Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend in Suburbia

We did it: we survived our first weekend together in suburbia. This is actually the third weekend I've spent here--once when Andrew went to a bachelor party and once when he was on a business trip--but those weekend I filled with on-my-own things, extra work and writing and renting DVDs. We faced this weekend with a kind of puzzlement. What, exactly, were we going to do all day? We'd already gone to see a movie this week--Superbad (our high expectations were disappointed); there are no museums or parks to go to; and there's nowhere to go strolling or exploring. We waited to see what would happen.

Somehow, the time passed, and we managed to actually have a nice, if fully suburban, two days. Friday night, after we bought the car, we celebrated at a nice Vietnamese restaurant. Saturday, we went out for breakfast then drove into Sacramento to--finally!--return our rental car. This involved my first solo drive on the freeway, and though there was a very close call with a lane change and complicated exit (I almost crashed into Andrew), I survived. We then went to Target and Barnes and Noble. We grilled hamburgers for dinner, read, watched TV. Saturday.

Today, Andrew made breakfast, then we headed to Roseville to check out what Andrew had heard from co-workers was a good flea market and farmer's market. We heard Deborah Garrison read two poems on NPR before we parked the car in the huge lot, which was a nice way to end the drive. The flea market itself was a mish mash of cheap new junk and dusty old junk, though we did find a couple of books. We looked at a big cooking pot, and Andrew pulled his hand back in pain--the sun had heated the metal to a ridiculous degree. We began backing away warily when the seller launched into an explanation of why the sun makes metal hot--something about electromagetism and the sun not actually heating the metal but the air around it....There's always a whole lot of crazy at a flea market.

The farmer's market, however, surpassed all expectations and I can say honestly that it is the best market I've ever been to besides the Boqueria in Barcelona. Stand after stand of vegetables and fruits that must have come straight from nearby farms, all being sold at ridiculously cheap prices--four pounds of peaches for a dollar, for example. There were many things we'd never heard of before, or, at least, had no idea how to cook--wide cactus leaves, prickly cactus fruits, jicama, pacilla peppers, tomatillos; and bins and bins of chile peppers of all sizes and colors. Absolutely everyone was speaking Spanish. We loaded ourselves down with fruits and tomatoes, thrilled to have finally found the quintessential CA market that we knew had to exist somewhere.

We rounded off the day with stops at Target (yes, again) and Trader Joe's, and now we're here for the evening, with the Times to while away the remaining hours. Not a bad weekend, this. It's no Spanish beach or Central Park or walk down Passeig de Gracia, but we made the most of what suburbia had to offer.

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