Giving Tuesday

I could use your help. My nonprofit is called the Desert Nature Alliance. We support our community by providing nature based #STEAM education support , wildlife awareness and field study support, desert safety information and by volunteering to clean up and adopting part of the highways.

There are so many people out there that wish they weren’t so alone or lost in learning or just trying to live life. Once we opened our new space and could reach more if our community, the needs became varied. It wasn’t just the need for some help learning , it was a lot more. The disconnect our society has faced caused a lot of hidden damage. One by one , hugs and tears and talking, we have started to make a difference in our community.

When you are not known for retail, it is extremely hard to make a go of a nonprofit. I am funding it all with the help of my Math teacher husband. We are not wealthy. We just believe change can and should happen. I don’t know if I will ever take a paycheck but I am ok with that.

Our state, Arizona, ranks #47 in education. That’s appalling. Why there isn’t a serious call of action I do not know. For years now Arizonas education offered has been #47 places away from the best there is to offer.

We built a YouTube channel full of animals and education. We offer classes and support. We are using one wall as a Gallery to showcase local art. With our license, we help remove fallen birds from the roads.

Please take a moment to go to our website and see just how much we have dedicated ourselves. Grants haven’t happened yet but the rent continues to need to be paid.

Help me by sharing our story. Follow us online. Watch our videos on YouTube.

Support when you give everything you have means so much. It’s what keeps the fire alive

Thank You Sincerely


Flat out Silly

A few years back our niece sent me a “Flat Stanley” but created and styled to look more like her fabulous self. 👑
If you hadn’t guessed already, I am exactly the type of person who your child should send a Flat Stanley or Flat Savannah to!

I added the scorpion lollipop 🤣🌵

At that time I was volunteering at a local museum. Me and my new flat pal went everywhere!!

This reminded me of quite possibly THE best prank ever pulled on me by a few of the funniest and most creative individuals I was blessed with befriending at the Phx Zoo.

Our Experience Team was sent a Flat Stanley. I was thrilled and also put in charge of it!! With an entire Zoo at my disposal, plus being the Senior at the time (meaning I had access to some seriously cool stuff!!) I all but lost my mind at the chance to goof off on that level and take photos all in the name of education!!!

Yes I was standing there !! Yes Paige took me out there on my very last day 👑💚yes this was a screen shot from my computer because nothing was cooperating this morning!!! Zuri and Makope 💚👑
I am obviously the less smarter of the two of us 🤣 Thank You Jessica for a last day I’ll never forget ❤️

I treated that Flat Stanley like VIP! We went to the best of it all!

On my day off my evil friends Michelle CN and Ben Brose plus who knows who else was in on it, ( you all know who you are!) started sending me photos of my Flat Stanley roaming the Zoo! 😳

Stanley was on the zip line !

Stanley was going nuts!

Next thing I know Stanley has a sling on his arm and crutches !!😳

I start losing my shit at these two via text screaming that I have to send this thing back on behalf of the PHX Zoo!! Wtf are you doing?!?( super professional but it was my day off and I now have a Flat Stanley with a leg cast, an arm in a sling , crutches they have made …)

Uh laughing their asses off behind the scenes. 🤣🤣💚That’s what they were doing!

They had made a duplicate Stanley on the copier and were hell bent to turn him into the next star of Jackass!!🤣🤣🤣🤣 I don’t have photos of this mayhem but if you guys do please share !

Omg did they get me good!🤬😤😂🤣😂We all had harassed each other before by doing dumb stuff to our desks ect . But this was brilliant.

Fit for a Princess 👑
Michelle my pretty pretty princess

Now that I have the nonprofit Desert Nature Alliance and am
free of serious pranksters! I would love to get more Flat Whoever’s and enjoy sharing more of this desert with whoever wants too!!!#goodtimes #flatstanley

That’s a wrap

Guided Tour of Our New Storefront for the Desert Nature Alliance

As a newly developed nature based nonprofit who devotes itself to loving this desert here in Gold Canyon AZ and keeping us all safely enjoying it, I would like to invite you to follow me on this tour and experience what we have to offer. Being small and brand new, any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Come Visit Me!

Open Thursdays and Fridays 12-8pm Saturdays and Sunday’s 9-6pm.

We’re Painting The Roses Red….

Question time.
Put your nose to the photo and these roses have the same smell they do in the store , zero!

In 2022, roses no longer have fragrance!! Go to any grocery store , stand by the flowers and tell me what you smell . Go grab a dozen in plastic and stuff your face into it and take a huge deep breath in! Nothing . Why?!? Oh if you Google it, growers are going for “durability” and looks at the cost of fragrance. Purposely growing roses that don’t smell . Wtf????? Why? Durability? Nothing screams romance like a good non fragrant durable rose I tell ya. Or is it to keep the cost down so more and more cheap non scented red roses can flood the markets for made up holidays like Valentines Day? True Romance❤️

How much water, land, resources, trucks, distribution… for flowers that don’t smell at all! Then are we to “keep” them in more water till they “die”
and throw them away? Over fill our homes with dozens and dozens of wildly elaborate bouquets Kardashian style just to brag and post online? What the hell are we doing as a society?!?

If you come visit my @desert_nature_alliance shop, I sell Wild and Dried Flowers, and as part of the larger conversation, dried long stem roses. At least in dried gothic form they can “live” on much longer and no one expects them to smell anymore. I don’t make “potpourri”. That’s a weird old term and brings up images of odd smelling, fake colored, artificial plant parts. Sorry, I have better taste than that. None of the Wild and Dried or pressed flowers at the DNA have any artificial anything added. You add your own scents or oils or sparkles if you choose. So is it ok with you that we as a society that struggles with drought and climate changes, continue growing flowers that have zero fragrance?

Your thoughts below : #paintingtherosesred #roses #fragrance #arosebyanyothername #whatdoyousmelllike

Trying Korean Corn Dogs in Arizona because of British 8th Graders

One day while mindlessly scrolling through YouTube latest suggestions I landed on a video who’s title alone sucked me in immediately. “British 8th Graders try Korean Corndogs for the first time”. Intrigued, I had to find out what made a corn dog Korean.

I am desert born and raised. I live in Gold Canyon Arizona. Tucson is known for a Sonoran Dog but that’s an entirely different meal altogether and it definitely wouldn’t stay on a stick very well. I’m very familiar with Hot Dog on a Stick, the 1980s style mall food famous for young pretty girls in goofy uniforms doing crazy pogo like moves while making buckets of fresh lemonade. They made really yummy fresh coated, fresh fried corndogs I would dip into half ketchup half mustard. They also made “cheese on a stick” but rarely, if ever, did I eat one. I don’t tend to go to the fair but on those occasions that I have I didn’t enjoy the oversized over coated over priced semi warm ones I bought.

As I watched the video I could tell immediately the coating on these Korean corn dogs came with a really nice crunch. Being a big fan of fried foods, they had me at that irresistible crunchy sound. The British boys with their cute manners giggled realizing these magic corn dogs were covered in sugar! Personally my brain exploded at the thought that someone finally heard my prayers and put salt and fried and sweet and meat and hot sweet dipping sauces all on a stick! Hallelujah sugar coated corndogs!!! Genius!

I grew jealous as I watched the boys devour their corndogs with delight. My last corndog from Sonic was so awful and misshapen from what looked like they put it in a panini press I didn’t eat it. I refuse to buy the frozen ones. There is no Weinerschnitzle around here and they don’t put sugar on their corndogs anyways. No, these special sugary hotdog on a stick treats were something I needed to try!

Maybe it’s an American thing, I don’t know , but my brain was pretty confident that even though I was in the middle of one of the hottest deserts on the planet, no where even remotely near Korea, I would be able to find a legit Korean Corndog if I Googled it.

In Mesa!

I might be in Arizona but yes of course the Valley of the Sun has Korean Corndogs in multiple locations! We chose Mesa for our first try.

We stood at the outdoor sign for a minute trying to decide but figured let’s just go inside and look around.

Dipping Combos

Cheese Mustard. I can say it over and over but it still doesn’t seem to make sense. Cheese Mustard.

I tend to chat with whoever is helping me either at the counter or the server who takes the order when it’s my first time and I’m really not sure what to get. I want to enjoy my experience. Sometimes just hearing what is or isn’t on an item helps me decide. The young lady that helped us was great. Obviously it was our first time by our gawking at the menu but she didn’t call us out on it! I truly hate staff that condescendingly ask “is this your first time?” No, I eat daily. I am at fault for being too preoccupied with corndogs and fillings to catch her name so please excuse the random ways I’m referring to such a sweet girl. She aimed us at the ones that were half cheese half hotdog, one original, one with potatoes on the outside, so we could get a sample of quite a few varieties and dipping choices. A great way to get started! We chose bottled water as our drink. Keep the liquid simple so all the new flavors could shine.

Where to start first ?

I decided to try my first bite with no sauces. Hot gooey cheese comes stretching out of the crispy sugary coating nothing like a standard corn dog coating at all. My mouth is at first confused then wants to smile. Textures and flavors seem to go together when they shouldn’t? The Siracha and Mayo dipping sauce made the most sense to me so I went for it. Sugar, Siracha, Cheese, Salt, Crunchy , Chewy Cheese… eyes close.

I yank the stick out and flip my sugar coated wonder over to get to the hot dog side.

Next up was the corndog with the potatoes and sugar on the outside. I really liked the potatoes and hotdog combo. The stretchy cheese becomes too much for me but I also didn’t have a beer. That might be the game changer for me and the cheese.

One Korean corndog was more than enough to fill me up. The prices were very affordable. Would I go back to Myungrang? Absolutely. The staff were friendly, the place was clean, the food was fun and yummy at a price you can afford. Next door a new dessert place is going in! That’s reason enough to make a trip back over to Mesa.

Entertainment while you wait for your corndogs!

Hey All Arizona Birds! Look Out! PHX Home and Garden “Suggests” We Should “Avoid the Temptation to Poison You!!”

This actually should read Never Poison Birds because you are unhappy. ALL wildlife is desirable 🌵💚 Find a better solution not search for poison!

Before I launch into my thoughts I am going to post a series of pictures I’ve taken of just some of the local Arizona birds who swing by my seeds or water. I have no way of telling certain birds they are not welcomed due to color ( that’s really what it is all about isn’t it Home and Garden? Being “desirable” A pigeon is a no. Is a Dove is ok? Or only the White Winged ones Stevie Nicks sings about? Maybe just the white ones sent off for a wedding?What about a Quail?)

I’ve already started, I’m too irritated not too. To print that Poisoning Birds was ever an alternative at all was quite irresponsible. Our state has protected species.

Can Mrs. Nosy Neighbor identify these baby birds? No Nancy these aren’t baby Pigeons. Are they Desirable now ????
Not a pigeon. Hey Oriole! Don’t eat the poison that’s just for the Pigeons !
Don’t Eat The Poison Pigeon Food!
Is there poison in the juice ?
There’s poison in the food?
I’ll watch
I’ll wait…

Disappointing on such a huge level that a publication like Phoenix Home and Garden didn’t take the time or effort to give better advice than to not contemplate killing an animal that bothers you .

Irresponsible also on an enormous level to suggest certain birds are desired and others should die. Based on what PHG? Is that how the affluent do it? Your neighbors idea of what a “good bird” is decides what lives or dies? To flippantly say that sure, you probably can’t find such a product on the shelf smacks of your entitlement as if you or anyone should be able to buy products that kill our local wildlife!!!!

If any wild animal becomes a problem there are resources to help. Not bothering to mention any of the help Arizona has available besides death or an evil HOA is again, completely irresponsible for such a large publication!

Phoenix Home and Garden, you didn’t bother to edit this piece with any sensitivity. You chose to mock those who love birds and who watch them and you are a GARDEN magazine!! The Audubon must be something you aren’t familiar with or Global Big Day where we, the whole world counts the birds!

So I am going to suggest everyone avoid the urge to buy a Phoenix Home and Garden magazine even from Bookmans until they can support the wildlife here in Phoenix and all of AZ.

Emotionally What It’s Like to See a Rattlesnake

I would love it if you popped over to my YouTube channel Oh So Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance for this video and more. I started making videos to work on my public speaking at first but started to enjoy it more and more. The education I can share for free and in my own style with no editing feels liberating! My channel has over 400 videos now. Some are of me sharing my desert love and safety tips, but most are of the wildlife living here in Gold Canyon Arizona.

Where am I? What did I come here for?

I step inside the door, away from the intense Arizona heat, to the freezing sensation of cold air being blown at me. I stop. It takes my body a minute to adjust and not faint. The long walk across the huge parking lot in triple digit heat has me dripping sweat through to my bra. The cold air has turned my sweat into wet and I am shivering. Take off my sunglasses and toss them into my purse. I squint as the lights inside are too bright, not sunlight bright, fluorescent bright and now I am questioning whether I should put my glasses back on or let my eyes water and adjust.

Popular music from the 1980’s is playing loudly. I don’t mind it. The songs bring me back to high school and are surprisingly not the typical, overplayed top forty. I sing along as I go. There are very few people around me so I feel less awkward and self conscious being alone, blurry eyed and still so sweaty .

I turn the corner and see all the seats at the bar are full. Puzzled, I grab my phone to check the time. It couldn’t be after noon already? No, it was still 11:30 am or so. I hadn’t lost time. It was still fairly early and during the middle of the week. Out of curiosity I look over to see what everyone is drinking. Mostly beers and wines.

At this point in my life I am not much of a drinker at all. I am a stoner. Drinking beer, any time of the day, is really not appealing to me. Morning or night, the flavor is kind of gross. I will drink one with sushi or chips and salsa but I really can’t seem to drink more than a few sips of beer before I feel really full and have to pee. I can not imagine drinking wine that early in the morning either. I can and do imagine myself smoking a bowl that early, so no judgements here.

Years ago an intoxicated girlfriend once told me her stellar wine drinking philosophy which I actually stand by to this day.

Her: “You don’t drink wine so I’ll show you. It’s three sips! It’s the three sip rule! Ok so the first sip you take is like ugh what am I drinking? The second sip is like ok this isn’t thaaaat bad. Then by the third sip you’re like hey?!? this shits good! And there you have it! You’re drinking wine!”

This handy yet somewhat slurred advice got me through my first glass of red wine at a formal business party with out me making a complete ass of myself and is how I have judged “good” wine ever since. If I do not need to take “three sips” before I am smiling and claiming “this shits good!” please go buy another bottle!

I am now staring at the bar and realize if I don’t stop day dreaming I am never going to get out of this Grocery Store and finish my errands.

Yes, I am at the grocery store!

This mammoth sized freezing cold building I have entered contains everything from Starbucks to patio furniture to clothing to flowers to a Pharmacy. I can easily get my 10,000 steps in here anytime I come without a shopping list. Complete with blaring 80s music and a wine/ beer bar if you need a drink for the strength or courage to finish “filling the house with food so you can eat this week” grocery shopping!

I am NOT in Walmart. That, to me, is the funny part. I expect Walmart to be huge and carry every item imaginable. I expect Walmart to be a somewhat crazy, disorienting experience with music in the parking lot that is not the same music playing inside the store. If I dress badly or oddly enough, I could and probably should end up online as one of their infamous shoppers! A Walmart excursion at this point in my life requires a day to mentally prepare that I am going, then a two day rest period after to recover. Walmart doesn’t have a bar.

But I guess my local grocery stores need to compete with Walmart and Target so, step right up ! Beer and Wine is now being served! Take the edge off that inflated food bill! One more round you wont care how much ground beef is per pound!

The Bar at Fry’s

I am standing with my empty cart next to self serve donuts. There is Sushi, a deli and a bakery on my left with a bar serving drinks to my right. Up ahead of me is frozen fish. Rock the Kasbah is playing loudly in the middle.

It’s almost Noon and I probably should have eaten before coming. I have no idea what I am supposed to be shopping for anymore and have left my list at home. My brain wanders to what it must be like to be the bartender at the grocery store.

Do grocery store bartenders get hit on like the ones in a club? Do random grocery shoppers ask the bartender to send a drink to an attractive stranger at the end of the bar? Omg does the grocery store bartender really get to watch two random grocery shoppers start drinking then hook up? How far is the bathroom from the bar? The mental images and questions flood in.

My experience with bartenders is from back in the days when I was much younger and would go party on the weekends with friends after work. Taking shots of whatever liquor was sent to the table, my happy place was out on the dance floor. I have never told a bartender my life story but I have been cut off from being served, kicked out, and once, in Vegas, had a bartender grab my entire right arm and wildly tape a glass to my hand because I accidently dropped my last drink into the part of a slot machine where your coins come out!

My brain drifts off again…Do grocery store drinkers get rowdy? Does it become a party in here after 5? I can’t be trusted around an open olive bar after a glass of wine!!!

The lady behind the bakery counter is now staring at me. I’ve hovered around the cookies and sliced cakes with an empty cart this entire time staring at the bar. We make eye contact. She cocks her head to the side as asks “Can I help you?” in a tone more or less suggesting I was mentally unstable rather than was I looking for a tart. I laugh and say “no I’m good.” I cut her slack mostly because I have never had to work all day around delicious sugary treats I can not eat and stare at a bar I can not drink at. The frustration seems real. And yes, I am sure I looked weird at this point. Time for me to finish shopping, or start and get out of there.

I wind up buying maybe half of what I actually needed. The distractions in the store beat me this time. I will have to return, with a list.

Is there Something in the Water? The Rise of the Full Bellied Man

Is there Something in the Water? The Rise of the Full Bellied Man
— Read on

1 dead peacock, 2 rattlesnake encounters, 3 bearded dragons and more. A look back at my strange 2021.

1 dead peacock, 2 rattlesnake encounters, 3 bearded dragons and more. A look back at my strange 2021.
— Read on

Is there Something in the Water? The Rise of the Full Bellied Man

If you ask anyone currently living on this planet “whose body has had the most influence on women?” before you could finish your sentence, answers starting with a K would come flying at you! And I would argue rightfully so. Whether it is Kim or Kylie, Kendall, Khloe or Kravis (🖤) they all can easily be identified as influential bodies. Tiny waists, full curves. Magazine cover worthy bathing suit bodies that women across the globe envy and pursue at all costs.

But when it comes to men, who would you say has their attention? What male form is thrust at the young men of Instagram or Tic Tock destroying their self esteem? Who has the body men are starting to emulate en masse?

Real Store Mannequins

Shape wear for women is nothing new. Pain is part of beauty right? Corsets to shrink your waist, push up bras, padding here and there, women have been amateur contortionist since the dawn of time . Foot binding anyone?

Foot Binding. Remember this photo always ladies. Never. Again.

All for one main purpose of attracting attention, sexual attention. To be considered wanted, desired, the ultimate female. Modern science has given us ways to make our boobs bigger or smaller, bubble that butt, suck out fat and move it else where, insert, lift, tuck , you name it ladies, if you got the cash or are willing to travel, we can get it done! Bathing suit worthy body baby !!Just in time for summer! If you are especially brave enough to order a K bathing suit made with the sheerest fabric ever, god love ya 👑👍 I’m sticking with more industrial strength supportive material! I ride water slides, I don’t wear heels to the pool.

Pool worthy 🖤👑 me

Most of us women come no where near K level of air brushed photo enhanced hotness but we try. Look around and you will find no shortage of fake eye lashes, excessively long dagger nails, high heels or overly lined lips in the general Walmart shopping female population. No matter the height weight age color, ladies are giving us looks👑

But men have gone a different direction it seems. No shape wear brand flooding the male market. No sir! Men have gone aggressively the opposite direction from fit and fabulous!! Stretched t shirts, bellies hanging over the belt, flip flops with toes that can climb a tree. We won’t call this latest look “grunge” , no that was an actual style , attitude and music all it’s own. I’m not sure who is leading this latest sloppy, pregnant looking male effort.

I guarantee it’s not Chris Hemsworth nor was it his name who you shouted out!

Though Chris ( can I call you Chris ?) is obviously putting in the same amount of effort and dietary restrictions any K does in making his body as close to perfection as he can, he is not being emulated anywhere near to the same degree by his fellow man . Why not boys? His body is million dollar Hollywood budget movie star worthy. Find a flaw. Go ahead, let’s all scan his photo for the next 5 minutes and see what we find!

Lately when I go anywhere, more often than not, there is an abundance of men with what appears to be a pregnant style belly! The complete opposite of what Chris has! So if he or his body is NOT what the average male is striving for, who’s body is it? Shouldn’t this full bellied leader be out and proud and have the same spotlight and scrutiny any K has? Is he some hidden secret? Where are his magazine covers? When did he start making this kind of influence on the male form? The Dad Bod was no longer good enough??? Apparently a fuller male belly is now the trend.

Sorry bro your Dad bod is no longer cool

Maybe I don’t have a large enough social circle, but none of my girls or guys who enjoy guy, have told me they think a flat butt combined with a hard, round, hair covered, protruding belly so big they can’t see if his penis is hard, is sexy as hell and quite the turn on. Haven’t had that conversation yet.

I can remember growing up watching TV and seeing “Rerun” Fred Berry and his suspenders on What’s Happening. He was the “big one” on the show. When I rewatch Rerun now he doesn’t seem so large at all. He also danced!!!! A lot! And had a fun personality that people wanted to be around.

Nowadays when I see one of these full bellied bros out in public they are proud and they are angry. No dance moves here. Just outwardly trying to antagonize anyone with an ill fitting slogan shirt of the flag or even by decorating their vehicles. Having the full tight belly is not enough. Are the suspenders making a comeback?

Look, if a T body is what you want your body to look like, I say go for it! By all means you don’t have to hide your want! Us women fully understand wanting KKs body! If you, as a man, want to choose a T body with extra belly button lint then I think you have every right to do so! If covering that shape with red white and blue makes you less angry then by all means please flag it up! Shorten that life span! No one is stopping that.


Being perceived as having an “attitude” comes with the focus on your looks. Women get accused all the time of being superficial, snotty, petty etc. She’s a bitch. She doesn’t smile. If you are too nice as a pretty female it’s taken as flirting. Too serious you are bitchy. “Emotional female” is the favorite slur of a certain brand of over due men.

As a man, why hide the fact you think the 70 something year old T man has a great body and you are actively pursuing one of your own? It’s ok to have a crush. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. If you enjoy a T body in a pair of shorts and no shirt plus a stiff, dumb, never been in style red hat, have at it. I say order up a supersized fast food meal with extra ketchup and a side of blue pills, Diet Coke. Grease is the word ….

There are plenty of hard bodied men on the big screen that could and should be used as the every man’s goal to the delight of women and gay men everywhere! But our American men seem to have said NO to that idea all together.

Yes please

In the original movie Top Gun, Val and Tom play beach volleyball shirtless to the delight of millions. For the most recent Top Gun remake, they also included a beach volleyball scene that most of the men stayed on a strict diet to film. For the Baywatch remake, Zac Effron showed us a spectacular washboard. Magic Mike has amazing male dancers… No one got an award, just saying. On the flip side, if a man gains a tremendous amount of weight or muscles ( Matthew , Christian?) or loses a ton for a “serious” role he is up for awards by the film academy.

ALL of these male actors have openly spoke about what it takes, what they could not eat, what is does to their bodies , how hard they work out in order to be on screen, cheat days and huge amounts they eat afterwards. Yet there is zero written about what these men are doing is as bad an influence as any K. Men manipulate their bodies or not and still expect to be considered award winning leading men. Of course us women should find them attractive no matter what! Money fixes all male shortcomings right?

K lost weight to fit into a dress and got the full attack from the press , the internet, the pope. How dare she get that waist any smaller! How dare she look good wet! Jealousy is a bitch.

I find it odd that men with such large bellies believe so strongly in their superiority over women .

Across the board, any subject, the man belly holds all wisdom. Born that way I guess. Otherwise I have no clue where this supposed man only be best knowledge comes from. Silly mansplainer, our phones are light years smarter than you and un like your small penis, in a woman’s hand constantly. Realize I can out run you! I’m in great shape! One hundred percent know I will use you and your belly to hide behind as needed in the event one of your friends starts shooting up the place.

Sure boss, anything you say….

What? Am I not allowed to say I don’t find men who should use suspenders to hold up their pants attractive? Sorry, I don’t. I find it gross. You can take one look at me and go throw up in a trash can if that’s how you feel. Write about it. It’s a free country, for now.

Review: The Wigwam One Night Only?

My name is Stacy and I am a freelance writer and photographer. I am not paid by any resort or travel company to write positive things. I write about my experiences and use my own photos. I do not tell anyone or a place when I am planning on writing about them so guest/customer service, food quality etc. stays what it normally would be and not influenced.

I was born in Las Vegas and raised in the deserts of Southern California. Like a lot of desert kids, once I was old enough to drive, I ran to the beach and stayed there. Living and working in Redondo, San Pedro and Newport where I met my husband then a few years later moved to Mesa AZ in 2004. By 2014 the kids were out of the house so we traveled across the country and back, enjoying life and some of the best fresh shrimp around on the South Carolina coast for awhile before ultimately heading back to the West. We now live in Gold Canyon, Arizona tucked next to the Superstition Mountains.

I enjoy being able to tell you honestly and in good faith about places to visit here in AZ. with no filter, no agenda, just an honest summary of what I experienced. Arizona has so many unique things to do that get overlooked. I plan on exploring as much of it as I can.

The Drive

Our one hour trip across the Valley to stay at the Wigwam was unscheduled and unplanned. My husband and I spontaneously decided to get away locally, truly just needing a break from too much work from home. I was not planning on doing a review on anything or anywhere, especially over a holiday weekend. I really was just dying to get into a pool or tub and simply relax.

With Monday being the 4th of July, we stayed one night (Sunday) only. We have animals to consider when leaving for any extended period of time. Though I do believe the Wigwam resort allows them, our dogs were not invited.

For this review of the Wigwam, I will be breaking down my honest impressions into categories. This was my first time at the Wigwam Resort. My husband has played golf there but no overnight stays for either of us.

What, Where and a Bit of History

The Wigwam Resort, originally opened back in the 1920’s, is located in Litchfield Park on the west side of the Valley of the Sun near Phoenix Arizona. Purchased out of bankruptcy in 2008 by former Suns and Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo and returned to its glory, this bungalow-style resort has a relaxed western design with nods everywhere to its rich AZ history yet somehow feels like you could be in an old school Palm Springs resort as well. Maybe it’s the huge palm trees that line the property or the tucked away feel the Wigwam has.

The Lobby

The Wigwam Lobby is decorated beautifully. The ladies at the front desk were professional in both appearance and manners, nice and helpful. We arrived about noon, 4 hours before check -in, in the hopes of going to the pool while we waited for our room to be ready. We got lucky! Our room was ready so no need for me to change into my swimsuit in the lobby bathroom!

The relaxed, outdoor pathway, bungalow-style layout of the Wigwam resort suits my personality far more than having to take an elevator to my floor then walk down a long, poorly lit, oddly quiet, hallway to my room.

The Room

As we stepped inside our room, leaving behind the intense sun and AZ heat that had already climbed to 100 degrees, a fabulous chilly blast of air hit us. The air-conditioning was set at 73! A temperature my AZ home only sees in the winter! It made me giggle and shiver. Instead of being a hot sweaty mess I now felt cool and crisp and clean. The room was surprisingly large with open floor space around the king sized bed. I had to stop myself from running and doing a full belly flop onto those crisp white sheets so I could take photos of the room!

The Bathroom

The bathroom was fairly plain, yet clean and happily included a very large soaking tub and shower. Though excited to see it, I got nowhere near the tub for my much craved soak because, well, I guess I also have a hard time filling that much water into a tub for me to sit alone in for no more than a half hour. AZ is in a drought. My soul wanted the bubbles and the soothing warm water but with one night only to enjoy as much as I could, I opted for the jacuzzi by the pool instead.

The Patios

Our room’s private patio facing the Tennis Courts was large enough to host a party. We could see the stars and even saw an owl sitting on one of the light poles. Though the resort was busy we barely heard anyone walking to theirs rooms. We watched carts go by with workers taking care of the property, but overall our area was quiet.

The Pool and the Slides and the Vibe: Looking at our map, to us it seemed like a closer walk to the Wigwam’s Tower Pool (family pool) than the Oasis Pool (adults) so it was the Tower Pool for us. Time of day and length of walking anywhere in 100 degree desert heat should always be taken into consideration, even for desert locals like me.

The Wigwam’s Tower Family Pool is a sprawling pool with tons of areas to sit in and around the edges. Two, tube-style water slides command your attention as you enter and grab towels. Lounge chairs and cabanas surround the pool with a bar and bridge located in the center. Inside the pool are water spouts that shoot up and out like you are in a magic fountain or a carwash!

During our few hours there, the pool was comfortably filled with families, some babies, children, teens, you name it were there. The vibe was easy and fun, obviously a holiday weekend noticeable by some of the sparkling red, white and blue attire.

The Water Slides.

As an adult of 53 years who just told you she came to this resort to relax and stop working for a half a second, repeatedly jumping out of a pool and running to the wet stairs of two water slides at a four star resort was probably not what you expected me to tell you I did during my stay but that’s exactly what happened!

After watching only maybe 3 or 4 kids shoot out of the tubes directly into the pool, then leap out of the water immediately running back to the waterslide stairs, I was convinced this was a good time I had to try myself! Think about it, when do you EVER run back in line? When something is just that much fun!

On my way up the stairs a young teen boy, possibly with extra needs, struck up a conversation with me about the two slides, their speeds and levels of scary. He was a pure joy to talk to and convinced me to go on the tube on the left that was open air, not a complete covered tube like the one on the right . Personally, I would rather go down an enclosed, fast moving water tube in the dark than hit a wet curve in the sunshine and feel like I am going to fly off the slide! But I took his advice anyways and tried the “slower one” first. Not sure about of his definition of “slow” because I went sailing down and took the curve kind of high on the side causing me to see daylight and have that moment of terror before ending my ride awkwardly hitting the pool sideways nose first, taking in a full gallon or so of water! Fast, scary and fun. That was enough to convince me I had simply taken the wrong slide.

Here I am, 53 years old, dripping wet running up stairs to “Go again!” Because now I needed to know if the other slide , the covered one, was just as silly and fun as the first one. The covered tube, for me, was a blast! The ride was long enough to be fun yet short enough to make you want to run back in line. My body easily slid down its dark winding curves at top speed and I could decide my entry into the water in enough time not to drink the pool!

Some things will literally take years off your life and stress off your face. The Wigwams Tower Pool and Slides are one of them.

The Tower Pool Staff were all friendly and attentive.

If I had any complaint it would be, had we chosen to go to the “adults pool”, it would have been a long walk from our room or weird and wet car ride back . I am not sure if there is any answer to the logistics of this due to the layout of the resort or if a cart ride is available.

Towels were gone by the evening which was only a mildly silly inconvenience as it’s 100 degrees at night in July in AZ. But if you get out of the pool wet, you do shiver! Possibly the worst feeling for a born and raised lizard like me is wearing a wet bathing suit and walking into a freezing cold hotel room !

Food and Drinks:

A very yummy Pina Colada with Mango Puree, that I couldn’t drink fast enough in the 100 degree heat without freezing my brain before I ran back to the slide!

Wigwam Street Tacos


It is in the W bar and grill where we have the first let down of our stay. Our waiter brought us the flattest Coke I’ve ever seen. Absolutely zero bubbles, it looked like we had ordered a glass of syrup . We sat, not touching our drink for sometime before flagging down another waiter who seemed unbothered by us having been served a tall glass of non drinkable brown liquid and simply walked away with it. He did not offer us a new one, gave a sort of apology (?) only checking later that we did just want it off of our bill. It’s disappointing to sit directly across from the bar and watch as no discussion happens to the bartender who might not be aware her carbonation is out. Just continue serving the same flat soda to the next table.


Our food was good and the prices were reasonable. My tacos were overstuffed with soft shredded pork, far too big and delicious to just call street tacos. Yum! I ate every last bite. After having recently spent $30 at Chipotle for 2 really awful steak and chicken burritos, chips and a soda, the Wigwam’s Tacos and Wings with an awful soda won for the same price. At no point in eating my tacos did I take wads of meat out of my mouth that I couldn’t chew. Sorry Chipotle but I have no clue how you are still in business.

While we waited for our check I noticed a group of 6 full-bellied gentleman in the corner receiving much better service by both staff and bartender than most if not all of the other guests . All resorts have regular guests and VIP, those who spend tons of cash. No surprise. But to have it be so obvious that the W staff were capable of giving good customer service, but not providing it for all of the Wigwam guests, was disappointing.

We, along with the table next to us, needed to flag down a waiter for the bill. No offer of dessert but at that point it was a no anyways. Wigwam ! Your staff can do much better than this and did in other areas!

Honorable mentions to the entire pool , slide and bar staff both in the water and out and especially those sitting by the gates and towels! Nothing but smiles and friendly service. Also to the somewhat crazy but welcoming and friendly lady in the little market “we got this!”

None of your guests at your 4 Star Resort should feel anything less than welcomed and taken care of. Spending 90% of my own work life around people and catering to their needs. I come armed with a big smile, I am patient and understanding of short staffing and wrong orders etc.

Where I won’t cut the Wigwam Resort and it’s 4 stars any slack is customer service/personal attention training for your newer staff, especially those who work in one of your sit down bars or restaurants. A simple “ is everything ok?” “ was there something else we could get you?” “I’m sorry that weird brown liquid tasted flat can I get you something else?” Easy things the staff could and should be doing like looking at all tables even if you aren’t the server to see if all is well. With a bar the size and shape of a hallway, not a convention hall, but a hallway, I’m saying is if I could see all around, easily your staff can as well.

We opted for a late snack of cured meats, fruit and nuts in our room instead of an evening of “fine dining “ at Litchfields. Maybe next time?

There are quite a few things the Wigwam Resort has to offer that we did not get to experience. A longer stay is needed to truly take in all the Wigwam has to offer and before I will either fully endorse or tell my readers to avoid going there all together. But for this short visit I would say sure head over to the Wigwam. Try things we did not. Let me know how it goes.

We hope to get back (maybe ?) during the off season to enjoy a few rounds of Golfing, Tennis, work out in the Fitness Center, get a facial or massage at the Aveda Spa and Salon, spend the evening at Litchfield’s Fine Dining or the Adult Pool, and play Boce or even Cornhole on the lawn. We saw multiple areas that would be wonderful for weddings or celebrations.

Cost When all was said and done for our one night Wigwam stay our total came to right around $350. We left early in the morning in search of a better cup of coffee( Bosas Donuts right down the road). Again it is in beverages where the Wigwam let us down in a huge way. A beautiful patio early in the morning with a cup of coffee that didn’t taste like mud was all we needed. Next time?

Return Visit?

We live across the street from Gold Canyon Golf Resort yet drove the hour across the valley for my getaway at the Wigwam. That’s how much I currently like GCGR’s pool situation or food. I’m willing to drive about an hour anywhere in my radius of this entire Valley of the Sun for what I call a “staycation” solely for feeling like I really “got away”. A drive longer than 2 hours requires a stay longer than a night and in my eyes is an actual vacation. Countless other hotels and resorts are available here in the Valley with much shorter drives than an hour and as of yet I haven’t stayed in them all. Some I never will.

One night at the Wigwam was like being set up on a semi good blind date with an older guy you have some chemistry with but not lust. Hes not bad looking but had vanilla moments. You enjoyed the hell out of the entertainment and food. But let’s be honest, it will probably take some sweet talk, flowers, candy and most definitely a bottle of wine to convince you to go on a date again.

That’s Not Entertainment When “Bad Girls“ Go Hiking; Why I think it’s time Arizona creates a “Stupid Hiker Law”

Yesterday 11 members of a group known as “Bad Girls Gone God” needed to be rescued off of Camelback Mountain here in Phoenix Arizona. According to local news sources these women were not prepared for a hike this strenuous. They also claimed they had done no homework or research about Camelback. They were however, being filmed for a reality series.

Let that sink in. Helicopter, rescue crews, middle of the day intense triple digit heat heat, some of the best AZ men and women had to go rescue this group of god fearing (?) women or shall we call them as we see them? fame seeking women, off a mountain, being filmed for “entertainment”. This nonsense should not get air time and if it does, it’s proceeds and the actors salaries can pay Arizona for the helicopter rides, fire trucks, ambulance rides and give bonuses to all the rescue teams that went up to help you “Bad Girls” get down safely. 🌵💚👑 The lack of respect you showed is appalling. This is why I say YOU deserve to be charged with a newly created “AZ Stupid Hikers Law. “

Our high temperature yesterday in and around PhX was 110. You read that correctly, triple digit heat Arizona is known for, was right on schedule and being warned about daily by our local news and weather. Local Radio DJs on every station mention staying indoors, don’t hike, they talk about drinking tons of water and heat safety in general. It’s an everyday thing when you live in the desert.

Photo from my video about 44 hikers who needed rescue from Flat Iron in August. For the full video go to YouTube Oh So Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance

Born and raised desert, I’ve dedicated my life and recently became a nonprofit , the Desert Nature Alliance, to help protect the desert and to speak out about safety in while you are in the desert especially on the trails. There is NO shortage of desert kids like me who make videos, write and constantly talk about staying safe on our 2 very deadly mountains, Camelback and The Superstition.

So, for you bad girls, camera crews trailing along, to come here as visitors and claim to have neglected to do any research or homework about where you are going is bullshit and I’m calling you out on it. Arizona being ridiculously hot in the summer is not some well kept secret . All it takes to realize it’s too hot in Arizona to hike is to step outside. No homework needed when you open your front door and your face feels like you are checking on a cake baking in the oven!

You girls are telling me you are on a reality show or at the very least, being videoed for one and not one of you used your phone to Google about where you were going? Again I call bullshit. If you are fame hungry enough to be on a reality show you are glued to your phone. More than one person in your group knew absolutely 100 percent where you were headed and the drama it could cause. Period.

I do believe you probably didn’t check the weather or watch any news or read any reports. Why should you? You ignored trail signs that say stay off the trails , you failed to bring any of the gear needed ( uh but somehow a crew was there to film you?) you had little to no water with you and cannot deny you are not in the physical shape required to hike that mountain or maybe you have NEVER hiked up a mountain style trail at all!? Have you spent time in the desert on the trails or was this your first time ? You headed up a trail in the hottest part of the day to all but collapse or worse , die from your ignorance and quest for fame, oh I mean “ to get closer to God”. I’m sorry You dragged God into this, I’m not going to.

But by all means please argue with me that no matter your size or weight or whatever you did or didn’t eat or drink that morning, or what you do or don’t normally do , but for some reason, miraculously you thought you were in the physical shape to hike up Camelback in extreme heat because maybe you prayed or you did some working out or went to the gym twice where you live. Go ahead I’ll wait. I’d love to hear your logic.

We as locals also have a responsibility to keep friends, guests and even strangers safe on our trails by being honest about the dangers and not putting them in harms way. A young woman died last year coming out to AZ from the East Coast to visit a man she met online. He took her up Camelback to supposedly take pictures. With no water. She started having trouble and turned to head back down , alone. She never made it. She died. Her story breaks our hearts. Again I made a video shouting to the world please be careful out here and we get it, trust is a hard thing when you first meet someone.

Now before you get mad at the word stupid, or that I’m saying we need “a Stupid Hikers Law, “ Arizona has a current law called “the Stupid Motorist” that states any motorists who intentionally go around barriers from flooded areas and get their cars stuck can be charged for the cost of their rescue. Way too many folks ignored the signs and found themselves stuck and needing serious rescue. When you go out of your way to do exactly what you’ve been explicitly told not to, well there’s a price. I’m suggesting that we do the same for our trails. The hikers who do the right things, wear gear, bring water etc yet have accidents on the trails deserve to have rescue crews available to them.

I live on a hill tucked right up into the Superstition Mtn where I can see Flat Iron out of our windows. The Mountain is famous for Weavers Needle and the story of the Lost Dutchman and Peraltas Gold. Apache claimed this Mountain Range for a time. The stories are legendary like the Massacre Trail and Peraltas men coming under attack. The Superstition holds a unique energy that draws adventure seekers and gold hunters to this day. But that energy is strong and dangerous just like the terrain.

The desert is known to zap all of your moisture leaving you delirious or it simply kills you. I made videos you can see on my YouTube channel where I take a normal piece of sliced white bread, soft, straight from the packaging, and set it outside in our heat. Within minutes that soft bread sounds like sandpaper. Given the full day you have toast or a crouton. Dried tf out.

It’s 102 the day I made this video. That piece of bread turned stiff enough to stand on its own

The less respect you have for it the quicker it takes you out. The death toll on this mountain is unknown for certain. To this day hikers fall off Flat Iron losing their lives for a selfie and the chance for Instagram Fame.

Some people head out on a trail and are never found. Others barely make it back. Then you have those magical creatures like Flat Iron Jim who goes up and down it daily ( in the proper gear and weather of course!) Simply amazing that his body can do it. I have friends who have climbed up and over and all around. My husband has walked from our house, with a buddy, up the Hieroglyphs Trail to the actual top of the Superstition Mountain, a 9 hour hike. I would flop over and die if I tried that. They are both Marines and hike regularly. The heat and what it does to an individual is just that, it’s how YOU and your body responds. It doesn’t matter if someone else can hike it or climb it if you cannot with losing your life. Know and respect yourself enough to know when it’s time to call it and head to the pool.

Simple google searches will give you tons of information about hikers needing help on our trails . 44 people hiking in August was a tough story to have sympathy for.

In August 2019 , 44 Visitors from Kansas had to be rescued from Flat Iron. August. In Arizona. Could it be any hotter? Only in Death Valley or Hell. The amazing part was locally it barely made a blip on the news. Most folks, myself including didn’t hear about it until later. So absurd was this story I went over to the rangers station so I could ask them myself if this was true or blown up for a good story on the evening news.

The rangers were more than happy to tell me all about it as one of the women I spoke with was there that day and she herself had warned this group . The group had arrived much too late in the day to go all the way up the trail and was warned not to do so multiple times. Supposedly only the bus driver took this information and failed to fully relay it to the group. They proceeded anyways being under the impression that it was not that hard of a hike. Where they got that information from I have no idea. Being in front of that part of the Superstition in full August heat you took one look and said “yup easy”???? No one will tell you Siphon Draw or Flat Iron is easy or should be attempted in the heat. NO ONE.

I brought my video camera and a gallon of water plus a squirt bottle and hat and told the rangers I wanted to make a short video about the incident but definitely not go as far as even the Draw, they were fine with that, but I also was well aware they had zero plans of coming to check on me. It’s not how it works. This is a wilderness. The Superstition Wilderness. You go basically on your own in terms of there being no water fountains or lifeguard towers out on the trails. You’re walking into a Mountain Range. Good Luck👍

I’m pointing to Flat Iron on the top of the Superstition Mountain.

I head out there sweating like a beast and I hadn’t even made it to what I’d call the trail head! You can watch this video on my YouTube channel Oh So Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance. The heat was so intense and brutal I felt like my skin was melting! I’m born and raised desert . I made 2 videos while out there and you can see just how awful it is! I can’t fully remember details. I’m winded and I truly hadn’t walked even remotely close to Siphon Draw let alone Flat Iron. I felt every bit of the Sun kicking my ass for the shear stupidity of going out there in the middle of the day. The ground radiates heat at you burning your shins even through pants ! Summer in AZ is full blown rattlesnake season so in addition to the heat you have to be mindful of where you rest or set your bottle down. Jumping Cholla are randomly on the trails and getting one stuck in you will ruin your moment for sure.

I ask the group through my videos “Was there not at least one of you? You didn’t have a solid gay? No one who would say Aaaaahhh HELL NO gurl this is NOT happening today ?!?” You didn’t have one me who would have pitched a fit for trying to drag my ass up a mountain in triple digit heat instead of being by the pool?!? Wtf? That’s not a group you should ever travel with period.

Drones take some of the most incredible shots of this planet you will see. You are not going to take a selfie at this point in 2022 that is so amazing that you need to risk your life going up a desert trail like Flat Iron. At night it’s far too dangerous and a young man recently lost his life this way. Please spare your loved ones the pain. Stop with the selfies on a ledge .

There is no shortage of news about the tragedies on our mountains. A simple Google search will tell you more than you need to know.

A network will, however, happily send eager wanna be stars up any mountain then off a cliff if it makes them money. Bad Girls Gone God this time, another sub group next.

So, are you entertained yet?

The Inflatable Escape

No Relief in Sight

The sun had not officially come up yet and it was already too hot. Out on the patio trying to wake up, hoping for a gentle breeze to help cool me down, my coffee tastes lukewarm compared to the 90 degree morning start. Our heat wave has backed off for now but our local news promises the triple digits will return. Sleeping has been rough. At night I wake up, neck sweaty from hot flashes. The only sleep I get lately comes when I lay next to a fan blowing directly at my face.

Mindlessly I scroll through ads on my phone. Ads for pools. Above ground pools. Escape from the heat I could order now and have delivered to my door or I could pickup in a few hours.

I close my eyes. I picture me, three inches taller, two sizes smaller, my butt is firmer, my skin is flawless and golden. I look amazing in my tiny swim suit, huge sunglasses and hat, effortlessly gliding on clear tropical water. A palm tree swaying nearby. Big blue sky. The smell of coconuts in the air. Instagram Perfection.

I open my eyes and squint.

Obviously weeks of Arizona’s triple digit heat has brought on hallucinations of grandeur. There is no water anywhere in sight. No pool. No palm trees. Just sweaty me in cut off shorts, sticking to my chair on a hot patio with morning sun rays now piercing through my eyes.

There is a saying “Crazy from the heat.” I believe it is true. I just might go nutty if I don’t cool down soon.

I see it. The ad I’ve been hoping for. A 7ft. White and blue inflatable pool with two seats, head rests and cup holders! I am only 5 foot 6 so that leaves plenty of room for my feet. On sale now at Big 5 marked down from $50 for $29.99! My heart raced! I knew if I could get my husband to agree, I was positive I could create a relaxing vacation type environment somewhere on the side of our house and it would not cost very much at all.

But it wasn’t going to be as simple as buy it , inflate it, flop it down and grab a hose. I was going to need his help to make this happen. I head inside and walk over to Jay’s desk and slide my phone to him. He looked at the advertisement then looks up at me and smiles. The answer is yes. Let’s go get you a pool.

Deal Breakers

Our house is old and small. According to the paperwork at least some part of it was built in the 1940s. It sits on 3 acres including a hill, giving us incredible views of the Superstition Mountains and the surrounding valley. However,6 years ago when we first came to view this well priced, one bedroom home we were informed it had no tub, shower only and no pool to go along with all the other quirks old, privately built homes come with. Due to the type of solid granite like ground, putting in a pool would be costly. The home uses its own well for water. A built in pool would require truckloads of water to be brought in and steep $$ to initially get set up. A full bathroom remodel would need to take place for me to have a tub.

In my mind, as someone who was born and raised in the desert, you need to have water nearby not only to cool off but for the mental health it provides. No pool or tub to soak in had always been a major deal breaker when it came to where I could live happily. So there I was, faced with the real possibility of owning an adorable little old home, on a hill with a million dollar view, in an area I should not be able to afford to live in, only if I was willing to live without a pool or tub. To ease this minor setback I bargained with Jay. He would need to keep me semi sane during the very real heat of AZ by taking me away semi regularly to a hotel to be able to fulfill my strong desire to simply float in water. He could go golf or hang with me or do whatever he wanted to but just let me float in a pool. He agreed. It seemed very doable at the time. I signed the papers.

Reality set in fast as our work schedules, pets, timing, bills, etc. life in general kept getting in the way of my pool getaway.

The Cost of Doing Business

A hotel stay is expensive. Period. Room fees, fees for pets, food and drinks, entertainment, tips, it all adds up. Oh I’m sure if you are fan of a particular large fancy hotel chain you would argue that there are plenty of perks and free vouchers that make the cost seem minimal. Convince me. I’m a freelance writer. I call it as I see it and experience it. I would love to write all about how I got spoiled rotten by your hotel for free.

But going to a hotel also requires getting there in the first place. Freeway driving comes with stress free of charge. Gas prices, even for a local staycation, can now cost well over $50 in your tank and forget about driving for hours to stay overnight somewhere. Consider the wear on your vehicle, and what road/travel stress does to your mind body and soul. By the time you unpack and truly relax it’s time to turn around and head back home.

Flying? The “cost” of todays flying experience can’t truly be measured in dollars alone. From arriving at the airport and either trying to find parking in a maze or getting dropped off without getting run over by a bus, to your full body cavity and luggage search, to sitting snuggly on your plane next to a snoring stranger, to actually safely landing at your destination unharmed by a fellow passenger or flight attendant to navigating a city style transportation drop off system to search for your luggage on rotating carousels could only be described somewhere between terrifying and laughable and in an entirely different article I can write about later.

In Jays defense he would randomly offer to take us away somewhere but I would shut him down giving this list of practical reasons why we shouldn’t even though I’m the one who really wants to go cool off in a pool in the first place.

Down Time

In 2020 the plague hit. COVID stopped the world in its tracks. No longer was it even a question of when we could get away from this intense desert heat, travel everywhere was restricted. The entire nation now ordered to stay home . For some, being “stuck at home” or even working full time from home isn’t too awful. For others it was their worst nightmare coming true. At first I felt the isolation. Working from home I had no one to talk to besides my husband and I didn’t want to drive him nuts. For a long time in my life I would have said I was very social, a “people person” . However, given the forced time away from “it all”, it didn’t take long for my creative brain to enjoy quiet.

My wants and desires started to change too. Oh I still daydreamed of a pool but now I wanted less people around it. Now that I can hear it, silence is lovely. The idea of going to a hotel for a loud pool party with DJs pumping dance tracks , lined with hot girls in high heels and bros spilling drinks seemed exhausting. Privacy and the sounds of birds in nature has moved up higher on my list.

That’s Not Hot?

There has always been this weird stigma about an above ground pool or an inflatable pool, not being a hip thing to have. I’m not exactly sure why. There are actually quite a few practical reasons for owning one.

-The Cost.

-What if the ground you have available is unsuitable for digging into?

-Not everyone can or wants to make long term commitments like a built in pool, that require long term maintenance, on their property for a few months of “fun in the sun”.

-Some folks don’t own the property they live on so making permanent decisions like digging out a pool isn’t an option.

-Unlike a built in pool, if you move you can take it with you.

-You can easily incorporate an above ground or inflatable pool into your yard with a deck or patio furniture if image is an issue.

Still, above ground pools get little respect. It will take Internet Influence to switch the image around to Instagram Worthy.

Dose of Reality

To be honest, I had no understanding or care what a few thousand gallons of water looked like, how it arrived somewhere or what it costs until I owned a home with a water tank containing all the water my home would use. As a young adult I had always lived with city water and the supply seemed endless. Now, not as young , owned a home with a built in pool and sold that home, I know a bit more. Selling a home with an older pool can be a struggle. Everything seems to focus on the surface of the pool and its equipment and zero focus on the actual house. Luckily our pool was still in good shape but the deck would need repair. I now know better about all of it now. Water is a valuable resource we here in Arizona and other nearby states are running out of. Water Conservation in the desert is crucial.

A real life rumbling tanker truck comes to fill the water tank for our small house. How often he comes depends on our usage. When my husband explained to me that some of the metal sided above ground pools I had been looking at would require multiple trips from our tanker truck driver I felt my chest tighten. Size does matter. Simply affording the initial lower cost of an above ground pool wasn’t the only thing to consider. Just because the pool is above ground doesn’t mean the water wouldn’t need a filter or chemicals. Where I wanted to put a pool mattered as well not only in terms of convenience but also safety. A large above ground pool holding thousands of gallons of water, if punctured, would certainly destroy parts our hillside.

I asked myself the honest question “What did you really want or believe you needed out of a pool to make you happy? Is it to cool off? To tan? Swimming? To float? To relax? Use it for exercise? What would this pool need to give my soul peace?”

My answers:

-100 percent it was for my mental health. A pool helps me to relax.

-Not having the ability to go soak in a hot tub for awhile when your body parts ache sucks.

-I want to just lay there. Do nothing. That’s all.

-In enough space to not feel silly.

-Bigger than a standard tub.

-Long enough my toes couldn’t reach the side.

-Large enough for water to cover me.


-A pool to myself. No need to question “is there pee in the pool?” The answer is NO

-Low to no maintenance.

-Inexpensive but built to withstand this intense AZ sun.

– Cheap enough to replace if a wild animal destroyed it.

-Bathing suit optional.

Blow Time

Once we got back from Big 5 we still needed to go get sand from the local fire department. You can shovel sand bags to your hearts delight over there for free. We didn’t need much so we figured 5 sand bags worth would do the trick. To set up our pool we cleared the rocks down to the hard ground and then put sand. The biggest hurdle we now faced was how to blow it up. We used a small air compressor, a hand pump and our mouths. It wasn’t the fastest way but still we got it done. Threw the hose in, turned on the water and before we knew it our pool was ready for action! Grabbed two bright beach towels, a couple of chairs and small table from the patio, and a grass pad we had from our daughters recent baby shower and VOILA!

I slid into the warmish water and let out a sigh. Then I giggled. My husband slid in next to me. He sighed. Then we both giggled. What took us so long?!? This inflatable pool literally was doing everything we needed it to do and more! For $30 and a days worth of work, we had what felt like the impossible, the perfect place to soak.

Thank You Bestway and Big 5. So far our pool has held up a solid week in this intense AZ sun. We have used it daily if not more than twice a day. Every time I climb in, I still let out a huge exhale, and a giggle.