Get Your Joe at Jobot Coffee

I’m an absolute coffee addict. Even though I’m not much of a brand snob at home, I LOVE finding small shops that serve only the best coffee. 
Jobot is located in my favorite area of downtown Phoenix, on 5th St, in the artsy part of town. Like most of my favorite spots, I found this one by pure accident. 

A childhood friend of mine was in town for vacation and getting a tattoo was on her bucket list. We ended up with an appointment at 27 Studio. The design she wanted was pretty large and intricate, and after 3 hours of sitting, I was getting tired and antsy. I asked the tattoo artist what kind of coffee shops were nearby. She rambled off a list of the usual places, but said that if I wanted a really tasty iced coffee, Jobot was the spot!

I started wandering down the street, past beautiful homes and funky murals until I arrived at a happening little abode. It is literally a house with a diner inside. In the yard, there were several tables where quite an eclectic group of people were seated. Some were reading and studying, some were chatting with friends and another man was playing a guitar. I already knew it was going to be right up my alley!

The inside was very open, with quite a variety of items at the coffee bar. I was soaking in the atmosphere and didn’t notice the barista waiting for me to order. I didn’t want to take more time to look at the menu, so I followed the tattoo artists recommendation and ordered a simple iced coffee and a delicious poppy seed muffin that was in the dessert display. It was even more delicious than I had hoped.

I wanted to sit and admire the scenes going on around me for awhile before I headed back to the tattoo shop, and I’m glad I did. There was a large lunchtime crowd, and I was seated in a prime, people-watching location. I also skimmed the menu and was pleasantly surprised to find that Jobot is open 24 hours on the weekends and until midnight during the week. They also serve breakfast  (my favorite meal of the day) ALL. DAY. LONG! 

Their menu has a little bit of everything, including burritos, crepes, a delicious-looking Monte Cristo, among other breakfast favorites. They also have an incredibly delicious and healthy lunch/dinner menu. To make things even better they have a selection of your favorite adult beverages.

I will most certainty be visiting Jobot Coffee and Diner on a regular basis! 

Weekend Retreat in Palm Canyon

Living in a very rural part of Arizona, I do a LOT of hiking. Aside from the occasional snowbird on a 4-wheeler, I don’t encounter a lot of foot traffic or interruptions. On the contrary, many of the Phoenix trails are crowded with people rushing to get their morning cardio sesh in before the heat. The city mountains have stunning views and are great for focused cardio workouts, but I use my hiking time similarly to those who attend a Sunday church service. I can work out at a gym, or run around the track at our local high school, but hiking is my time to re-energize my soul and to take time to realize that I am a part of a universe that is much larger than myself.

 With that being said, my feature hike is a beautiful low-key trail at Palm Canyon, in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge.

For you city-dwellers, it is a little bit of a drive, but the diverse wildlife is well worth a weekend camping trip with friends or family. Palm Canyon is also the only location in Arizona where the California palms grow natively. Yes, all of the palms you see around the Valley are impostors! The palms are obviously the main attraction (hence the name), but that shouldn’t take away from the selection of birds that live there, as well as big horn sheep that you might see scaling the peaks of the mountains early in the morning.

I have hiked this trail a few times; once alone and a few times with friends, and have only seen one or two people each time. During my first (and only) overnight stay, I arrived at dusk the night before my hike, as I knew the temperatures were going to be hot. I had intentions of sleeping out among the stars, but the uncomfortably close howls of coyotes scared me back into my 1998 Infinity i30. I gobbled down some of the snacks I packed and got some rest.
I woke up around 4:30 am. It was still very dark, but you could start to see the sun peeking up over the mountains to the East of the canyon. As soon as there was enough light to guide me to the trail head, I splashed some water on my face, grabbed a Cliff bar and hit the dusty trail, literally. 

I had no idea what kind of trail this would be, and as I soon found out, it was very short (only .5 miles), but it was fairly rocky and took a bit of effort to tackle. As I approached the end of the marked trail, I could still see a lot of the canyon up ahead of me, and it was covered in more native palms! I couldn’t resist walking along the unmarked path to climb to the highest walls of the canyon to get a better look. It was a difficult climb up a mound of loose rocks, but I saw some amazing sights and hundreds of birds.
I sat at the peak of one of the canyon walls for awhile, took in the sights, then started my trek back, which seemed to only take a fraction of the time it took to get IN to the canyon. I captured some even more beautiful sights of the mountains on the East side of the refuge. 


When I got back to my car and looked back at the beast I just conquered, I could feel all of the post-workout adrenaline pumping through my body. I knew I was leaving with a good workout under my belt, some amazing photos, and a new appreciation for the rare Arizona wildlife I had just witnessed.

Kofa wildlife Refuge ▪ 356 West First St. Yuma, Az

No Dinner Until You Eat All Your Dessert

Venture out on the 60 West about 60 miles, and you’ll find the wild, Western town of Wickenburg. Nestled between McDonald’s and Tastee Freeze is a quaint, family-owned shop called Chaparral’s Homemade Ice Cream. 

Chaparral’s, itself, has been in business for 35 years, but new owners, Tony and Pam bought the business in 2009,  with the promise to serve nothing but the best food and ice cream, using the freshest ingredients.

I have eaten here, celebrated my son’s 1st birthday here, and even organized a company training seminar for a previous employer, here. Each experience was more enjoyable than the next, as the staff made sure the food was perfect, and every need was met for each occasion.

My visit today was no different. My husband was out of town for some work-related items, and I didn’t want to cook a full meal for myself and a toddler, so to Wickenburg we went! 

In typical Chaparral fashion, we ate our dessert first, sharing a double scoop of Prickly Pear ice cream. For lunch, I ordered the sandwich that Chaparral is known for, the Jailtree. If you know anything about historical Wickenburg, you might know that the actual Jail Tree is a mesquite tree where criminals were chained when they were caught breaking the law.

The sandwich is a much more tasty experience than being chained to a tree. You can choose from chicken or beef, which is piled high on a roll with sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms. I always opt for the chicken with the bleu cheese sauce, rather than the beef with cheddar, but both are mouthwatering!  

Each and every item on their menu is unique and made from scratch! To make the experience even more enjoyable, they allow local talent to come in and play for the guests. The two men playing old, country tunes tonight were very entertaining, and even interacted with my son during a few of their songs! 

Next time you are in the area, or are game for a roadtrip, do your taste buds a favor and indulge in some of this homemade delight!

A Heart Full of Soul

Photo courtesy of AZcentral.com

As I was browsing things to do in the Phoenix area, one event surprisingly  caught my eye…Chris Isaak at the Celebrity Theatre this Tuesday, July 26th! 

I haven’t been a serious, life-long fan of Chris, but his past collaborations with my REAL idol, Stevie Nicks, were enough to win my attention.You don’t have to be a fan to appreciate the croon of one of Rock music’s most talented men, but I’m sure you’ve all heard “Wicked Games” at some point in your life!

 The majority of his musical catalogue is Rockabilly, 50’s style rocks. His appearance is very Elvis-esque with his bedazzled outfits, glitzy guitars and perfectly pomade-ed hair. He rips on the guitar and his falsetto is as smooth as butter.

If you want to hear some smooth Rock n’ Roll, I’m sure Chris Isaak won’t disappoint, and the Celebrity Theatre’s beautiful stage area and acoustics will only add to the experience. 

Ticket prices range from $55 to $85, depending on your seating preference and VIP packages are available through the Celebrity Theatre website.

Www.celebritytheatre.com

Craft Cocktails at The Brickyard Downtown 

In honor of National Tequila Day, (which is tomorrow),  I asked around about where the best place would be to get a margarita. Two of the three suggestions directed me to Chandler, at the Brickhouse Downtown. 
The Brickhouse is located in downtown Chandler, in an old-fashioned, speakeasy-type of setting. Co-owner, Gavin Jacobs, is a proud Chandler local who wants to bring great customer service, affordable food, and most importantly, craft cocktails to his hometown.

With a beverage menu of 15 pages, this should definitely be a “must stop” on your tequila quest tomorrow! The bar offers 9 different kinds of tequila, among lists of other drinks from a classic Cuban to a themed, custom creation!

Though their beverage menu could keep you reading all day, the food is nothing to be ignored. Their menu offers a wide range of small plates, as well as vegetarian options, that are great for sharing, or happy hour apps! 

The Brickyard Downtown will definitely be on my radar on my next visit to the East Valley.

Lustre Rooftop Bar

If you’re trying to stay water-logged in this desert heat, or grab a non-traditional lunch with friends, the rooftop at Hotel Palomar is equipped with all of your summertime needs!

Lustre Rooftop Bar and Garden is a great place for an afternoon appetizer and catching some sun. The best part is you do not have to be staying at the hotel in order to use the facilities. As long as you are considerate, and order from their menu, your inner sun goddess can sprawl out on a lounge chair all day! 

Private cabana areas are also available, with a minimum spending limit to reserve. So, if you’re trying to get the girls together for a lunch date, the cabanas are the way to go! Everything on their menu is fresh and healthy, and their drinks pack a punch!

Evening yoga classes are also offered near the pool for those of you looking to get outside the fitness center walls.

For the night owls, Lustre offers many themed rooftop parties that are open to guests and the public.

If you want the celeb treatment, but are on a budget, Lustre Bar is the spot! Check them out on Instagram for their schedule of events @lustrerooftopbar
◇2 E. Jefferson, Phoenix, Az◇

Fruit and cheese plate for the appetizer.

Delicious black bean burger with portobello, roasted red pepper and veggies.

El Dorado Hot Springs

This next location takes you out on the I-10, about an hour West of downtown, in a small town called Tonopah. It’s far, but it is one of my favorite, low-key spots to get away for a few hours.
The El Dorado Hot Springs are a series of private soaking areas, each with a hot tub that constantly circulates fresh water from the local mineral springs. Each area has its own fire pit, lounge chairs, a hot and cold tub, and beautiful views of the Sonoran Desert. There are several private areas to choose from, my personal favorite being Desert View. There is also a fully nude, public bathing area for the more “ballsy” people (pun intended).

Aside from the tub areas that are rented for $15 per person, per hour, there are also two small cabins for overnight stays, which are a bit more pricey.

From the parking lot and check-in area, it is slightly dusty and the RV’s are home to the family that owns the business, but once you walk through the entrance to the private areas, it is a hidden sanctuary! I’ve done everything here from photo shoots, girl time, informal business meetings and even stayed the night in one of their cabins for my anniversary.

Definitely a must-see for any of you Cali-bound travelers who need a place to stop and relax!