Wednesday, August 29, 2007


By some creative scheduling I was able to get a 4-day weekend this past week - and consequently, finally able to drive up to Albuquerque for a much needed city fix. I live in a town so remote no one has ever heard of Trader Joe's, and the only coffee shop closes at 2pm. It's also pretty hard to find a piece of art that does not have a windblown Native American accompanied by a wolf on it.

I went to visit a college friend, who was my host as I attempted to do everything that is not possible where I live. This included:
- Eating shrimp etouffe at Copeland's (a Cajun restaurant)
- Consignment shopping (Calvin Klein jeans for $17.50, hello!)
- Sushi eating at a really cool sushi bar with floating boats that brought you your food!

- Coffee ice cream with white chocolate chips at Coldstone
- A visit to not one, but TWO Jackalopes (my new favorite store that sells international folk art type things - I got a couple bowls from India.)

- A leisurely breakfast bagel at Einstein's
- A trip around old town

- Food shopping at Trader Joe's (Apparently its illegal to sell alcohol before noon on a Sunday in New Mexico. The wine section was roped off, and people were just hovering around waiting for it to open. Must. Get. Wine. I totally was the first one in.)

One of the things I enjoyed most about Albuquerque was that twice I directly encountered progressive thinking. I hate, hate, hate plastic shopping bags. I try to bring my own bags whenever I can, but on many occasions I have been sighed at by cashiers who are just so annoyed that I am slowing them up with my canvas bags. (Sometimes I'll re-bag right in front of them, I bet they hate me for that too.) At the consignment shop I visited, Buffalo Exchange, you have the option of getting a token instead of bag. You drop your token in a little box, and 5 cents is donated to the charity of your choice. Wow! At Trader Joe's I was entered into a drawing to win free groceries because I brought my own bags. Imagine, actually being REWARDED for trying to help the environment! It's quite a change from my "secret recycling program" at work. (Yeah, I almost got in trouble for recycling.)

I can't wait to go back to Albuquerque!
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