• EXPLORE & DISCOVER
  • 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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  • August 12, 2012



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    After dropping Luke at his first ever sleep away camp at Lake Arrowhead, Dan and I decided to drive Highway 1 up along the jagged California Coast. I’m not big on sharing nature scenery snap shots, but this time, I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.

    If you haven’t been to this part of the world, schedule a trip NOW!

    Here are some great spots, tips and places to visit on this magical mystery tour…

    We worked our way from Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernandino mountains out to Santa Barbara.

    Stunning place for an overnight stay or two.

    Hiking clothes are highly recommended.

    Miles and miles and miles of amazing territory to hike!

    North of Santa Barbara close to San Simeon, stop to see the wild elephant seals.

    We would have made it to the Hearst Castle had we not had a little hick up (see P.S)

    As you get in to Los Padres National Forest the drive definitely gets scary.

    Insanely rugged stunning beauty and miles without a fence. Just a steep cliff between you and the ocean…

    At one  view stop, we met these super friendly squirrels. They jump on you the second you get out of your car and snag any food you have. They even take it out of your hands! Needless to say this Alvin and the chipmunks gang were major crowd pleasers.  These fearless squirrels are all over Monterrey county.

    In Big Sur don’t miss to visit Julia Pfeiffer state park. There you’ll find the leftovers of an old home stead, originally built by a pioneer woman in the late 1800′s. The land was purchased by an east coast heiress who built “The Waterfall House” right here with this view. All that is left now are the terraces. When she died she donated it to the state as park land, in the name of the original owner Julia Pfeiffer.

    This sign basically sums up the entire coast.  Yep, you need to be a SAFE driver.

    My shadow in the strong afternoon sun. Sun block is a must.

    Hiking at Andrew Molera state park. Stepped over a rattle snake here without noticing it, luckily I didn’t get bit. But a few minutes later a nasty yellow jacket got me!  I guess it was a bite from the better of the two.

    Note to self: Bring snake and yellow jacket bite kits when hiking here.

    Stay at Deetjen Inn. The hotel was started by a Norwegian man who housed wayward horse and wagon travelers in the 1800′s. Rustic simple cabins, no internet, no phone, and no internet bookings still. You need a room, call.  We didn’t stay there….next time.

    The golden hills of Big Sur at sunset. Magical.

    The golden hills of Big Sur…again, just because…

    Post Ranch Inn definitely worth a visit, if not for dinner, then for drinks a sunset. It’s all they say it is, and more.

    You dine above the fog on the Pacific.

    Sit quietly and watch the sunset. It doesn’t get better than this.

    Thanks for letting me share these pictures. I can’t wait to go back there again.

    P.S.

    What not to do when you are on the remote Highway 1 on your way home…..

    Do NOT grab the sunblock in the trunk, then lock it accidentally leaving the car keys inside it.

    You generally have to wait 6 hours for AAA.

    Thank You to Sunny of Sunny’s Towing who drove 4 hours just to spend 15 minutes to get us back in to our rental car!!

    And super thanks to all the kind people at Lucia’s Lodge

    ..who gave us unlimited credit in their restaurant and convenience store until we could get our stuff!

    This place (minus the sunblock debacle) is a must. Best fish and chips in the country!

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