When the Husband and I went to England last December, we made a very big mistake – we totally overscheduled ourselves.  We live our day-to-day lives with a completely packed schedule, and that trip taught us that we’re better being spontaneous on vacation.  So, for our Arizona trip, we only pre-planned several outings – and today was one of them!  Most of the rest of the time is free, free, free!


We were dying to go horseback riding through Tonto National Park.  Based on several recommendations, Cave Creek Outfitters seemed like the perfect match for us.

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On our way, we stopped off at Starbucks and a grocery store to stock up on essentials, like fruit and water.  Whenever I travel, I can always rely on Starbucks to give me a healthy and basic breakfast. 


I got the Perfect Oatmeal and jazzed it up with a banana and some brown sguar.


One thing I immediately liked about Cave Creek Outfitters was the ranch dogs!  They were so sweet and playful.  The Austrian Shepherd kept herding the horses.  🙂


Husband’s horse was named Sundance, and mine was named Mohawk.  We went on a two hour ride through the park.  Our guide was very knowledgeable and spewed out random facts about the area’s history.  It was exactly what we were hoping it would be!






After the ride, we decided to drive to the sleepy town of Cave Creek and get some grub.  I had seen a hand-printed menu flyer for the Indian Village and was intrigued. 


Luckily, my suspicions were spot on – it was fabulous!

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We ordered: a Bean Burrito, two Bean Tostadas, and an Indian Fry Bread with cinnamon, sugar, and apples.   Everything was split equally!

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Everything was amazing, but the fry bread was the best!  Think of a really thick Funnel Cake.  Mmmm.


I’m pretty sleepy after all that excitement.  In fact, the Husband is passed out in bed.  :)  I’m considering hitting up the hotel gym (I am SO sad that I can’t run outside yet due to my foot… the weather here is perfect) and then catching some ZZZs.  Who know where tonight will lead?!



  • megan @ whatmegansmaking January 17, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I’ve been on one trail ride before, and I must say you look a lot more comfortable on your horse than I did on mine! Mine kept stopping to go to the bathroom and it totally freaked me out 🙂

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing January 17, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I had THE best breakfast sammy from Starbucks the other day. Egg whites with white cheddar and turkey bacon on a whole wheat english muffin. SO good! I have been disappointed with them in the past for some of the preservatives/flavorings in their foods but they’re good for a quick snack every now and then.

    I’m not big on horseback riding but that looks fun!

  • Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) January 17, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Australian Shepherds are the BEST! I actually want to take ours to a farm and have it go through the “instinct test”. I’ve never seen her around horses.

    I also LOVE fry bread. I’m glad that you’re enjoying your time off, and not stretching yourself out too thin

    • Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) January 17, 2011, 4:00 pm

      *have her go through

    • Nikky January 18, 2011, 11:40 am

      I squealed a little when I saw the aussie. 🙂

      It’s the only kind of dog my family has owned since we got our first one when I was really little. They’re the best dogs. The two my mom has now try to “herd” my little siblings by pushing at their legs when they walk near them. They don’t nip or anything, but it’s funny to watch.

  • Mary (A Merry Life) January 17, 2011, 3:57 pm

    That looks really fun! Fry bread is so delicious, glad you had some. Enjoy the rest of your vacation! 🙂

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 17, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Aww that looks awesome! I’d love to do a trail ride in Arizona someday! The food looks delish too! 😀

    Relaxed holidays are the best- you’re right!

  • Sarah for Real January 17, 2011, 4:00 pm

    I love horseback riding! What an awesome vacation for you! I love your thoughts on over-scheduling vacations and totally agree. Maybe you’ll accidentally stumble across an amazing massage parlor 😉

    • Sarah for Real January 17, 2011, 4:01 pm

      Annnd by massage parlor I mean like… spa. Not whore house. Duh. I don’t think anyone calls it massage parlor anymore. I am lame.

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans January 17, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Oh my gosh, I used to live SO close to there! Crazy! My favorite Mexican restaurant in the world happens to be in Cave Creek (El Encanto), not exactly vegan friendly but their margaritas are pretty darn fabulous

    • Evan Thomas January 17, 2011, 4:22 pm

      Margaritas have fruit. That makes them a well-rounded vegan meal.

  • Kara January 17, 2011, 4:02 pm

    That looks like a great trail riding place! I haven’t had any luck finding one with a horse big enough for my husband (he’s 6’3) and now he doesn’t like riding 🙁 I grew up riding and did it competitively for years, but I still love to go on touristy trail rides on vacation!

  • Sana January 17, 2011, 4:02 pm

    Sooooo Western! I am jealous of your adventureee!

  • Quisha January 17, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Beautiful weather. I’m jealous! I like the name Mohawk 🙂

  • Laura @ Starting Out Fit January 17, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Nice! Looks like you guys had a great time!!
    Wish there was scenery like that around here for me to ride my horse through! 😉

  • Rachel January 17, 2011, 4:07 pm

    What about doing another workout outside? Lay a towel down and do some yoga? Or a few lunges if your foot can handle that? No reason to not enjoy the workout outdoors just cause you can’t run.

  • Orla January 17, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Looks amazing but I can’t believe you were let ride with no crash helmets. I rode for 12 years and would never even think of getting on a horse without a crash helmet. I sort of envy the freedom of it. And the lack of helmet hair of course! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 4:09 pm

      I signed a release saying I didn’t want to wear a helmet b/c it would mess up my hair… and then I felt stupid and vain.

      • Nicole @ yuppie yogini January 17, 2011, 7:16 pm

        I’m stupid and vain too, I probably would have opted out of the helmet. 😉

    • Aby January 17, 2011, 5:58 pm

      I thought the same thing as Orla. I worked at a western riding camp for 2 years and saw way too many people get thrown from (well-trained) horses to ever think about getting on a horse without a helmet. I hate helmet hair but I always figured a head smushed by the hoof of a 1000lb horse looked worse than flat hair.

  • Heather January 17, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Looks like you guys are having a great time, love the pic of you and the hubby on the horses, it’s a great shot!

    Glad you are enjoying the beautiful weather we have here, I don’t know if I could live anywhere else!

  • Hope January 17, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Looks like a great time! The food looks so delicious! I love Mexican food! So lucky the weather is nice there. It’s freezing where I live!

  • Natalie @ Will Jog For Food January 17, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Good food, beautiful weather, and horseback riding? Sounds like the perfect day to me!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence January 17, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I was recently thinking about how much I want to go horse back riding again- looks like a great time!

  • Tania Engels January 17, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Gotta love fry bread. So unhealthy, but definitely very yummy.

  • Little Bookworm January 17, 2011, 4:21 pm

    Looks like a great time – love horse riding. 😀

  • foodandfarm January 17, 2011, 4:22 pm

    Enjoy the southwest, scottsdale is amazing!

  • Lisa Fine - lisasfoods January 17, 2011, 4:22 pm

    That sounds great. I love fry bread!

    On trips to Arizona and South Dakota I’ve made sure to eat delicious fry bread. It’s also really good like a taco – topped with beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream. If you get the chance, you should try them out.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) January 17, 2011, 4:23 pm

    This looks like an incredible day! That lunch looks amazing and I am sure put you into a food coma! Have a great workout/nap and have fun tonight!

  • Stephanie January 17, 2011, 4:24 pm

    Hi! Avid reader from Phoenix/Scottsdale area here and just wanted to suggest you eat at Pita Jungle. BEST food and very vegetarian friendly. Oh and also True Food. Good stuff!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 17, 2011, 4:24 pm

    oooh how FUN!!!! I miss horse riding!

  • Stacey - The Habit of Healthy January 17, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Wow, the weather looks incredible. Roll on summer! It sounds like you had a fab day and I would love to do something similar one day.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 17, 2011, 4:28 pm

    I love horseback riding – I used to take lessons when I was younger! I’m glad you’re feeling relaxed – being rushed and stressed on vacations is no fun!

  • Stephanie January 17, 2011, 4:30 pm

    Looks like a great vacay so far! Fry bread looks so good!

  • Leanne (For Health's Sake) January 17, 2011, 4:34 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I want to go horseback riding so bad… must-convince-fiance! 😉

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 17, 2011, 4:34 pm

    How fun! I would LOVE to go horseback riding through the desert like that!

  • Ida January 17, 2011, 4:40 pm

    A friend of mine from college is Navajo, and raves about fry bread all the time. I really want to try it. I’ve heard it’s usually fried in lard though, which creeps me out a bit.

  • greenbean January 17, 2011, 4:41 pm

    beautiful new profile pic, Caitlin!

  • Bobbie January 17, 2011, 4:42 pm

    I LOVE horseback riding!! We used to do this weekend thing at a horse ranch in Upstate New York. All your food, drink and accomodations were included in the price. It was really roughing it (for me anyway) but loads of fun when you go with the right people.

  • Camille January 17, 2011, 4:43 pm

    Oooh, that is some amazing looking food!
    I love your new photo!

  • Marisa January 17, 2011, 4:44 pm

    Glad you are having such a good time! My daughter and I were just in Phoenix over the new year and it was amazing! I don’t know what all you have planned, but I highly recommend heading up north to Sedona and taking a jeep tour of the landscape, aside from seeing the grand canyon, it was one of my favorite things that we did while there. We went with a company called Pink Jeep Tours, but there are other companies that do it as well. Whatever you do, I know you will have a great time, Arizona is so beautiful!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) January 17, 2011, 4:47 pm

    Looks like such a fun time! I’ve never gone riding before! I’m dying to do it! 😀

    • Freya January 17, 2011, 4:54 pm

      Oh you so should – riding is amazing 🙂

  • Freya January 17, 2011, 4:51 pm

    Ooh boy you’re making me want to ride my horse!

  • Jenna @Eating Green, Staying Lean January 17, 2011, 5:00 pm

    That’s too funny–I didn’t realize you were going to Arizona! I feel like half of the blog world went out there for the Rock N Roll Marathon, and Gina the Fitnessista just moved there, and so did my dad (haha) for the winter. Guess I’ll have to check it out sometime! The views are beautiful from what I’ve seen of my dad’s pics! Enjoy!

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit January 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

    The fry bread looks aaaaamazing. I love funnel cake 🙂 and I haven’t been on a horse in so long I miss it!

  • Bethany January 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

    We vacationed to Scottsdale (then up to the Grand Canyon and to Colorado and back) last May. It was a fabulous trip. Loved the terrain. Loved the weather. Loved Scottsdale (so fancy). Glad you are enjoying your relaxing vacation too!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

    It looks so warm …

  • Baking 'n' Books January 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

    What a ride! Literally I guess 😉 And are you guys wearing jeans on the horse? I’d need something stretchier hah!

  • Gwen January 17, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Hubster and I have realized we have to have a healthy mix of pre-planned activities and no plans on our trips. Can’t wait to hear more about your AZ adventures. Healing vibes for your foot!

  • OrlandoPaula @ Eat, Watch, Run January 17, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I rode a horse once. I think how I felt is similar to people who are terrified of roller coasters. 🙂

  • Annette January 17, 2011, 5:18 pm

    I love horseback riding! The best way to see some pretty scenery 🙂 have a great workout

  • Stacie January 17, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Caitlin, these pictures are beautiful! Hope yall enjoy your vacation!

  • janey January 17, 2011, 5:26 pm

    i love horseback riding! it’s something i miss about living outside of the city! sounds like an awesome day!

  • Errign January 17, 2011, 5:27 pm

    Awwww, I have an Aussie! 🙂

  • Carlee January 17, 2011, 5:35 pm

    Looks like ya’ll are having some fun!!
    The weather looks gorgeous! Food looks beyond amazing! Mexican food is truly the best!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales January 17, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Y’all are SO smart for not over-scheduling yourselves… let’s you take it in each day as you see fit! Your outing today looked like a blast, though! I rode horses for 6 years when I was little. Love that stuff!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 17, 2011, 5:43 pm

    Ahhh I’m jealous. I LOVE horseback riding and grew up riding horses all the time and doing gymkhana’s. I miss it!

    Your vacation looks fabulous 🙂

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 17, 2011, 5:47 pm

    Looks like such a fun day- I’m jealous of the beautiful sunshine!! My dad used to work at his hospital’s yearly fair when I was a little kid, and he was always at the funnel cake booth. I ate soooo much of the stuff!

  • Amanda @ JustAmandaJ January 17, 2011, 5:56 pm

    I’ve only been on a horse once that I can recall, but I’ve been dying to go on another trail ride. It looks like it was so much fun! And the food looks amazing, I’m really craving a good burrito now and might have to go seek one out tomorrow for lunch 😀

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) January 17, 2011, 6:00 pm

    What a fun trip! I love horseback riding. And I squealed when I saw the pic of the Australian Shepherd … I had one when I was growing up, and I still miss that dog so often. They are the absolute best dogs! Erm … Bowser is saying after schnauzers, of course! 😉

  • Kiran January 17, 2011, 6:08 pm

    I want to try horseback riding someday! Go get into a spa or something. Relax and rejuvenate 🙂

  • Jacalyn January 17, 2011, 6:10 pm

    My grandma (Seminole indian) use to make fry bread all the time. Yummy, but only to be eaten on vacation! Wonder why Indians have diabetes?

  • Tammy @ Palm Trees and Manatees January 17, 2011, 6:14 pm

    Horseback riding is one of those activities that makes you feel so connected and in the moment, you know? It’s one of my favorite activities, and your trip looks just beautiful. Arizona is a fantastic place . . . I went to Tucson when I was a teenager, and I still remember it vividly. Enjoy your vacation!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 17, 2011, 6:16 pm

    I lived in Phoenix for 9 mos and went up to Cave Creek a few times..it’s so fun and rustic and glad you two enjoyed your ride, food, and everything!

    And yes, NOT overscheduling yourself on a trip is…KEY. Good call 🙂

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) January 17, 2011, 6:19 pm

    Looks like a fun day! Horseback riding is the best 🙂

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit January 17, 2011, 6:34 pm

    Looks like fun! I am dying to visit the Southwest.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life January 17, 2011, 6:44 pm

    This post makes me miss horseback riding so much! Are your legs sore now?

    P.S. That fry cake is drool-worthy.

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 7:51 pm

      They were sore when I got off the horse!

  • Amber K January 17, 2011, 7:05 pm

    I have never ridden a horse before, but it looks like fun!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 17, 2011, 7:07 pm

    I am so jealous of that gorgeous weather!! It sounds like you two had a wonderful day. And I agree – Perfect Oatmeal is a perfect way to start the day! 🙂

  • Ashley January 17, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Horse back riding sounds incredible. And it’s so beautiful there compared to rainy gross NC right now.

  • Lauren January 17, 2011, 7:43 pm

    It looks gorgeous! I’m not use to seeing you guys out west but it seems like it suits you well. 🙂 Glad you are having a nice relaxing time. 😉

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) January 17, 2011, 7:46 pm

    Ahh…I’m so jealous! I love horseback riding. It’s such a fun experience. And your trail horses are gorgeous! 😀

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged January 17, 2011, 7:46 pm

    I love horseback riding! I’ve done it up in the Smoky Mountains and it was the perfect way to see the natural scenery and enjoy the front air. Going through the desert sounds awesome!

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) January 17, 2011, 7:57 pm

    I remember going horseback riding when I was in Girl Scouts! Man was I nervous. We were taken on a trail that had a very steep drop, and my horse wanted to explore the drop-off. Talk about sweaty palms!!

  • rebecca lustig January 17, 2011, 7:59 pm

    i rode a camel in israel! coolest thing ever, ha

  • Elizabeth @ The Sweet Life January 17, 2011, 8:14 pm

    Sounds like so much fun! Glad you’re getting some good time away. Keep resting that foot!

  • Lauren January 17, 2011, 8:32 pm

    My job sends me to AZ for weeks every year. I’m not a beer drinker, but many of my coworkers are (we are in princeton, NJ). If you get the chance, check out four peaks brewery. I think it is in Tempe by ASU. It’s a fabulous place with good food and great beer (recommended by many coworkers!).


  • Laurie January 17, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Your day looked perfect.
    Gotta tell you, I went to Richmond for a quick 24 hours to visit the in-laws. Didn’t really think about packing, so this a.m., I put on yesterday’s stinky workout clothes to go out and walk. I thought about you and my super nose was only unhappy for a second. Once I got outside, there was nothing to smell, but cool air.

    • Caitlin January 17, 2011, 8:39 pm

      Hahhah YES!

  • Souther Sober Girl Runs January 17, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Girl!! I was in Scottsdale at Thanksgiving and did the same trail ride! Like whoa!

  • Jess January 17, 2011, 9:03 pm

    that fry bread looks amazing caitlin! i hope you try to recreate when you get home. enjoy your vacation with the hubby, the best vacations are those spent with lots of free time:)

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef January 17, 2011, 9:18 pm

    i love trail rides… have a fun vacation 🙂

  • Sarah (Sarah Learns) January 17, 2011, 9:24 pm

    i’ve never tried starbucks oatmeal – i think that will have to change, soon! your day of horseback riding looks awesome. i grew up with horses and haven’t been on one for 7+ years! seeing your photos made me realize how much i’ve missed it.

  • Natalia - a side of simple January 17, 2011, 9:49 pm

    I live for horses…and my mom’s cooking. Well, I also live for a few other things, but you get the point. My dream/goal is to have horses when I’m settled and able to!

  • Kristy January 18, 2011, 7:57 am

    Ekkkk! You have no idea how jealous I am – the boy would NEVER go on a trip like that 🙁

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 18, 2011, 8:39 am

    I love horseback riding! And that’s such cool scenery. I’ve never been in an actual desert like that before!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats January 18, 2011, 10:06 am

    That meal look awesome! And the national park + puppies + local history is my idea of a nerdy good time! So fun.

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous January 18, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Yummm that Mexican food looks so good! And I agree, you can’t go wrong with oatmeal from the ‘Bucks!

  • Balanced Healthy Life January 18, 2011, 4:41 pm

    I love Australian Shepherds! We just got a brand new Aussie pup a few weeks back. So far, he has taken over my blog, I think I post at least 2-5 new pics of him a day!

  • Ali @ Ali Runs January 18, 2011, 9:31 pm

    What an awesome trip! I also prefer to have more spontaneous vacations as opposed to planning too much. It’s so much more relaxing that way!

  • Katie January 19, 2011, 7:14 am

    Yum yum yum – that food looks so delish! I want to try the fry bread.

    Also – my heart was happy when you showed the photo of the Aussie. The hubs and I have a black tri Aussie just like that one. I’m not sure if she’d herd horses and larger animals, but she sure does herd us around the house!

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