Arizona has so much to offer for every type of traveler. If you’re an adventurist – they have adventure. If you’re for the luxury – they have that. Just need some relaxation – they have plenty of that. And if you’re a foodie – you’re in for a real treat!
During my trip to Phoenix, I took a stop over to Mesa to fulfill my need for the fresh foodie experience. Now, I’m not saying Phoenix won’t fulfill those foodie cravings, because the city can (make sure to check out the part I of why you should Visit Phoenix and stay tuned for part II), but Mesa gives you more of that foodie experience that you may be looking for.
I had the spectacular experience of spending an entire day in Mesa, AZ where I traveled along the #FreshFoodieTrail with Visit Mesa. On this trail, I found fresh, delicious food (of course) but I also found beauty, adventure, escape and relaxation.
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My first stop along the Mesa foodie trail was to the Queen Creek Olive Mill. Here, I was able to taste a variety of different olive oils and taste foods that are plentiful with their home-grown, fresh olive oil. Now, I may be a little biased because I am a big fan of olives. I’ll sit on my couch and snack on olives out of a jar instead of opening a bag of chips. But when I first arrived at the location, I was a little taken back when they told me that there were different flavors of olive oil.
I cook with olive oil and I was aware of the virgin and extra virgin olive oil but I didn’t know that there were olive oils that had infused flavors such as bacon and chocolate. It sounded a little off to me, and I didn’t know what to think. Olive oil that tastes like chocolate? Hmm.
But to my surprise these different flavors of olive oils were amazing, and as I tasted them, I began thinking about the many uses of cooking with flavored olive oil, such as making brownies with the chocolate olive oils to bring out a richer taste of chocolate. For those who don’t know, cooking with olive oil is a lot healthier than cooking with vegetable oil. In my kitchen, I cook with olive oil as much as I can rather than vegetable oil.
Other than enjoying the different flavors of olive oils and eating the delicious food that you can get freshly made right in the huge store, there is also the OliveSpa right in the same location. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is family owned, and the OliveSpa is a self-created section of the olive mill created by the wife/mother of the family. She started creating these different spa items in her own kitchen and using them herself. Soon, it grew and now she has her own store within the store and is looking to expand.
Olive oil is not only healthy for your food, but great for your skin. I’ve been using some of the lotion that I have from the OliveSpa since I returned home and my hands have felt so smooth and soft.
One thing that I found amazing from being in Arizona – and especially in Mesa – is the beauty of the desert. Many people think of the desert a very dry place where nothing grows and it’s hard to be outside in. But that’s wrong. Between the desert ground, the landscape, and everything that it includes, I couldn’t resist just being outside in the presence of the beauty of this Earth.
In Mesa, there is a place called Schnepf Farms that has a land that is beyond beautiful. They hold a lot of events there and opening sooner than later, the owner will be introducing glamping on the grounds. The trailers for the glamping ground are still under construction, but I was able to get a sneak peek into one of the finished trailers and because you are reading this post, you get to get a peek into it.
Glamping at Schnepf Farms is liking camping but for those who don’t really want to sleep on the ground and be fully one with nature. Near the trailers are huge fields that would be perfect for any activities for kids and/or adults. You’ll also have your own patio area with the trailer with a grill for your own use. Of course, you’ll have the use of a kitchen, shower, and bed with a mattress. I mean, that’s glamping.
After my sneak peek into my future “glampground” (yes, I just made that word because why not), I took a short trip over to Agritopia.
Agritopia is a much sought after place to live in Arizona. The location is a farm-to-table urban area. Most, if not all, of the food that you find on tables in homes or in restaurants are produced right in that local area. So you’re getting fresh food with every bite that you take. The area is so popular to live in that many people don’t really leave, so houses aren’t typically for sale in this area. And if one goes on the market, it goes right off of it faster than it went up.
This community is so for the natural produce of things that many of the goods to buy are made by people in the area. One of the locations, Barnone, is a miniature shopping location where you can purchase food, gifts, paper products, hair care, etc. right in the shop and all the products are naturally made and produced by craftsman right on the property. That natural production of the food and goods is something to marvel over. You know the quality of everything that you are getting which is not always promised in every place that you’ll visit.
My last two stops of the day were just the icing, sprinkles, and ice cream on the side to the whole cake that I received that day in Mesa.
First, I was taken over to Postino East Wine Café where I enjoyed a nice glass of bubbling rose and some amazing bruschetta prepared with delicious, local ingredients. I’ve had bruschetta before, but never like this. You can get four different flavors on one spread and each flavor is completely different from the other. The variety of spreads and meats that came with each well-toasted slice of bread made me just want to eat every single piece with no regard that I am supposed to be sharing.
The ambiance of Postino is also amazing. Many people love sitting outside on the patio with their friends, family, and pets and enjoying the atmosphere of being at the wine bar. Now, my day could have ended here and I would have been absolutely ecstatic about the glorious day that I spent in Mesa, but I had one more stop.
That final stop was to True Rest Float Spa. Now, I know you’re looking at the picture below thinking ‘how is this possibly a spa treatment and what happens?’. Well, I’m going to share with you my experience, but only to a certain extent because you need to experience it yourself.
True Rest Float Spa is all about relaxing your body and muscles and giving you a refreshed feeling. It is an hour-long spa treatment where you get into a large pod or a “big egg” filled with a large amount of salt in a pool of water which gives you the ability to float. You get into the pod and lay there, and yes, you do float. I was skeptical because all I do is sink but it works.
You’re in the pod in your birthday suit in complete silence – just floating in a gravity free experience. You can close the pod completely, but I chose not too because I’m slightly claustrophobic. But either way, the lights in the room turn off so you’re not bothered at all.
So, I’m going to be completely honest about this. When I first got in, my first thought was that there was absolutely no way that I was going to be in this pod for an hour in complete silence. And there was no way that I was going to fall asleep in this water. But I gave it a shot and proved myself wrong.
I got in and closed my eyes and started to think about how I was getting bored. I started counting as they recommended. Soon after counting to whatever number I thought I counted to, I was under the impression that only 10 minutes had passed and I was over the entire experience. But next thing I know, the music (which signals the end of the hour treatment) came on. I got out of the pod and picked up my phone and behold…an hour had passed.
The treatment worked. I guess that sometime my mind fell asleep and I time passed. After a shower, I walked out of the room with the pod feeling more relaxed than I typically do with a regular hand massage. I still felt like I was floating.
Now, listen to me when I say this, you MUST get one of these treatments! Even if you only do one, it is well worth it. But I guarantee you won’t be done after just one.
I’ll be continuing with a recap of my trip to Phoenix, AZ with part II of my reasons as to why you should visit Phoenix within the next few days. But again, I can’t find any reason as to why you aren’t convinced now.
If you missed my first post about my trip to Phoenix, make sure to head back and check it out here.