Many of my adventures revolve around spontaneity, and I find this often causes me to think outside of the box when creating imagery, and to make the most out of every situation I come across. Like this blizzard for instance that we drove through in Utah, we had no idea there would be this much snow but this was the perfect opportunity to wear this beautiful dress by Adriana Papell and jewels by Eliza Designs LA to create the visionary world of the Snow Queen.
"Life is a journey, not a destination" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
This quote really means something to me because of these spontaneous circumstances we always find ourselves in. We'll be driving down a road we've never been on (and sometimes roads we've been on a lot) and discover something new, beautiful, and exciting. So much that we have to pull over and create something with it. That's what happened with this small road off of the highway, framed with a mountainous landscape full of glistening snow. I couldn't even tell you the name of the street, but it was pure magic. So when you find yourself on an adventure, keep your eyes peeled for other highlights along the way. You may find something even better than your destination!
Photos shot by Darius Twin.
It's always been a dream of mine to head out on the road in a VW van, bumping the finest tunes with the windows down and the breeze just right. Well, all of my hippie dreams came true recently when we rented the most magical '78 Riviera van from Vintage Surfari Wagons and went on a desert adventure. Below is my film diary of our Desert Tour '78 in a van named Rell Sun after a famous Hawaiian (female!) surfer.
So where are we headed you may be asking? Red Rock Canyon State Park in Kern County, CA. After doing a little research on the routes to take, we found that the Angeles Crest Highway would not only be a quicker route, but also more scenic and the van could cruise along 'in it's element'. So here Isabella and I are, capturing the photo to start the adventure, off of the Angeles Crest Highway! The weather and the views are superb, and I don't think it is possible for us to feel more badass than we do in the photo above.
Darren and I are all smiles the whole way leading to our arrival at Red Rock Canyon, because this is unlike anything we've experienced before. And we love it.
Finally! We've made it to our first destination, and the sunset fills our eyes with vibrant colors and contentment.
In the morning, Isabella brews the crew some coffee while looking like a lil' 70s bohemian angel!
Meanwhile, I find myself shooting photos of the van non-stop because I'm all too obsessed with capturing this thing!
Here's Darren smiling ear to ear because he just had a hot cup of coffee and is taking in the alluring views of Red Rock Canyon.
I mean, just look at how enchanting it is! These column-like rock formations are all over the park in different shades of red, orange, and brown.
TJ is feeling those nice coffee-filled, desert vibes as well as he soaks up some vitamin D.
Now that we're all filled up on coffee, Isabella spoils us with her delicious migas.
Causing TJ to feel like a rockstar (and look like one too).
Darren's over here feeling like spiderman, climbing the walls of Red Rock Canyon.
Now that our day has officially begun (after coffee + breakfast), we're saying bye to our '78 beauty (aka home base) as we head out on a day trip to Fossil Falls.
So here we are, on the road again.
We pass by Isabella's sign (the perfect photo op).
We've now made it to Fossil Falls after stopping by Indian Wells Brewing Co for a nice brew! Darren is enjoying himself as he captures moments left and right.
Fossil Falls surely is magical!
The desert looks amazing on these two, too.
There's Little Lake and the Fossil Falls volcano in the distance.
Isabella and TJ sitting on the volcanic rocks was too good not to capture.
We're back to home base, our quaint little van, where we enjoyed another beautiful sunset and a fire. It's starting to feel a bit like home in this thing!
I accidentally, but thankfully, woke up for sunrise and had to capture the sky - because, look!
It's time to take this adventure over to Palm Springs, CA and enjoy being poolside near some mid-century modern architecture. We stayed at The Saguaro, a technicolor hotel with an amazing pool and stunning views of the mountainous desert. The gradient colors of the hotel were inspired by indigenous desert wildflowers. Some more hue heaven for you!
The van looked amazing with the vibrant colors, fitting right into the palette. So, naturally, I added in some cobalt blue!
The color game was also strong inside the rooms! We ended up with the orange room, with purple floors and orange curtains. The natural light coming in through the curtains was dreamy.
And so were the beds.
OK, enough drooling over our room and the hotel's architecture, it's time to relax in the pool. Darren is all for that idea.
Life. Is. Good.
Especially when we spend it hanging out on the balcony with a cold brew.
To end the adventure the right way we had to stop by Ace hotel for breakfast. And also to capture the van posing nicely against the matching Ace art installation.
Well, the trip has come to a close, but we wish we could have this '78 Riviera from Vintage Surfari Wagons forever!
All photos shot on my Canon AE-1.
When planning for our photo adventure passing through Valley of Fire, and remembering those deep red-orange hues, I knew there needed to be a touch of petal pink added into the mix -- I mean hello hue heaven! The moment I stepped foot in this Leon Max piece, I immediately felt like that Valley of Fire princess I had imagined in my photo-planning daydreams. The only thing that was a little off was me hiding the fact that I was freezing. It just so happened to be raining, hailing, and 38 degrees outside - but I couldn't let that stop me ::)
This place is so dreamy - if you ever have a moment to see it for yourself, you gotta! It's only a 45 minute drive from Vegas and near many other interesting sights as well.
Photos shot by Darius Twin.
Here I am fringing freely in Zion! This was my third time visiting the park, but it was the first time I saw it coated with clouds, a touch of rain, and snow capped mountains. Although it was a bit colder than our usual Zion adventure, it made for a mysterious setting that we thoroughly enjoyed during our drive and hikes! Visiting here was actually a last minute addition to our road trip. During our efforts to see Canyonlands and Goblin Valley, we were caught up in a snowstorm and decided to turn around before we got stuck for the weekend. Although we were bummed we couldn't make it to our final destination, we lucked out that Hurricane was an area we'd be driving through (which neighbors Zion) and we stayed at an adorable motel just outside of the park.
As I'm sure you've noticed, the color red was a huge theme for me on this adventure (and just my winter wardrobe in total). So when I found those AMAZING red pants and jacket from Leon Max my eyes got wide and my heart started to jump freely. And that eagle clutch from Patrick Shannon truly added to that vibe I was feeling way up there, looking down on the cloud-filled canyons, feeling like I was ready for flight! ::) This outfit is a new favorite for those days when I want to be comfortable but still feel like a complete desert babe/badass.
Photos shot by my love Darius Twin.
Valley of Fire has become one of my favorite destinations to explore. This was my second time visiting the area, but I found myself continually discovering something new and exciting. Everywhere you turn, there are these vibrant red rock formations resembling the color of a burning flame. What excited me the most was seeing the colors of the landscape change throughout the day, from the morning light, to the intense afternoon sun, to finishing with the colorful golden hour & sunset.
So when life gives you a scenery full of 'fire', play with it. And by that I mean add some ELIZA Designs LA. All of her pieces are handcrafted here in LA, and carry the most brilliant gems. I love that she always includes the meanings of the gems as well when purchasing her pieces. I found that the Herkimer Diamond piece hit closest to home - not only because it is absolutely beautiful, but because it 'helps the wearer remember their souls purpose on earth, while opening them up to angelic guidance from the highest, purest source. Herkimer diamonds awaken inner light in the wearer, allowing it to radiate outward to the positive benefit of all.' This means so much to me, because I feel like knowing oneself is key to living life to it's fullest potential. Check out her amazing work, and read up on these gem meanings here. I've also included the exact pieces I'm wearing below!
A little PSA on this post: plan your adventures ahead of time and check the weather! HA! In our efforts to see Goblin Valley and Canyonlands this past weekend, we happened to drive through a blizzard in Utah, and the conditions were so scary that we had to turn around so we wouldn't be stuck there. I guess that's what we get for doing very little research before our trip. But hey, I didn't mind it while we weren't driving (because that drive was scary!) We pulled over and enjoyed something we never see in Southern California -- SNOW, yet alone WEATHER. The scenery just blew my mind with all of its beauty -- white everywhere plus subtle hints of mountains made of vibrant red, orange, and brown hues peeking through the snow.
So when life gives you snow, you add a touch of red - like that stunning dress from Leon Max that I can't stop wearing lately. Oh, and to truly add to that Ice Queen vibe, I added some jewelry (aka. works of art!) by Sarah Perlis into the mix.
Stay tuned for more posts from this trip (when we weren't in a blizzard!)
Photos shot by Darius Twin.