What to Relish in Mesa, Arizona During the Winter

Question, from everyone I’ve seen or spoken to this month: So, are you excited for Christmas?

Answer, from me:

No, not really.  I’m kind of over the whole Christmas thing, actually.  But I am excited to go to Arizona, despite the fact that it’s for a lousy holiday, and here’s why…

Camille’s Comprehensive List of Things to Do and Enjoy in Mesa, Arizona this Winter (which I’d taken for granted during the 21 years I was being raised there):

1.  Outlet Malls

I’m ready for deals, baby.  You wouldn’t believe how much more expensive Canadian consumerism is than that of the States United.  Even after we’ll lose money in the exchange rate coming across the border, we’ll still save money shopping in the states for stuff we would have normally bought in Canada.  And boy, am I ever excited.  Shopping is more fun, in my opinion, if there’s a hunt for a good deal.  Up here it’s kind of boring because I know there are very few deals to be had, so there’s no point in putting forth much effort.  I want deals, and I want easy.  (Cheap and easy—sounds kind of like I’d make a good hooker on the economical.)  Image from here.

2.  Downtown Mesa

It’s been revived, people.  And it’s excellent.  I’m excited for boutique shopping (which is mostly just window shopping, in my case) and just…being there.  I’ve never spent time on Main Street with someone I didn’t love [except I stupidly walked down it on a date with a lame guy once, but that does not count because I don’t even remember it], so it holds a very dear place in my heart.  Check out iheartmesa to read up on the latest happenings around my neck of the woods.  Mesa’s the next L.A., or didn’t you hear?  Image from here.

3.  Good Eats

Good eats, in the sense of a delicious new up-and-coming restaurant [or a favourite oldie, for that matter] on every corner.  And I do mean every corner.   There’s always an infinite number of options if one is looking to eat out, unless it’s 3 a.m. [at which time there’s pretty much only Filiberto’s but is that such a bad thing?  I daresay it is not].  Mmm…Super Burrito.  PF Chang’s lettuce wraps.  Cafe Rio.  Texas Roadhouse.  The Keg.  Chipotle.  Native New Yorker’s.  Serrano’s.  Outback.  Wing Stop.  Rubio’s.  Panda Express.  Chic-fil-a!!!  And one of Poor Kyle’s brand new faves, Red Brick Pizza.  Am I excited?  Was there ever any doubt?  Image from here.

4.  Flip-flops

My preferred footwear for any season.  In fact, the first winter I lived here in Canada, when I was just starting to date Poor Kyle, I had a very limited selection of winter anything, including shoes.  I remember several occasions wearing flip flops through the snow, because they went with my outfit better than my one pair of skate-shoes (which I considered snow-worthy).  Of course, I could forget about the flip flops and bring down all my gradually-acquired winter items and be the cutest girl on the block…  But that would never happen.  There’s too much competition for cuteness in Mesa.  I’d rather swing for flip-flops and forget about showing off my coats, scarves, mittens and boots.  Image from here.

5.  Christmas light displays. The good kind.  The kind rich people in Scottsdale (or East Mesa, which is practically synonymous with Scottsdale these days) pay lots of money to have installed.

Let’s face it: unless a Canadian family is majorly on top of things in October when the weather’s not too bad, there’s no way to get a really awe-inspiring display of Christmas lights going.  I’ve spent the last several winters feeling unimpressed.  (Poor Kyle and I would rather get our kidneys removed than go to all that effort in this kind of weather, and even if we lived in Arizona, we’d probably be too lazy anyway.  But certainly not everyone is, and those are the kind of lights I am looking for this Christmas.  Image from here.

6.  Plucking ripe, juicy, fireworks-exploding-in-my-mouth oranges off Grandma’s trees.  (Actually they started out being Grandpa’s trees, but he’s no longer with us.  Can a dead person still have posession of things?)

If you’re eating an orange that wasn’t grown in Arizona, you might as well stop.  It’s wintertime: do you know where your cirtrus was cultivated?  Image from here.

Oh, and I’m also excited for family and friends and all that good stuff.  The only thing I’m not excited about is nothing…

…or possibly the next three days I have to spend practising the piano like Mozart high on illegal stimulants so that I can reach my goal of getting the hallelujiah out of this freezing cold country.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in ask me anything, Canada, the great state of AZ, Travel, what I'm about. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to What to Relish in Mesa, Arizona During the Winter

  1. raygon says:

    Oh, I miss all those things too. Especially the flip flops. And the food. I can not believe Neds/Steves and Petes are missing from your list!

  2. Holly Decker says:

    um, those aren’t really the places to eat that I would’ve picked, but yeah… i miss Mexican food like the way AZ does it. i miss citrus fruit galore, i miss the temple lights, i wish desperately i could wear flip flops daily… i miss the familiarity of downtown mesa and friends and family and… just… being home.
    *sigh* enjoy it for me… i wont be there until January- for a TINY SHORT WEEKEND… so you better live it up and make me jealous!!!

  3. Jami says:

    I LOVE red brick pizza. Seriously….they have amazing salads, and their pizza is so good. I always BEG spencer to take me there. We should double…I don’t know if we are cool enough to double with you guys, but we will try our very hardest on that night. Better yet…triple with adell and clint.
    I have been craving some yummy oranges too…the ones on my parents tree aren’t ripe yet.

  4. Camille says:

    Raygon– First of all, Ned’s would never make the list. What do you think I am, a traitor? Secondly, the fact that I forgot to mention Krazy Sub is a sure sign I’ve been away for too long. Consider it mentioned.

    Holly Decker– What’s wrong with my food choices??

    Jami– Let’s do it! How funny that you think you aren’t cool enough for US. It’s the other way around, truly. And I’m sure Clint and Adell are in. It’s a date.

  5. anonymous says:

    Why did you leave this wonderful mesa land to live in a place you find below par? Oh and I love flip flops! They never go out of style. This could be a Thursday question thingy you like.

  6. Tessa says:

    Oh Camille~ I am so excited for you to come to Mesa! We need to all go out to dinner when you are down!

  7. lindsay says:

    do they have hobby lobbys in canada? if not, you are in for some major good times at the one here because just about everything in the store is 50% off right now AND Kirkland has all their christmas stuff slashed down too! if for no other reason, the SALES make it the most wonderful time of the year.

  8. anon10 says:

    Yes I agree most definitely on all your points but, since I have never lived anywhere but Mesa, I can’t really say to how it compares. But, I trsut your opinion.

  9. Holly Decker says:

    you asked… and its not like you picked mcdonalds and taco bell, but i just didnt feel like those places really represented ‘mesa’ for me. perhaps our families ate out differently.
    Tia Rosas.
    Neds Crazy Subs
    golden spoon
    LJ’s pizza
    (this is making me hungry…)
    and i mean, who’s to tell you what’s good? they just aren’t any that i find “special to mesa”… but i mean, for YOU- being in Canada… pretty sure they dont have any of those things… so it makes sense.
    like i said, regardless of where you eat, i will be jealous that you are in my home town and i am not!

  10. WhoNose? says:

    I think I’m going to Steve’s tomorrow. I’ll have a sub for you.

  11. niki says:

    az really is splendid, isn’t it?! maybe you should post on your blog when you are going to down town main street and i could ‘coincidentally’ bump into you. it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from my home. remember, you did say that “we would get along famously” and can i say that i did love that you used that term. and i love that you knew i would love it! glad to hear that your heart will be content at home for a while!

  12. hooray for az. you know, though, there are MUCH better places to eat than those chain restaurants, i promise…

  13. Granmama says:

    The best part of Mesa is our little “P” Prince. HE is so wonderfully cute.

  14. Camille says:

    Tessa– Let’s do it! Congrats on graduating—I’m so proud of you.

    Anonymous– To marry Poor Kyle.

    Lindsay– Oh, the sales! I’m so hyped. I don’t think they have Hobby Lobbies up here (at least not withing three hours from me), so you can rest assured I’ll get my fill when I’m there.

    Holly Decker– Tia Rosa’s? You’re right. I would never step foot into Ned’s Krazy Sub; Steve’s I added later on in the comment section. Filiberto’s I mentioned. Dairy Queen? Dairy Queen says “Mesa” to you? Not me. I’ve never eaten at Golden Spoon OR LJ’s pizza. So there’s my rationalisation. I think I’ve come to hold dear those particular eateries because they exist not in my new place of residence. Since I frequented all of the places, I’ve really come to miss them when I can’t just hop in my car and eat there any time I want. That’s why I’m excited about them. Not so much that they scream “Mesa,” but just because I’ve missed them.

    WhoNose?– You could not do a nicer thing for me! Thanks!

    Niki– I could do that, or we could just agree to meet at the picnic company or Mango’s or another delicious eatery thereabouts. I say we should. Only now I’ll have to start stressing that you might not like me once you meet me in real life. I’m not very nice, you see. Don’t get all excited. : )

    Angela Hardison– I know. As Holly pointed out, I suck. But I’m not saying they’re the BEST Mesa has to offer—just the places I’ve missed since they don’t exist up here.

    Granmama– I don’t doubt you one little bit.

  15. Anonymous says:


    Can’t wait!!! Just a few more days…

  16. Carmen says:

    I’m ready to go to Arizona with you anytime. I am sick of this cold, and agree with you on all your reasons, wholeheartedly. I’m sure the shopping is much better than Kallispell and even I think that is way better than here. Do you want to drive down there tomorrow with me? :) if only…..

  17. Heber says:

    Of course Dairy Queen! Didn’t you go to the one on Country Club innumerable times after church activities or just for ice cream?

    This post has made me feel so hungry, especially for citrus.

    P.S. I’ve considered moving to a colder climate so that I could see all the girls dressed in their cute winter layers.

  18. Allison says:

    Oooo I want to be put on your “list”…. Visit Allison!

  19. Zach says:

    So, why am I not on your “list?” I’m a changed man! I finally updated the dumb thing. Haha. I love this list, much more comprehensive than my “to do list” for AZ. See you soon, likely.

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