A Jumpsuit in the Arizona Desert

A Jumpsuit in the Arizona Desert

A Jumpsuit in the Arizona Desert

It should come as no surprise that while I was staying in a tiki bus at The Shady Dell, I had to take advantage of the scenery. It’s not often that I’m surrounded by a collection of exquisite specimens of antique trailers. Bisbee, Arizona really lends itself to western wear infused outfits. I thrifted this jumpsuit in Casa Grande and it became a staple on my trip. It’s not hard to imagine why a jumpsuit in the Arizona desert is a great choice. It’s roomy enough to not overheat during the day, yet long enough to provide coverage in the cooler evenings. I for one prefer to wear a loose long sleeved something during the day in the AZ sun. It protects me from the harsh rays of the soleil. My go-to is usually a army surplus camo jacket. (For reference check out Road to Nowhere or The Saguaro Park)

OUTFIT DETAILS

BAILEY’S OF HOLLYWOOD black hat – c/o (similar here)
ALDO gemstone sunglasses c/o (similar here)
ALDO rearka earrings – c/o 
THRIFTED  striped jumpsuit
THRIFTED  white western belt
VINTAGE  woven handbag
ALDO  drerissa boots – c/o 

A Western Elton John

The more I look at these photos, the more I get a western Elton John vibe. Perhaps it is the sunglasses! With that said, I do share a birthday with Elton John, so the correlation makes even more sense. When wearing a jumpsuit in the Arizona desert, it’s impossible for me to not add a touch of western flare to it too. Now I can’t wait to go back to AZ. 

photographs – Jesse Sand

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Classic Rock Couture Bisbee Arizona

Classic Rock Couture Bisbee Arizona

Classic Rock Couture Bisbee Arizona

The vibrations of Laurel Canyon in the 70s runs deep at Classic Rock Couture Bisbee Arizona. This is one shop that should not be missed for those who love all things vintage and rock ‘n’ roll. The shop is located on Bisbee’s main street in what appears to be a heritage building. In fact, the whole town could pass as a heritage site since the architecture is both antique and stunning! It’s a town that should be included on any Arizona itinerary. Here’s a little peek at what the shop is all about.

WHAT THE EXPECT

Classic Rock Couture is best known for their iconic bomber jackets. It even appeared in Vogue for a NYFW editorial! (Bonus points if you can find the framed picture of it in this blog post!) In addition to the satin bombers, one can expect to find gorgeous vintage pieces, their line of t shirts, and an array of antiques. Want neon beer signs for your home bar or a tooled leather western purse? No problem! I even tried on a girl scout outfit that was slightly too small but SO ADORABLE! You really never know what you might find!

THIS WAY TO CLASSIC ROCK COUTURE BISBEE ARIZONA

29 Main Street
Bisbee, AZ

HOURS
Monday – Sunday –  12pm to 5pm

Classic Rock Couture  – Instagram / Facebook / Website

Check out my other tours of independent boutique shop spotlights here. And if you’re planning on staying in the area, might I suggest staying in a tiki bus at the Shady Dell!

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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I Visited The World’s Largest Egg

I Visited The World’s Largest Egg

I Visited The World’s Largest Egg

If there’s a small town festival happening, you better believe I’m driving out to it. That’s how I visited the world’s largest egg. In all truth, I’ve been to Vegreville a few times now but this was my first time to the Ukrainian Pysanka Festival. As a Ukrainian, it was only a matter of time before I checked out this festival. Join us on this trip and watch the video! If you’re interested in more small town festival coverage, might I suggest checking out my posts on the Smoky Lake Pumpkin Festival here and here. And if you liked this video, I would love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel here. xo 😘

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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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