...to Mexico, that is.
We are currently in Patagonia, Arizona. My last post left off at Zion National Park and from there we headed to Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. Sadly, due to inclement weather, Evan thought it best to head straight to Sedona to avoid the forecasted snow storm. Probably a smart decision, but we were bummed we had to skip two highly anticipated destinations of the trip. On the plus side, Utah isn't going anywhere. We will definitely plan a return visit in the near future.
So we ended up driving straight to Sedona from Cedar City, Utah. It was roughly an eight or 9-hour drive that we made in seven. Evan managed to get slapped with a $60 speeding ticket near the Utah-Arizona border. Sixty dollars sounds steep when you're running on empty, but it could've been much worse. Within the scope of policeman demeanor, this particular one erred on the friendlier side. He wrote the ticket for 1 mph over the speed limit instead of the 10 mph that Evan was purportedly clocked at driving. He commented on our "Coexist" bumper sticker that we picked up in - where was it? Tahoe? One of these:
That was our first experience in Arizona.
Chakra 4 Herb & Teahouse if you're in the Phoenix area. It was excellent. They also have raw desserts. I bought another piece of chocolate (white chocolate this time) because I hadn't learned my lesson in Sedona. It was good and it was my last indulgence before Mexico and it gave me a stomachache.
We stopped at Market Cafe and Wine Bar near Arizona State University in downtown Phoenix. Cute place. It reminded us of Portland because it was semi-conjoined with this modern art gallery-cafe (not pictured).
***Funny story about Phoenix or the 'burbs of Phoenix, rather. Evan's cousin, Courtney, lives out in Surprise, Arizona - a small suburban town outside of the city (way outside of the city). So her husband who's a teacher, goes to work on Tuesday (Monday was a holiday) and gets this email from Neighborhood Watch. In the email, there is a warning about a mysterious looking white van with a woman painted on the side. The driver is reported to have long hair and a mustache. We thought it was hysterical, but I guess you had to be there, or at least be involved, to really find it humorous.***
Oh, by the way, it was in Phoenix that I got my laptop back! It was a long two weeks without her, but we survived.
Tucson was quite impressive (I say that with only minimal sarcasm). It boasted places like Rincon Market with their $6.99/lb salad bar and over-priced groceries (all non-organic as far as I could tell). No but, seriously, I dug the salad bar even though it wasn't organic. We drank a lot of tea at Rincon (they, surprisingly, had organic Numi Tea - one of my faves) and used their internet to get our work done. Tucson's "4th Street" was always hopping. Elea describes it as "the cultural center of Tucson". I'd agree. It's full of cafes, clothing shops, and hip bars like Sky Bar. Sky Bar is a cafe by day, bar by night, and they show photos from their telescope on a big screen while airing the NASA channel. It was pretty rad. We spent a good amount of time there.
On that same street is a co-op called Food Conspiracy Co-op.
Employee: "What are you doing?"
Evan: "Is this the parking lot for the co-op?"
Employee: "Yea, but you did a pretty lousy parking job."
Evan: "Oh, sorry."
Employee: "So, what....you're just going to shop here and leave?"
Evan: "well...yea." (thinking: Yea, I'm a fucking paying customer, asshole)
That got the whole experience off to a rocky start.
Inside, things were a little more serene. The produce section was gorgeous and full of local lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and kumquats(!).
Back to Food Conspiracy...
So it was a successful trip to the food co-op in Tucson. We took our treasures back to Elea's and made veggie skewers (I stole some raw skewers before Evan grilled them up).
Aqua Vita Natural Foods Market. It was interesting the first time we walked in, there were about eight people filling up their water jugs to take home. I had never seen so many people pumping their own water. It was like a gas station, but for H20. We are in the desert now, you see, and water is hard to come by. I forget these things coming from Portland.
Vitamineral Green and Vitamineral Earth reserves (over 50 bucks a pop). I also bought some food grade hydrogen peroxide for $20 so we can start growing sprouts in the van. And against my better judgement, I bought a $20-bottle of tahini, but it was all they had and I was planning on making zucchini hummus for lunch. I forget what the brand name was (it wasn't Vivapura), but I should have just bought sesame seeds and put it through the food processor to make my own tahini. It's not that hard. I don't know why I haven't done it, yet.
They had plenty of raw packaged foods (including kelp noodles in the refrigerated section) and Vivapura products:
Back in the van, I hunkered down to make some raw zucchini hummus. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how I do it on a daily basis:
Step 1: Fill tupperware with filtered water and 1 tablespoon of vegetable wash.
Step 2: Wash and rinse veggies.
Step 3: Slice zucchini (1 large, or 2 small) and other veggies to be included in the hummus (carrots, red pepper, or whatever you want) I like to add 1/2 an onion, and 4 cloves of garlic.
Step 4: I decided garlic should be it's own step (add 1 - 4 cloves or as much as you'd like). You can dice it up, grate it up, or add in whole cloves. Don't matta!
Step 5: Juice 1 to 2 lemons or limes or oranges (with a fork), but first massage it by rolling it against the cutting board or between your palms.
Step 6: Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup raw tahini
Step 7: Optional - Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Step 8: Optional - Add 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds or other nuts/seeds of your choice to thicken up the consistency (soak them for 4 - 8 hours and rinse for easier digestion).
Step 9: Add Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne, Sea Salt, and Pepper to taste.
Step 10: You can experiment with herbs and spices. I love adding fresh basil and I'd imagine sundried tomato powder would make a nice addition.
Step 11: Add all the ingredients into a food processor and process on high until it becomes a creamy consistency.
Patagonia is home to the Tree of Life retreat center. Evan and I are going to hit up the cafe as soon as some payments come through. Lunch at the Tree of Life (a 100% raw food cafe and rejuvenation center) is $30 a person and Dinner is $20 a person. It will be a spendy outing, but well worth it I'm sure. Stay posted for photos of Patagonia and the Tree of Life.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. It's Evan's birthday week. Be sure to wish him a Happy 27th Birthday on March 2nd!