Photo Essay: Las Vegas Street Art

by Rachel Staggs
( November 21st, 2014 )

las vegas street art

Las Vegas never really held an appeal for me because I have no desire to gamble. I had no idea the city is full of art and artists! I spent three nights there and didn’t gamble until the midnight hour, just 12 hours before departure.

las vegas street art

I lost 90% of what I gambled.

las vegas street art

I sat down in front of a “Mayan” machine and put in $1. I got 10 cents back. It spun some wheels. I really have no idea what happened. Which is why I don’t gamble.

las vegas street art

I had fun watching some of my travel companions gamble seriously. Blackjack was a popular game and probably the only one I would ever consider. I’ve forgotten how to play poker.

las vegas street art

Now that I’ve been, I can see how it would be fun to prepare mentally for weeks and give yourself a budget for gambling. I used to really enjoy playing cards. I guess with access to computers all the time and the growing demand to get more work accomplished, I have let the art of playing cards go.

las vegas street art

As I’m writing this, I remember having a Mahjong group and we’d play at least once and month. I think that was more than 10 years ago. I digress…

las vegas street art

I fell in love with the Las Vegas art scene. From street art to high dollar installations. I visited the 18b Arts District in downtown Las Vegas, which is helping to revitalize the neighborhood.

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

I stopped to take both digital and film photos of street art in the area. I was overwhelmed in the best way because there seemed to be an endless amount. Every piece held a colorful story. I could have spent hours documenting it.

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

las vegas street art

When you find yourself in Las Vegas, don’t forget, there’s art everywhere!

Have you been to Las Vegas? Did you explore the art world? Do you have a favorite installation?

Also, if you know where I can play Mahjong in Vegas, let me know!

May your journey be your muse,
Rachel

Some or all of this experience was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. All opinions are my own.

 

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Montréal, Quebec: Bota Bota Spa

by Rachel Staggs
( November 18th, 2014 )

bota bota portal view of habitat 67

The most unique spa experience I’ve had thus far was on a historic mid-century ferry boat in Old Montréal.

bota bota spa sign

bota bota spa ferry boat

It was used as a ferry boat in the 1950s and 1960s, and even spent some years as a show boat, hosting many shows on the river!

In 2008 it was acquired by a family who had the novel idea of turning it into a spa. Bota Bota Spa opened its doors in 2010.

bota bota spa sauna with view

I was invited to try the Nordic water circuit in mid September. The idea is to raise your body temperature in one of the steam baths or saunas to flush out your toxins. Then, you dip into a cold tub or stand under a cold shower to get your heart rate up and close your pores. The last step is to stretch out and relax in one of the lounging areas or whirlpools.

bota bota chill zone

I was lucky enough to have a Montréal anniversary trip planned with my husband for late October, so I was able to return to Bota Bota spa. We didn’t do the Nordic water circuit, but we had our first couples massage (my husband’s first massage ever) in a room with several portals. It was very charming.

bota bota view of old town

The views from Bota Bota are superb, whether you are looking to Old Town Montréal or Habitat 67 on the Saint Lawrence River.

I just loved both of my experiences there and suggest it as a must-do, especially if you are staying in Old Montréal.

I’ll have to go back again to try the restaurant. I ran out of time on both of my previous visits. The thought of being uber relaxed and dining in my spa robe sounds delightful.

Pro tip: Bring a reusable water container. Refreshing water, infused with fruit, is available throughout the spa to keep you hydrated.

Pro tip: Bring your bathing suit and water shoes (flip flops) for the water circuit.

Pro tip: The spa is open until 10pm every day of the week and the water circuit is discounted after 6pm.

May your journey be your muse,
Rachel

Some of this experience was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. All opinions are my own.

 

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Round Top, Texas: Marburger Farm

by Rachel Staggs
( October 23rd, 2014 )

marburger farms texas

I stumbled onto a Buzzfeed article this week that listed the top tiny Texas towns worth the trip. It looks like it was put together by Porsche. I am surprised to actually agree with them!

round top population sign

I’ve been visiting Round Top, number one on their list, since the population was 77. Looks like 13 people have moved in, as the population is now 90.

round top texas

I have to admit, my husband and I looked at properties in Round Top online several years ago. Those new residents could have easily been us. It’s such a charming place and in the spring, it’s covered in bluebonnets.

marburger farm

Each Spring and Fall, Round Top and nearby Warrenton are invaded by Texas Antiques Week.

marburger farm

I used to drive out there with no plan and just wonder around, but it was a bit overwhelming and I saw a lot of junk. Finding gems wasn’t easy, but it was fun looking.

marburger farm vendor
I decided to get serious about it last year. Through social media I was able to uncover that many designers who attend go directly to Marburger Farm.

marburger farm vendor

I can understand why. It is beautifully curated. So many incredible finds!

marburger farm

marburger farm turquoise

marburger farm big boy

marburger farm antique bed

marburger farm vendor

marburger farm vendor

marburger farm monkey king

There are also all of these cool old buildings on the farm. Many of them are used for vendors or offices.

marburger farm

marburger farm

marburger farm legler dance hall

marburger farm blacksmith shop

marburger farm outhouses

Luckily you don’t have to use these outhouses. There are plenty of port-o-potties and even some nicer facilities with running water and air conditioning!

marburger farm virgin mary

There really is nothing like it and I highly recommended a visit. Of course you can visit Round Top during another part of the year and have a lovely time too. Royers is a big draw with its fabulous pies. Junk Gypsy is also a hot destination. They have a store on their property you can visit Thursday through Saturday throughout the year.

marburger farm vendor

marburger farm vendor

marburger farm ceramic animals

Many people rent a place nearby and stay for several days during Texas Antiques Week. I’m considering spending at least one night next time so I can explore for two days. I’ve been to Marburger twice now and I have yet to visit all of the tents!

marburger farm vendor

marburger

I really loved this Buddha statue, but it was not in my price range.

marburger farm

At Marburger there is a $10 entry fee per person. You can explore other places without charge, but I think it’s worth it for the superb curation. They also have parking and the previously mentioned bathroom options. There are food vendors too, so you can easily spend the entire day there.

marburger farm wristband

I jokingly said to my husband that Texas Antiques Week was the new music festival after I put my wristband on. Little did I know that when we waited until closing time to leave, we would be stuck in the parking lot for an hour before reaching the exit.

Pro tip: Don’t wait until closing time to leave! Not only will you be stuck behind hundreds of cars also leaving, but once you are back on the two lane road in front of Marburger, you won’t be moving either.

Have you been to Round Top? What did you think?

May your journey be your muse,
Rachel

 

 

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