When I lived in Las Vegas as a kid, we had a free-standing hot tub. This kind is the best, because it is always hot. That means you could get in every day if you wanted, for 5 minutes or all night. My favorite thing to do when I was a kid was to get nice and hot from the hot tub on the coldest day of the year, then run and jump into the icy pool, and then jump back into the hot tub. Your skin gets all prickly and numb. It’s awesome.
Then when we lived in Florida, we had a hot tub that was connected to the pool, and it required messing with a very complicated secret combination of levers and buttons and switches to turn on. We only got to use it when Dad was home to figure it out, and we had to know we wanted to hot tub hours in advance, since it had to heat up. This experience really got me to appreciate a hot tub.
Then I grew up and moved around the country, changing locations about once a year. I haven’t stopped moving yet, and I unfortunately have not lived anywhere that had a hot tub available to me! I kind of can’t believe that when I think about it- how could I not have made that my top priority each time? I’ve truly become obsessed. I even nicknamed my savings account something related to hot tubs to remind me to save enough to get one. Last month, I tried to convince my roommates to buy me one- even just an inflatable one that takes 3 days to heat up, but was denied. The saddest part is that my current house has a huge spa bathtub in the bathroom, but our water heater doesn’t hold enough water to fill it more than a few inches, so I’ve only taken one or two sad little baths.
Anyway, last week I had some pretty sore ankles and a heel bunion thing that was really a pain, and I realized that I could have a foot spa! I could afford that and be instantly satisfied for as long as I need to wait before I’m rich and can get the real deal. So, I got it with 2-day shipping, and I planned my whole day on Tuesday around the thing arriving. I ran as hard as I could in the morning, and then climbed right afterwards to really work my poor little feet. When I got home at 6pm, it hadn’t arrived. I called my mom and whined to her about how I hadn’t even prepared myself for the possibility that it wouldn’t get there on time. She assured me it would arrive the next day. Hang on, Feet!
About an hour later, though, I got a phone call from my parents again- my dad kept saying “Thank you! You shouldn’t have! Its not even my birthday!” That’s when I realized the foot spa had been accidentally shipped to my parents house in Vegas!! I could hear my mother’s laughter roaring in the background while I fell into a pit of grief. She said my dad was so excited when he opened it, thinking she had gotten him some nice gift. I made sure he didn’t keep that idea in his mind for long. (He has a real hot tub, remember, so don’t feel bad for him).
I still haven’t gotten my foot spa. My ankles and heel bunion and blisters and callouses are continuing downhill. At this point, I can barely walk. The moral of the story: Don’t live with or close enough to your parents that you end up sending lots of things from your online shopping accounts to their house. It is very easy to overlook the shipping address.
One thing I love, and need in my life as much as a hot tub, is any type of chex mix. I grew up with the original recipe, then got at least 5 bags of the packaged stuff at a time for every occasion in high school, thanks to my best friend Anne (who got multiple bags of Twizzlers in return). Lately we’ve gotten experimental with our recipes, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. This version happened because I told Aimee to remember to bring “checks” to the last camping trip, and that immediately sparked a need for “chex” mix, so I asked her to bring that too. I couldn’t believe when she actually showed up with it! Especially because she showed up with two huge batches, meaning there was enough that I could share! The recipe was adapted from this one from Food & Wine. Go whip yourself up a batch of this delicious and Spicy Maple Chex Mix, and sit yourself in a hot tub- or hot springs- if you’re lucky enough to have access to one. It will be the happiest night of your life.
Spicy Maple Chex Mix
Prep Time / Cook Time/
Activity GuideBackpacking, Car Camping, Day Trip
- 9 cups Rice Chex
- 9 cups Wheat Chex
- 3 cups mini pretzels or pretzel sticks
- 3 cups cashews
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sambal oelek or sriracha (you can use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Large bowl
- Large pot
- Mixing spoon
- Baking Sheets
- Preheat the oven to 275° F. In a large bowl, combine cereal, pretzels and cashews.
- In a saucepan, combine butter, maple syrup, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. Bring to a simmer and stir until combined. Pour the mixture over the cereal mix and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the mixture on 3 large rimmed baking sheets (if you don’t have three, just bake it in batches). Bake for about 35 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until toasted. Remove from the oven, stir, and let cool completely.