I have returned home to my comfortable chair, Unruly pets who missed us, and a bed that has that "form fit" on my side. Should have taken a few more days to just relax here and unwind.
After a rather challenging TWO days, with an unexpected overnight in Salt Lake City thanks to the ineptitude of the airline we chose, we managed to get to our destination.
It was good to go and see all the friends and relations down in the Southwest, but boy, did we spend all day, every day commuting from one place to another.
I didn't get much of a chance to see anything of the home town other than transiting from place to place. Overall, it has turned into the same homogeneous series of Starbuck's/Dollar store strip malls around the outer edges with down town dying a slow death as any other town in America.
Most of the "mom and pop" businesses and restaurants I remember are long gone. The City has made some nice parks/open areas in the down town core instead of empty and decaying buildings.
But I will miss the eclectic shopping and the great meals that you could find in the independent owned businesses.
It is anti climatic to go to "Chilies" or IHOP when there used to be some great small restaurants and diners. The quality of Mexican cuisine has dropped off to the Wal Mart/ Target blandness. I was served a green Chili enchilada that the green sauce was made of chopped green chili in cream of chicken soup. UN BELIEVABLE. There was only one place that they were still making fresh tortillas. That used to be the pride of almost any Mexican restaurant in town, But either it is cheaper to buy them or the knowlege of how to do it is gone.
What I found striking, the Super Walmart/ Sam's club and one Albertson's are about the only grocery shopping. All the small and medium competitors have closed shop. This really leaves the folks there with a limited choice of goods.
Well, I was again faced with a universal truth of life;
"You Can't Go Home Again ".
The title of a Thomas Wolfe novel and a Moody Blues song, it bears more than just a pearl of truth.