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The El Centro Imperial Valley Mall

The El Centro Mall - WOW!!!

Matthew wanted to visit the Imperial Valley Mall in Calexico. We had never been there. Jim and I had to get new batteries for our watches, and Matthew was whining about always doing the same thing!

So, on Saturday, we left early to cross the border to Calexico, where we arrived in at 10.30am. The first item on our agenda was to get flu shots.

Jim drove on to El Centro, and cruised down to Imperial Blvd., and we saw Walgreen’s was offering flu shots. Since we had our Medicare cards, we got our flu shots for free!

At Walgreen’s, a very nice Filipino gal pharmacist did a great job on the three of us. Her colleague, a tall Indian chap was doling out prescriptions at the drive-thru; a pretty Romanian gal was attending to the patients lining for their flu shots.

Jim whispered to me, “Looks like everyone here lost their job to a foreigner just like happened to me.”

I give Jim a light slap on his arm and shook my head “no” in disapproval.

If you weren’t on Medicare each flu shot cost $29.99. The price had gone up. I re-called that last year it was only $20.

After the shot, I bought red nail polish, as we needed to mark the key to our home. The cheapest was the Wet ‘n Wild brand made in China selling for 99 cents! I love the Wet ‘n Wild cosmetics!

It was time for lunch, and Jim said, “Sizzler’s? It’s just down the road?”

“Great idea, I am always for steaks!” I smiled.

“Oh yes, they have a lovely buffet table of salads, and a dessert tray!” chimed in Matthew.

Well, dogonit, as we were turning into Sizzlers, we saw the place was closed for renovations!

“Look at this—renovations? The restaurant is the fine! What renovations?” growled a hungry Jim.

“OK, drive on back to the main road, and all the restaurants will be on the left side of Imperial Blvd., Jim.” I said, while looking to see if we could turn.

Turn we did after Jim took a good look—that’s my Jim!

“Jim, let’s go to Carrows! They have one in Calexico, and we have never tried it!” I said.

Matthew was getting hungry, agitated and upset. “We are going to the mall aren’t we? After we eat?” he said.

“Yes, but only if you stop sulking Matthew!” said Jim.


Jim turned into the Carrows’ car park. All three of us were starving by now. It was well after 1.00pm. We got seated in a booth immediately by a friendly waitress, called Deanna.

“Hi there honeys! Here’s the menu. The specialty of the day is prime-rib, baked or mashed potatoes, soup of the day is tortilla soup or broccoli cream soup!” she smiled through her braces. What a pretty girl!

“Prime Rib? I am going to fall off this booth! That’s our favorite!” said Jim.

We ordered three prime ribs, one coffee for Jim, the addict, and two ice-teas.

The restaurant was beginning to fill up with people who were ordering the same meal as we!

Deanna came for the orders and said “We have prime-rib every Saturday and Sunday!

Our check came to 52 bucks, but I know we will be back, probably once a month. No more Sizzlers! That’s what they get for closing down for renovations—probably just low on business and wanted to fire folks.

“That is the best meal we have had in a long time!” said Matthew.

“Yeah, no kiddin’ now that was good cooking!” laughed Jim.

“Now we know where we can get prime rib—Carrows,” I said.

“Jim, are you OK to drive to Home Depot? We need that sealing paste for the roof?” I asked.

“Yup, I’m saddlin’ up, and we’re off my love!” said Jim.

“Home Depot?” asked an irritated Matthew, “I thought the mall? “

“Yup, right after Home Depot,” I said.

Now Home Depot is in El Centro, just right next to the Social Security and IRS offices. We know that well.

At the stop sign, there was a homeless man. We gave him $3 dollars. He would be able to get himself a burger.

Jim went happily into Home Depot, while Matthew and I waited in the truck.

“Don’t take too long, we all want to go to the mall!” yelled Matthew.

In about half and hour, Jim had bought the sealing glue, and we were off to the Imperial Valley Mall.

We headed towards the Food Court part of this huge mall. Parked the truck, and Matthew literally pushed me over to get out.

“Jeez, your brother can be such a child!” I said.


We entered the mall, and the movie theaters were to your left. Right in front was a merry-go-round. Food was to your right, there were pizzas, ice-cream and donuts!

Matthew headed straight for the merry-go-round.

“You don’t mind if I try it?” grinned Matthew.

“Knock yourself out, Matthew, and don’t forget to try the white horsey!” joked Jim.

“That merry-go-round is really beautiful, makes me want to ride the toy horses too,” I said.

“You’re kiddin’ me right, MaryAnn?” Jim gave me a baffled look.

“I’m walking fine, now – took my Lyrica and Soma, and I am ready to go, but slowly Jim,” I said.

“There’s the watch store!” Jim pointed.

The watchmaker was a super talented Vietnamese man! We had new batteries put in, and Jim got a new black watch band. This is just wonderful. It took just about 30 minutes!

Since my Tarlov Cyst surgery, I had stopped using my Seiko watch, and it was great to see it on my wrist again together with my beaded bracelets bought from Los Algodones. My bracelets are just like the rich folks who wear them to pretend they aren’t rich.

Next to the watchmaker’s little shop, was a place where people could have massages!

For 30 minutes it was $20 dollars. I had a much needed full body massage. The masseuse and his team of three people were all from China. They gave Jim a foot massage—$20 for 30 minutes. These Chinese had been in America for six years, and Jim said they are making a fortune—$500 a day, Jim estimated.

Now all these little stores sat right the middle of the mall. There were handbags for sale, 50% off. After the great massage, I sat down on the bench, while Jim went to buy me ankle weights. Jim came back with them. Each was a three pound ankle weight for my leg lifts.

We held hands, just like kids, and walked up to the ice-cream stand.

“Chocolate, small for me,” said Jim “I’m going to try the piña calada, yes – small,” I asked.

We sat down at a table, and quietly ate our ice-creams. Jim looked at the table. “Hey, see it’s a handicap table!” he said.

It sure was. It had those handicap markings on each corner.

It was time to go home. We went to the merry-go-round and Matthew was sill riding—on a white horse. When it stopped, he got off the merry-go-round.

“I had so much fun! I want to come back to this mall—soon!” clapped a happy Matthew.

We were having so much fun at the mall that we forgot the time – it was well past 8:00pm.

We got back home to Mexicali, by 9.30pm.

We turned on the TV, and we were just in time to watch the movie, Hurtlocker, which won the best movie Oscar for 2009. And now, it was on HBO!

Then we de-compressed, had our showers, flopped into our beds, all we could think of was, “What a great day it was!”

By October 31st, the Mexicali weather will change overnight, so it’s good we all got our flu shots!

2 comments to The El Centro Imperial Valley Mall

  • Carolyn:
    No, we are not Canadians, and do not know of any Canadians in Mexicali. In 6 plus years here we have come across about 3 Americans. There are several posts about my surgery on the site. You can key in “Tarlov” on the search bar to read them. The search bar is on the top right had corner of the screen. Originally, we were in Rosarito Beach which has great weather, but after being stopped by the police for bribes and seeing the drug activity, we moved to Mexicali, where none of that has happened to us. Here, with our pass, we can be in the US in ten minutes – the best of both worlds.
    God Bless,

  • Carolyn

    I am very interested in hearing more about your decision to move south. Are you from Canada? do you know Canadians too? who live near/around Mexicali? Would you mind telling about your Tarlov cyst surgery? was it successful? I certainly appreciate your response, even if you want to email me back.
    thanks again sounds like you are having the life you lived for!

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