I have another little trip in the works…I’m heading to my home state of Arizona.  My siblings and I are going to spend a few days together.  I’m so excited.  That will be 4 sisters and one brother + my sis. and bro. in-laws (and sadly one sister can’t come as she lives in London.)
We’re going to relax by the pool…
 And go to the Grand Canyon!  I’m especially excited for this part.

And, a big shout out to any readers from Arizona.  I grew up in Mesa (& Snowflake).  My favorite Mexican food is still Rancho de Tia Rosa’s.  My favorite subs are Krazy Sub.  My favorite thing to do is climb Camelback Mountain.  And my favorite smell is orange blossoms.  But I moved to New York at the very beginning of 2000, so it’s been awhile since I’ve lived there.  Do you have any recommendations for me in Mesa?

Also – Danny and I are teaching an awesome online class tonight about How to Choose Happiness.  If you’re interested in making any changes in your life or trying to be happier as a person, I can’t recommend it enough.  You can register here.  It’s from 8:30-9:30 pm (Eastern time).


(Photos by Emma Cooper, Tablet Hotels, Caroline De Maigret)

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  1. The Garbison family June 27, 2012 at 7:37 am - Reply

    I faithfully read your blog and cannot believe I missed that you are from Mesa! I was born here, raised here, and still live here. I should have known you were a Mesa girl – you are fabulous! Thanks for the positive everything from your blog – I tell more people about it than any other blog I've ever read. I especially loved the one from yesterday. You rock!

    • mara June 28, 2012 at 4:11 am - Reply

      ah- so sweet of you!! THANKS!!

  2. Dominique June 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I'm thinking Navajo Tacos! Can't wait to see you.

    • mara June 28, 2012 at 4:12 am - Reply

      Dom – can't tell you how sad I am to not eat Navajo Tacos this year (not gluten free). But I'll have a hay day with the beans and toppings. Though- maybe I can figure out a GF dough. We'll see! And yes, can't wait to see you!

    • Dominique June 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm - Reply

      Hmm, let me noodle this for a bit. The pleasure in the tacos is definitely the fried dough which there is no raw/vegan substitute. However, I think we can come up with a yummy alternative.

  3. Tiffany Bolton June 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    OOH! Welcome back to the neighborhood! You gotta get to Joe's Farm Grill (technically in Gilbert)! We also love Blue Wasabi for sushi.

    • mara June 28, 2012 at 4:14 am - Reply

      I'm adding these to my list. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  4. Anne June 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Crackers and co (on greenfield and brown) for breakfast and lunch is a favorite. Tia rosa's is amazing of course and if I could just figure out how to make their green salsa…

    Hope you have an amazing trip! Dont forget to go shopping at last chance!

    • mara June 28, 2012 at 4:15 am - Reply

      THANKS for the suggestions. And – k – that green salsa. It is the best stuff on earth. I seem to remember the recipe for that stuff was circulating around. Maybe it's not legit. But it might be on google.

      And Last Chance. THANKS for that reminder. Totally want to go.

    • Angela Kintscher June 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      If you need a shopping buddy for Last Chance, let me know. I can't believe it has been over ten years since I have seen my Paris roomie!

  5. Anne June 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Crackers and co (on greenfield and brown) for breakfast and lunch is a favorite. Tia rosa's is amazing of course and if I could just figure out how to make their green salsa…

    Hope you have an amazing trip! Dont forget to go shopping at last chance!

  6. Jenny D. June 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    I grew up in Mesa/Tempe and I also moved away in 2000, crazy! A place I always have to hit for lunch or dinner when I visit is Pita Jungle, they have a few locations now, and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I will be going down for a visit in July and am preparing myself for the heat, people think I am crazy but I actually miss it. From your thoughtful response to my email the other day I decided to take your class tonight and I am so excited!

  7. Jenn June 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Hey my husband grew up in Snowflake too! I'll have to ask him if he recognizes you : )

  8. elissa June 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    i'm so jealous. sounds like a great trip. hope you enjoy every minute!

  9. Nursemelanie June 28, 2012 at 3:49 am - Reply

    Yay for Arizonians!! I am also from AZ(Gilbert, living in Boston at this time) and am headed there tomorrow to spend some quality time with my family. Every time I go home to visit, my sisters and I hike camelback(my most favorite mountain too!) and then head to Last Chance in Phoenix for shopping(we have our best luck when all of us sisters are together)….please tell me you've heard of it or been there! It's definitely hit or miss and you have to get there before the doors open. I love Tia Rosa's….but I am definitely a sucker for Filiberto's. I have to go there at least 2 or 3 times every trip home. Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert is also a favorite and Chino Bandido in Chandler is delicious! It's a mix between mexican and asian food. I'm not sure if the questions was "where to eat"…but I guess you can see where my priorities lie 😉

    • mara June 28, 2012 at 4:16 am - Reply

      Love the sound of all these new restaurants to try (I'm all about the food, too.) And…Filiberto's. My bones are made of it. Can't tell you how many times I had that at 2:00 am.

  10. Vanessa June 28, 2012 at 3:54 am - Reply

    hi Mara! the huz and i moved to Phoenix last year and in the months since i've been diligently uncovering the Valley's best eats. i don't know about Mesa, but some of my favorites in Phoenix are La Grande Orange (the store part is adorable), Cheuvront (soooo goooood) and Carolinas if you're craving a burrito (the holiest a hole-in-the-wall can get, don't be scared).

    • mara June 28, 2012 at 4:17 am - Reply

      Thanks for the suggestions. These sound AWESOME! Gotta love holes in the walls.

  11. Alysa June 28, 2012 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Wahoo! I'm from Arizona, too! Born in Yuma, raised in Mesa and Kingman and when I visit my parents now it's in Thatcher. Enjoy AZ!

  12. mara June 28, 2012 at 4:19 am - Reply

    This has been SO FUN to hear from all the AZ peeps! THANKS, guys! So sweet of you to write in. I'm so excited for the trip! (and I'll even take the heat. It's still in my blood.)

  13. Liz McRae July 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Are you guys still here?! How much longer! I had no idea!

  14. iheartmesa July 2, 2012 at 5:11 am - Reply

    Hey Mara, since you like Mexican food, I think you would really like Blue Adobe Grille on Country Club between University and Main (if you are still here). Or Papaya Thai at Lindsey and University is more hole in the wall ish, but has some of the best mango curry in town.

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