A reader's suggestion (thanks, Mona) from a few months ago gave Betty and me a new place to explore: The Queen Creek Olive Mill, about 40 minutes from our new home. A week or so ago we downloaded a map and set out. I got lost. Or, should I say Google Map isn't always completely accurate, particularly in a rural part of the Valley. Roads that it thinks are connected, aren't.
No matter. Eventually, we figured it out and found a beautiful little corner of our area. The Queen Creek Olive Oil is the only place in Arizona that produces Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A market on site sells more types and blends of olive oil and vinegar than I knew existed. A coffee shop and fresh food restaurant are attached. On the other side of a stand of olive trees sits small stage where musicians perform on weekends. A combination grill and bar are also among the trees. serving cold beer and hot burgers. The day we were there a local vineyard had samples of Arizona wine available for tasting and purchase.
Enjoying a mid 70's, mid November day, we had a cheese board loaded with, you guessed it, olives and cheeses, roasted red peppers, honey, and crusty bread. A panini sandwich and prickly pear lemonade completed a perfect lunch while we listened to the music and watched a large Saturday crowd enjoy the setting.
Betty found a small Christmas ornament carved from an olive tree while I snapped some pictures. After an hour or so we headed back home, satisfied that our Saturday afternoon had been well spent.
To top off the day we went to dinner at an excellent Mexican restaurant in Old Town Gilbert. As we finished the meal, who comes around the corner but our grandkids with mom and dad in tow. The group spots us and rushes in for hugs and conversation.
A perfect end to a great day.
Your first line made me laugh; your last line made my eyes mist up.ReplyDelete
Bob and Betty, so glad you explored this treasure. I can still taste the combination of the coconut and raspberry gelato, shared with 2 of my best friends. I was lucky enough to visit the Queen Creek Olive Mill a second time with another friend, using a navigator and we had difficulty finding our way. It was just across the way; we could see it but the roads weren't connected. That was more than 2 yrs ago. We finally had to stop and ask the locals for directions.ReplyDelete
Yes, that part of the valley still has lots of farms and rural patches that GPS systems haven't quite figured out. The Mill's web site has directions from Chandler that are more accurate than Google. That's what finally got us into their parking lot.Delete
Bob, These are the moments in life we live for. Even in the places where any of us live there are always new places and new faces to discover. A great bonus after dinner to see your grandkids and kids! Have you eaten at the Liberty market in old town Gilbert? Another great find is Joe's Farm Grill on East Ray road in Gilbert.ReplyDelete
I just gave you two new places to discover. Behind Joe's grill is a home development called Agritopia, a throwback to homes built in the 60's.
Savor those special moments. They make each day very special and you have added olive oil to your pantry. Russ
We have eaten at the Liberty Market and visited Agritopia. In fact, as I type this, Betty is meeting a friend who lives there.Delete
There are always new corners of where we live waiting to captivate us. It just takes a little effort.
Happy Thanksgiving, Russ.
Wonderful, colorful, memory-evoking photos!ReplyDelete
It was a lovely afternoon in the Arizona sun.Delete