RETURN TO ROUTINE

the tree bw

So it begins. The return to the routine of every day life. A life outside of travel. Planes have been replaced by the minivan. Albeit comfortable, I would have preferred to stay indoors instead of driving to the grocery stores. But my refrigerator was in desperate need of being restocked - milk for the children, vegetables for various soups, more eggs as you can never have enough, cheese, and bread.

Whole Foods was first on my list. Not the two closest to my house but the large one downtown which has its own bakery. Five different types of freshly baked breads ended up in my shopping cart. There was the French baguette for my simple lunch of Havarti cheese with cucumbers, avocado, and arugula; the seeduction bread with 13 or so different types of seeds - not one my boyfriend could eat due to allergies; half a loaf of muesli bread for me to eat with peanut butter; a round of French country boule; and a half loaf of Parisian sourdough. Naan and flour tortillas were also amongst my purchases for the children's lunches.

Central Market was the next store I drove to this morning. It is where I prefer to buy my vegetables as the Whole Foods prices are higher. It is interesting to note what is in season by the abundance of the particular item on display. There must have been at least 20 different types of apples in the fruit section - Honeycrisp being amongst my favourite.

The cheese selection at Central Market is astonishing. I am not sure how many hundreds of types of cheeses they sell. I was happy when I found the quail eggs in the deli section but not happy at the $0.79 per egg price tag. I remember paying 3 Euros for 18 eggs in Berlin. I simply could not justify the high price here in the States as the kids and I could eat four to five eggs each for breakfast.

Walking through the store, I kept wondering when my boyfriend would be able to accompany me on such mundane tasks as grocery shopping as he did when I was in Ireland. Granted, the shopping experience in Ennis cannot be compared to the time it takes to accomplish such tasks here, but such is life here in Austin. He will soon get to experience this routine, but soon is never soon enough.

Trader Joes was my third and last grocery store visited. They have the best prices on many items but the selection is limited. Smoked Gouda was my purchase there today along with more pistachios. Surprisingly I did not eat all of the pistachios today - some I had for lunch, some after dinner, and some I shelled for the children's lunch.

After the hours spent driving around to the three grocery stores, I ran out of both time and energy to use the ingredients purchased to make the pea soup, meatless loaf, and mashed potatoes I had intended on making for dinner. I was tired as jet lag caught a hold of me. Tomorrow I will continue with the routine when the three have to wake up to get ready for school. I am glad to have the children for the rest of this week. We will make the best of our time together.