Shopping in El Centro

Trip 2 – Day 24

Friday, February 1, 2013

We needed a few supplies so decided that we should go to El Centro, the largest town to the south, about an hours drive away.  Among other things, it has a Costco.  We left FOY around 10:00 with a long list of places to go and things to pick up.  Foremost, Dad needed a prescription refill, which seemed to pose the biggest challenge of the day.

I made some phone calls as we drove, attempting to find this elusive medication.  Our first stop was Costco, who couldn’t fill the prescription, but did have suggestions as to what we needed to do.  This day being the Friday before the Superbowl, there were LOTS of samples, which was a good pre-lunch appetizer, and I encouraged Dad to eat his fill.  Craig and I didn’t need any encouragement.

El Centro Costco with a more regional selection of groceries

El Centro Costco with a more regional selection of groceries

Again, I like to give the highlights of the day, and Cardenas Market was one of those.  It is a Mexican Grocery, one of about a dozen in this chain.   For reasons that I don’t understand, we don’t have any stores like this in Oregon.  We should.

Cardenas Market, front of store by the bakery

Cardenas Market, front of store by the bakery

The produce, bakery, and meat departments are huge, things are fresh, and they make fresh tortillas and chips…….all day long, every day.

Produce department

Produce department

Meat Department

Meat Department

Making tortillas and chips

Making tortillas and chips

It was bright and festive and smelled like heaven.

I had done my (online) research, and felt that we should eat lunch at the deli in this grocery.  The only hitch in my plan was a little “language barrier.”   I don’t speak Spanish, and most of the folks who were working at Cardenas didn’t speak much English.  Things were okay until I came upon the deli.  The menu was in Spanish.  I knew, based on past “field trips,” this was probably the only opportunity we would get to eat until we returned home.  Somehow, things always work themselves out given a little luck and a lot of patience.  As I was waiting and wondering exactly what I was going to do, a man came up and asked me if I was in line.  We chatted briefly, and I realized that my good fortune of the day was standing next to me.  He spoke Spanish and agreed to help me order.  We had a discussion about my Father’s particular food preferences, and decided that he should have the “plate” which had meat, beans, rice, and tortillas.  Craig was to have the spicy pork burrito, and for me, a tamale and an horchata.  With much interpretation, our ordered was placed.  I included his lunch on my tab, and together, we waited for the food to be prepared.  When it was ready, the angel of the deli took his food, Craig took ours, and I paid for my cart of groceries.  It was a warm day and we didn’t want to leave Wiley in the Jeep to overheat, so we ate in the car, which was parked under a tree.  As things don’t always go quite according to plan, somehow, Craig’s burrito didn’t make it onto our order.  No matter.  He ate a good portion of Dad’s leftovers.  Somehow, Dad is still not a Mexican food fan so this was not a preferred meal and most of his “plate” was a leftover.  It was very fortunate (for Dad) that he sampled at the Costco “buffet.”

The rest of the day was, fortunately, quite uneventful.  On the doctor’s advice, we ended up not filling Dad’s prescription, so we got gas in the Jeep and headed back to the Fountain of Youth.

Yes, we are well below sea level

Yes, we are well below sea level

When we got home, I fixed some baked chicken, (a preferred food) and a small salad (not preferred) we ate, TV was watched, and we all went to bed.

Today’s weather:  Sunny and warm

Daytime temperature:  In the 70’s

Nighttime temperature:  In the 40’s

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2 Responses to Shopping in El Centro

  1. Herb and Janette says:

    Hello Jan, Craig and Dave. Reading your Blog is the highlight of our day. Just love to read about your “adventures” and all you are experiencing and seeing in your part of the world. It must be nice having warm weather compared to what you might have back at home. We have to eat before we read you blog as you can make us feel very hungry with some of that “yummy” food you talk about. Also love the photos, all so very interesting. Love, your Aussie friends, Janette & Herb

    • msdaisie says:

      Thank you both! It has been a fun adventure and even better writing about it. Sometimes, the daily written account, might just be better than what actually happened!!
      We are happy to be in a warmer, sunnier climate. The kids keep us posted on the wet, dark, rainy weather in Oregon.
      Can’t wait to see you this summer!

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