four days in the desert staying at the entirely gorgeous and v v swanky parker hotel, where we somehow scored the loveliest and most fancy suite ever. we spent our days sipping champagne lemon drops by the “family” pool (aka the not sexy pool), where my son tried to flirt with european tweens and little redheaded girls and i dug through the september issues of elle and vogue while (strangely) pauly shore paced around the pool talking on his cell phone. we also had one too many pina coladas at the ace while chatting with the staff about renegade desert parking lot minutemen shows and my high school crush on mike watt. we did our best to get through a plate of cheese fries at pappy and harriets and wound up hanging out in the back of a truck filled with punk rock t-shirts where the extremely kind proprietor gifted my son a set of rocky & clubber lang dolls which he has not let go of since. we also partook in bottomless champagne brunches and hung out at iconic atomic vintage digging through bags of 1960’s bikinis and costume jewelry and bar cloth shirts. all in all it was a dream trip, one which my liver and metabolism will likely need months to recover from.
as i began packing for my vacation i found myself faced with the age old problem of having really nothing to wear. really. nothing. the question of what to pack was met with another question, one that comes to me often when faced with major challenges in life: what would stevie do? while i realize that heading off to spend 4 days in 110 + degree heat doesn’t typically make one think of covering oneself in black chiffon bell sleeves, full skirts, and 15 gold necklaces, it makes perfect sense to me. stevie nicks. the desert. leather and lace, my friends. and so, in answer to the big question, the pieces below proved most obvious.
- a sun hat is first and foremost, and i believe lady fair would rock this yestadt mika widebrim sunhat like whoa. on sale for $88.80 via bona drag.
- stevie nicks would of course gravitate towards a luxury lifestyle linen kaftan with tasstel tipped draped sleeves and crochet detailing. of course. on sale for $533 via matches fashion.
- thee gold dust woman needs these oversized square frame sunglasses from oliver peoples in gold & brown. on sale for $149 via gilt.
- this southwestern patterned duffle bag is totes stevie. $39.90 via forever 21.
- i realize that layered gold necklaces in crazy heat is just kind of a bad idea, and these dipped semi precious necklaces would likely turn your neck green, but they are just so very stevie. $22 via topshop.
- gypsy water hair perfume, for all the sweat and pool water going on. $62 via neiman marcus.
- black crochet triangle bikini. but of course. $165 via net-a-porter.
- so yes, the black, bell sleeved maxi dress is crucial, but H&M makes this sheer number with open sleeves and back so that you might not pass away in the heat and still look tres stevie. $79.99 via h&m.
- this new book on queen stevie is perfect for reading on the plane and by the pool. $21.24 via amazon.
- these high waisted denim shorts have the stevie in the 70’s vibe for sure. on sale for $11 via h&m.
- lastly are these beautiful lace up leather block heel shoes that capture the whole witchy ballerina vibe perfectly (and are a complete gucci knockoff). $120 via topshop.
we just got home from a wonderful 4 days in palm springs. this was our first somewhat lengthy trip with the kiddo, and i wasn’t sure how he’d handle it. luckily he was a complete trooper and did amazing in the 110 degree + heat. we decided to rent a full size crib for the stay through desert baby rentals, and it could not have been easier. highly recommended! palm springs in the off season is pretty great, because it’s fairly empty. we felt like we had the town to ourselves, and that was awesome. what i really love about palm springs is that there are places that are way stylish and super rad for adults like us (the aging not-quite-hipster/music geek/cocktail enthusiast/plant nerd/total foodie/design geek type), and yet still totally accommodating to toddlers. this is not a common thing, in life. everywhere that we went we were met with genuine kindness and a mighty fine cocktail. we can’t wait to go back. here’s my fave raves from the valley below.
- i’ll start off with the ace hotel, because it’s probably the most well known for being hip and yet totally family friendly, and it deserves it’s great reputation. we had breakfast at the awesome kings highway diner and were really impressed with the food. it was healthy, tasty and surprisingly affordable (and you can’t beat that old school denny’s look). we had the great pleasure of spending the day swimming at the ace and it was so, so fun. the staff is sweet as pie and it seemed like every time we started to think, “do we need another drink?” someone would pop up to ask if we wanted anything. the “vibe” at the ace is laid back, but the service doesn’t suffer at all. the pool is surprisingly unpretentious and way kid friendly. i never felt self-conscious about having a toddler there, or felt like i was in some kind of kiddie pool world. it was the perfect mix. they also make the most amazing pina coladas which i will continue dream about for all eternity.
2. next up is the moorten botanical garden. this place is really a wonder, located pretty much right downtown palm springs. while we wouldn’t want the toddler to run through on his own, he loved being carried through the little paths of enormous cactus and seeing all of the plant life. the greenhouse is such a little sanctuary of gorgeous natural light, and the spanish style private residence on site is a thing of beauty. even in the 112 degree heat it was worth walking through.
3. next is the parker hotel, which we all like to refer to as heaven on earth. we had brunch at norma’s twice, and were blown away by how the staff remembered even our names the next time that we came in, from the valet parkers to the wait staff. the food was honestly amazing, from the farm fresh eggs to the baked goods to the fully epic cocktails. they give you a sample of their daily smoothie and offer it with booze, and each time it is insanely good. we got to spend some time after our meals walking around the grounds and were all totally over the moon for the place. the landscaping is so lush and there are all of these little hideaways where you can sit and have drinks, or lay in a hammock, or play croquet. my son had the best time ever running around and checking out all of the little hiding spots. they have two pools, one for families and one for adults only, and they somehow maintain this balance of being luxurious yet totally comfortable and again, unpretentious. sadly the stunning lobby and those famous front doors were under construction while we were there, but it was still a complete design marvel to all of us. little nods to mid-century design,1960’s fellini-esque italy, a hint of southern plantation charm and a smack of morocco all somehow blend together perfectly. we can’t wait to stay there.
4. a big part of why we wanted to stay in palm springs was the mid-century architecture. there are companies that give tours, or plenty of maps (and even an app) to do self-guided tours. it was a good break from the heat to drive around and check out places like the kaufmann house, elvis’ honeymoon hideaway and the movie colony neighborhood with its ultra chic mansions and the highly weird kenny irwin jr. home (which is like an enormous acid trip). the movie colony neighborhood also features ruth hardy park, which is a fantastic park for kids. they have a really cool play area that works for little and big kids, and tons of lawn area for kids to run free in.
5. last but not least is pappy and harriets in pioneertown. my husband has been wanting to visit this place for over a decade, and making the trek up to pioneertown was completely worth it. the space is big and there was plenty of room for my son to run around inside and out. the food is delicious, the drinks and strong and the staff is so, so nice. we heart pappy and harriets.
- these pan am explorer bags are so cool.
- there are so many amazing pools in palm springs and this metallic colorblock swimsuit from j.crew is a pretty classy way to get in some old timey glamour. i also love these gold sandals from seychelles. these spitfire sunglasses are the perfect pair for the outfit and this gold beaded headband from forever 21 is cutest.
- i love this cactus beach towel from H&M.
- the deer park by norman mailer is a great read for palm springs. it’s set in a “fictional” desert oasis a couple hundred miles outside of hollywood where starlets, directors and celebrity hangers-on go to have lavish parties and generally torture each other. while it’s a characteristically difficult novel from mailer, it’s a glimpse into 50’s palm springs and it’s a bit of a pot boiler. good for lounging poolside in a desert oasis a couple hundred miles outside of hollywood.
- the dry desert heat will dry out your hair, so oribe gold lust nourishing oil is a good one. and rodin olio lusso is allegedly derived from the sparkling tears of baby swans or something and is supposed to make even the driest of complexions luminous as the moon.
- i am pretty much over the moon for this cactus print short set. it’s just the thing for palm springs. i would pair it with these cute little white lace up sandals from pixie market.
- last but not least is this gold lomo l-ca camera for some super dreamy desert shots.
- every trip has to start with a bag, right? i dig this bright orange weekender from neiman marcus. for the long flight a lady needs a sleep mask, and this one is oh so miami. to get ready for all of the rad cuban food, some plantain chips are in order.
- i love these palm print makeup bags from target, and since we are going to miami the nars body glow had better be in it. miami also calls for a bright, orange lipstick like sheen supreme from mac in korean candy.
- to me, no designer says miami like versace. and to me, nothing says versace like neon yellow. this bright yellow bikini is pretty darn versace. so is this ladder crochet beaded coverup dress from topshop. it is the perfect miami item: 20’s art deco with some sheer disco-ness. it would look fantastic over a neon bikini too. perfect for strutting around town.
- these sweet jelly sandals from american apparel are great for beach strutting, and i’m crazy about these orange clog sandals from lotta from stockholm.
- for beach lounging this palm print beach towel is awesome. a big, dramatic floppy hat is also necessary. and let’s not forget a pair of serious cat eye shades.
- miami is mighty humid, so oribe anti humidity spray is a good idea. this hydrating aloe mist looks amazing. when you have given up on frizzy hair, this white wide brimmed hat with neck tie is just the thing.
- last but not least is a vintage polaroid camera with a big, high gloss flash.
- a serape weekender bag is totes appropes. i see them in froo froo shops for big bucks all the time, but you can find them on the cheap on good old ebay. a frida kahlo shopping bag is a good idea for all the rad little items you will surely pick up. i heart this little raffia clutch for holding your pesos.
- mexico is of course about the beach and this mexico beach towel is cute as pie. this crochet bikini from modcloth is amazing. these straw hats from ikea of all places are adorable and only $3. i love these gold aviator sunglasses from h&m for $8. this book on art & architecture in mexico is great for beach lounging.
- this gorgeous tysa san miguel wanderlust dress is perfect for day and night and these lila rice crescent hoops are just the way to dress it up. these beautiful handmade cholas from ricardo medina are perfect for walking around town.
- every vacay needs a good camera, so, why not a leica? this one is sorta almost affordable.
- you will of course need a good fake tan to get things going, and i love this fat & the moon aloe lotion for after sun. this color protect spray is good sun shield for your hair.
- de la rosa marzipan candies are my favorite, and some aloe water is good for hydration and also a good idea because, you know. it’s mexico.
with the cold and rainy weather, all that i can think about getting away. the fact that it is only november and i’m already wanting to escape is a little scary, but a girl can’t help but dream. with that, i thought i’d try to blog it out. keeping in mind that it’s hubby and me and baby makes 3, i have never been more concerned with where i am staying. gone are the days of hitting the road and staying wherever looks coolest. here are the places that i am dreaming of, and most just so happen to be warm weather places.
- palm springs, ca. i’m really a desert girl. i love the ocean, i love the mountains, a lot, but i dream of the desert. it’s magical. i love palm springs. land of amazing mid-century architecture and swanky golf courses, it also features pretty great november weather. i am pretty in love with korakia pensione, a sort of santorini meets santa fe (with a little tangier) hotel with gorgeous rooms, bungalows and studios, many of them featuring kitchens and/or fireplaces. there are 2 swimming pools, a bocce ball court, an outdoor film screen, afternoon moroccan tea service and complimentary breakfast and bicycles. tre chic.
- tucson, arizona. arizona is an incredible state, and tucson is a pretty spectacular spot. it’s pretty much perfect in the winter months. i love the 1930’s charm that is still hanging on around the city, and the arizona inn is part of that. it’s a little adobe cottage style resort that is nestled into suburban mid-town, still hanging on in the midst of all’a’dat. it’s quiet and comfortable, old school but well maintained and upgraded in all the right ways. they also have board games in the lobby and an ice cream social in the evenings.
- lima, peru. my father took a trip to peru about 7 years ago and has not stopped raving about it since. i’m completely in love with their textiles and have been dreaming about going there myself. i so badly want to stay at the hostal el patio, a small spanish colonial style hotel with courtyard style rooms that have beautiful little terraces. the hotel prides itself on being quiet and cozy, the rooms are simply furnished and the staff is english speaking. the winter months are the best time weather wise to visit peru.
- joshua tree, california. i love the mojave, and my husband also just so happens to be named joshua, so i really love this desert. while it is cooler in the winter, temperatures tend to hover around 70, which is a lot better than snow! the 29 palms inn is a place that i adore, with private bungalow style rooms (1930’s adobe or 1920’s wood cabins, actually) that are all so beautifully put together. the hotel sits just outside of joshua tree and you can hear the coyotes singing in the morning.
- ojai, california. while looking for close-ish places that boast warmer weather and aren’t in l.a. proper i stumbled upon ojai. it’s an only slightly fancy little town that has lots of great hiking and is really easy to get around in. in ojai is the gorgeous ojai rancho inn, which has awesome southwest meets summer camp decor and features kitchen rooms (for those of us with babes).
- sayulita, mexico. mexico is probably my favorite country outside of the u.s., as far as the food, textiles and climate are concerned. sayulita is a small fishing village about 25 miles from puerto vallarta, but it became a wildly popular “it” destination (like tullum did) about 4 years ago. it’s now home to many ex-pats and is not the well kept secret that it used to be. while it’s not getting into the un-gentrified mean streets of mexico, it’s still a far cry from big time all-you-can-eat buffet resort and spring break mexico. there are two places that i’d love to stay: the beautiful moroccan decor clad petit hotel hafa with its pretty bright stucco walls and amazing roof deck, and the somewhat less trendy aurinko bungalows, where each room has a kitchen & separate sitting area.
- the yucatan, mexico. i’ve long been vying to see the far end of mexico with its mayan temples and incredible food. the hotel hacienda uxmal is a spanish colonial masterpiece, with its gorgeous tiled floors and arched balconies. the hotel is on a plantation filled with fruit trees and every room has a terrace or balcony overlooking the landscape. it is also right across the street from the uxmal pyramids.
- big sur, california. i first visited big sur over thanksgiving and i absolutely loved the fall air there. it was a little chilly, but so incredibly lush and the smell was amazing. i’ve been meaning to stay at the ripplewood resort for about a decade now, but i never seem to get in. in the summer it is always booked, but in the off season they tend to have room. the property has 18 free standing wood cabins that are very simple, camp style rooms with minimal decor. it’s located right at the entrance to big sur and the national park, where hiking is ruling. some of the cabins even have fireplaces.