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Welcome to this space. I document all things that I find sol | ful. Namaste. 

Weekends with John | Lake Pleasant, Arizona

Weekends with John | Lake Pleasant, Arizona

John, back here. I am starting off the first column of 'Weekends with John'. Here, I will share those Arizona adventures that I will explore, and will mostly be shared with Hania and Pumpkin. 

Since Arizona is considered to be the “wild west”, it is very stereotypical of a man to own a truck and a boat. I never thought that I would live up to this stereotype, but what do you know, I just bought a brand new Tacoma and a kayak. I hate to say that I fell into the “basic Arizonaian trap”, but I did. To be honest though, I love it. Arizona has some of the most unique outdoor experiences in the world, and having these modes of transportation allow me to access places that not many can. 

Off-roading view | Post-kayak

Off-roading view | Post-kayak

Last weekend, Hania and I decided to bring our puppy, Pumpkin, on her first kayaking trip to Lake Pleasant, which is about an hour north of downtown Phoenix. This area offers unique off-roading, boating, and camping experiences, fun for anyone who is willing to make the drive. Since Hania and I decided to make this a day trip, we picked four things we wanted to accomplish. 

  1. Obtain our Saturday Cup of Coffee
  2. Bring Pumpkin in a boat/ kayak with her new orange life vest
  3. Visit the abandon Castle Hot Spring Resort nestled deeply in the Hieroglyphic Mountains
  4. Find a cupcake vending machine (Not my goal)

Obtain our Saturday cup of coffee

We gave into the overpriced corporate giant (Starbucks) due to its convenience and close proximity to our residence. The one thing I never understood about this place is that they assume I want sweetener in all my beverages. When I ask for my usual ice black coffee, I believe it’s by regulation that they ask “Do you want sweetener?” I use to kindly say “No, thank you”, but they still screw up the order and put artificial liquid crap into my drink. I now resort to “No thanks, I’m sweet enough ;)”.  Below is a picture of Pumpkin hanging out at Starbucks.

She's already pumped for her adventure | Sans caffeine

She's already pumped for her adventure | Sans caffeine

Bring Pumpkin in a boat/ kayak with her new orange life vest 

Hania and I decided to launch the kayak off in a little cove nestled on the northwest end of Lake Pleasant. What’s nice about this cove is that not many boats venture to this location and we didn’t want to deal with wakes on our inaugural kayaking trip with the brand new Sevylor inflatable kayak. Knowing Hania’s and my luck, especially with new things, the plans never work accordingly, but that’s what makes it fun.

Since Pumpkin has never fully experienced the water, we decided to stay on the safe side and strap her into a vest. At first, she didn’t know what to do with this bulky floating apparatus on her, but she eventually gave into it, and loved being near the water. Although she never fully jumped in, she certainly enjoyed the new scenery.

Loving the adventure + scenery with her pup parents 

Loving the adventure + scenery with her pup parents 

Seriously | Just look at that face 

Seriously | Just look at that face 

If you have the time while in Arizona, I highly recommend that you stop at one of the northern lakes and cool off from the dry desert heat.

Visit the abandon Castle Hot Spring Resort nestled deeply in the Hieroglyphic Mountains

Several miles up the dirt road from where we kayaked is a hidden oasis in the Hieroglyphic Mountains. Supposedly, Castle Hot Springs was a therapeutic resort used in the early 20th century, featuring natural hot springs, pools, and complete isolation from society. Although it’s now vacant, in its heyday, this resort hosted famous individuals; such as the Rockefeller family and John F. Kennedy, after WW2. Supposedly, the property was recently bought out and the owner is planning on recreating the resort to what it used to be. I will definitely stay there when it does. Unfortunately, the photographer…… Hania, did not take any good images of the resort when we drove by, but I was able to capture the image below which was much more worth it to me.   

Picnic in the bed of the truck | Homemade taco salad with raw almonds and green apples

Picnic in the bed of the truck | Homemade taco salad with raw almonds and green apples

Find a cupcake vending machine

Since Hania put up with my excitement of our outdoor adventures, I thought it would be nice to find the vending machine which outputs happiness. The Sprinkles Cupcake vending machine. Bringing your girlfriend to this place is almost equivalent to bringing a child to Disneyland for their first time. I find it unbelievable how a sugary mount of gluten free dough can induce so much happiness into one’s life. Stopping here at the end of the day certainly was the “icing on the cupcake” ;)

Tis true | So much happiness 

Tis true | So much happiness 

Staycation | The Dirty T Edition Part II

Staycation | The Dirty T Edition Part II

Staycation | The Dirty T Edition Part I

Staycation | The Dirty T Edition Part I