On the way to Phoenix, we stayed a few days with our friends Frank and Mabel. They were kind enough to show us the sights of the Inland Empire (basically the area between the desert and L.A.).
We walked up and down Old Town Pasadena. I love the sense of history in that part of town, and there’s some great shopping, too.
You won’t believe how happy I was to visit the Trina Turk Outlet. A must-visit if you’re in the Los Angeles area.
This succulent nursery was amazing- there’s nothing like it in Seattle.
At the end of July, Brian and I took a road trip to Phoenix to visit some family and friends. Eek, I’m late in posting these!
The drive from California to Arizona is beautiful, and the amazing thing is that as soon as you cross the state line, Arizona looks so stereotypical Arizona-like.
As we got closer to Phoenix, we could help but notice the massive storm- a haboob!
We stayed at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, which has a great history of being a getaway for Hollywood stars in the 50s and 60s. Brian’s cousin told us that it was in a pretty sorry state until 2002, when it received a total overhaul from some new owners. I loved that every room has a spacious deck, and the round pool is pitch-perfect retro.
Me and a kangaroo, February 2002, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
The cabin fever caught up with us around dinner time last night, so we set off for the grocery store to pick up some vices (chocolate for me, cerveza for Brian). Oh how the snow makes everything softer and calmer- especially once the sun has set. The roads were just so quiet (literally), and the lack of light diminished the look of the dirty snow on the street corners.
Photos: Gretchen Lilly
Our first snow of the season fell this weekend in the Seattle area, and we’re due for more (much worse!) in the next few days. We only get a good snow every few years, and I still get excited every time. I’ve never lived in a place where snow is a regular part of winter; I’m sure it gets old after a while, but it sure does soften the look of everything.
This resort in Finland looks like a great place to experience winter weather during both the day and the night.
Photos from the Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen. They also have a (year round!) Santa village and a rather cozy honeymoon cottage. This resort is north of the Arctic Circle- can you imagine watching the Northern Lights from your cozy bed? I’d love to take a trip to Finland some day, since my Finnish heritage is the strongest part of my background (only 1/16th, but the rest of me is generic European). Hmm, I hear Iceland Air has some great deals…
We all know I could make some reference to people hurling rock-like objects, but let’s just focus on this beautiful house in Paris, shall we?
The “House of Glass” or “La Maison de Verre”. Photo: Francois Halard
This article from the New York Times lays out the story better than I can. There is also a great article in the September/October 2011 issue of Australian magazine Inside Out.
Also, the man that owns the house bought one of the three Maisons Tropicale and then donated it. I can’t find a picture that confirms which one he bought, but they all look something like this:
Found at Mondo Blogo. Original source unknown.
A few blanket-inspired bags to keep all your things warm while you travel this winter.
Pendleton Portland/ Madewell/ LL Bean Signature/ Novica
Mabel took us to downtown Riverside to check out the Mission Inn on our last day of the trip. I wasn’t expecting such an amazing experience; there is so much history in this hotel, and I felt like I was wandering around a European museum. Our trip was also exciting because Mabel just kept opening doors and going past the signs that read “Hotel Guests Only”. If there was a door, she tried to open it! I know I wouldn’t have done that on my own, but we saw so many cool things because of her- thanks Mabel!
The reception area; stained glass detail in a banquet room.
The previously mentioned banquet room (love the ceiling!); stained glass window in the Presidential Lounge.
The center courtyard; Mabel trying to open a door.
What’s that? Only an effin chapel at a hotel!
Our reward for sneaking up to the third floor: awesome vistas.
The next block over from the hotel is the downtown Riverside library, which Mabel accurately predicted I would like.
The zig-zags on that staircase made my heart skip a beat.
I’m guessing Riverside isn’t in the top ten of tourist destinations in California, but I was really happy to walk around the downtown, and I’d love to stay at the Mission Inn some day.
So I managed to take around 400 pictures while we were in California for three and a half days, which means I have way more photos to share! This could turn into a five part series if I’m not careful.
We went up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which goes up to the top of Mt. San Jacinto (elevation 8,516 feet). In general, it’s usually 20 degrees cooler at the top than it is in the city, so everyone brings sweatshirts. I could also feel myself getting winded kind of quickly, which we will also blame on the elevation, and not the fact that I haven’t been to the gym in a few months.
As the great Emily Henderson would say, “I’m a giant!”
A little bit of the NW in PS.
Proof that you can get reception at the top.
All photos by Gretchen Lilly.
We had a long weekend in California, and I was lucky enough to spend my birthday in one of my favorite cities, Palm Springs! We stayed at the Ace again, with our friends Frank and Mabel. The whole trip went by so quickly, and I had a great time, but I’m already thinking about going back because there are more things I want to see and do in PS.
When we visited last December, the weather was much colder, and the sky was a little gray, so I was really happy to see Palm Springs in the sunshine.
The food and drinks at Las Casuelas were perfect for a birthday dinner.
The pool was bumpin’ because there was a shoot going on for American Eagle at the hotel, and all of the folks involved were staying there, AND there was some sort of hipster bowling alley reality show previewing that night.
My new camera made documenting the trip really fun, although “paparazzi” was thrown my way a few times. I have loads more photos to share from the trip, so check in later.
All photos by Gretchen Lilly.