Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fry Bread Love in Apache Junction

If you live in Queen Creek then you probably make a trip to Apache Junction now and again. This weekend I was doing a little banking and last minute shopping and stopped for lunch at one of my favorite little restaurants in Apache Junction.

The restaurant is called Cafe' Laguna. It serves authentic Native American Cuisine. The food is good and authentic. I LOVE Frybread. Cafe' Laguna has excellent frybread and many combinations from lunch platters to desert fry bread. It will cost about $5-$7 for lunch with a drink. Fry bread desserts run $2.99 - $3.99. Good and fresh.

This restaurant is a casual no frills place. The food is great though. Next time you are in Apache Junction, stop by. The address is 11518 E. Apache Trail, Suite 127 on the NW corner of Meridian and Apache Trail. Open Tuesday through Saturday.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update - New Golf Course - Road Construction

I've been meaning to post some new Queen Creek area photos. These were taken in December.

Sheep grazing on Arizona Farms Rd.
Road construction on Queen Creek.Encanterra Golf Club and Gated Community, coming along nicely.

Another early drive through construction on Ocotillo. Can anyone do anything to make the turn lane lights longer at Ironwood and Ocotillo? 3 cars turning left per light is horrid.

See you Monday morning in QC traffic. Expect delays in getting out of town!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sushi in Queen Creek?

We finally tried the new Sushi Bar in Queen Creek. We drove into the parking lot in the evening and were not sure it was open as the windows have a very dark tint. We were pleasantly surprised with a nice modern interior and to our surprise there was a pretty decent crown inside. There is a bar and you can either eat at the bar or at a table.
The food was fresh. Be prepared to share as your order is not delivered all at one time. It is delivered as it is made. We truly enjoyed our visit.

Support your local restaurants - especially the good ones like Sushi Creek in Queen Creek.

Location 21805 S. Ellsworth Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85242

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas in Arizona

I've been pretty busy and neglecting my blog. I have more Queen Creek photos to share soon. Below are a few photos I took today in Tucson. A little Christmas cactus humor.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gorilla in our Midst

Foreclosures in Arizona?... Say it ain't so.

I've had a few friends and relatives share the following article with me about foreclosures in the Queen Creek area. Why are there so many foreclosures in this area? My guess would be that people are greedy. We had a major building boom in this area in the past 5 years. There were stories about people buying houses cheap and then reselling them for huge profits. Every Tom, Dick and Harry suddendly mortgaged themselves to the limit with shady loans so that they could become flippers. (I blame the TV show Flip This House). So that's my theory.

Has the foreclosure situation stopped the builders from building like crazy in this area? - No. It has however affected resale values in this area. If you need to sell quickly, it may not happen. If you need to make a profit on the sale of your house, don't count on it. But if you want a new house in a new neighborhood for a decent price and don't mind a long commute to work - then Queen Creek and Pinal County is the place to live.

Here is a link to the news article:

Note: I was amused that my relatives in Ohio and Florida saw this article in their newspapers before we saw it here in the Phoenix area.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Fat Hawk watching the sun come up in Queen Creek.

I admit. I'm a totall rubbernecker in traffic. A rubbernecker for birds that is. I'm surprised thatI have not been in an accident yet (Thank God).Fat Hawk on his morning perch.

There is an intersection on my commute that I call Hawk Central. On a good morning you can sight about 10 fat hawks sitting on the farm irrigation systems and lightposts. It takes all I have not to pull over and look at them closer. These are the small gifts in life that we get for free. You might miss them if you blink.

You lookin' at me?Another local bird strutting his stuff on the side of the road - Beep Beep!
Take time to notice the little things around you. The payoffs can be huge. (Especially if you love to watch birds)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Halloween Spirit in Pecan Creek

Fall is the best time in Arizona. The weather is awesome and people are out and about again after a hot summer. This time of year I dream of carmel apples and pumpkins. I took a little walk this morning around the neighborhood and was happy to see the Halloween Spirit is alive and well in Pecan Creek. I personally tire of people trying to change Halloween into a "Harvest Festival". Barf.
Please enjoy these Halloween photos from my neighborhood. Happy Halloween!

See you in bumper to bumper traffic on Monday!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Queen Creek Walk Score

Photo: The Pork Shop on Combs Rd. - Highly recommended.

I recently found a site called Walk Score. Walk Score shows you a map of what's nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. The scoring system is from 1 - 100 with 100 being the best. ( )

I checked my walk score in Queen Creek and we made a miserable 34 to of 100. Photo: The Pork Shop - On my list for Best of Queen Creek - but can we walk there?
Admittedly, I drive everywhere. I know I am not the only one. Believe me, if I could walk to a restaurant, bookstore, movie theater or shop I would. For one thing I need the extra exercise to offset the amount of time I spend sitting on my posterior during my commute and then for eight hours at my uber interesting office job in central Phoenix.
Photo: View of field across from the Pork Shop on Combs. How long will this view last?

So, what does my walk score mean? I let the website tell me what I already know....

Your Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100. The walkability of an address depends on how far you are comfortable walking—after all, everything is within walking distance if you have the time. Here are general guidelines for interpreting your score:

90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!

I implore our city and county planners to keep walking in mind. It's so sad that we have to drive everywhere. Wouldn't it be nice if our kids could ride their bikes on sidewalks and trails to a store or their friends houses only one or two sub-divisions away? I know when we purchased our house the model homes all had nice sidewalks and the developed street did too. When our home was built, surprise - no sidewalks. Feel free to walk in the street suckers.
Community planning can make or break a community. To the powers that be... Please slow down, take a breath. Consider what an intelligently planned Queen Creek and Pinal county could be and do for Arizona living. Get it right now because once the farms are gone and the infrastructure is complete, there is no going back. Make it pleasant and livable from the get go.
This week I photographed the entrance to a new development that is coming up quickly on Gantzel and Combs. This is the Golf Club Gated Community of Encanterra. It looks like it will be very nice and exclusive. Please note that this community will add another 2,400 homes to the neighborhood here in Pinal County. I'd love if it would add a few decent paying jobs. (Please add some connecting walking and biking trails)

Photo: Encanterra - coming soon. ( ) Get pumped you golf freaks!
Get ready for 2,400 more commuters on the Ironwood-Gantzel corridor!
Photo: Looking East on Combs.
Empty field across from Encanterra - just ripe for development.

As always - see you in Monday morning traffic. Looking forward to sharing the road with another 2,400 people. -QCEVO

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Zen Commuting

Redwing Black Birds swarming along the side of the road.
I like many commuters from Queen Creek spend at least three hours a day in my car. Like so many Americans I do many things in my car. I admit that many times I eat in my car. On my morning commute I listen to NPR and wait for the local traffic reports. I have been known to apply makeup when stopped in traffic. I undo my hot rollers in my car on the way to work. I talk on the phone.

My new car has bluetooth wireless. This is wonderful technology as I can drive and not hold a phone to my ear. When I get an incoming call, my radio shuts off and the dashboard rings. I can answer from my dash and speak to my steering wheel. I love this so much.

When I first got this feature I called my Mother in Ohio on my way home from work. Five p.m. is a good time to call the east coast. If I forget and call when I get home it is usually after bedtime for my relatives. My Mom used to always ask scoldingly if I was on my cell phone. "You know how dangerous it is to drive and talk on the phone". Needless to say she was thrilled when I went hands free. I'm now a snob. I get bothered when when I see some bad driver weaving or slowing down for no reason if I see them texting or juggling a phone to their ear. I wish everyone could get at least a handsfree earpiece for driving.

I'm all for multi-tasking as long as you are conscientious about it and are not endangering yourself or others. People, don't apply makeup at 60 mile per hour. Don't text while driving unless you are at a complete stop.

We live in a fast moving society. I'd like to suggest one of my favorite Queen Creek stopped on a rural road for no reason stress busters. I turn down the radio and roll down the window that faces the side of the road. There are a few fields that have wonderful flocks of singing birds in the morning. You can see them swooping low. Listen closely and you may hear a beautiful chorus of songbirds. We have some wonderful red winged blackbirds that sing beautifully right on the side of the road. Simply wonderful.

This week I broke my own rule. I took Ironwood North in the morning. Two days were decent. they have opened up the lanes but then as you approach Apache Junction it narrows down to one lane again and there is a bottleneck. One day last week I noticed that the traffic was being diverted and got off the grid just in time. I had to back track to Ocotillo and lost 15 minutes. Hmmmm, do you think I was late for work?

Ironwood looking North in the morning.
I took a few photos this week around the area. Most of these were taken from my car. As you can see the construction is never ending. Where are we getting all of our concrete? When I was having my house built we were told that our delays were because China was getting all of our concrete. Right.
New shopping center at Ironwood and Ocotillo. Nail Salon, Italian Deli, Karate Studio & Mexican Restaurant.

Unfinished road Ocotillo and Signal Butte
A truck demonstrating how to kick up dust. I wish I could keep my car clean.Queen CreekRoad
This just popped up. West side of Ellsworth at Pecos.
East side of Gantzel. Major construction in the distance.This structure is finally showing some progress at Gantzel and Combs
Gantzel and Combs
New curbing on Ocotillo. I feel more widening coming up soon. Note to self, don't take Ocotillo in the morning.See you in traffic Monday morning! Roll that window down and listen to the birds!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What is the sound of one blogger blogging?

Nice photo of clouds this week. The tail end of our Monsoon.

Greetings from Queen Creek. I saw a notice in Queen Creek newspaper the Queen Creek Independent. The title was ARE YOU A BLOGGER? GET A NEWSZAP LINK! They stated that they were looking into broadening their list of columnists and bloggers. They continued, If you are a local blogger please visit and add a link. The newspaper will consider publishing timely postings as news or commentaries on its pages.

Sounds great! I went to their site and checked it out. Only one other blogger from Queen Creek and this progressive individual is posting a blog regarding the local music scene. Pretty cool. Music is good.

So I signed up as a blogger. I have not shown up on the site yet. I know not everyone will like my views but I hope I don't get run out of blog town.

Well, enough about me.... This week I experienced some personal road rage. No one was harmed but my car was filled with curse words. I'm sure I am not alone, but since the Ironwood road project began I have searched for the quickest route to I-60 from Queen Creek. I have been so late for work so many times when I try to take Ironwood that I have sworn off it in the mornings as it is too unpredictable. Some days I just cannot make a quick escape to my high paying sexy job in greater Phoenix.

The line to Ellsworth or should I say Hellsworth.

Most days it takes me about 30 minutes to get out of Queen Creek and onto the freeway. Believe me, I've tried them all. Ocotillo to Power and North to the 60. Rittenhouse to Power, cut through Williams Gateway Airport to Power to the 60. The list goes on. Each time I find a new route and get into the groove some new road construction pops up and messes with my plan to hit the high road.

My new favorite route is Ocotillo to Signal Butte, to Queen Creek, to Ellsworth. Quick going if you can get to Ellsworth before the school buses hit the road. If you are there at about 7 am (which is late for me) you are more than likely going to be stuck in a long line of traffic at this intersection. This week I spent 20 minutes in line for a drive of 1.2 miles. This intersection even has a light. I have no idea why this is such a bottleneck. All I know is that it stinks and it has made me late for work on more than one occasion.

The Queen Creek Indepedent lists upcoming road improvements in the area and boy are they expensive. $77,000 for improvements at Ocotillo and Sossaman,. another $190,000 for installation of a traffic signal there. Another $197,800 for installation of another light at Ocotillo & Hawes. This is currently a four way stop. There is a plan for some construction and Rittenhouse, Combs and Riggs to improve the railroad right of way and an additional $789,000 allotted by the Town of Queen Creek for a sewer line at Queen Creek Rd from Crismon to east of Signal Butte. And that's just the roads! Something to look forward too. I JUST WANT TO GET TO THE 60 SO I CAN GET TO WORK and pay for my new house in Queen Creek!

A view of the home offerings from my car. Many options for future loan defaults.

QC's stylish industrial style telephone poles. - Fugly? You be the judge.

More and more zoning signs appearing on farm land. This one is for 113 lots on 73 acres. Sounds cozy. But will they have sidewalks?An interesting alternative to cell phone towers. I have seen a few of these around the Phoenix area and they fascinate me. Can you tell which one is the real palm?

Well enough blog rage for today. Please enjoy some recent photos of the area. Don't get me wrong, there are good things going on in Queen Creek. I guess I will have to blog about it sometime. Thanks for listening.