Archive for the ‘Destinations’ Category

Why The Container Store Inspires OCD-gasm

The Container Store

In yesterday’s post about the term OCD-gasm, I casually mentioned The Container Store as a prize on Oprah’s Favorite Things assuming that everyone knew about the wonders of that store.  I was mistaken … gasp!

Short and simple:  The Container Store is nirvana for anyone who is an organization freak.  And incidentally, also the purveyors of one of the widest selections of gift wrap and gift containers I’ve ever seen.

Seriously, if you need a container, storage solution, time management gizmo, organization solution, widget or gadget for control (such as decorator cable ties and computer cable containment systems), The Container Store has it.

I can browse in there for hours.  The one and only location in Arizona is conveniently located next to a Whole Foods Market, so that I can get a snack and revive myself to go back into the store and wander every aisle.  And the Arizona store is relatively new – maybe 2 years.  But the chain started in 1978, and I have shopped their stores in both Texas and California.  It is an extraordinary experience, and – if you live or travel anywhere near one – you should go.

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Ten Places You Can’t Go

All Time 10s wants you to be aware of 10 places that you aren’t allowed to go.  I was surprised by several of them.  Disneyland?  Well, part of it anyway.

Cupcakes this Sunday – You Should Go

Cupcake Love-InMy last post on cupcakes begat a notice about Cupcake Love In. If you live in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, what could be more fun than “peace, love, and cupcakes” where you get to try about 30 different kinds? You will be supporting small local businesses as well as two deserving charitable organizations: Singleton Moms and Safe Haven for Animals.

Here are the details:
Sunday, October 10, 2010
11 am to 3 pm
Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale

Reporting on Five Guys Burgers and Fries

A few days back, during a break from my system upgrades, I went on a field trip across town to visit a Five Guys burger joint and compare it to my beloved In-N-Out Burger.  My husband and several other family members went along for solidarity (and for burgers, naturally).

First off, the positives:  Five Guys had a good menu that included more than just burgers.  The burgers were decent sized, cooked when ordered and served hot.  All toppings that they offer are included with the price, and there is a long list of toppings.

Next, the negatives:  No shakes, chocolate or otherwise.  It was hard to get to the soda dispensers.  There were tons of people there.

Now, the comparison:  The atmosphere was crowded, and not in a good way.  Crowds are normal there, which is evident by the way they create a queue using potato sacks and boxes of peanuts.  The peanuts are free, which should be a positive, but I just don’t care that much about shelled peanuts.  The peanuts are so that you can have a snack while you wait for your burgers, which could be a long wait during peak service hours.  In-N-Out often develops a wait time, too, but the atmosphere is cleaner and more comfortable.

The fresh cut fries, while good, were not as good as In-N-Out.  The thicker style means a little overcooked, and the optional Cajun seasoning that was just dumped on unevenly was not particularly tasty.

In-N-OutThe burgers, while good, were not as thick and juicy as In-N-Out, and were pricey for what you get.  The menu has two sizes, but the larger size was really just two smaller patties on maybe a bigger bun.  Not like a “double,” but more like an odd trick.

Overall, I can’t knock Five Guys Burgers and Fries too much, but I also don’t understand the hype.  Of all five of my family members that went, not one of us liked Five Guys better.  I remain an In-N-Out purist.

How Disneyland has Changed

I have been visiting Disneyland steadily for over 45 years now, and remember when the phrase “E-ticket ride” meant the best of the best.  I have witnessed firsthand many of the changes listed in 10 Things I Miss About Disneyland from MSN. 

I agree with the sentiment that Abraham Lincoln was sorely missed and I rejoice that they brought him back.  I also miss the Skyway and the Carousel of Tomorrow.  See where your favorites have gone and tell me about what you miss.

Children’s Summer Movie Series

Here in Phoenix the Harkins Theatres offer a summer movie series for kids and my family loves this activity.  The movies are current but not first-run; we’re good with that.  The plan lets us all go to the movies on a specific morning for $1 each, with a kid’s snack package that lets us eat popcorn before lunch.  That’s a winning combination.

Between the movies and the public library summer reading program, I can get the kids out of the house a couple of days each week without breaking the budget.  And we all feel like there is something fun to look forward to.  Extraordinary.

Star Gazing Special: 3 Planets in 1 Sky

At best, I am an amateur star gazer.  Not even that, more like a person that is sometimes aware that the night sky is worth pausing to see.  I have the Google Sky Map app on my phone, which makes star gazing even more fun.

Starting tonight and for the next two months there will be three planets visible in the western sky of the northern hemisphere:  Venus, Saturn, and Mars.  Find all the instructions you need in the MSN Space article.  It is an extraordinary moment in planet alignment, and worth your short trip outdoors to see.