Through an outsider’s eyes

I’ve been horribly absent from the blog, and for that I apologize. The past month has been a time filled with visitors and travel, and this past week was no exception. A long-time internet friend decided to make a trip down to the valley and spent a week with me. Having never been further west than Laredo, TX, this was a major experience for him.

Upon his arrival, he was amazed at the various sights we caught along the way. The sky was gloriously pink, purple, and orange – apparently something he wasn’t used to seeing. I took him through downtown where BOB, Cooperstown, and St. Mary’s Basilica all impressed him. He remarked about the way the mountains differed from those in New York he was used to – most obviously the fact that our mountains are brown instead of green. It was really cool to see him react to the things I’ve come to regard as everyday, and it really opened my eyes to the fact that Phoenix really is a really lovely place to be.

Just as I tried introducing him to things new and unfamiliar, I allowed myself to venture beyond my own comfort zone and try some new things. Being a wine afficionado, he was very excited to spend an evening at Cheuvront with me and Adam. I’m not much of a drinker (beyond wine cooloers and frou-frou mixed drinks), so I was a bit apprehensive about finding something I liked. I ended up drinking a most delicious glass of Vega Sindoa Rosado (’03) while they each devoured wine and cheese flights. If you haven’t yet visited Cheuvront, I highly recommend it. The place is adorable and has fantastic ambiance. I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

Our night of cheese and wine promted a visit to AJ’s yesterday afternoon. He decided he wanted to introduce me to more wine and some fancier cheeses than I’m used to. On our way up 7th St. to Thunderbird, we passed through a large duststorm. He was so excited to see it and couldn’t believe how strange it was to drive through the swirling dirt and leaves. It made me smile to see him so excited. We eventually made it to AJ’s, and what was supposed to have been an in-and-out trip ended up a two-hour-long excursion. My guest fell in love with the wine department and spent a mjority of our time looking up and down the shelves, talking with the wine managers, and sampling an assortment of wines. after selecting a Cabernet Sauvignon for himself and an Arizona Honey Mead for me (new experiences, I’m tellin’ you!), we wandered over to the cheeses so he could make his selection. After circling the cheese displays a few times, he chose Brie, Roquefort, and another soft cheese which had layers of walnuts inside and out. He also picked up some pita and hummus. We spent the evening tasting this and that, and while I definitely won’t be having hummus again anytime soon, I’m glad I tried everything.

While we didn’t get to do many of the Phoenix-y tourist things, it was nice to spend a few days with someone who hadn’t ever been here. It really made me look around and pay attention to all the little things I either overlook or hadn’t ever noticed before. Happy Friday, folks!

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