Day One of my vacation started with me driving to the airport to get on a plane for Phoenix.
I was using a new parking lot, so I left extra early. I was glad I did, because the shuttle at this lot didn't run as often as the transportation at the lot I usually use, but I still ended up in the terminal in plenty of time. Security went quickly, and then all I had to do was sit around at the gate.
As the boarding process started, we were told that TSA personnel would be checking our IDs before boarding. I'd never heard of this before, but sure enough, they came through the line of passengers and compared the name on the ID to the name on the boarding pass before we got on the plane. My flight was uneventful. Since I've been to Phoenix before, I knew where to go to find the shuttle for the Rental Car Center. (Every rental company is in the same building, which is really nice.) Fifteen minutes after entering the Rental Center, I had my car and was ready to roll.
I had several hours to kill before Son Tony got off work. When I asked him for suggestions on what to do, he suggested I go to the IKEA store, which I've never been to before (although I've seen lots of their ads). The store was about 20 minutes east of the car rental facility, through a bit of early rush hour traffic. When I got off the interstate, I didn't know how easy it would be to find the store, but there was an easy to see huge blue and yellow sign at the edge of the parking lot to show me where to go.
My shopping trip was quite an experience. You start on the top floor, where arrows on the floor help guide you through the two floors of displays. (All the furniture at IKEA is modular and comes unassembled in boxes. If you see something on the floor you'd like, you write down the number and pick it up on a different floor.) Two and a half hours later I'd been through every department. Living room, bedroom, dining room, office, and kitchen furniture. Fabulous children's furniture department. Closet, cabinet, and drawer organizers. Linens, curtains, bedding, rugs, and pillows. My feet hurt by time I made it to the ground floor, which is where you'd pick up the boxed things you wanted to buy. Since I wasn't making a purchase, I walked by the warehouse-looking area, left the store, and found my car.
Son Tony's car was in the shop, so he asked me to pick him up at work, which was to the west through a bit of late rush hour traffic. After we said our greetings, he suggested we try a Mexican restaurant that was purported to have the best carnitas in town. Tony ordered it on tacos, and let me try a bite. It was very good, but so was my torta al pastor, and the salsa was just right.
We drove to his house, watched a bit of TV, then went to bed. The next day's adventure required getting up early!.