Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell

Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell

Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell

Just past the copper quarry in Bisbee, Arizona there’s a special place for those who appreciate a different kind of hotel experience. The Shady Dell is where all my antique travel dreams came true. The whole property is such a delight that it deserves its own post. One of which I will get to very soon! In the meantime, let’s focus on the 1947 Tiki Bus, the Polynesian Palace we had the pleasure of checking in to. Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell is a unique delight that I’m glad to have experienced. 

The Shady Dell

Staying in a converted baseball team school bus in a trailer park beside a graveyard sounds like the location of a campy horror movie. I assure you it’s not. The Shady Dell is a boutique trailer park (I don’t think I’ve ever put those two words together in my life.) The owners have painstakingly collected a number of antique trailers, buses, and even a yacht! Each unit has been lovingly restored or in the case of the tiki bus, converted. The whole property is decorated with other antique curiosities such as classic cars and an original valentine diner!

The Powder Room

The Tiki Bus comes equipped with a working toilet (teal coloured of course!), a sink, and a puffer fish to light the way. While there isn’t a private shower, there is an antique shower door as the bathroom door! The showers are located nearby in a main building and are decorated with antique avon soaps & perfume bottles. Yes. Please.

Tiki in the Kitsch-en

This Polynesian palace was not without a kitschy kitchenette. While the stove and oven were purely ornamental, the sink and fridge are the perfect set up to make all the tiki drinks. It’s a necessity when one wants to live out their tiki island fantasy. There’s even proper tiki mugs! In other words, this is a Tiki-philes absolute dream. The attention to detail is not to be overlooked – every item within the bus, including the kitchen wares, are all the era of this bus. There’s nothing but authentic flavours when staying in a tiki bus at The Shady Dell!

Mood Music

In addition to all the other on brand tiki details, there is also a record player to help set the mood. Dig some Beach Boys or Polynesian instrumental music while getting ready? No problem, there’s a whole selection of records to create the perfect island vibe. During our stay we went through the whole discography provided and can confirm the collection is dope as hell. In fact, it has inspired us to start collecting more Polynesian records for the future basement tiki bar we plan on having. 

Staying in a Tiki Bus at The Shady Dell

When staying in a tiki bus at The Shady Dell, one must be prepared to be swept away into another decade. For travellers who love the nostalgia or long for a time when road travel reigned supreme, this little hideaway is a must. Bisbee is a hidden gem of a place that should be included in any Arizona travel itinerary. And The Shady Dell is the place to stay when visiting! Check out their website for more details about bookings and the property. 

Check out these links for more travel guides or hotel features! And stay tuned for the upcoming Bisbee Travel guide.

Photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz + Jesse Sand

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Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost Town is located in the exact place you would expect to find it: Arizona overlooking the Superstition Mountains. Like, come on…. there’s a place that has such an auspicious name? Of course I needed to visit. And as it happens, the ghost town is cute, photogenic, and has a few things to do! I have mentioned it previously in my Mesa Arizona City Guide, but here’s a closer look at this western treasure.

A Ghost Town To-Do List

One would think that going to a ghost town would be just that: visiting a town that’s been abandoned and void of any activity aside from urban exploration. But you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. The Goldfield Ghost Town has a flurry of activity happening in every corner – it’s not a place for ghosts to chill by any means. Some fun things you can do there are:

  • Firstly: take in the EPIC view of the Superstition Mountains!
  • get ice cream (I tried it and can vouch for its deliciousness
  • go on a zipline (I passed on this activity as heights and speed aren’t really my thing after eating ice cream)
  • check out the saloon complete with boots hanging from the ceiling
  • there’s a bordello tour! 
  • take a mine tour and appreciate how hard that job is
  • if you’re not squeamish, there’s a reptile exhibit 
  • For more suggestions check out their informative website here

OUTFIT DETAILS

BAILEY’S OF HOLLYWOOD black hat – c/o (similar here)
THRIFTED hawaiian dress
LEVIS customized jacket – c/o (check out the Levi’s Tailor Shop post here)
THRIFTED  white western belt
ALDO  drerissa boots – c/o 

Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost Town is a western kitschy gem in Arizona but the fun doesn’t stop there. If you’re ever in the Palm Springs / Joshua Tree area I would recommend swinging by Pioneertown. I always make a point of popping by whenever I’m nearby if only to grab a meal at Pappy and Harriet’s. Of course I’ve blogged about that ghost town too so be sure to check out this post and this post. For more ideas of what to do when you’re visiting the Mesa area, be sure to check out my Mesa Arizona City Guide!

photographs – Jesse Sand

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The Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona

The Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona

The Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona

Just slightly north of the downtown core, The Clarendon Hotel is nestled away in a quiet neighbourhood. It’s the perfect spot to step back in time all while enjoying modern amenities and design. I was originally drawn to its midcentury vibe only to discover it was actually built in 1972! That might explain the artful use of mirrors vertically throughout the stone facade. A little further research and I discovered that a journalist by the name of Don Bolles was murdered outside the hotel when a bomb was placed under his car in June of 1976. One of my favourite attributes a hotel can possess is the intrigue of having a rich history, just like the Hotel Congress in Tucson. I swear these hotels find me! Anyway, I very much enjoyed staying at the Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona, and here’s why:

Breakfast at Tranquilo

Question: What’s better than a hotel with a restaurant attached to it? Answer: A GOOD restaurant that serves Mexican food. And that’s exactly what Tranquilos is. The horchatas are perfection, the service was amazing, and the menu was super flexible for dietary options (hello vegetarian choices!). If that wasn’t enough, we even saw Aquaman dining one morning. 

Unlimited Snacks

If you’re aren’t sated from the delicious menu of Tranquilos, not to worry! The Clarendon Hotel offers a wide variety of complementary snacks from the concierge desk. I can confirm that I was a regular visitor of this endless candy counter. Any offer of a peanut butter cup and I’m there. 

Location, Location, Location!

The location of accommodations directly affects what kind of trip you will have. If the hotel is far from everything, the trip will be spent commuting to the places you want to be. Fortunately, The Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona is, dare I say, the perfect location. Keeping a mindful distance from the downtown core where parking can be a real nuisance, especially during the event of a cattle convention (true story.) Not only is there covered parking for the hotel (which turns out is pretty important in the desert heat) but also ample street parking as well. In addition to that, it’s quick and easy to get to a number of notable spots within Phoenix. 

The Suite Life

Any hotel suite that comes with a full closet, a fridge, and a sitting area is alright with me. The Clarendon goes one step further by having their suites situated all around the courtyard pool, and that is a true delight. I love being close to the water! Aside from that, another feature I was stoked on was all the storage space for my toiletries. I know this sounds like a minor detail but as a person who travels with a few many products, it’s nice to have somewhere to put them that isn’t in the way. 

PRODUCTS I TRAVELLED WITH

Speaking of the few many products I travelled with… here’s a couple things on the shelves that I particularly love:

TOP SHELF
EVA NYC clean it up shampoo / soften it up conditioner – c/o
BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Miceller – c/o

SECOND SHELF
NARS afterglow lip balm in orgasm – c/o
GLOSSIER haloscope in quartz – c/o
NUDE BY NATURE moisture shine lipstick 05 pale coral – c/o

THIRD SHELF
SKINCEUTICALS Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF50 – c/o
SKINCEUTICALS C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment – c/o
ESSIE nail polishes – c/o

FOURTH SHELF
THE WITCHERY cedar oil – c/o
KIEHL’S midnight recovery concentrate – c/o
IMAGE SKINCARE the max stem cell creme – c/o

FIFTH SHELF
SAJE exotic deodorant spray
OUAI hair oil – c/o (this is one of the few things from the line that I like the smell of)
SHEA MOISTURE 100% pure shea oil – c/o
IMAGE SKINCARE the max stem cell facial cleanser – c/o

The Outdoor Amenities

Duuuuuuuuuuuude. As I mentioned before, the courtyard pool is one of the dreamiest features of the Clarendon. After a day exploring the city, coming back to luxuriate in the hot tub was the best. There was always the option to make a visit to the rooftop deck with a view of downtown Phoenix instead. I would recommend both at least once. 🙂

The Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona

And that is the Clarendon Hotel Phoenix Arizona! As a person who visits the state at least once a year, I love continuing to discover new spots to share. For more Arizona related content check out my posts here. And for more travel in general, peep my travel section.

photographs – Jesse Sand + Sandy Joe Karpetz

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Harrison Hot Springs Travel Guide

Harrison Hot Springs Travel Guide

Harrison Hot Springs Travel Guide

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Fraser Valley without a stop in the Harrison area. After flying into Abbotsford courtesy of Swoop (see my Abbotsford BC Travel Guide) we took the scenic ride to Harrison Mills and then Harrison Hot Springs. Our drive was peppered with some thrift stops and a lot of gorgeous scenery thanks to the Harrison River. Food was eaten, nature was enjoyed, and sights were seen. With that said, keep scrolling for my Harrison Hot Springs Travel Guide.

EAT

Between Harrison Mills and Harrison Hot Springs, there’s no shortage of food options. From sushi, to pubs, to a full on fine dining with a live band and dance floor experience… the fare was most agreeable. Here are a few of the places I had the pleasure dining at.

Breakfast

The Clubhouse (Harrison Mills)

While staying at Rowena’s Inn on the River (more on that later) in Harrison Mills, we dined at The Clubhouse on the golf course. It overlooks the course as well as the Harrison River, a view that cannot be beat. And the breakfast was delightful – any type of Mexican option is always a yes for me. 

Muddy Waters Cafe (Harrison Hot Springs)

Breakfast burritos!!!! Need I say more? Well yes, yes I do. Here’s another breakfast option that’s right on the water. The Muddy Waters Cafe is located across the street from the lake in Harrison Hot springs. It’s a cozy cafe that has ample seating and a delightful London Fog. A drink that I enjoyed so much that I drank it all before realizing I should have photographed it. Whoops. Their nachos are pretty dope too.

Treats

Rocky Mountain Chocolate (Harrison Hot Springs)

I am not one to say no to chocolate. Ever. And in Harrison Hot Springs, you can get chocolate Sasquatch feet at Rocky Mountain Chocolate. So obviously I did and it was epic. 10/10 would recommend. 

Dinner

Morgan’s Bistro (Harrison Hot Springs)

First of all, the view of the lake is epic. It also didn’t hurt that we stayed in the hotel directly above this fine establishment so the commute was more than manageable. There were several vegetarian options (fried eggplant / tomato bisque soup / a fresh salad) so we were well covered on that front.

The Copper Room (Harrison Hot Springs)

In all honesty, the vegetarian options were very sparse at the old Copper Room. And what was available was absurdly dairy heavy (hello 5 cheese ravioli in a cheese sauce?) But what it lacked in veggie fare, it made up for in entertainment. This should probably be in the to-do section… but I make the rules around here! I would recommend this evening for anyone who enjoys people watching and cover bands. And that my friends, is me. 

SLEEP

Rowena’s Inn on the River (Harrison Mills)

Driving up to Rowena’s encapsulates the image I have whenever I longingly think about visiting the PNW. It was a misty day with the smell of wet cedar hanging in the air. The tall trees dwarfed our car by comparison but the drive down the long elegant road to the inn was verdant and inviting. It was both a place of enchanting beauty of a romantic comedy but also maybe the start of an episode of the X Files. Both of which I adore deeply. We slept in a log cabin with a wood burning fireplace and woke up to the birds singing in a blossoming tree right outside our window. IT WAS TOO PERFECT! Not to mention a Hallmark movie was being filmed on location while we were there!

Harrison Beach Hotel (Harrison Hot Springs)

First things first…. THE VIEW! There is nothing quite like watching a sunset over a body of water. The Harrison Beach Hotel has a front row seat to one of the most spectacular views in Harrison Hot Springs. In addition to the spectacular view, the location could not be any better. The hotel was right smack dab in the middle of all the local hot spots (hiking trails, restaurants, the actual hot springs!) We parked our car and didn’t use it again until we had to drive back to the airport. 

DO

While we were only there for a few short days, we managed to pack in quite a few excursions. My favourite of them were quite simple and most likely obvious for the area….. but here they are!

Sasquatch Museum + Statues (Harrison Hot Springs)

The visitor centre in Harrison Hot Springs has a sasquatch museum in the back and it is totally worth popping by. First of all, the price is right – it’s free. There’s the classic film of the female sasquatch wandering through the bushes and if that’s not enough to pique interest, there’s also some great information on the history of the sasquatch and how it relates to the area. Who doesn’t want to find out about the place they’re visiting? 

The Harrison Hot Springs Pool

It’s in the name of the town so naturally it’s an attraction that one should visit while in town. The public pool is a chill indoor space with a massive picture window overlooking the lake. It was quaint and dreamy – a location you would see on Accidentally Wes Anderson for sure. I love hanging out at any type of hot spring, they’re just so dang relaxing. 

Sandy Cove Whippoorwill Point Hike (Harrison Hot Springs)

The Sandy Cove Whippoorwill Trail is a 4km hike is a nice loop trail that goes along the Harrison River that leads to the lake. I say easy but the beginning of the trail is somewhat intimidating as it’s quite uphill for a little bit. I am by no means a serious hiker and I was able to do it with improper footwear so there’s that. At the point where the river meets the lake, there’s a nice little bench to take a rest on so pack a snack and savour it there. 

The Hot Springs Source (Harrison Hot Springs)

If a hike is a little too intimidating, take a leisurely walk to the Harrison Hot Springs source. It’s an easy walking path that’s more like a gravel/dirt road. Watch the steam rise out behind the breeze blocks and breath in the sulphury goodness! (Check out the embedded Google Map for directions)

Just Go Walking

No matter where I visit, I always make a point of walking. It’s a great way to check out the area and find things that aren’t necessarily on tour guides. Even the time of day can change what you notice…. like the lighting from this motel really called me while we walked home from our dinner. And Harrison is a very enjoyable town to walk whether it be following the river in town or strolling along the beach. Just go walking!

Harrison Hot Springs Travel Guide

That concludes my Harrison Hot Springs Travel Guide! If you enjoyed the accompanying vlog, feel free to check out my YouTube channel. For more city guides, check out the Travel Section of my blog. 🙂 

Photographs – Jesse Sand + Sandy Karpetz

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Many thanks to Swoop Airlines & Harrison Tourism for arranging this amazing trip!

Fraser Valley BC Travel Vlog

Fraser Valley BC Travel Vlog

Fraser Valley BC Travel Vlog

I had such a swell time on my trip that I even made at Fraser Valley BC Travel Vlog to accompany my Abbotsford BC Travel Guide! It was a whirlwind trip filled with fresh blooms a la the annual Abbotsford Tulip Festival, delicious food, and curious sightings. We had a major Twin Peaks moment too! A mysterious man had a face tattooed on the back of his head (more on that in the vlog!) We also spent a couple days in Sasquatch country which was a lifelong dream come true. There’s even a museum devoted to the elusive sasquatch! 

Other Travel Posts

If my Fraser Valley BC Travel Vlog hasn’t sated the desire for travel content, feel free to check out the travel section of my blog. Or even head to my YouTube Channel for more travel vlogs. Exploring offbeat travel destinations is one of my specialities. Especially if it involves an oddity I’ve discovered firsthand or from Atlas Obscura! With that said, I’m slowly making my way through the 411 oddities available in Canada alone!

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Dark Denim Cowgirl at Schnepf’s Farm

Dark Denim Cowgirl at Schnepf’s Farm

Dark Denim Cowgirl at Schnepf’s Farm

Perhaps you may recall this look from my Mesa Arizona City Guide? If not, here’s the full meal deal, the dark denim cowgirl at Schnepf’s Farm! I probably should have titled this post Heavy Western Parking Lot. Anyway, keep scrolling for the look details. 🙂

OUTFIT DETAILS

BAILEY’S OF HOLLYWOOD black hat – c/o (similar here)
RAY BAN aviator sunglasses – c/o Shopbop
UNKNOWN bandana 
LEVI’S customized trucker jacket – c/o
THRIFTED vintage beaded bag 
VINTAGE western belt
THRIFTED black dress
ALDO  Drerissa boots – c/o

photographs – Jesse Sand

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