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.
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.