Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grocery Shopping

The weekly grocery shopping trip is a chore I dread. But, it must be done as we gotta eat. I usually put off this tiresome task until Sunday, the day before the work week begins. I find that if I don't do it on Sunday, then it never gets done and my Saturdays are strictly reserved for "fun." My sojourn begins with Trader Joe's, where I like to buy our meats and other novel items such as marinara sauce, canned sardines, nuts, rice, and the like. I do not, however, buy our produce there as it sucks!

I do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Winco, which is sooooooo cheap it's ridiculous. With the exception of meat and some gourmet items, Winco has everything you need. Unless you are shopping for a family of 10, Winco meats are enormous. The bad thing about Winco is that it is always crowded and there is really no good time to shop. If you go real early on Sunday morning, you run into employees with flat-bed trucks who are stocking items and blocking the aisle. If you go any other time of the week, you run into retirees and stay-at-home moms with their screaming kids. And if you go Sunday afternoon, well, be prepared to see everyone you know and their mothers there. So far, I've narrowed down a "decent" time to go and that is Sunday between 8:30-9:00am, for all of us sacrilegious folks. 

I occasionally do my shopping at Lamb's Thriftway (located conveniently across the street from our house but too pricey compared to Winco) for any last minute items I may have forgotten, or else New Seasons. I love New Seasons - it's like a gourmet foodie heaven there. But honestly, who in the world can afford to shop there regularly? Once I bought ingredients there for ONE meal for a party of four and it costed me $90 dollars. Ridiculous! However, having said that, I appreciate the wide variety of Brown Cow yogurt they sell there as well as their meats and breads. We also once ordered an enjoyable turkey dinner for two for Thanksgiving there and it worked out well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NOLA - Day 4

We began our last day in N'Orleans with breakfast at the hotel and packing our luggage afterwards. Then we strolled along Canal street while stopping at Starbucks to get a cold drink (decaf for me). We were both surprised at how hot the weather had gotten and the streets were littered with Utah and Alabama fans here for the Sugar Bowl. I thought we'd give Central Grocery Co. a third try since the store was closed the two previous times we visited. This time, it was open. We stood in a long line in order get a large muffuletta sandwich (pictured). 

We then walked along Esplande avenue hoping to catch the bus to the City Park. No bus came, so we finally waved down a taxi. The taxi driver drove us to a nice shady spot in the park and we ate our sandwiches and chips there. The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) had free admission until Jan. 18 for a special exhibit they were doing, so we were able to take advantage of the nice strong air condition they had while enjoying some art too. ;-) The best part was the free museum shuttle, which dropped us off blocks away from our hotel. I should mention here that we had the best experience at our hotel - the Quality Inn. They extended our check-out time to 2:30pm and were always so friendly and helpful to us. It is fitting that our little vacation should end the same way it began - a bus ride back to the airport.

Friday, January 2, 2009

NOLA - Day 3

Happy New Year!  Tom and I spent our New Years watching The Terminator and Tom's first Law & Order. I congratulated myself for staying up past midnight. On New Years day, we had jazz brunch reservations at Court of Two Sisters (pictured), a restaurant a classmate of ours recommended. They had over 60 hot and cold dishes with live jazz music playing in the background. 

After breakfast, we headed back to our hotel and did some laundry (romantic, no?). Due to some circumstances not within our control, we did not take a cruise on the Steamboat Natchez like I had planned. Everyone, it seemed, is in town for the Sugar Bowl, which resulted in crowded streets and tortoise-like lines that formed everywhere. We didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon except nap and going to Cafe du Monde for the third time (!!!).