Saturday, May 15, 2010

Some Retail Therapy in Phoenix, AZ!

Greetings from the land of sunshine and resort living, Phoenix, AZ! After a much needed break from the San Francisco fog, I am visiting my friend Amanda and taking in some of the famous Arizona sunshine. (Amanda said i needed to get some color to my "porcelain" skin.)

Amanda did not waste time in taking me to her favorite local brunch hangout, La Grande Orange. The easiest way to describe this restaurant/grocery is to say it is pure deliciousness. Take Anthropolgie-esque class and blend it with comforting southern french cuisine, and you have this little gold mine. How could you not fall in love with this place?

We entered the restaurant through the kitchens past the racks of rising dough, red velvet
cakes, and other goodies - which any foodie will know is a treasure in its self. Taking the advice of the locals, I ordered an english muffin sandwhich with eggs & bacon. Was I ever in for a surprise. Not only was the sandwhich to die for, but the english muffins are unlike any sort of muffin I have ever had before. The grocery sells the muffins at $9 for a pack of six... and let me tell you that its a steal. These muffins are worth their weight in gold. If you are in the Phoenix, swing in and buy a couple packs for home. (And while you are at it, send one to me!) Coupled with an iced Havanna Coffee, and you think you died and went to culinary heaven. (The Havanna Coffee is a Spanish style coffee that reminds me of the kind my father makes from Puerto Rico.)

Attached to the cafe is a pizzeria and gift/grocery store. The gift/grocery store was a great place to pick up gifts with a range of culinary supplies, to fun trinkets, as well as an excellent selections of wines including my favorite summer white, Rias Baixas from Spain.

Afterward our delicious brunch, Amanda took me to a fun clothing boutique called Francesca's Collections. If I didn't believe in love in first sight, I would have after a stop at this store. Filled with great clothing, fun one of the kind jewelry, and unique home furnishings it is a great stop for some retail therapy...
and the best part is that it is at reasonable prices. Open in 1999, Francesca's provides an unique shopping experience by taking its inspiration from travelers who search the world for beautiful luxuries and gifts to bring to their friends and family. Apparently, this chain has stores in 28 states... including Loveland, CO and will be opening this summer in San Francisco! Amanda had to drag me out of the store. But not without making a dent on my checkbook.

Final stop on the tour was a store called Charming CHARLIE. This fashion accessory boutique is organized by color!
Filled with fun & flirty jewlery, bags, shoes, and other great finds... you are first overwhelmed by the color coordinated displays. If you are in the area, this is a must stop... and with reasonable prices this is a great place to pick up fun gifts for all your girlfriends back home. I picked up a great turquoise necklace for my mom that she loves and some stylish and fun black sandals that i would sleep in if I could get away with it!

I want to thank Amanda for sharing these great treasures on our retail therapy tour of Phoenix. I can see why she loves living here so much and I can't wait to plan my next trip to the desert...

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