It’s funny how different two consecutive years can be. Both 2015 and 2016 have been crazy and intense for me and Chris, but in completely different ways. Last year driving a couple of hundred miles a day most days was old hat. This year driving a round trip of about 100 miles felt very far, and was by far the furthest we’d gone in quite a while.
When we traveled through Arizona last year, we mainly focused on the East Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Most of the reason for this was purely coincidental. We were tired and we hit Mesa long before we would have hit, for instance, Glendale. Chandler, where we live now, is in the East Valley. We only very briefly ventured into the West Valley on our way out of the state on route to Las Vegas.
In the West Valley, there are two Lego related shops, so we ended up going on the first Lego related road trip either of us had been on. The first place we went to was Avondale, where there is a used Lego store. Chris has bought quite a lot of used Lego this year for his various projects. Mostly he had bought the Lego from online sellers, but often they are out East as that is a much more heavily populated part of the country. This results in it often taking a week for packages to arrive. Amazon Prime has spoiled us rotten on this count and a week felt long when Amazon can send you certain things by 4 PM when you order them at 11:59 AM. Driving across the valley on the off chance that they had something Chris wanted at least sounded a bit faster.
Bricks & Minifigs did have a few things we wanted and our first destination is indeed a shop I can recommend to Lego fans. It was clean, fairly well stocked and a good source of assorted brick, full used sets and a wide assortment of minifigures. Avondale itself also looked like a nice enough city.
We next went up to Peoria, where there is a large mall and the only other Lego store in the state of Arizona. I must say, I do prefer both our mall and our Lego store. Their mall seemed not to have as much walking space. There were more kiosks, which meant that everyone had to walk quite close together. Their Lego store was actually extremely unfriendly. The people at ours greet virtually everyone who comes in, while no one said anything to us and the staff sort of looked the other way instead. More than that, about 1/3 of the pick a brick trays were empty, so we bought nothing. We were hoping maybe different Lego stores had different selections, but they didn’t actually have enough of a sample to know if that’s the case.
The West Valley looked similar to the East Valley, but emptier. There seemed to be even more undeveloped areas. Fuel was more expensive in Avondale than it is in Chandler. There weren’t too many other notable differences, but then, as we weren’t looking for somewhere to live, we didn’t ask the same sorts of questions as we did last year. We didn’t even remember to ask how the first a in Avondale was pronunced (ɑ as in father, eɪ as in day or æ as in cat). If anyone knows, do let us know.
At any rate, it was fun, but I do think we picked the right place for us. I think we will be back to Avondale to the used Lego shop though, particularly when we want to populate Chris’s Lego city. The minifig prices were generally a bit lower than Amazon’s.
Here’s the video: