“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
These days, our schedule looks like this:
wake up and work for a few hours
check out of our hotel
get back on the road, do a hike and explore
drive to the next destination, find a place to sleep there
This has made us realize how little is really needed to feel satisfied and complete. As we continue on, I find myself narrowing down the clothes that I bring in to each hotel, and wanting to stay in the simplest of places. I’m definitely feeling that less is more, and that the original discomfort of picking up and moving each day is quickly feeling like the norm. It has kept each day fresh and exciting. Of course, I don’t feel equally inspired in each place we visit – it’s interesting how a place can affect you so much. A cross country trip like this would actually be a perfect way to find your soul city, or soul town to live in – the place that just feels right.
On our way through Arizona, we knew that one place we couldn’t miss was Frank Llyod Wright’s Talisien West. He decided on building here even before anyone had found water. But he was so strong willed that he just had them keep digging until water was found. That very water source has been used ever since, and now Scottsdale has sprouted up around his creation. He spent his winter months here to escape the cold temperatures of Talisien East in Wisconsin.
The home was built large to house his architecture students – in fact, it was his architecture students that built the place. That’s a pretty awesome lesson in architecture right there. They studied here, worked here, watched movies here, and even dined all together in a large dining room.
All of the windows are angled so that you see what Frank wanted you to see. When power lines went up in what used to be his favorite view, he reworked everything to guide people to the opposite view. Many of the spaces feel very connected to the landscape – even with window panes the rooms somehow still feel open to the air. They are even almost tent like with canvas covering many of the skylights.
The way the light flows in through the canvas was beautiful. Above was his office.
It was an inspiring place to tour, and made me dream of building my own studio and home! The living room was my favorite – I wish I could have taken pictures in there! You will just have to go and see for yourself!
Travel is fun, but so is being comfortable at home. So today I’m taking a break from all of these travel posts to show you our San Francisco living room! Like the other rooms in our apartment, many of the pieces in here are found at flea markets. It takes time to collect, but makes the space more unique and special in the end. Hope you like!
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Rug: West Elm | Lamps: vintage | Couch: Room & Board | Barcelona chair: vintage/ flea market | Side tables: West Elm (old) | Case Study Planter | Eames Lounge Chair | Artwork: vintage/ flea market
Our visit in Joshua Tree made us feel like it was a place we could live someday. Although small, it’s filled with vintage shops, and cafes. We booked an airbnb last minute (as we’ve done everything on this trip) and it turned out to be better than we could’ve imagined.
The space was so comfortable – we spent our night there in the hot tub looking at the stars, and were able to hang out and read for a bit in the hammock.
How cute is this?
I can appreciate true spice lovers.
Not far from the Airbnb is the Noah Purifoy Sculpture garden. As we explored the area, we really felt like we were momentarily able to experience different memories and moments of his life.
We did a small hike through Joshua Tree National Park. I’d never seen Joshua trees before this, and was surprised to find out that they’re not really even trees at all – just large plants.
I love how things get weird in the desert, and am missing it already as we venture into some cooler weather.
To be honest, I don’t have many (or really any) Summer clothes after living in San Francisco for 5 1/2 years. So when I go to the desert and it reaches 85 degrees I feel hot and I’m not sure what to wear. It’s pretty ridiculous, I know… but you get used to the stable 55-65 degrees in SF.
I picked these shorts up at Zara, and besides getting wrinkly in my suitcase they’ve done me well. They’re nice and loose and go with practically everything. I can even go hiking in these guys.
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One of my favorite things to do in Palm Springs is to drive around and look at all of the beautifully simple architecture. This one above is definitely a dream home.
I have so many great memories from Ace Hotels… especially this one in Palm Springs. Rich and I spent our one year wedding anniversary here, and this was our first time back since then. The Ace is a place that is both stylish and comfortable. The rooms feel like home.
This time around, we got a king room with a patio. It was so nice to sit out on our patio and eat dinner (room service from their restaurant King’s Highway) with a glass of wine.
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Road trips are awesome. Packing light is even more awesome. That’s why it’s important to have a few pieces that are multi-functional.
Hat: No Adventure is complete without a hat. I got this one from Goorin Brothers. I also love this one!
Sweater: A light sweater in a solid color can be thrown over anything when you’re cool. This one is from Madewell.
Sunglasses: Garrett Leight is a new obsession. His frames are so classic and well made. I also love that Rich and I can share these. They look good on both of us!
Sandals: This road trip is across the southern border of the US, so sandals are a must. Everlane has been my go-to for all basics. Their backpack has been super useful as well with its laptop sleeve built in.
Shorts: A pair of soft comfy shorts lets me pretend I’m in my pjs all day. These ones are from Zara.
Netted Bag: This bag has been so useful. It seems tiny until you start piling stuff into it. It expands like woah. It’s perfect for stopping at grocery stores along the road and grabbing some healthy snacks. We’ve been sticking to the classics: apples, bananas, & oranges. It was important to us not to be eating fast food the whole way, and apples especially have been great on the road.
Gadgets: (of course) I’m using my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro to take photos, work, blog, etc. (thank you Apple) And Pencil from FiftyThree turns my iPad into a sketchbook!
An Inspiring Book: Being on the move is always inspiring, but having a great book to provoke even more deep thought is the best. I’m currently reading the Diary of Anais Nin.
Rich and I are currently traveling cross-country. We’re taking the time to explore all of the places we’ve talked about going to but just hadn’t gotten around to yet. First up was San Diego, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s incredibly gorgeous, and reminds me of San Francisco – but warmer!
We really only spent about 24 hours in San Diego, so we decided to go to just a couple of the awesome spots we’d heard about. These photos are from La Jolla Cove. This place takes your breath away, and as soon as we saw it we decided we’d be back someday.
The other place we knew we wanted to check out was Balboa Park. It was built for the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition to say hey, look how awesome San Diego is! I think they did their job right. It also made me feel at home since San Francisco’s version is the Palace of Fine Arts and was built for the same exposition. Balboa Park let me imagine what the area around the Palace of Fine Arts would have been like before they took down the surrounding structures to gain more space for housing.
Balboa Park also comes complete with a desert garden, and a rose garden.
Stay Classy, San Diego.
Dining rooms are all about hosting and dinner parties. We usually invite more people than our small dining table can handle, so we end up plate to plate… but it’s cozy and has made for a lot of fun nights. As we switch out pieces in our apartment, we’ve been longing for the real Saarinen table in white marble, but for now this one from cb2 has done us well.
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We’ve been redecorating our bedroom this year, collecting pieces slowly from various vintage shops and our travels. Great staples like West Elm have helped fill in the pieces like our bed that we couldn’t find elsewhere. The key to a great space is finding pieces that you truly love, and being patient until you do. A great space also means lots of plants and light!
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Case Study Planter | Bed: West Elm | Gold Bedside Work Lamps: Design House Stockholm | Bedspread: Dwell Studio | Wardian Case: Paxton’s Gate | Sheepskin rugs | Loeffler Randall Loafers: similar here | Purse on Chair: Loeffler Randall
Anything not listed above we found either at the Alameda Flea Market, or a vintage shop. Let me know if you have any questions about where something came from! I have so many favorite vintage shops in SF – for example: Stuff!