Akor

….just to name a few.  Arizona Restaurant Week is in September so we are going to take advantage of that since we missed St. Louis’ Downtown Restaurant Week…again.

I start work next week…..yay.  School starts back up in September as well…..sooooo…stay tuned to see what is edible in Arizona!

sidenote:  I had the most amazing soup the other day…at the hospital!  Yep!  The soup was really really good…well seasoned with fresh ingredients…and my grilled cheese with rye and Swiss was amazing too!  Who would have thought that hospital food could be so delicious!  Lucky me, I guess.

And another thing:  my 2 1/2 year old nephew Jackson…he eats fruit…and loves veggies.  I witnessed him eat 3 raw mushrooms the other day and love it.  He would eat his weight in blueberries if you’d let him.

I wish all the kids in my family ate that well.  Heck, I wish I ate that well!

Our Last Supper: Erato on Main


Don’t have much time to post…so sorry if this is short and choppy.  7 of us gathered at Erato On Main in E-Ville, IL last night for our ‘Last Supper’ of sorts.  Since our moving date has been solidified we have been trying to see all of our nearest and dearest.  Last evening was no exception.

Our regular wine tasting group meets a couple times a month and we have all been together for years now….so…ya know…we’re a close group.  It was a bittersweet meal…knowing we’d be leaving in a week, a couple in the group is now expecting their first child…..and we’d be missing seeing each other so often…but I digress:  let’s get on to the Erato tasting menu.  I’m lazy so you are going to get bullets: (and please remember I had wine so this is hazy at best and may be out of order)

  • Shrimp noodle with deep fried okra and a smoky chili sauce.
  • Reconstructed Caprese salad with frozen (via liquid nitro) olive oil and balsamic vinegar cubes and smoked salt
  • Sashimi over a peach/creme fraiche sorbet (my favorite) with truffled salt
  • scallop and crawfish on corn cake with truffled whip cream….HOLY LORD!  FANTASTIC!
  • smoked jalapeno sorbet (HOT…but cold….such an ironic dish…amazing)
  • smoked chicken in a purse of it’s own skin served with pan jus and spoon bread
  • peach brined pork with ham hock, chow chow and corn bread
  • local ribeye sereved over Ivan’s figs with blue cheese
  • assorted house made sorbet and molten chocolate cake and basil ice cream. (damn)

There may have been more but I was in a food delirium by the end of the night…..not to mention the amazing sparkling shiraz…and the great viognier…and cote du Rhone (who’s names escape me at this time)

What an amazing meal to have upon our departure.  I cried a little bit on the drive back to StL b/c not only are we leaving our friends and families…but our beloved restaurant  where the staff has become like family as well…..my heart breaks just a little when I think of not being able to go back for a whole year.