Palm Springs: The Inside Scoop on a great boutique hotel, Shops, and Sites

The Avalon Hotel:  Two Thumbs Up!!

Formerly the Viceroy,  a  gem conveniently  nestled in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the historic Avalon Hotel Palm Springs rests at the foot of the rugged San Jacinto Mountains on four acres of fragrant, beautifully manicured gardens. Its Spanish architecture punctuated by a series of secluded, private villas, calls forth the iconic, storied Golden Age of Palm Springs.

This trip was to visit my mother, and I also  wanted to take the opportunity to treat myself and lap up some luxury!  I did just that.

Below: Feeling Glamourous  sitting in the gardens. Trina Turk swim cover , Valentino Sunglasses

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As tempting as these bikes were to borrow  parked in the front of the hotel, I managed to pick a weekend where temperatures were 110-114.  I passed on the leisurely bike ride.  Next time for sure!!!


I had the good fortune of being upgraded to a bungalow, which I was told by the concierge  were built in 1933.


Interiors  were updated with Hollywood Regency style  by renowned designer Kelly Wearstler.   It was perfect for a fantasy getaway!!!

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Guilty with a Selfie as I headed to the pool to relax and people watch of course!!!

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The property had 3 pools and the pool below was Adult only.  That’s where I ended up.  It was quiet and well shaded with mature trees which made me content!  Lemon Cucumber Water was provided for the guests 24/7.

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A little Swank never hurt anyone and this lounge area fit the bill.  By 8pm it was packed with hipsters and the usual suspects!

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The property had a Spa and I enjoyed a 90 minute massage.  The complimentary glass of champagne was a nice added touch prior to my Oh feel so good moment!


Coffee in bed!!!

Ralph Lauren Stripe Blouse, Ann Taylor Navy Shorts, Cole Haan Sandals

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Downtown Palm Springs

Location Location Location is what they always say and the Hotel was walking distance to everything. So convenient!

The action seemed to be on  Palm Canyon Drive and Indian Canyon Drive. The usual shops, restaurants and bars were to be found and of course some always better than others.  I always ask the bartender of my hotel, in this instance my barista and he gave me great suggestions on where to dine, shop and find Mid Century Architecture which was in my two previous blogs


Walking is the best because you will always see  things that get missed when driving. This car stopped me in my tracks!  Citroen, Maserati

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This Rolls Royce was the Citroen parking buddy


Trina Turk Flagship Store.  I have been a huge fan of Trina Turk designs for years, so I was excited to experience the store.


I like Trina Turk designs because they are a little on the wild side, colorful and quite frankly exude fun and style!  You feel good when you’re wearing Trina Turk!

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Christopher Anthony

I was lusting over everything in this store! It has been so long since I saw eye candy this good in regards to Interiors!!!  Mid Century heaven!


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When I saw this bench, I couldn’t believe it because I have the same fabric for my  dining chairs!!!  My chairs were purchased at Annabelles Attic: 4 for $100.00.  That’s not a typo! This bench was going for $800.00

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Palm Springs Art Museum

When I travel I seek out the local museum and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this one.

Standing with “Your Dog” by Yoshitomo Nara,  2002

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A Passionate Eye: The Weiner Family Collection

Henry Moore Sculpture

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Modigliani- What a treat to see!


Contemporary Wings always blow me away!  This pile of garbage for instance is taking center stage in the room.  WHY????

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This lovely couple I imagine fools everyone as it did me.  I thought to myself as I walked up the stairs -“What are they staring at? “Are they sleeping?” ” They are so still!”  GOT ME! they are sculptures!!!

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Time to get dressed up and go out to dinner!

Three Dot Black Cotton Dress Circa 80’s

I can’t believe this dress is still in mint condition. Someone brought it into my Consignment Store, Timeless in Palo Alto and I couldn’t resist buying it for myself.  The LBD that won’t die! Donald Pliner Sandals

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The Rooster and the Pig, Vietnamese Restaurant

The best Vietnamese food I have ever had!  So fresh healthy and delicious!  Slanted Door in SF you are #2!!!

Vietnamese Rice Crepe with Cabbage, Shrimp, Jicama, Herbs

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Chased the next day  with Sherman’s Deli

Sherman’s Deli is an institution and it is a must when visiting Palm Springs.  Pastrami on Rye anyone?? And of course dessert!

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On that Sweet note ,  I encourage you to take a little Desert Oasis Vacay to Palm Springs and be surprised with all it has to offer!  Soak up the MidCentury vibe, good food, friendly hospitality plus shopping and sites.

I look forward to another visit sooner than later!



I just discovered the best place to stay in Downtown Phoenix, plus extracurricular activities!!!

Thanks to  the Clarendon popped up as I was searching for a hotel in Phoenix.   My visit specifically was  to see the Gianfranco Ferre Exhibit at the Phoenix Museum of Art.FullSizeRender (12)

The Clarendon surpassed my expectations!!!! IMG_0099

At the special rate of $85.00 per night I decided to book it . The vibe was swank with a comfortable casual feel.  I have stayed at “Swank” in Palm Springs, LA , Chicago and New York, but the Clarendon had a friendly stylish vibe and for a first impression that says “welcome” to me.

As I was handed my key and headed to my room, I was asked if I needed any snacks complimentary – whatever I wanted– What? are you kidding me?  Twix and Cheetos were on the list, Woo hoo!!!  Yes please!  Why not I am on Vacation!!!

Perk #1003My room was spacious, quiet, and the decor was pleasantly modern.  Comfortable, clean and functional. Classical music was dialed in as I entered- NiceIMG_0097

The property had a heated pool convenient  if you visit in the winter , and a huge hot tub. Lots of properties have pools and hot tubs but the design, layout and coolness of the Clarendon’s is what separates them from the average norm! Perk #2007

Perk #3  Rooftop Garden and Bar.FullSizeRender (13)  Great view, Great lounge pads and on Thurs, Fri Jazz complimentary.  I didn’t even have to leave my hotel to listen to good music- Awesome.

Perk #4  Complimentary Wine from 5-6 nightly.  Unfortunately I did not make it in time for “Happy Hour” but I did find a spot at their comfy hotel bar later on and enjoyed a Martini while talking to Falyn, the lovely bartender.  She was not only pleasant to talk to but was a wealth of information on the cool spots to go to.falyn

Falyn’s pics which I will check out next visit : Phoenix Flea Market on Saturdays, Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar, Hanny’s ( Martini Bar)

I did visit her suggestion Lux CafeFullSizeRender (7)

Lux Cafe was a perfect spot for my 4pm Espresso and I did cave at the temptation of baked goodies.  Great for people watching as well as delicious coffee and treats.

Ready for Jazz!!  The trio was great and to have this little luxury at the push of 4 flights up in the elevator you couldn’t ask for anything better-FullSizeRender (10)

Perk #5  The Clarendon has an awesome restaurant with gourmet food!!   I am so particular  where I eat and what I eat.   Again a luxury I didn’t have to step out of the property to obtain my high standards of dining.  Plus I can’t reiterate the casual vibe and comfort level overall.  I had the Shrimp Sofrito with Garlic Manchego Bread and it was absolutely delicious!shrimp sofritos

Perk #6  If you are a dog lover like me, it is so nice to see dogs welcome at your hotel. Indeed I did!FullSizeRender (9)

Perk #7 Breakfast complimentary in the dining room, and made to order off the menu.   I am sure we have all had the complimentary breakfast at Quality Suites and it passes but at the Clarendon you are enjoying Lux Coffee (local coffee) to start your morning followed by whatever you choose of the menu.  Local ingredients, organic ingredients  result in a great food.  I had Chilaquiles with over easy eggs and it was yummy!  I couldn’t wait till the next  morning!!

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As my tummy was happy and quite content I ventured off to the Phoenix Museum to view the GianFranco Ferre Exhibit ” The White Shirt According to me”.  This exhibit was extraordinary.  Phoenix being the only museum in North America to show this, how lucky was I, only 1.5 hours  from Tucson where I live.  The Installation was the exact installation as in Milan and Florence the only two locations to show the exhibit.FullSizeRender (2)Gianfranco Ferre was an Architect before Designer and was hugely popular in the 80’s.  The 24 White shirts exhibited all had a story behind them and were just eye candy by themselves.FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (3)  The museum also presented  a small collection of his Couture pieces.  My Favorite was the black dress with red roses!FullSizeRender (6)

An interesting current exhibit   was the Zodiac collection . Renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei (b. 1957) took as his inspiration for his twelve Chinese zodiac bronze sculptures from those that once graced the Qing dynasty fountain, in an eighteenth-century imperial retreat outside Beijing. Like other ornate objects, the original pieces were looted by the British and French troops in the Second Opium War in 1860. Viewed as a symbol of “cultural theft”, Weiwei re-created the gold-plated sculptures in 2010 as a subversive commentary on the nature of looting and repatriation.FullSizeRender (8)

Back at the Hotel!  Breakfast # 2 consisted of flapjacks and eggs with local sausage and roasted potatoes.  A sophisticated version of the Grand Slam breakfast we all know at Denny’s!  The flapjacks were the best pancakes I have ever tasted.IMG_0194

Needing a little exercise to burn off my sinful breakfast, I hopped on a cool bike that was complimentary Perk #8012clarendon For two hours I had fun exploring the neighborhoods specifically the Willo and Encanto districts.  Beautiful homes, bungalows, landscaping and the retro mid century era all was visible to me on a quiet Sunday morning.IMG_0210 (1)

IMG_0218IMG_0222I really felt free, peaceful and totally happy!!! Perk #9 that wasn’t in the brochure.

It is amazing what a little get away can do for your spirits and well being.  The Clarendon and Phoenix museum did just that for me!!!














Where the Wild Things are

Point Lobos! Located on the Monterey Peninsula heading towards Big Sur on Highway 1. One of the most beautiful parks in the world! 522 Trails are breathtaking of rugged coast and what you see when you look down off a jagged cliff! 472

479What you see on the horizon- 486What you see in the deep thicket of meadow and trees– 442The wild things that are so desirable and exciting to observe.489  Have a look at what I have seen and believe in nature.  260

I have been visiting here since I was 10, and I still am awed every time I see these rugged rocks


A visit a few years ago Steve getting friendly with a Pelican



Happy Squirrel


Curious Squirrel


086Curious Otter

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Harbor Seal soon to be enjoying his rest on the rocks

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Dolphin instead of Jaws!

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Fossil in the making it appears

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Carmel 013Looked above as I was on the trail and there they were!!! Fly Pelicans fly!!!

One blubber, two blubber, three blubber, four and five


The Pennisula’s amazing cypress trees


This was so unbelievable. On the trail I saw so much movement ahead in a patch of woods.  This little baby bunny was frolicking with baby quail, momma quail – at least 20 and 10 other little baby bunnies.  Did I just get a preview of heaven????

Amazing Cypress on a Cliff


Rugged coast- so powerful. Gives me strength every time I see it


Alvin doesnt no what he is missing out on!

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Even the littlest creature I find so amazing and beautiful

Am I crazy or does this look like a nice view from their perspective!!  Nature and God’s creatures win!!!!!!!253

Inspiration from the Lush Life in Carmel

Beautiful flowers, gardens, landscapes, cacti, succulents, ect  all take my breath away everytime I visit Carmel.  I get  inspired when I see all this and it  always motivates me to dress better with my wardrobe, improve my own home and garden  and “lush” up my life!

Fleur Dress by Zara, Burgundy Fringe Necklace by Eddie Borgo


During my last trip to Carmel I could not stop myself from taking pictures of all the beautiful “LUSH” plants, succulents,and flowers.  They thrive so well in Carmel due to the fog, moisture and cool temperatures. I am envious that the Succulents do so much better there than here in Tucson.

Here is the proof!


What a walkway to the door!


Succulents that look like Giant Sand Dollars!


Gorgeous with the Red Outer Leaves


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This gorgeous cacti specimen displays in front of a Church.  The famous Cypress Inn owned by Doris Day is across the street.


The Courtyard behind Anton and Michels.  I used to have lunch at this restaurant way back when I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue on Ocean Avenue.

287More Succulents decorating the sidewalks and streets
164I love this grey color mixed in with the rocks and dark burgundy


I call this the egg yolk flower. Spotted this beauty as I was walking to La Playa Hotel to see all their flowers!


La Playa Hotel


On one of my visits to Carmel I stayed at La Playa.  This was the view from my room

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Geranium Basket


Charming Outdoor Cafe on Ocean Ave

403Bougainvillea- is exploding with color everywhere


331The next two pictures were taken at Point Lobos National Park. Absolutely gorgeous park with breathtaking views of the Sea and Sea life, rugged cliffs,  great trails.  I will be blogging about Point Lobos in the near future!
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This house is on Scenic Drive, I love the carpet of flowers


Carpet of Iceplant and Window Boxes


Carpet of Lavender with a Wild Rose climbing up the chimney.  Wow!!!!  The owner came out and I asked her if she minded I was taking the picture.  She said no and was just happy I appreciated her House and Garden.


I think it is so important we are inspired by someone or something to improve our daily lives and get a little circulation going thru our creative veins. The only way to do this is by getting ourselves out there seeing new things, embracing new experiences and meeting new people.  If you are lucky enough and live with people who inspire you and are surrounded by Inspiration all ready than my congrats to you.  For me I need to go out and get it!!!

Fleur Blouse by Zara,  J Brand Jeans, Cole Haan Brown Croc Embossed Belt


1950’s and 1960’s Fashion Illustrations, Nudes, Parisian Scenes from my Husband’s mother an Unknown Artist

What is more exciting than stumbling across something that you love and is now in your possession?  I have done just that.  My husband’s mother passed away recently and as we were cleaning and  organizing her estate I stumbled or should I say fell over with excitement the extraordinary finds in the garage.


Helen lived in Paris from 1954- 1965 teaching art, fashion, and falling in love.   She was an artist on her own right and her mediums included oil paintings, pastels, charcoal, and drawings.  I conclude she was prolific at that time and for reasons unknown moved away from her artwork.  The art has been preserved and protected all this time and discovering it all in the garage has been a very exciting project.

I am in interested in selling the artwork, I love the idea of the pieces going to the right home and buyers who will find much enjoyment out of it.   Below is a sampling of Helen Leyrers art in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  If you are interested in a particular piece of art please contact me at

Paris Scenes

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Cubism Nudes


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Fashion Illustrations

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Children’s Story Book Illustrations

Underwater Sea Adventure

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Adventure with the Owls and the Little Boy ( These are cut paper and painted)

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Helen’s Friends and her Private Collection

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Helen’s Son Stephen, my husband and his Masterpiece!!!!

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