Back At It.

We haven’t been to an Apple store since pre-pandemic times. When we lived in Chicago I always enjoyed stopping by the area Apple stores, especially the flagship store on Michigan Avenue. The vibe is always good, and the Michigan Avenue store had a nice “stadium” area where you could partake in “Today at Apple” and the like.

I’m in the mood for an upgrade to my Apple Watch Series 3 (from the original release), so we went to the Apple Store here in Tucson to take a look and see what they had in stock. Short version: I’m ordering my new watch online.

The Apple Store in Tucson is located in the La Encantada shopping “mall” in the foothills. I love outdoor shopping areas like this, something that would never work up north because of winter. Now that I think about it, there is an outdoor mall with an Apple store outside of Chicago, but I always went there in the summer.

La Encantada is where the luxury brands are located for the local populace and the facility is very nice. It was fairly busy when we were there; the Apple store was by far the busiest of the retailers.

Mask use was encouraged but not mandatory in the majority of retail outlets. In our travels, the only place where masks were absolutely required (with two security guards making sure everyone complied) was the Apple store itself. It was crowded, and it certainly made sense to control the number of folks in the store and to require masks. We waited less than five minutes to get in.

We took our first Apple store selfie in over 18 months.

After chatting with a couple of helpful Apple people about the new MacBook Pros and the Apple Watch Series 7 that was not in stock for the configuration I was looking for, we made our way down to the North Italia restaurant at the end of the way for a leisurely lunch. We both had salads and I had a glass of wine. Our server’s name was Karen and she was very pleasant and efficient. I’m still getting used to the fact that we can dine outdoors at a restaurant in late October here in the desert. We did the same in Chicago, but it was usually quite chilly.

It was a lovely afternoon and I very much enjoyed the experience.