Americana Road Trip

Bearded Cowboy - Mecca, CA

Salton Sea, CA

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Salvation Mountain - Niland, CA

East Jesus - Niland, CA

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Imperial Sand Dunes, CA

PRADA Marfa - Marfa, Texas

Stonehenge replica - Odessa, Texas

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Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, Texas

National Route 66 Museum - Elk City, Oklanhoma

Somewhere on Route 66...

Pops Soda Ranch - Route 66 - Arcadia, Oklahoma

Amarillo, Texas

Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona

Jelley Brown

Images for Jelley Brown's new Chocolate Milk product for kids. 

Road Trippin'

In 2000 I drove across the country from Atlanta to Los Angeles with a friend from graduate school.  We used the time to decompress and to take in the scenery.  Below: White Sands National Monument in New Mexico and Joshua Tree National Park in California.  Shot with my Hasselblad 503cw.

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The Dar JL

-2010

There is so much written about Marrakech that it's hard to find something really unique.  But there is a tranquil gem in the Palmeraie that you have to check out.  The Dar JL.  I have only outstanding things to say about this hotel and it's lovely manager.  In fact, I don't even think words will suffice.  If you have the pleasure to go to Marrakech and stay at the Dar JL you will have an incredible experience that barely exists anymore.  Hoteliers should take note of the service and charm this place extends to it's guests, because in our world, that is something that has sadly become a thing of the past.  From the design, the interiors, the amazing chef, the organic garden, the hand-pressed olive oil, the exceptional staff to the experience you walk away with, you will not be disappointed.  Don't miss having the one hundred candle dinner.  It's a different experience for every traveler and occasion.

The Dar JL http://www.darjl.com/

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Charleston, South Carolina

-2008

One of the great loves in my life, Charleston, South Carolina. It is the sophisticated south. I lived in Charleston for almost five years and miss it every day. Now it has more meaning than ever before as it’s also the place I got engaged. I will always have a special place in my heart for the magic of this city and hope to visit it often. Here are a few reasons why:

The Charleston Historical Society for all they do preserve the great history and architecture of this amazing city. http://www.southcarolinahistoricalsociety.org/

Interior Designer Amelia Handegan – My old boss, teacher and true artist of the craft. There is no one better in the low country in my opinion http://athid.com/

She Crab Soup from Hank’sI crave it the minute my feet touch the pavement at the Charleston airport. http://hanksseafoodrestaurant.com/

The Annual Hat Ladies Parade. Easter weekend along Meeting Street. Because it is what Charleston is all about. Southern Charm and Hospitality.

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Gstaad, Switzerland

-2007 & 2008

I’ve been to Gstaad a few times and each time is better than the last. Gstaad is an adorable town nestled in the Swiss Alps just two hours from Geneva. The views, the spas, the restaurants, the incredible shopping and the nightlife all make it worth the trip.

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Vietnam

- August 2008

During the trip to Laos we also ventured over to Vietnam. I was excited and nervous about this trip because I had no knowledge of what it would really be like. My only knowledge was the history of the Vietnam war. But once there, I gained knowledge of the country, the people, the food and I fell in love. I fell in love with the spirit of the people thriving under less than desirable conditions. I fell in love with the food that knocks you out with amazing colors and flavors. I fell in love with the landscape.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) We used Ho Chi Minh City as our starting point to travel the rest of the country. We spent a great deal of time exploring the city and loved it.

Lived: Park Hyatt Saigon http://www.saigon.park.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

Discovered: The city. I advise you to go off the beaten path. There are so many great shops and restaurants popping up all over the city. Young designers and artisans with entrepreneurial spirits are starting to shape the city in a completely modernized way. But also don’t miss the Ben Thanh Market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%E1%BA%BFn_Th%C3%A0nh_Market

Loved: Ca phe sua da or Vietnamese coffee. Try it!

Hanoi
From the south we flew to Hanoi the capitol in the North. Many things about Hanoi are different from Saigon. It’s not quite the hustle and bustle of Saigon. It’s still an amazing city with tons of history. You should experience it and you should definitely experience the Sofitel Metropole.

Lived: Sofitel Metropole http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-1555-sofitel-metropole-hanoi/nearby.shtml
This hotel is laced with history, you must check out both wings in this hotel. The old wing is old colonial style and the new Opera wing is an updated modern escape. We stayed in the Opera wing and it was amazing. Way more than we expected.

Ha Long Bay
From Hanoi we took off by car to one of my favorite experiences of our trip. Granted the car ride there was like a game of frogger with real lives we arrived safely in the heaven that is Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is also a UNESCO world heritage site and for very good reason. You can’t describe the beauty of this place in words. It is one place that I have come across where only memories will do it justice. Fortunately, I have the most incredible ones I will never forget. My husband went out on a limb and hired a private junk boat instead of going the tourist route and for that I will be forever grateful.

Discovered, Lived & Loved: Private Princess Junk Boat Tour. One night, Ha Long Bay, No tourists, a private area of the bay, private room, amazing chef, wine, a full moon and the view of a lifetime.

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Hoi An
This was our next stop after another terrifying frogger trip in the car back to Hanoi, we flew off to Hoi An. A quaint little fishing village on the coast of Vietnam. Another one of our favorite spots on the trip. Venturing in to town is fun. You can pretty much have anything your heart desires made here. There are great restaurants, shops and markets you can explore.

Lived: The Nam Hai http://www.thenamhai.com/ Our villa below was unbelievable. The pool is insane, the spa is an oasis above water and the food is outstanding!


Discovered: Designer Uyen Trinh – She has her own shop in the town of Hoi An. I bought the most amazing dress from her. She made it by hand, to my measurements, hand painted butterflies on it and ended up shipping it to me in the states. She is an artist and I wish her well. There is a sketch of it here on her website: http://papillonnoirfashion.com/uyen.htm

Loved: Morning Glory Cooking School. If you have the time. It’s a great experience. http://www.hoianhospitality.com/morning_c.htm

After Hoi An we ventured back to Saigon to end to our amazing journey and spent a few more days in the city with our friend Brian who so graciously showed us around. We hope to return soon. Thanks for everything Brian!


Luang Prabang, Laos

-August 2008

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go to Laos last summer. One of the cities I fell in love with was Luang Prabang. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, a city stuck in time, with the most beautiful and resilient people I have ever met. If you ever have the chance to travel to this city, you will never forget it.


Discovered: Downtown Luang Prabang. Restaurants and shops line the streets across from temples on every corner. Check out the temples during the day or even climb Mt. Phousi from the middle of town for amazing views of the Mekong. Nighttime downtown is a completely different story, it turns in to an incredible Night Market full of gifts to bring back to your loved ones.

Lived: La Residence Phou Vao http://www.residencephouvao.com An awesome hotel in the city.

Loved: L’Elephant http://www.elephant-restau.com/


Anguilla

- March 2007

I had the opportunity to go to Anguilla for a weekend and all I can say is that it was not enough time. I have dreams about the white powder beach and the turquoise ocean on a weekly basis. I hope to spend more quality time there in the very near future, they just opened Viceroy Anguilla, I am itching to go! http://www.viceroyanguilla.com/resort/index.html

Loved: The white sand beaches and the tranquil turquoise sea
Lived: For a brief stay at the CuisinArt Resort & Spa http://www.cuisinartresort.com/
Discovered: Blanchards Restaurant http://www.blanchardsrestaurant.com/restaurant.htm and Bankie Banx Dune Preserve Restaurant and Bar http://www.bankiebanx.net/Restaurant.html


Budapest, Hungary

- February 2005

Buda (on the West) and Pest (on the East), split by the Danube River, the two very different cities make up what is Budapest. Full of so much history, architecture, art, great food, excellent chocolate and paprika, of course! There is so much to see. It’s worth spending a few days in exploring.


Loved: Four Seasons Hotel Gersham Palace http://www.fourseasons.com/budapest/
Discovered: Grand Market Hall or the Central Market Hall http://www.csapi.hu
Lived: Because of Unicum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicum or http://www.zwack.hu/



Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

-2006

I love Cabo San Lucas because it’s only about a two hour flight from Los Angeles and it really has some great resort escapes. But, next time you plan a trip to Cabo…rent a villa in Pedregal. I went with a group of girlfriends and it was a heavenly experience. You can rent a home with spectacular views, hire a chef to cook the local cuisine, have the spa come to you, save money, never see a tourist and still have a five star experience. Is there anything better?

Lived: Villa Helena in Pedregal http://www.cabovillas.com/ Many villas to choose from.

Loved: Dinner at the One and Only Palmilla. Amazing experience! http://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/flash.html

Discovered: Edith’s Restaurant. Great food, great atmosphere! http://www.edithscabo.com/

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Jackson Hole, Wyoming

- October 2005

One thing people don’t know about me is that I love Fly Fishing. Ok, I’ve only been twice, but both were wonderful experiences. (And yes, I threw the fish back.) My first trip was on the Madison River in Montana which was beautiful and very much A River Runs Through It moment. My second trip on the Snake River in Jackson Hole was a blast because we had a really awesome guide. His name was Vic Ford and if you find him, hire him!
Other fun things to do in Jackson Hole…Hiking, Skiing, Shopping and at night…Dancing! Those cowboys are the best partners on the dance floor. Have fun!

Loved: Fly fishing on the Snake River



Loved: The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar http://www.milliondollarcowboybar.com/
Discovered: Amangani Resort, the most magnificent hotel and views. http://www.amanresorts.com/amangani/home.aspx


Tavarua Island, Fiji

-2002

Some time ago, one of my friends convinced me to go and photograph his surf trip to Fiji.  It was one of the best travel decisions I’ve ever made.  I invited a girlfriend to come along and we still talk about it to this day.  It was heaven on earth and one of the greatest trips of my life.

A nine hour direct flight from Los Angeles, and home to some of the best surf breaks in the world, Tavarua is a tiny little heart shaped island in the South Pacific. I spent an amazing nine days enjoying the scenery, the sun, the sea, hanging out with friends, reading, taking photos, and trying to learn a little about surfing.

It was an experience I will never forget.  The staff, the accommodations, the food were more than we ever expected. Since our trip, I hear there have been many upgrades that I’m sure have only elevated the experience.  So if you ever get the chance to spend time in Fiji, you are in to surfing and you want a great experience, I highly recommend Tavarua.  On your way out hire the helicopter service for the best exit to a vacation you will ever have.

Loved, Loved, Loved: Tavarua Island Resort  http://www.tavarua.com/

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