Tag Archives: tour life

January 25, 2017

Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs House!

One of the BEST things we got to do during our trip to Palm Springs was go and tour one of Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms estate. Since I grew up on his movies and music from an early age I am a giant Sinatra fan so getting to go and see his house was definitely a dream come true. Frank’s always my answer to the question, “If you could meet one person living or dead, who would it be?” and being in his personal home is probably as close as I’ll ever get to ol’ Blue Eyes since he passed away in 1998. The house was built in 1947 but unfortunately someone that bought the house after him let it deteriorate rather badly until the current owners renovated it back to it’s original look and feel. These two twin palm trees were the main reason that Frank chose this spot to build on and it was originally next to a dirt landing strip that was the Palm Springs airport in the 1940’s (his other requirement was to be close to the airport for traveling).Sinatra had his pool built in the shape of a grand piano and the holes in the ceiling of the walkway above me cast shadows like piano keys when the sun is setting over the mountains. So cool! Orange was Sinatra’s favorite color so they’ve re-decorated the house with lots of orange accents like in the master bedroom above. While a lot of the original flooring, tile, and wall treatments had to be replaced, there are still some things in the house that are original like the sink and tile in the master bathroom. Why does that matter? Well, you can still see a crack in the sink and wall behind it where a champagne bottle was thrown during one of Frank and Ava Gardner’s fights (they were kind of famous for their over-the-top fights in the day).
Another original piece to the house is Frank’s recording setup in the living room. Obviously all the musician boys in our group were fascinated by it and if you look closely at the photo below you can see where Frank marked his favorite settings with pencil. It didn’t really hit me until afterwards that I was standing in a room that Frank Sinatra was singing in all the time. Woah. That was a big deal for me.This room with the palm wallpaper is called the “green room” and it’s where he would hide his celeb friends who were going to perform that night at one of his parties until it was showtime. It’s hard to get the full scope of the room but even the ceiling is wallpapered with the palm leaves. It’s amazing. It’s not the original paper, but they used the closest they could get so it would have that same overwhelming feeling. I have such a star-struck look on my face in the above photo, but I promise it wasn’t posed! Just trying to take it all in…Apparently Sinatra originally had a flagpole set up between the two palm trees and he would raise a Jack Daniel’s flag (his favorite liquor) at cocktail hour to signal to the neighbors that the Sinatra bar was open for business. How cool is that?!While we had so many memorable experiences on our first trip to Palm Springs, I will certainly never forget the few moments that I had to spend some time in Frank Sinatra’s house. My current favorite Sinatra song is actually from a much lesser known movie called “Higher and Higher” where he made his first movie appearance ever and sings this reeeeally sweet little song (it starts about 2:12 in the clip) that literally makes me want to do one of those fainting sighs that you see at Beatles concerts. Thanks for letting me come over Frank, I only wish you could have been there too!

xo. Laura

January 23, 2017

Our Babymoon to Palm Springs!! (Part 2)

It’s not over yet! There’s still a few special spots to show you on our tour of Palm Springs. Just when you thought things couldn’t get anymore colorful…
The rainbow details at the Saguaro hotel are AMAZING! We had tacos at their restaurant El Jefe twice while we were there. Get the guacamole and horchata, they are so good!

So fun to have our pals on the trip with us! This white dress was the perfect 70’s vibe with the lace details and the belled sleeves. So much of Palm Springs combines a boho woven feel with mid-century so I was glad to have one look that paid homage to that part of the city.

For a fancy dinner night we went to a place called Melvyn’s that Frank Sinatra used to frequent back in the day. It certainly looks like it hasn’t changed much since then (which is part of its charm) and they still do all the “fancy” table side service for different dishes. I got the Steak Diane because that was Sinatra’s favorite, and while it was a fun place to try, the food was just ok and we actually had a rather bad end to the meal due to some incredibly rude waiters so I don’t think I would go back next time…let’s just say Frank would not have stood for it, so neither did we. HA!

I had a hard time finding a fancier dress that would fit properly so thankfully Elsie let me borrow her giant sleeved pink dress for the occasion (not sure where she found it but this dress looks like the same one). The sleeves are amazing but you do have to be careful when you eat out in it, the sleeves try to get into everything!

For our last brunch before we hit the road we went to King’s Highway at the Ace Hotel. It’s a great 70’s motel/diner vibe and the ricotta pancakes were incredible! I highly recommend them. We also walked around a bit and the whole grounds are really fun to roam through. They have some really great outdoor fire pit spots there as well and the hotel backs up right against the mountains so it’s a really pretty view. We also stopped to see the Cabazon dinosaurs on our way back to the airport (they are right off the highway). If you don’t want to pay to go up into them you can still get really close and take pictures. I have a giant photo of this T-Rex in our living room so it was really fun to see him in person! Heeey buddy! Todd got a Jurassic Park style photo of us running away from him, which turned out pretty hilarious if you ask me…preggo running = funny, but not so graceful.
We also went to brunch place called Cheeky’s while in town and they have a cute patio with a pretty mountain view as well. They also have a salted butter waffle that I was v happy with—need to make that at home soon! We were supposed to do a solo date night just Todd and I on the last night, but we were so tired by the end of the trip that we decided to stay in and order pizza instead. He mentioned it as a joke, but I was like, “YES, PLEASE!” and I was so glad that we did. I’m pretty lazy at heart when you really get down to it…

Overall, we had such a great trip eating at new places, getting in some pool time, driving around to see some amazing houses, and just relaxing with our friends. I know it will be a lot harder to do these types of trips when Bebe gets here, but I hope we still make the effort to travel for fun from time to time—it’s so good for the soul!

There’s one very important event that I left out which I’ll share with you in another post (it deserves it’s own). Any idea what it is???

xo. Laura

January 21, 2017

Our Babymoon to Palm Springs!! (Part 1)

We’re baaaaack! I was a little worried that I was so excited to finally get to go to Palm Springs that I was building it up too much in my mind and I would be disappointed when we actually got there. Let me assure you—it was AMAZING! It totally feels like this dreamy mid-century oasis and the amount of cuteness and color everywhere is just far too delicious to be real (except that it is!). Another reason we decided to do Palm Spring for our Babymoon is so we could invite a few couples to come out with us on the trip and it really made the whole adventure a lot more fun. The other bonus is that all three other couples had been to Palm Springs before (Elsie is basically an expert by now) so they had lots of suggestions of places to go for meals and fun excursions. Finding cool places to eat in a city I know nothing about is basically my nightmare so having people I trusted map it all out for me was great! (P.S. The gingham dress in the above photo was one of my faves of the trip—very bump friendly but great for summer post-preggo life too!).

We had to get up super early to catch a flight from Nashville to LAX, and when we got there, we had to stop for some In-N-Out before making the drive out to the desert. I will say that they don’t make my favorite fries in the world (they always taste stale to me…) but the burger is pretty great so it’s worth it.It was raining off and on while we drove up to Palm Springs so we were basically following a giant rainbow for the last 45 minutes of the trip. So special!We loved the house that we chose to stay in for our trip! Since we had 4 couples going in January we needed a place that had enough space for everyone as well as the wintertime necessities (heated pool, hot tub, indoor and outdoor fireplace) and this house had it all! So cute from the front too. The only downside to the house is that it was pretty close to the airport so you did have some plane noise scattered throughout the day, but the PS airport isn’t that busy and it wasn’t enough to stop me from staying there again. They had lots of amenities like robes, board games, washer and dryer, and a fully stocked kitchen so we felt pretty at home right away.The whole house has a dog theme which was really sweet (even for this cat lover). As you can see, I enjoyed the pool floatie they left for us! Probably my favorite part of the trip was just soaking up some warm sun while I read dumb magazines by the pool. I even declined the chance to do some Palm Springs vintage shopping because I didn’t want to miss the afternoon pool time. I do love shopping, but pool or beach will win every time. I was so glad to finally find a cute bikini top and bottom for the trip—swimsuits are hard enough to shop for when you don’t know what size you’ll be next week (or next month for that matter)!Just going for a walk around the neighborhoods with Todd was magical—the adorable houses and palm trees never end!! (Rainbow dress is ModCloth by the way).We had brunch at Norma’s at the Parker hotel, and while it maaay be the most expensive brunch I’ve ever had, it was worth it! Such an amazing hotel (designed by Jonathan Adler) and it was a beautiful morning to sit outside and take in all the greenery, color, and hotel vibes. I’m not normally an orange person, but those doors!!

This pleated white dress was perfect because it has such a summery feeling while still giving me a long sleeve option in the chilly morning air (and it obviously has plenty of room as my bump gets bigger and bigger so that’s a plus too!).
Another amazing indoor/outdoor restaurant we went to was Birba which had some pretty great pizza as well as a view of the mountains you see behind us. They have tons of lanterns and string lights all through an outdoor garden are with fire pits and heaters between the tables (that’s how you keep eating outdoors in January I guess!). It’s a very romantic and magical spot for sure.
Helloooo bell sleeves! This pink dress is actually a jumpsuit, but I could still get the belly inside it and the sleeves are perfect for a mid-century themed trip. It’s sold out at Zara, but this dress has a similar feel.

OMG, seeing #thatpinkdoor in person was pretty amazing. It was like a celebrity sighting. But for a door. It’s weird how exciting it actually was…

Don’t worry, there’s more mid-century to see as part 2 of our trip is coming up soon!

xo. Laura

January 10, 2017

Palm Springs, Here We Come!

You may remember a few weeks back that I said we were hoping to take a Babymoon trip someplace warm while I was still in my second trimester, and we finally decided to go to Palm Springs! If you’ve seen my house it may be a bit of a shock to you that I haven’t already been to the mid-century-lover’s oasis, but this is my first trip out to Palm Springs and I’m SO excited. I originally was trying to find a beach destination for the trip, buuuut the US beaches weren’t quite warm enough yet in January (the water would be cold too in a lot of spots) and looking at flying south of Florida or Hawaii was getting expensive so we decided to save the beach for later and finally make it out to the desert. I’ve been trying to shop for this trip ever since I thought it might be a possibility and let me tell you that it has not been easy! There’s a lot of boxes you’re trying to check off when shopping for such a colorful town and in the middle of winter and for a pregnant lady. If I didn’t already count swimsuit shopping as one of the nine circles of hell, let’s add the 24 weeks preggo component and see how that goes…

Anyways, we leave later this week and we are hoping for great weather and some much needed relaxation. We are also meeting up with 3 other couple pals and sharing a house so it should be a blast—can’t wait!!

xo. Laura

(Top photo by Slim Aarons)

October 18, 2016

Adjusting After Tour (a.k.a. I Can’t Live With or Without You)

So, you’ve been waiting either days, weeks, or months for your partner in crime to finally come back from road life and spend a bit of time at home. You’ve dreamt of romantic picnics by a lake, riding horses through fields in slow motion, and sounds of “I love you more” and “no, I love you more” ringing through the halls….but…that’s not always quite what happens, is it? I think with most touring families there’s some sort of mathematical equation that says the longer he’s been away, the longer it takes to get your “couple’s rhythm” back after the tour is over. I mean, practically speaking, you’ve been basically living a single person’s life that whole time (meals for one, laundry for one, doing whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it) so it can be quite an adjustment to suddenly have to think of another person being in the house again. Oh, you didn’t want to spend the whole Saturday at flea markets and the mall? What’s this about a new pinball arcade that just opened up downtown?? Competing interests aside, just the act of doing daily tasks can become a war zone now that you have a buddy who you would like to help with the chores while they’re around. Not that being on the road isn’t a lot of work on that end buuuuuut when they haven’t taken out a trash or cleaned a toilet in 3 months, well, it can be easy to forget that someone’s been doing all of that back home (and a million more things) during that time and some chore relief would be well appreciated.

Anyways, this summer we spent most of Todd’s 3 month tour apart so when he did come home I found myself surprised that we were spending so much time fighting over the dishes and much less time frolicking through fields. I mean, I’d been waiting for FOR-EV-ER for him to finally get back and now this is what we are spending our limited time on?? We were both just plain annoying each other over really stupid issues. I was feeling a bit low about it until Todd reminded me that it was really ok, we were just readjusting to being together again. And you know what? He was right. Everything was ok. We were ok. I just got my gears a bit stuck in “single mode” and, due to the longer time apart, it was taking a little longer than usual to spring back into “couple’s mode” again. It only took another week after that realization for things to start to feel like they were back in the groove again, but here are a few thoughts that usually make the adjustment back to a full house a bit smoother:

-Keep your cool: When you feel your anger boiling over because you’ve asked for the trash to be taken out 3 times now but he can’t seem to tear himself away from a video game—take a breath and slow down. Having a calm yet grown-up discussion about the division of chores in the house (or whatever the issue is) will always go better when it’s not a screaming match.
-Remember how you communicate best: Having known Todd for 14 years now, I basically know exactly what I can say that will end a fight or fuel it further. Remember how you communicate best with your other half and choose to diffuse an argument rather than stubbornly let it build bigger and bigger.
-Try not to let “you didn’t finish the dishes” mean “I hate that you’re never home”: Listen, in this line of work, we all have days where we get upset because we are away from the one we love the most. Try not to let those feelings turn into a fight about something totally unrelated when that loved one is home. The dishes argument will never get resolved if it’s not actually about the dishes to begin with. Communicate about what you are actually feeling and try not to say one thing when you really want to say something else.
-Give Yourself A Grace Period: Depending on how long the break is between the end of this tour and the start of the next, you may not have a lot of time to wait out rough parts in an adjustment period. However, if you do have the luxury of some time together, don’t be too worried if you aren’t perfectly in sync on day one. If you both are working hard to treat your other half with patience, kindness, and just plain gratitude to be together, then the bumps should eventually subside as you find your rhythm and routine again.
-When Time Is Short, Switch To Vacation Mode: For short visits home between shows, it can be better to treat those few days like a vacation rather than try to get back to real life. Catching up is the main priority on those short trips so discuss any big things that really can’t wait but try to focus more on reconnecting than cleaning the gutters.

Overall, I know it can be hard to readjust and share your schedule again, but remember—this is also the person you’ve been missing and dreaming of while they’ve been away so don’t let petty arguments and annoying habits ruin the time you do have. Go on those picnics! Ride those horses! You both love the other person more! Remember all the reasons you love each other to begin with and let the dishes rot if you have to, I promise they aren’t the most important thing you have in front of you…

xo. Laura