Texas is getting more California-ized by the day. And I love it.
A few years ago, I told Charles that I’d top complaining about Texas (and I mostly love Texas, let me be clear – but I’m a California girl through and through, and growing up in Southern California and then moving to rural Texas was a bit of a culture shock) if we got In-n-Out, Trader Joe’s, and Pat & Oscar’s (which is probably nothing to waste my prayers on, but HEY I like their bread sticks, ok?).
So guess what came to Texas last year? In-n-Out. I now live *closer* to In-n-Out than I did when I lived in California (and coincidences being what they are, the closest In-n-Out to me in California and the closest In-n-Out to me in Texas are both located on a Highway 78).
And guess what came to the area just last week? Trader Joe’s.
We happened to be in Plano the day of the Grand Opening. I’m not one for braving the crowds at Grand Opening events, and as we pulled into the parking lot we could tell that it was going to be pretty crowded in there…but after telling Jack he’d get to shop with his very own little shopping cart, we had no choice but to go inside.
I should say here: did you know that the guy who owns Trader Joe’s is the brother of the guy who owns Aldi? Now that you know that…those of you who have shopped at both…can’t you see the similarities?
The place was packed. To our horror, the little shopping carts we had promised Jack were locked up. Apparently, it was so crowded that they didn’t want a bunch of little kids running around with shopping carts. Imagine that!
Although sympathetic to their plight and certainly able to understand this logic, this simply would not work for us. Jack was nearing meltdown status as we had really built up the awesomeness of pushing his own shopping cart around, and had even told him he could pick things out to put in his basket. However! I am totally and completely not a rule breaker. The carts were up and for good reason.
So I sent Charles to go find them.
And he did. And within minutes, Jack was happy and I got a better idea of why they had put the carts away in the first place (it was kind of terrifying trying to help him maneuver around everyone’s knees, but my real concern was that he might crash into something and break the big bottle of Two Buck Chuck he was pushing around…priorities!).
A loaf of bread, some Two Buck Chuck (wine that runs $2.99/bottle, for the uninitiated), a bottle of Tejava tea and a stack of produce later, we were in the checkout line.
It looks like I am running out of things to complain about in Texas. Now if the summers could just cool off by, say, 30 degrees or so, and the bugs would all DIE, and some hills and flowers and ice plant would sprout, and maybe Disneyland would open nearby…I might have nothing to complain about, at all!
What’s your favorite thing at Trader Joe’s? I’m going back on a weekday and maybe without Jack, I need some healthy snacks and I’d love some ideas!