• EXPLORE & DISCOVER
  • August 10, 2014



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    There are times you feel really frustrated by the fact that you can’t have 110 images in one blog post. Right now is one of those moments.

    Last week I drove with Dan up the California coast. Although our top destination was Carmel and Big Sur a miracle moment came when The Madonna Inn appeared along Highway 101. I just had to stop and check out a hotel with a huge pink retro sign along the highway.

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    The Madonna Inn was the mastermind of Alex Madonna and his wife, who in 1958 designed it as a place for overnight travelers on their way from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

    This wonderfully wacky California cool hotel was an instant success with over the top themed hotel rooms. Today it’s a favorite destination for weddings and fun seekers from around the world.

    I find myself dreaming of which of the 110 gloriously kitschy rooms we will stay in.

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    You drive in and check in here.

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    Image Madonna inn

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    We entered and were greeted by a crazy hot pink fifties, rose petal party affair that had your head spinning.

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    Hot pink leather bar stools. I must have a drink there one day.

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    Here is the main ballroom ready for one of the many weddings.

    My favorite part, the themed hotel rooms.

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    Image via Huffington post

    There are a ton of photo shoots that take place at the Madonna Inn. For the obvious reasons.

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    The Love nest room.

    The rooms are kaleidoscope colorful, filled with humor and often have stair cases, balconies or rock walls! How can you not love that?

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    Yosemite rock room.

    All the stone in the rooms comes from the land.

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    Just Heaven room.

    Americanhome

    American Home room.

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    Barrel of fun room.

    Caveman

    Caveman room.

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    Dot & Daisy room.

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    Fabulous Fifties room.

    SafariRoom

    Safari Room.

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    These last two I don’t know the name of the rooms.

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    Oh boy, I can’t decide which one to pick…..Which is your favorite room?

    I wish I could include all 11o, although the 110th room has a sign on it that says “NoName” and is storage room.

    Bet even that is cool.  And wait until you see the bathrooms…

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  • March 31, 2014



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    It’s  a big week, Luke has become a teenager. It’s hard for me to grasp! But to celebrate Luke, Dan and I have been visiting with some friends in the Bahamas, and heading to Miami later today for a few more days of spring break.

    I wanted to share some pictures of this brand new resort we have been visiting called Albany in the Bahamas. Very Dr. Seuss like, I’d say.

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    Bright colors are great at the beach.

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    Fun Dr. Seuss like stripes in the kid area.

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    Time to exercise.

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    It’s nice to break away from all responsibilities for a while.

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    Luke has spent hours here.

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    While Dan and I have played hours of paddle tennis with our friends.

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    Really enjoying all this orange.

    You can follow along on JILLSORENSEN@INSTAGRAM.COM.

    Are you on spring break somewhere?

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  • September 3, 2013



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    Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!

    In my eagerness to discover all the great environments and architecture around here, we took off for an overnight trip to Palm Springs.  I had only flown in there briefly in my twenties so it was really exciting to drive from LA and see the country change in to desert and mountain walls.

    An ad in a hotel magazine spiked my interest in what was called the Elvis honeymoon house. It was a super cool retro house Elvis had lived in during his first year of marriage. Elvis fan or not, who can resist a tour guided by an Elvis, Priscilla or a Liberace lookalike?

    When we found the house nestled at the base of the dramatic San Jacinto  mountains we could see why in the 60′s they appropriately named it “The House of Tomorrow”.

    Image from Great House blog.

    The house was built by a prominent Palms Springs developer Robert Alexander in 1960 who is responsible for about 2200 houses being built here in a ten year period. All of them super modern and  ahead of their time.

    The basic layout of this house was four large circles. It made me wonder why we don’t build more circular homes now?

    The house was talked about, but it wasn’t until Elvis rented the home in 1967 and honeymooned there it became famous..

    Circular stone steps lead up to the house.

    You can visit their site here for more history.

    We were excited to be greeted by….

    …Priscilla Presley in her wedding gown!

    It’s actually Darlene, a well known lookalike who won the huge Priscilla lookalike contest at Graceland. Darlene was an avid Elvis fan and gave us a fantastic tour of the home.

    The home represents the best in indoor outdoor living. A sunken living room with only natural stone walls and glass.

    Perfect for the Rock King…

    Elvis we were told walked in the house and fell in love with it.

    The bedroom was pink and circular. Love that my bedside lamps are the same as Elvis…

    The kitchen was also spaceship like…everything was round.

    I’m getting ideas about round kitchen counters….

    We were invited to sit in any furniture and take as many pictures as we liked…

    …we could tour the stunning back yard. (That’s my mom in the photo)

    “Priscilla” showed off the pool…

    …and shared their favorite Elvis movie “Clambake”. He lived in this house while filming that.

    She even let us in to his bathroom and to smell his perfume…

    Luke was so entertained by this. People smelling dead people’s perfume jst because you were famous.

    On my next visit to this cool 60′s desert city I might perhaps go back and catch an Elvis impersonator concert, or head off to tour Frank Sinatra’s house.  I also would get a kick out of getting a tour by Liberace!

    This house inspired me to think outside the box in my upcoming house hunt. Really who can resist a round kitchen counter and stove top…?

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  • November 28, 2012



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    I’m back!

    I’m sorry for the complete lack of posts for almost two weeks. Luke, Dan I left with some friends to stay in a rented house in the Virgin Islands for Thanksgiving, only to find out when we got there (although advertised) there was no internet.  Serious grrrr…  And the last few days of the vacation we spent on a boat in the Grenadines. What a stunning place! So before I get back to the design posts and cold temperatures here I just have to share some pictures from our trip.

    It was so nice to arrive to warm temperatures and enjoy the warm ocean. St Thomas at sunset.

    Luke and Kate playing on the beach. A new beach to try every day.

    Kieran my godson being buried in the sand by Luke.

    Kieran doing his six year old interpretation of the “Gangham Style” dance playing on Luke’s phone. Any of you with kids probably know the song all to well…

    Amazing sunsets….

    Mustique in the Grenadines, doesn’t get better than this!

    One of my all time favorite bar restaurants to go to. “Firefly” if you ever go-you MUST visit!

    Amazing views, amazing vibe and amazing food. In short-amazing.

    So charming with an old world James Bond vibe.

    Macaroni beach. Rugged beauty.

    Downtown Mustique. definitely no rush hour traffic.

    The super charming airport. That is actually us in the plane taking off on our way home.

    Anyway back to reality and a huge amount of work!

    Stay tuned for a bunch of December giveaways, sales and sweepstakes!

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