LA – Joshua Tree & Everything In Between

Hello Loves!

This year already is one of my favs. Not only did I get the chance to head back to one of my fav cities, the gorgeous La La Land (LA) but I also got the opportunity to road trip to Joshua Tree!!

Joshua Tree has been high on my list of travel destinations for a looong time. I would drive Sameer insane shoving my laptop in his face to show him different Airbnb locations. I even created a Pinterest board full of the desert land images that I would send him on the daily. Well finally he got the hint, haha, and surprised me with a trip to good ol Joshua.

With a road trip of 2hrs and 25 short minutes, if you get the chance to go for a drive I highly recommend it. But still set off relatively early because I’m going to share some places you must visit along the way.

Stop 1:

Yum Yum Donuts

1431 E 4th St Ontario, CA 91764 United States

We ended up at Yum Yum totally NOT on purpose. What had happened was about 45mins into our trip my brother started to get a nose bleed, we pulled off at a gas station to clean up and while my brother (poor guy) was bleeding out I got distracted by the sugary scents coming from Yum Yum across the way. I know what your thinking, what an awful sister, but hey everyone was happy when they had a delicious donut in their mouths.

Stop 2:

In N Out

It wouldn’t be a road trip without getting In N Out at least once. Even though we had stuffed our faces with sprinkles and icing, it’s pretty hard to drive past an In N Out without wanting to grab something, so that’s exactly what we did. Located pretty much EVERYWHERE drive through or dine in and try some of their delicious menu items… Ooo did you know they have a secret menu?? Try the animal fries, you can thank me later.

Stop 3:

Cabazon Dinosaurs

50800 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230

Who doesn’t like a giant plastic dinosaur?! Ok granted we didn’t stay here all that long or even go into the park, but with it being less than 2 minutes off the highway it was a great place to pull over, take some pics and make a couple of funny Instastories.

Stop 4:

Palm Springs

268 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs

A great place to pull over for a walk, some food and a cocktail or two. The strip is full of charming and tacky shops… you can buy a designer bag or a pair of novelty penis sunglasses, whatever floats your boat… no judgement here! Another thing Palm Springs has is some of the most amazing hotels, like the Ace Hotel…. ugggghhh drool!

Stop 5:

Lulu California Bistro

200 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Palm Springs has so many amazing restaurants like Cheeky’s and Norma’s but with something quick and cheap dining and cocktails on our mind we ended up at Lulu’s. Boy was this place popular, literally a line up out the door. We quickly realized what the buzz was all about when we sat down, they were offering 3 courses for $19.99 and $5 mimosas/champagne with 3 free refills! Although the food was mediocre we left happy.

Stop 6:

The Windmills

I wish I had an address for this location, but you will have to take my super bad directions and try figure it out lol. When you head out of Palm Springs towards the highway you will start passing the Windmills again, they will be on your left… before you get to the highway the road forks, pull to the left and pull over. Here you can stop, get out, run around, take your top off like my brother and his friend did and create some magical memories.

Stop 7:

Joshua Tree

Here you have reached your final destination. YAY! Now it’s where to stay. There are so many incredible Airbnb’s to choose from but may I recommend mine. Nestled on a suburban street approx 5 min drive outside of the pearly Joshua Tree National Park gates, is your Pinterest dream. The couple who own this home, Amanda and Nate, are the coolest people you will ever see. With their baby girl they travel around in their 1972 Chevy RV and document their adventures to their gorgeous Instagram page @theimaginative, a couple after my own heart. Their home is gorgeous, with concrete floors, boho vibes and the radest green couch in the world (I wanted to take it but it didn’t fit in my suitcase), you will NEVER want to leave. Since leaving I have been actively stalking their hashtag #slowdownclubJT and seen some familiar faces enjoying it too.

You can book your stay here: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/22214605?s=51

Now your here it’s time to go exploring, get a little dirty but most importantly have some FUN! Here are some tips to create the most magical Joshua Tree experience.

Joshua Tree National Park

  • Basic pass per vehicle costs $25 and lasts for 3 days. I recommend getting this as soon as you arrive, and enjoy a sunset in the park for your first night.
  • Arrive early, there is so much to do. We didn’t have a chance to see it all, but my fav place was Jumbo Rocks… we spent hours climbing and jumping and even got up to the top of the biggest rock to eat our lunch. Just be sure to take your trash with you, we were very disappointed by the huge amount of junk that was left behind.
  • Watch a sunset at Keys View. It takes a while to get there, about 30 mins but it is well worth it. When you get there park and keep walking, past all the amazing views to the very top… there you will already see a bunch of people who have claimed their seats to watch the sun go down. It’s a pretty spectacular way to end your day.
  • Capture a shot of the stars. This is all Sameer wanted to do during our trip, and unfortunately for him it was just way to cloudy for it to happen. But on a clear night here you can take some of the most amazing images… just be sure there is no surrounding ambient light.

What to do

  • I highly recommend grabbing a lunch at Natural Sisters Cafe. All of their food is locally sourced and organic. They offer a delicious variety of foods including vegan and gluten free options.
  • Pioneertown, has been the set to many old western movies and shows. Created in 1946 the use of it in Hollywood may not be so much in demand anymore but its charm still lingers. We had such a fun time here, pretending to be kids and running around like loonies.
  • If you fancy a desert night on the town check out Pappy and Harriet’s. Located in Pioneertown this surprisingly big and bustling saloon is the place to be. With great food, drinks and live bands it’s always a good time. But be sure to make a reservation or you won’t get a table… this place is that popular. Make your reservation here 760-365-5956.

Whatever is bringing you to Joshua Tree, it is a magical place and your sure to have a great time.

@filipajackson

 

My Boy Blue! – Blue Mountain Review

Hello loves….wait I mean! Hold up, I need my own catch phrase. Ummm hello heros! Yeah, that works. So you guys must be wondering who the heck I am, and where is the beautiful Filipa. My name is Sameer, the famous man behind the lens and honourable companion to the girl I call my wife but you all call Fil!

So what am I doing here! Well I thought I would give this whole blogging thing a go, so far so good, so you’ll be seeing a lot of me. It’s my first crack at writing thing so be gentle, please. Anyways, enough rambling, lets get onto the topic…skiing.

Canadian skiers and snowboarders have quite the option when it comes to choosing a location to head down a snowy hill. I don’t know about all of you but if skiing was in a tropical climate, I think I would participate more. I think my once a year trek down the hill is usually good enough for me.

Although, I don’t choose to get out in all my layers and attach two carbon fibre skates to each leg and head down a mountain, I love the vibe and the atmosphere. There are always things to do around resorts that cater to the sports of snow.

We usually visit Blue Mountain a few times a year and it’s pretty amazing. Head down a hill, grab a drink, fall down a hill, grab two drinks, you get where I’m going with this. I think food and beverage go hand in hand with the wonders of skiing.

Only a quick hour and a half from Toronto, Blue Mountain seems to have it all; shops, bars, places to stay, and I guess most importantly a mountain (or hill). Having over 40 runs, I think Blue Mountain has a run for every level, not to mention a fantastic beer selection.

Blue Mountain Village definitely caters to most picky eaters and has quite the selection of fast food options as well. My main go to is MJ Byrnes, it’s kind of like the local (local pub). Grungy and grimy, it has 28 beers on tap, a descent spread of pub eats, and some meaty entrees.

Just this past season though, the new boy in town just opened, North Winds Brewery. Some of you may know it from its location in Collingwood, but they wanted a piece of the pie and there new location is quite the sight. They cater well to vegetarians like myself, but also have carnivorous options too. But the words brewery means they’ve got beer and the best kind, CRAFT. All of there beers are brewed in house and they’ve got a flavour that suits you. They take their beer so seriously, that each of their staff members have to be certified Cicerone.

Staying at the Blue Mountain Village can sometimes be a challenge. They’ve got plenty of options but they aren’t the greatest. You can rent a condo/chalet, stay at the Westin, or even the Blue Mountain Inn. If you don’t mind the drive in, Collingwood also has some budget friendly options. We usually stay the Westin, because they are SPG members and I have loyalty membership with them that offers me breakfast and upgrades etc… If there is a big group of you, say 5-15, then it is definitely worth looking into a condo/chalet. They are very cost effective and best of all they have living rooms and kitchens.

Check out this awesome Airbnb that we may or may not own.

If you don’t have an Air Bnb account, sign up here to get a discount on your first stay!

Ok so I guess I should talk about the skiing a bit, seeing as that’s the whole point of this post. I would definitely suggest ordering your passes online prior to your stay. You can save nearly 25% vs. the ticket booth. You can check get your lift tickets here. Sometimes they offer descent deals and packages, but not often, you can find those here.

Although skiing isn’t always our main attraction to Blue Mountain, we love spending time there. It also has something to keep us occupied. Not to mention it is quite romantic.

We definitely recommend it!

If you have any questions feel free to drops us a line below.

 

Instahusband out,

Sameer @playingwithapparelmen

Staycation destination Four Seasons Toronto

Hello Loves!

With it being wet and dreary outside Sameer and I have found ourselves snuggled under piles of blankets watching anything to do with travel. We now have a new fav, Layover, starring the guy you hate to love Anthony Bordain. In an episode of this show Anthony Bordain finds himself in Toronto, and it got me thinking… With my travels being put on hold for the next little while, why don’t I explore my own backyard… Toronto has so much to offer.

We started this destination Toronto at the critically acclaimed Four Seasons hotel located in the high end Yorkville area. We have always had an incredible experience with the Four Season brand, actually last year we had the honour of meeting the fabulous founder Isadore Sharp at an event which only fueled our love for the brand.

Anyway enough chit chat, let’s cut to the chase… here is my Four Seasons Toronto experience.

Location:

Yorkville, the place to see and to be see. This area of town, houses some of the most exclusive boutiques and people… Come here during September and you are destined to see a celeb or two. But it’s not just the chicness of Yorkville that makes it desirable… it’s its cute coffee shops, incredible restaurants and location; to be pretty much everywhere you want to be in the city.

Staff:

Oh my goodness, the staff of the Four Seasons Toronto could not get any cuter!! They are all willing and able to make any dream to make your stay the best it could possibly be come true… and boy did they.

Room:

We stayed in the plush Premier king room which overlooked Bay Street. The room was beautifully decorated and offered everything we could possibly need… bed, TV, ample seating area, closets, coffee machine, stocked bathroom which not only included a shower but a BATH. You guys know I’m a sucker for a bath. There was also a TV in the mirror of the bathroom which allowed me to watch my beloved Real Housewives all while soaking with some bath salts, bubbles and rose petals… you know… as you do.

Amenities:

Whether your staying at the Four Seasons Toronto for fun or relaxation, they are the place for you. They offer, a spa, pool, bar (d|bar) and restaurant featuring the critically acclaimed works of Daniel Boulud (Cafe Boulud).

Food:

 

Because our staycation was celebrating the fact that #Sundaysareforlovers ,we didn’t actually make it downstairs instead we decided to veg out in bed and binge watch their extensive movie supply. We both enjoyed a 2 course room service dinner from Cafe Boulud, it was delish. I ordered the salmon and berry crumble while Sameer tucked into a Mediterranean seabass and blueberry cheesecake. For breakfast we enjoyed a feast of lemon ricotta pancakes, eggs benny and fruit. Again, sent up from Cafe Boulud.

Our romantic staycation at the Four Seasons Toronto was the most perfect way to start our exploring. We left feeling relaxed and just a little bit more in love… Awwww. So if your ever in Toronto we encourage you to let Four Seasons whisk you off your feet.

BOOK YOUR STAY AT Four Seasons Toronto HERE

@filipajackson

     

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

How Does Tech Keep You Together

Hello Loves!

With Valentine’s Day approaching, really quickly, Best Buy Canada challenged me to the question… ‘How does tech keep you together?’. Well tech plays a huge role in our relationship, from the camera equipment which has created a like minded interest and hobby, to tech savvy kitchen appliances that allow us to create incredible meals together. But what really keeps us together is sound, music!

Even just thinking back to our courting years music played a role in creating our relationship. Sameer would pull up to school in his clapped out Honda Civic blasting some kind of tune (yes he was that guy… and I dug it, sorry Mum). We would spend hours driving around listening to music, our fav song was Mary J Blige ‘Be Without You’…don’t judge us, it was a tune!

Now that we live together music is even more important. When I find myself drowning under piles of work Sameer knows the perfect soundtrack to lift my spirits (anything Lana Del Rey or Alt-J). On weekends we like to spend our time in the kitchen, cooking and dancing to the Gypsy Kings or Buena Vista Social Club… these hips definitely don’t lie.

Music can totally change a mood or atmosphere, music unites people, it can make you feel happy, sad or even sexy *insert eye wink. But it all starts with the right sound system. I mean you don’t want have to huddle around your cell phone in a bowl while your trying to rock out to Justin Bieber (again, don’t judge). You want music to fill your soul.

That’s why I love the Sonos ONE speaker. It’s convenient, stylish and is equally as powerful to the speakers that used to live in the trunk of Sameer’s car… Oh the memories.

Some quick facts about the Sonos ONE speaker:

  • First Sonos to have Alexa built-in
    • Which means you can talk to it and it will talk back lol
  • Connects to all other Sonos speakers, this is cool if you have a multi-room setup
    • Have different or the same music playing throughout the house
  • Super sleek and sexy
    • Only 4lbs.
  • Integration with all your favourite music streaming apps (e.g. Spotify)

So now I ask you, think hard… How does tech keep you together?

Get your Sonos ONE speaker HERE at www.bestbuy.ca

@bestbuycanada

Get your Sonos ONE speaker HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

Le Château Frontenac

Hello Loves!

I am back and I’m feeling better than ever! Why you may ask? Because I’m starting this year off the way I want to spend it… traveling! I kicked my first 2018 staycation off in Québec City… I can’t actually quite believe that I have never visited this story book town before, only 8 hours (drive) from Toronto and you find yourself wondering if you crossed a border at some point (you didn’t… your still in Canada). I felt right back at home (Yorkshire, England) with its winding cobblestone streets and little pubs. But the main attraction is something you really can’t miss (quite literally, it’s huge!) and that I had the absolute honour of laying my head, the STUNNING Le Château Frontenac in Québec City. Now when I say stunning, I mean STUNNING… this place is legitimately a castle. Souring over the Old Port Québec, you are delighted to views and services fit for royalty, and if your a history buff like me… well this is your spot.

Location:

Located in central Old Port Québec, you are quite literally in walking distance to EVERYTHING. Take a stroll down the cobbled stone streets of Petit Champlain, wine and dine in Haute-Ville, or check out the historic sights such as the Basilique Cathedrale – Notre-Dame-de-Quebec… it’s all in walking distance.

Staff:

The staff were warm and welcoming right from bonjour. The scene was set with their beautiful accents (you seriously don’t feel like your still in Canada) that whisk you through a quick and easy check in… Any questions or requests are no problem, these guys know their stuff. As an added bonus, in our room delicious treats were left waiting… how did they know I was hungry?

Room:

We had the privilege of staying in one of their newly renovated junior suites. Fun fact this location actually went through a $75 million renovation a few years back… and boy does it look good. All rooms are complete with the charming feel of the Fairmont brand, yet you are still well aware you are staying in a castle, but with the added luxuries of modern day. Our space was light and bright and deliciously cozy. We woke up to beautiful views of the famous copper roof and iced over St. Lawrence river.

Amenities:

Le Château Frontenac offers a wide variety of services and amenities. From the shuttles to the ski slopes of Stoneham ski resort, health and spa club which offers an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, kids pool, steam rooms, gym and for an additional cost spa services of your choice. To a historic tour of the hotel… which I highly recommend. This place has sooooo much history! You can actually stand in the room where Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King strategized D-Day!!

Food:

I was BLOWN away by the exquisite food. Firstly, their breakfast buffet Dufferin Terrace, offers anything and everything you could desire and is located in the most gorgeous hotel buffet room I have ever seen. Also fun fact, if you sit in the conservatory area of this buffet room you are actually sitting in what used to be their curling alley. The room service boasts an extensive menu, which may I suggest you try the pizza of the day. The chef uses different local cheeses which are drool worthy. Another fun fact, this hotel actually has its own cheese room filled to the brim with local delights. But the pièce de résistance is Bistro Le Sam. We enjoyed one of the most incredible culinary experiences I have ever had. We wined, we dined and laughed all night long. The highlight of our dinner was the most delicious cheese board which served 5 seriously generous portions of the most exquisite local cheeses I have ever tasted… and it was only $30!! I can’t even buy cheese at my local shop for even close to that. Le Château Frontenac also houses 1680 wine and cheese bar. Often competing in world wide mixology competitions, these bartenders know their stuff. Finally Champlain Restaurant which unfortunately I ran out of time to experience but I heard is just divine.

Whether you want action and adventure or a simple and relaxing staycation, Le Château Frontenac can most definitely cater to your needs. I can tell you one thing for sure… I will be back!

BOOK YOUR STAY AT Le Château Frontenac HERE

@filipajackson

 

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BOOK YOUR STAY AT Le Château Frontenac HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer