It was a beautiful weekend for a drive!! On Saturday, we headed to Scottsdale for lunch on Saturday-- we enjoyed lunch at the newly opened Portillo's. Finally, now we have an authentic Chicago-area hot dog place here in the Valley!! It was pretty weird to walk into the place; it looks just like the ones in the Chicago suburbs... the greeter asked, 'have you been here before?' and the answer, is, well- yes, and no-- lol!! They were really hopping, but as efficient as I remember.
And the food tastes just like we remember, too! Here's Tom's Italian beef with extra sweet and hot peppers. It's something to do with the particular combination of seasonings in the beef, and the bread they use, I think... whatever it is, it's nice to have 'a bit of home' here in the desert!
And here's my chicken sandwich, with crinkle-cut fries, just like I remember it. It was definitely worth the drive! (and after this lunch, neither of us needed dinner Saturday night, either.)
a gorgeous fountain outside a resort hotel along Scottsdale Road... after having lunch, we headed south into the Old-Town Scottsdale area.
Tom needed to replenish his humidor, so we stopped in at the Cigar Warehouse to see what they had in stock. I love walking into this place-- the entire store is a walk-in humidor, and the aroma of tobacco and cedar is like nothing else there is.
This smell, too, is like nothing else-- orange blossoms. It's so hard to describe- sort of like grape soda, but not quite... sweet, and very heavy in the air when it's humid, or late in the evening when the air is still.
It's tourist season right now in the Valley, since major league baseballs's spring training season is just winding down. Driving through Old-Town Scottsdale, you never know what you might see!! There were horse-drawn carriages giving tours.. and then there was this! Seeing this Segway tour go by made me chuckle- not something you expect to see driving by on the road, that's for sure. Of course, there's probably lots of things about Scottsdale I still don't know, so then again, maybe taking a tour wouldn't be such a bad thing. (I don't think I could do it on a Segway, though- I'd feel silly!)
back on the home front, this prickly pear cactus in our backyard is finally starting to take off-- it didn't seem to like where it was planted and was extremely slow to start growing, but this season it will more than double in size, by the looks of it.
Here's a close-up of the new growth-- the pads / spines start out so soft and innocent-looking, don't they?? The problem with prickly pears is, there's the spines you can see, but there's plenty more of them that are too small to see easily with the naked eye. Those are the ones that cause the problems! You can sure feel them when they stick you! (There's just enough room between this cactus and the wall for the dogs to sneak through that space- it makes me nervous every time I see them do it, but so far, so good.)
We spent most of Saturday evening and a good part of Sunday enjoying the spring weather, relaxing on the patio-- here's Ariel having fun playing in an empty box I got on my last trip to Costco. It's so funny-- just like with kids, they can have all the toys in the world, but what they like playing with is the empty box, right?? lol!
Of course, Bisbee and Prescott had to have some fun with Ariel in the box, too... haha!!
And on another pet-related note, Krista is going to the vet on Tuesday for a dental procedure: teeth cleaning, x-rays, and possible (more likely probable) extraction of at least 2 or 3 teeth. Think good thoughts!!
(and lastly, how did it get to be April already, by the way?!? where does the time go??)