Day 35 | Phoenix

The US has streamlined the concept of clearance shopping with competing outlet mall operators all over the place. We visited one of these establishments this morning, Premium Outlets in Chandler Phoenix. Uniformity makes this a familiar experience in all ways but the staff you encounter in each of the stores. 

The "Black Friday" sales (pre-Christmas sales the day after Thanksgiving, 4th Thursday in November) are very soon. There are some sales starting but that is really the kick-off for Christmas. 

Today's highlight at the outlet mall was Orlando at Samsonite Luggage. He was a master in trying to workout what we wanted when we didn’t know. Great interrogation, great outcome – new suitcase. 

Then off to Scottsdale, a kind of Siamese city beside Phoenix. There is a great atmosphere in the historic area but after sundown the fairy lights in the trees and strung across the road make it quite magical. Dinner was at Monarch Café recommended by the internet. They offer an almost set menu of 4 courses and have rave reviews. Richard our Waiter was a hoot, attentive and conversational (and also an Opera singer, who has just retuned from Iraq and recently got engaged). The food was fantastic from the truffle oil enhanced cauliflower soup to the corn paste set lamb chop to the purple pomme frite. Turns out they are a little famous. 

After dinner, we stopped by an upcoming regenerated area of Tempe with its river front development. There is an interesting collection of bridges in a row which was deserted except for a few joggers this evening. We also made the obligatory stop at the Capitol as we are in the Arizona capital. Everywhere cities and towns are putting up Christmas decorations, pity we won’t be here for these. 

Rosie | Dinner at the Monarch Café 
Angus | Cauliflower soup (seriously, soup) at Monarch Café