Traveling

10 places, 5 states, 8 days: southwest roadtrip guide

The week after Christmas we spent 8 days traveling to California and back.  By car.  That’s over 50 hours driving.  You may think I’m crazy, but it was one of my favorite vacations ever.  It was my first time to the Southwest.  And through those 8 days I covered more ground than some people do in their lifetime.   I drove through the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.  I got to see the Saguaro Cactus, which is native only to the Sonoran Desert.  I hit all 4 seasons.  Felt the warm Cali sun and played in the snow all in one week.  It was a mix of things.  It was life changing.

Southwest Roadtrip Guide - Vim & Vintage Blog

 

1. Scottsdale, Arizona

I loved Scottsdale. Beautifully landscaped, impressive bike trails, gorgeous mountain views.  Make sure to check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, Taliesin West and Old Town.

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2. Jerome, Arizona

Blink and you may miss it.   It’s that small.  Off the beaten path, you’ll find a hillside artists’ colony that may be one of Arizona’s best kept secrets.  Jerome popped up on the map as a mining village, and is now home to some great art galleries and boutiques.  Ghost lovers take note:  word is it’s haunted!

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3. Sedona, Arizona

Gorgeous red rock formations.   Photos never do any justice.  We were just passing through, but I want to go back, explore, hike and shop in this colorful town.

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4. Flagstaff, Arizona

Not even a couple of hours north of Sedona we hit snow!  If you love skiing or sledding, this is your place.  In recovery from my initial shock, it was hard for me to believe we were in Arizona still!

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Drive on the other side of the mountain and you find grassy plains of nothingness.  Sometimes a whole bunch of nothing can really be cool.

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5. Grand Canyon and Historic Route 66

Doesn’t really need much of an explanation.  A must see!

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6. Laughlin, Nevada

We don’t have much footage but Laughlin is like a desert oasis.  This casino town is built on the river that borders Arizona and Nevada.  Rumor has it that it’s one big party in the summer, with jet skis, boats, and of course gambling.    Here’s a pic I found online of it’s high season:

Harrah's in Laughlin

(source)

 

We stayed the night at the Golden Nugget.  I’m not too much of a player (I just crush a lot), but I played Black Jack for the first time and turned my $5 into $50 in 5 minutes. This creeped me out and we left.

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7. West Hollywood, California

We stayed in WeHo for 2 nights at the Farmer’s Daughter & loved it.  I did my happy dance after eating heavenly Chicken & Waffles at Tart.

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To sum it up, W. Hollywood was lots of excellent food, trendy vintage boutiques, and great design shops.  The picture below is from my favorite, Style de Vie.  Check it out. It’s awesome.  Just saw a couple weeks ago Lonny named Style de Vie one of their “Next Big Names”.

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8. Pasadena, California

If the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl wasn’t already on your bucket list, you should add it right now.  What a great experience! (It helps when your team wins of course.)  I had been to LA a few times before and never realized just how cool Pasadena is.

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9. Los Angeles Beaches, California

This trip we hit Venice, Santa Monica, Manhattan, and Redondo.

IMG_6405The first two pics are from quirky Venice.  Probably one of my favorite places in existence.  Everyday it’s different – you never know who or what you’ll see.

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The next 2 shots are from the Manhattan Beach Pier.  It was my first time here.  Definitely won’t be my last.

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Next is Redondo Beach.   We spent some time walking the boardwalk and checking out the harbor.  The boardwalk has a pretty amazing arcade in it.  I rode the Tilt a Whirl and felt 13 again. But then I got off and almost threw up.  Some things are not better with age.

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10. White Sands National Monument – Alamogordo, NM

Ever since Boyz 2 Men shot the video for “Water Run’s Dry” at White Sands, I put this landmark on my Bucket List.  Because if B2M does it, it must be cool.  And it surpassed my every expectation.  It was truly amazing.  Can you believe it’s the largest gypsum dunefield in the world?  Just one big white beach in the middle of nowhere with a mountainous backdrop.   Bring the family and play on the dunes, or bring your camera and become an instant photographer.

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Vows, Scenic Drives, and Cheesesteaks

As I mentioned, Nate & I spent Memorial Day weekend in Pennsylvania for his brother’s wedding. The ceremony took place in a little town called New Hope. It’s a cute, quaint riverfront town with an artsy appeal.  Picture beautiful winding roads, upscale boutiques, and a lovely historical presence.

1740 House

Delaware River Bridge

Delaware River

We spent Friday and Saturday at the 1740 House, a Bed and Breakfast in neighboring Lumberville.  It was a gorgeous property located right on the Delaware River.  Although it was cold and rainy Friday, Saturday it cleared up and ended up being beautiful for the wedding.

Groomsmen  Bridesmaids

Wedding at Holly Hedge Estate

Bride & Father

Holly Hedge

The wedding was held at the nearby Holly Hedge Estate.  Gorgeous landscape, wonderful service, amazing food – I would recommend it to anyone looking for a venue in that area!!  The reception was a blast, it was so great to hang out with family and make new friends too!

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Hubby & I

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On our way out-of-town on Sunday, I saw a sign for Bowman’s Hill Tower.  I had no clue what that was, but hey, I like hills and I like towers, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong.  So after taking a one lane road up the hill, we came to a stone tower nestled at the top.    Come to find out the Tower was built in 1931 and commemorates the spot where George Washington and his soldiers crossed the Delaware during the Revolutionary War, and then went on to fight the Battle of Trenton.  I’m not huge into history, but it was really cool.   And the view from the top was phenomenal.

Bowman's Hill Tower in PA

View from Bowman's Tower

Our next stop: Philadelphia.

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Our hotel there was awesome.  We stayed downtown at the Hotel Palomar.  It’s actually LEED certified at the Gold level, so of course this is a freakin big deal to me and I had to document it!

Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

Hotel Palomar Bedding

Never thought of mixing the 3×6 tiles with the 6×6 like this.  Really pretty!

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The view from our window.

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We walked around near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  Historical Philadelphia

Independence Hall - Philadelphia, PA

And stole a kiss in the park nearby.  😉

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We also had the chance to meet up with some of our good friends who live in nearby Jersey and we got to explore South Street with them.

South Street - Philadelphia

Fat Tuesday's

Since we had 1 day in Philly, I made it my sole mission to get an authentic Philly Cheese Steak.  We went to famous rival sandwich shops Geno’s and Pat’s.    Yes, I had to try both to see which one was better.  The verdict: Pat’s was my fave!  Both were great though.  Soooo good!

Pat's King of Steaks

They take this stuff very seriously.  There is a whole process for ordering, no joke.  I got “Provolone with”.

How to Order a Cheese Steak

Geno’s looks like it belongs in Vegas!Geno's Steaks Philadelphia

Before we knew it, we were on a flight back to SA.  I kinda have a fear of flying, but I always have to take pictures while up in the air.  There’s something so serene and heavenly about being above the clouds.

Clouds - Image by Vim & Vintage

I think our little weekend getaway was just what I needed to get inspired and re-motivate myself.   Memorial Day Weekend means summer has arrived – this is always my favorite time of the year. 🙂

sabbatical in Santorini

I’ve came to the conclusion months ago that I need a vacation.  Believe it or not, I haven’t taken a day off since July.  With lows in the 30’s this week and all the craziness that is the destruction of our new home, I’m ready to just fly away to somewhere warm and pretty, preferably away from everybody and everything, where I can prance around in a swim suit without a care in the world.  What better place than Greece??

All of my daydreams came true when I stumbled upon this unique home in Santorini while looking through Elle Décor’s website this morning.  Please, take me there!

Santorini Greece - Terrace Elle Decor

SANTORINI LIVING ROOM

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Psychas-eLLE DECOR BEDROOM

So simple and relaxing.

Psychas-EXTERIOR OF SANTORINI HOME ELLE DECOR

Psychas-SANTORINI BATHROOM

SANTORINI DINING ROOM

.SANTORINI GREECE TERRACE

I can’t describe how happy this view makes me!

SANTORINI HOME EXTERIOR

You lucky dog you! (Literally. He has no idea how lucky he is!!)

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All of the pictures link back to their original source.

Red Bud Isle: where dogs (and people) roam free

Over the weekend, Nate & I spent the day in Austin.  After getting some lunch and meeting up for a short shopping stint with my Aunt & cousin, we wanted to kill a couple of hours… but didn’t have any clue of what we wanted to do.  So we drove.  I pulled out my phone and was like “let’s go here” and pointed to some random island near Lake Austin.  So it was completely by chance that we stumbled upon Red Bud Isle.

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As soon as we parked (which FYI, parking is limited), we soon figured out this place was devoted to man’s best friend.  Basically it’s an island where dogs can roam free, off leash.  (Unfortunately, we didn’t have our little furball with us, but we plan on bringing her sometime soon.)

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There’s lots of random paths and trails. Totally not uncommon to just see dogs chasing each other through the woods.

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So serene.

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This was my favorite spot.  At the very tip of the island, there is a tree and all of it’s roots are exposed.

tree at red bud trail

My favorite picture.  Sigh.

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Of course I had to add some pictures of our furry friends we met.

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This dog below is Sidney. She’s 14. What a doll.  I can only wish I look that good at 98.

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So if you and your pup are looking for a fun time in Austin, I suggest you go check it out.  Because of the terrain, don’t be surprised if your pooch gets wet and/or muddy.

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(All of the pictures belong to me.  If you would like to use, just ask – and share my blog with your friends too of course!)

design obsession: moroccan style

Morocco: A magical land, rich in history, culture, and charm.

It’s no secret that it’s top 10 on my bucket list.  I dream of traveling to Marrakech, strolling through the marketplace, and photographing architectural and scenic wonders that are like no other.

The style is timeless.  A constant influence to so much of the design and fashion world today.  The attention to detail is impeccable, from the arches and architecture, to the refinements of the tile and latticework.

So naturally, I adore anything inspired by this amazing place.

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Wallpaper by Urban Outfitters!

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Behold the La Mamounia Hotel in Marrakesh.  DROP. DEAD. GORGEOUS.

This freakin pool!!!

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Everybody needs a lil Moroccan in their life. 🙂

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a)  Light fixtures, Viva Terra   –  b) Teal Moroccan Veridigris Earrings, from Christina Nicole via Etsy  –  c) Geometric Cuff in Grey, Deja Vu  –  d) Sandals, Charlotte Russe  –  e) One Shoulder Dress, Deja Vu    –    f) Carthage Pierced Lantern, Home Decorators   –    g) Tahla Lantern, Z Gallerie  –   h) Rug, Ikea   –     i) Chinese Garden Stool, Wisteria   –    j) Moroccan Inspired Photo Frame, Wisteria   –   k) 4 Door Mirrored Console, to the trade only (contact me for pricing/ordering)  –     l) Votive cups, Z Gallerie   –    m) Jacqui Coffee Table in White, Bungalow 5    –    n) Light Fixture, to the trade only (contact me for pricing/ordering)    –   o) J.L. Rhein Pillow, Wayfair   –     p) Macau End Table, Home Decorators