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I've been catching up on old posts, so make sure you scroll down.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Playing Tourist with Grandma and Papa

We started out Thursday with a delicious dinner at Baci Italian Bistro. It was definitely a little grown up for the kids, and the leisurely pace of dinner was almost the death of us (thank goodness for Fran's iPhone!). But my Sausage Boscaiola was amazing (the Basil Pomodoro sauce was so flavorful!), so there were no regrets there!

Friday we visited the Queen Creek Olive Mill, the only place in Arizona where you can find on-site milled olive oil. Extra Virgin, thank you. There was an adorable cafe area, which I will most definitely be visiting again on another day, to sample their freshly made olive oil creations, and delicious-looking sandwiches. The shop boasted shelves and shelves of olive oil, vinegar, wine, and olive-oil-based bath and beauty products.

Then we all went outside to take the short tour, and learn about the olive oil making process.

We stood under the olive blossoms as our tour guide began explaining the varieties of olive trees on the farm. As I looked up at those pollen-filled flowers I thought, "My allergies are going to love me for this!" Good thing I pre-medicated.

This place really does it right, from harvesting at the right time, to processing the olives within a day of picking them. After the tour guide showed us the machine that mills and "presses" the oil, she asked if there were any questions. Bree raised her hand. I held my breath as the tour guide called on her, because honestly, I never know what's going to come out of that girl's mouth. But she asked the very appropriate question, "Can we see the machines grind up the olives?" And we were all informed that we'd have to come back around October to see the freshly harvested olives being processed.

Then we sampled different types and flavors of olives, and I was very proud of myself for trying some. Seeing as how I hate olives. I actually enjoyed the mesquite-almond olive, and the garlic flavored one. But then I was left with the olive after-taste, which stuck with me through the remainder of the day. I think I'll just stick to good ol' olive oil. Which we also got to taste!

They had different blends and flavors of olive oil, including chocolate and blood orange, as well as some dressings, and a to-die-for strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, which Fran splurged on. I bought myself a bottle of their Extra Virgin blend, and vowed to never buy "Light Flavor" olive oil again. Because it is apparently crap. No really, it's literally made out of the crap that's leftover after making extra virgin olive oil. It was, all in all, a fun, enlightening experience.

Friday night Chad made us some of his delicious homemade chili, and Fran and Jim dined on chili dogs with us. Then we walked to the park at the end of our street, and showed them how we spend many an evening. The weather was cool. The kids were zany.

The sunset was gorgeous (as per usual!).

Saturday we braved the traffic (the roads out here in farm-country have not expanded as quickly as the neighborhoods have!) and drove to Joe's Farm Grill for a late lunch. I saw this place on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives years ago, but it was far off our beaten path, and we never made the trip. Now we only live 20 minutes away, and it was worth the drive. The ribs and burgers were amazing, and my salad had been freshly-picked from the on-site garden.

Bree loves her some ribs.

After eating, we roamed the neighboring gardens.

Or sat in the shade.

We ended our excursion at San Tan Village, our closest "mall," which is an outdoor shopping center. We popped into the Disney Store to buy t-shirts and autograph books to prep for our upcoming trip to Disneyland.

We also spent a lot of time at home relaxing, and introduced Jim to the selection of old movies that can be watched on the XBox 360's Amazon Prime app. He was in heaven.

It was awesome to have Fran and Jim here in our new home. We hope they enjoyed it as much as we did!

April 4th-6th, 2013

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