My stay in Phoenix, Arizona was memorable in many ways…..tops on the list was being near my son and watching his college football team, which brought my daughter from Houston to watch games as well….a win-win. Wonderful new friends, a surprising admiration for cactus, surviving Camelback Mountain in record slow time, amazing weather, and Fry’s Supermarket. Fry’s Supermarket? Ehem…Fry’s Signature Marketplace if you please.
Okay, it’s not Paris’ Eiffel Tower or Rome’s Pantheon. But, ahhhh….the simple pleasures! Imagine arriving in September to 103 degrees in the evening. Parking in the sun insured returning to a car hovering around 120 degrees. Shade was my all-consuming goal. There were countless times that even a Charlie Brown tree provided relief, along with my undying gratitude for its tiny branches. I fell in love with Fry’s the minute I saw AWNINGS in the parking lot!
Now for the piece de resistance. A wine bar in the middle of the store. Pouring some good wine, I might add, at reasonable prices. The store’s wine selection is quite good, from the $3.99 variety to the over $100 variety. Three plasma tv screens going at the same time, free wifi, and wine….what’s not to like? Turn the corner and walk through the spirits section and you run into the Virtual Bartender. You heard me. Touch the screen, choose your poison, and up comes a myriad of recipes for mixed drinks. Don’t have a notepad to write it down? No worries, you can have it emailed to you, or printed out right there. Smart marketing…. all the ingredients to purchase in the spirits isle. Head home and test your mixologist skills.
Wine bloggers beware….the Virtual Bartender also does wine. “Welcome to the Wine Cellar” it proclaims. Shop by Varietal, Food Pairing, Wine Origin and Brand. Have a dumb question about wine? Don’t worry, no reason to embarrass yourself asking a human being….just click on Wine 101 and type in your question. Okay, the wine is generally limited, and the answers pretty cut and dried…but clever. Wine bloggers you’re safe.
More to rave about? You bet. How about a cooking school, sushi bar, free valet parking, hand car washing, juice bar, flower center, indoor/outdoor resort seating with fireplaces, and a book section resembling Barnes and Noble.
And last but not least, “The Best Starbucks Crew in the World!” As a frequent visitor for their black iced-tea and chocolate/peanut butter mini cupcakes, no matter what state I’ve been in….these girls are tops. Often using wireless at the tables outside or indoors, they spoiled me and every person they served. Always friendly, genuine and hard workers….I would hire them away in a second! I suppose I need to own a business first. All you Phoenix business owners out there take heed!
As I say “good-bye” to Phoenix, I’m reminded of what my friend, Laura, said as I gave her a hug, “Say au revoir, like the French. It’s not good-bye, but until we see each other again.”
Au revoir, Phoenix!!