Salvation Mountain

Each time I would visit Palm Springs and return home I would get asked “Did you go to Salvation Mountain?” Here’s the funny thing about where Salvation Mountain is… It’s hardly “close” to Palm Springs. Palm Springs, and its neighboring cities of Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and Indio are the closest cities of any real consequence to Salvation Mountain, which is actually located in Niland, near the southeastern edge of the Salton Sea, and about 75 miles from Palm Springs. But it’s like, if you’re already that far out into the desert, why not go? And this time we finally made it. So, what is Salvation Mountain?

In 1984 a man by the name of Leonard Knight trekked out to Niland and began to build a monument to God, and the message of “God is Love”, a message Knight felt so deeply and wanted to share with the world. He added to the mountain in a variety of ways every day. He also covered his vehicles in the same message with incredible detail. Seriously. People come for the mountain, but the trucks to me are the real work of art. No matter your religious beliefs, I think Salvation Mountain is a must see for those interested in the weird and bizarre of California’s desert landscape, as well as those interested in folk art, because it truly is a prime example of folk art.

Knight passed away in February of 2014, but Salvation Mountain doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It’s still looked after, and it is still an incredibly popular spot for people to visit, at least a dozen people came and went while we were there.

This pretty much wraps it up for my Palm Springs posts. I did a bit of shopping, and am contemplating a “haul” post, but not entirely sold on the idea yet…so we’ll see!

Outfit
Hat: Ricochet, Joshua Tree, California
Blouse & Shorts: Buffalo Exchange
Belt: I honestly don’t remember…
Sandals: Minnetonka

Coral Sands

Each time Patrick and I head to Palm Springs, we decide to find a different little vintage hotel to stay at, as Palm Springs if full of unique offerings. This year it was the Coral Sands (as recommended to me by my dear friend Kiley of Running with a Chance of Costumes).

I can’t express how much I love the courtyard of Coral Sands. With fun vintage patio furniture, a kidney shaped swimming pool and swaying palm trees, it is a gem. So it’s no surprise I spent a good amount of time just loafing in and around the pool. But I also did a bit of shopping, and plan to share my new found treasures with you soon!

I didn’t snap any interior shots, but I can assure you our room, the “Howdy Doody goes to Bali” room, was adorable, kitschy to the max, and had flamingos galore.

Before heading home, we went out to Salvation Mountain, and I’m eager to look at the pictures and hopefully share them with you all soon! In the meantime I’m happy to be back home, and look forward to the March Vintage Visitors‘ meet-up that’s tomorrow! But first to unpack!

Swimsuit: Fables by Barrie

Palm Springs Aerial Tram

It’s March, and that means it’s time for Patrick’s annual conference in Palm Springs. Last year I wasn’t able to tag along like past years, as I was working, but now that I’ve quit, I’m able to spend time in the dreamy desert of Palm Springs.

We arrived yesterday and after checking into our adorable hotel (which I’m sure will get its own blog post), we headed off to do one of the most touristy things in Palm Springs, the aerial tram.

I had been to the summit of Mount San Jacinto via the tram before, but Patrick had yet to do it, so it was a new experience for him.

It was quite windy at the summit, and colder than I expected, so we only snapped a few pictures while enjoying the stunning views.

I’m utterly in love with this massive outdoor fireplace along the balcony that overlooks Palm Springs.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tram charm on my charm bracelet was actually a find a few years back at Expo, which I bought to add to my California themed charm bracelet. Upon entering the gift shop I was surprised to find that they still sold the charm!

We’re in Palm Springs for a week, and while Patrick is at his conference I have a few adventures of my own planned, but also slated a healthy dose of relaxing by the pool.

Outfit 
Mexican Tourist Jacket & Scarf: I don’t remember…
Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Lux De Ville
Turquoise Ring: West of Texas, Redlands, California…I think…
Charm Bracelet: Made up of charms I’ve found at various shops and shows

The Wigwam Motel

During the week Patrick decided to surprise me with a mini, one night getaway at the Wigwam Motel in Rialto on Route 66!

An icon of the Mother Road, the Wigwam Motel is a handful of concrete tipi structures that are quaint, and of course, small. There honestly wasn’t much to do in the small town of Rialto, and its neighbor, San Bernardino, but we found some light entertainment in the odd McDonald’s Museum, located where the very first McDonald’s was. We also stumbled upon the restaurant that Mad Men used for its Burger Chef scene in the episode “The Strategy” (S7 Ep6), Chris’s Burgers, which was in fact a Burger Chef originally. And, yes, we sat in the same booth as the cast in the scene.

While I can now cross this off my list of unique places I want to stay at, I still would love to visit the other surviving Wigwam Motel, located in Halbook, Arizona. How about you? Do you ever want to stay at unique lodgings just for the heck of it?

Outfit
Dress: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Turquoise Rings: Here and there
Western Themed Charm Bracelet: Put together by me, from charms from various places

Not so Royal Anymore

On our way back, we stopped in Baker, mostly because I was starving. There isn’t much in Baker, though it is home to the world’s largest thermometer, and just before getting back on the freeway I eyes caught sight of one of my favorite things about road trips, abandoned Americana. There among dead, decapitated palm tress was Arnie’s Royal Hawaiian Motel, windows broken, signage faded. I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough to capture it.

Well, that wraps up our Vegas road trip! There was another abandoned site we had planned on visiting on the way back, but as Patrick wasn’t feeling too well, we passed. I do hope it is accessible next time we find ourselves headed toward Las Vegas.

Vegas Finds & More

After visiting the Atomic Museum, I did a bit of shopping at some of the vintage shops. Surprisingly I only bought one thing. Just a purse from Amberjoy’s Vintage Closet, though her store was quite lovely, and filled with beautiful things!

I bought the purse for a few reasons, one is that I failed to bring along a second purse for an evening outing, and this one happened to go with what I was planning on wearing, and I have a feeling I would have bought it anyway, as white purses are kind of hard to come by, and I only have two.

Patrick and I spent the evening at Frankie’s Tiki Room with two of our friends who had moved to Vegas just a few months before our move to California. Like us, they love vintage, and we had a delightful time chatting and sipping fabulous tiki drinks. We also came home with three new tiki mugs.

Patrick and I decided we would only collect tiki mugs from places we go, so we won’t get too crazy with the tiki. The Frankenstien’s Monster mug was a no-brainer on purchasing, as it was just plain cool, as well as the place was called Frankie’s. Then the other two were so Vegas-y, we had to get ’em.

During the course of the evening, our friends invited me over the following day while Patrick was at his conference. We spent a lovely afternoon chatting, listening to records, and eventually we did a bit of sight-seeing, and looked at various old celebrity homes, and then visited an antique mall, rushing through it in the last 30 minutes that it was open, but I came home with quite possibly the most amazing belt!

Yes, that’s a metal cobra shaped belt. I nearly fell over when I saw it, and when I saw the price tag, $15.00! I’m pretty excited to integrate it into an outfit soon!

After, we stopped in at the Westgate, formally the Las Vegas Hilton, where Elvis had his final performance, and we peeked around at the variety of Elvis items they had on display.

I had plans to go to the Mob Museum, but ended up having such a blast into the evening with Sarah and Nolan, that I ran out of time! The next morning Patrick and I slated the Neon Museum before hitting the road back home, but when I arrived at the hotel, Patrick had returned, feeling under the weather, and still felt crummy in the morning, and we decided against the Neon Museum.

While I’m bummed to have missed out on a few things, I’m sure we will be back! Sadly, that does wrap up my Vegas posts! Not much, I know! I was dreadful at taking photos, mostly because a lot of the time I left the camera at the hotel! But I do have one more post about our drive home! So look for that soon!

Atomic Testing Museum

When I heard that Las Vegas was home to the National Atomic Testing Museum, I was quite giddy with excitement and it went to the top of my list of things to do during our short stay.

The image of the atom or of a mushroom cloud may bring out different feelings in different people. For some, it is a horrific icon, of a time when the United States used the ultimate in destructive power to completely level two whole cities. While others see it as a savor, something that brought an end to the bloodshed of the Second World War. For others it is an icon of nostalgia, believing that while the Cold War raged, it was a safer time period. For me, the word “atomic” has many meanings, mostly as part of the optimistic look we had toward the stars, and how atomic power and the space race then influenced design. But, as a history major, I am not unaware of the cost of such beautiful design. Little Boy and Fat Man killed thousands. But also brought an end to a very horrific war, and, some historians estimate, saved millions, as Japan seemed unrelenting. I see both sides of the coin of the terror of the atomic bomb, nuclear power (for example the Chernobyl disaster), but I also see the problems it has solved, and while the National Atomic Testing Museum highlights the pluses of the atomic bomb, and the sciences that followed, it is not without the other side represented as well.

The museum begins with World War II, the Manhattan Project, and the end of the war with the dropping of the bombs, and the decision to choose the land outside of Las Vegas as a testing ground in the 1950s. It follows the aftermath of WWII, the 50s period of “Duck and Cover”, Civil Defense, and the influence on popular culture. I especially liked the fallout shelter display, which also had a catalog of the mannequins used, offering both before and after pictures, some whose after picture was just a black rectangle with the word “missing” below. J.C. Penny produced the images, as they provided the clothing for the mannequins set to be bombed. A clever marketing scheme if there ever was one! By 1963 nuclear testing moved underground, due to fallout, and the museum showcases the transition, and technology developed for the move to underground testing.

I was so very pleased I was able to visit this extremely unique museum as it was also very educational, and is worth a visit if you find yourself in Vegas. Admission costs $22, though discounts are offered to a wide variety of groups, so check their website to see if a discount is available for you!