Living It Up In the Big City!

8 July 2013 in Memories, Reviews, Traveling

Sonora, CaliforniaSometimes…once a month or so, we have to leave our little Garden of Eden and travel westward and then northward to the big city for supplies. Whether it’s feed for the livestock or some thread for ma. Or maybe pa needs some new britches. One can only reap from the land so many things.

We hitched up the wagon and ambled off of the mountain and down to the glistening boomtown of Sonora. The day was hot and the sun was shining. We arrived in the quaint downtown area—which was surprisingly bustling for a Wednesday morning. Traffic was heavy and slow, but parking was amazingly accessible. We promptly pulled into a spot right on the main drag and after tethering the horses we wandered down the street, gazing in windows and glancing at menus. With Lindsay’s paycheck in hand we’d dine out today, but where was yet to be determined.

After doing a thorough survey of the offerings we settled on the exotic. A Thai restaurant beckoned out taste buds with an aroma we could not resist. It was barely eleven and we were the first to be seated. Alone we sat, the host and waitress—one in the same—our only companion as the kitchen clanked, clanged and sizzled. Shortly after ordering the town’s people and travelers like ourselves trickled in as we sipped hot tea and enjoyed some spring rolls with peanut sauce as well as a small salad that was complimentary with every meal. As we licked the last drops of sauce from our plates out came steaming dishes seasoned with spices from far off lands. Our mouths watered as we dug in.

I practiced no restraint. Before I knew what happened my dish was nearly empty. A flavor induced comatose must have fell upon me. I had intended to save some leftovers and savor this rare treat, but what laid before me was a pitiful pile of the choicest bites. I could not ask them for a box to take these few morsels home in. They wouldn’t have one small enough. And so down the hatch it went, topping off my stomach and forming a seal with my esophagus.

With full guts we waddled out of the restaurant and back into the bright sun and the busy street. We had to attend to some errands of the internet variety and so we ducked into a coffee shop and caught up on all of the required communications of the modern world. Back up on the mountain there is an initially alienating and eventually peaceful separation from these daily, and more often than not trivial demands for our attention. I never wish to know the hours, days, weeks and probably months—possibly years—of cumulative time I have wasted browsing the world wide web. It certainly has its place in the world and to be fair a good number of conveniences and uses, but I’m not sure I can access it and not spend the majority of my time plunging into the completely meaningless wormholes of news, shopping or social networking.

Luckily the coffee shop was closing and the time we may have wasted on the web was cut short. The next stop was the grocers. The first of two would be our old favorite the Gross Out or Groce Out, but formally the Grocery Outlet. Say what you will—and those in the know will probably say plenty—but we love the Gross Out. Sure the staff can be a little rough around the edges and on the first of the month the clientele even rougher, but there is some really good food to be found there, at really, really good prices. For those unfamiliar with the Grocery Outlet think of a grocery store combined with an outlet store. Sounds kind of gross right? Irregular, off brand foods. Well this is only partially the case. Sure they have Algood Peanut Butter (I’m guessing this was someone’s attempt to be cleaver with “all good” or a careless mistake) and gigantic cans of nachos cheese wrapped in a plain white label with black, block print, something fit for a ballpark. But there is also organic canned goods, fancy hippy health cereals, and gourmet frozen pizzas at half the price of a normal grocery store. All of this food is perfectly good and exactly the same stuff that’s sitting on the shelf at Safeway down the road. It’s just overstock.

After filling our carts with the items on our carefully crafted list and a few items that weren’t we loaded up the wagon and tore on over to Safeway. Gross Out is great—and if we could find everything there we wouldn’t require this second stop—but their stock changes constantly and their produce is questionable so we always finish our shopping at a regular grocers and Safeway is our go to. It’s reasonably priced, has a great selection and has good produce.

With a heavy load of supplies for May and a light wallet we bid farewell to Sonora with a promise to return next month and made our way back up the long winding pass to our little trailer.

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8 July 2013 Memories, Reviews, Traveling

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