5 Things to do in Page, AZ

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Page, Arizona is a small town located near Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. It’s near the Utah border and is a 2 hour drive north of Flagstaff. This small town of less than 10 000 population has a lot to offer in terms of activities and nature. It’s the perfect spot to include on a road trip across the Southern US, a perfect destination to spend 24 to 48hrs.

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1) Tour Antelope Canyon – This slot canyon is located just a few miles east of Page. It’s located on Navajo land and is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to in my entire life. To visit Antelope Canyon, you absolutely must take a Navajo guided tour that will cost you $40 per person. You can also opt to do a photography-specific tour, that is a little pricier but that operates at the best moments during the day to photograph the canyon. Don’t be surprised if you’re surrounded by a ton of people during your visit. The only downside of this place is its popularity. My trick to get photos without anyone in it, either go ahead or behind the group. It’ll be your best shot to snap pics along the way. The guides are funny and point out all the best spots and particularities in the canyon.

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2) Hike to Horseshoe Bend – If you’re dreaming of visiting another spot like the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend is the dream location! Located just a 10 minute drive from downtown Page, this horseshoe shaped meander of the Colorado River is breathtaking. It’s a short hike 2km hike from the parking lot along the highway to get to and from Horseshoe Bend. The shape and the structure of these rock walls are what make it so stunning. A friendly note, make sure you don’t go to close to the edge of the cliff, there is absolutely nothing protecting you from the 1000 foot drop. It made my knees shake when I got close to the edge. The greatest part of it all, the access to Horseshoe Bend is free but don’t forget to bring some water with you for the hike!

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3) Swim in Lake Powell – While in Page, you may want to spend time cooling off on Lake Powell, a reservoir located on the Colorado River. The National Park borders both Arizona and Utah and is a top destination for camping, fishing and boathouses. I spent a few hours relaxing on their beach that is accessible via the campground. It costs $20 per car to access the Glen Canyon National Park however, the pass is valid for up to 7 days. The views around the park are truly spectacular!

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4) Eat at Big John’s Texas Barbeque – If you’re looking for an authentic southern experience, you must make time for a meal at Big John’s. If you’re a fan of BBQ, meat, southern food, music and good atmosphere, this is the spot. All of their meats are smoked and roasted on a big outdoor rotisserie. The restaurant is located on the lot of an old gas station, making the setting even more unique. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be treated to a live band who will play classic rock and country jams.

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5) Drive through Navajo Nation – Page is surrounded by Navajo land. It was founded in 1957 in an exchange with Navajo Nation during the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. The rest of the area that surrounds Page all belongs to the Navajo people. The land surrounding the city is absolutely beautiful and so precious. If you have the time, I highly recommend exploring the nearby villages to and from Page.

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Arizona Road Trip: 3 Must-Visit Cities

1) Yuma

If you’re a fan of the 3:10 to Yuma film, then the name of this first city will ring a bell. This small town is located in the southwestern part of the state, close to the California and Mexico border. The city is known for its historical Ocean-to-Ocean bridge that was built in 1915 and that crosses the Colorado River. It serves as a land route to connect the East Coast with the West Coast. Little known fact: Yuma is the biggest winter vegetable producer of the world!

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If you’re going to Yuma, you’ll want to stay in one of their legendary motels. They are cheap, well situated and there are lot’s of cool ones to choose from: Hacienda Motel, the Yuma Cabana, the Tropicana. A lot of these motels are inspired by the classic Vegas motels.

Things to do:

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Walk around the historic downtown area – The main street is filled with antique shops, restaurants and local breweries. You’ll want to stop by Lutes Casino and order their famous “Lutes Special” – a hot dog in a cheeseburger. This legendary spot attracts all the locals. You may also see the owner sitting at the bar and tabulating bills.

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Visit the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park – Opened in 1876, this prison once held some notable inmates such as Tombstone’s gunfighter Frank “Buckskin” Leslie and Pearl “Bandit Queen Hart”. You can visit the prison site and also the graveyard.

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Run the trail or hang out at the beach in Gateway Park – located right next to the Ocean-to-Ocean bridge and on the Colorado River, this is a great spot to relax and observe local wildlife and cool off from the extremely hot and dry Yuma weather.

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2) Tombstone

Tombstone is a historic western city located in Cochise County, Arizona. The city was founded in 1876 and prospered thanks to its mines but was also marked by ongoing conflicts between the cowboys and the Earp family, which one day escalated into the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1880. To this day, the small city remains pretty much intact with its original buildings, which has led to it becoming a major tourist spot for old west fans from around the world.

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Things to do:

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Take a trolley tour around town – This super fun 25 minute historical tour of the city will teach you all about its history, architecture and famous or infamous characters. The trolley drivers are entertaining and incredibly informative. You can find the trolley parked at 4th and Toughnut Street and the tour costs $6. You can also follow that up with a gunfight reenactment show, which happens to be a block away.

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Eat at one of their historic saloons – They may not be renown for their food (health food enthusiasts beware) but they’ve become a monument in this historical town. Big Nose Kate’s Saloon or the Crystal Palace Saloon are two must-see spots. A lot of the decor and pieces in the saloon are originals, you may even find bullet holes in some of the saloons’ walls. It’s also the best place to whip out your newly acquired cowboy hat!

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Stay at the Sagebrush Inn – Don’t be fooled by it’s rustic exterior, this place is a gem so much so that John Wayne once stayed here so they kept his room intact for visitors to enjoy. The Sagebrush Inn was the destination for western movie stars in the 50s and 60s. This quaint little motel, is located just a 5 minute walking distance from the downtown area. All the rooms are decorated with old photographs and items reminiscing of the old west. They’ve also got a beautiful pool, perfect for cooling off from the hot desert sun!

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3) Holbrook

Located in Navajo County, Holbrook was founded in 1881 when the railroad was built in the area. Funny fact, in 1912 a 419 lbs meteorite exploded in the sky above Holbrook and caused a big meteorite shower causing more than 16 000 stones to fall from the sky. The historic Route 66 runs through Holbrook.

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Things to do:

Visit the Petrified Forest National Park – Located less than 30 minutes driving distance from Holbrook and in Navajo and Apache counties, the park is known for its tree fossils that date back to the Mesozoic era, 220 million years ago. This place is just stunning to visit.

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Sleep in a Wigwam – The Wigwam Motel was built in 1950 using the teepees of the Plains Indians as inspiration and is now part of the National Register of Historic Places in the United States. The motel is located on Route 66 and offers travellers the chance to stay in a little piece of history. Each of the 15 wigwams are also adorned with a classic car parked right out front. The motel’s office also houses a small museum of historical artefacts, guns, photographs, etc. The best spot to catch up on some reading and have a quiet night while in an unique setting.

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Cowboy Vibes

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Spending time in the southwest has reintroduced me to the Cowboy Culture. I hadn’t been to Arizona in a couple of years so it’s been great spending in this wonderful state this past week. So many beautiful things to see, which I’ll be sharing with you in some upcoming travel posts. The one thing I’m particularly fond of is the fashion down here. I love a classic cowboy hat, I think it adds character to any kind of outfit. Because I live in Toronto, I rarely get to find nice hats so I couldn’t resist when I saw this particular one in Tombstone the other day. I also found this beautiful Chevrolet truck in Holbrook. I’ve always been a fan of vintages cars, so I couldn’t help snapping a few shots with it. Excited to bring home this authentic Justin cowboy hat back home with me!

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Photos by @Offner

Zara jean shorts (get them here)

H&M jean jacket

H&M plain white tee

Justin plains 2x wool cowboy hat (get it here)

Getting Through Winter

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Well, we’re definitely in the thick of winter right now. Temperatures are well below freezing point, it’s snowing pretty much all across the north east and unfortunately spring is still a ways away.

Those who know me how much I don’t like the cold and winter. I used to not mind it as a kid because it meant going skiing every weekend with my family, getting snow days, going sliding with friends, making forts, etc. As an adult, living in a big city, I find winter to be more of an annoyance than anything. That said, this winter I decided to make an attitude adjustment (or at least try my best!). Since I’m all about positivity this year and since it seems like I’m unfortunately not moving to a warm far away place just yet, I still have at least one more winter to deal with so why not make the best of it! I know a lot of us suffer from a mild or sever form of “winter blues” or aren’t too excited about this season, I figured I’d share with you some of the things that are making my winter a little more bearable this year and are helping me get through the next couple of months:

1) Travel – Even if it’s just for a weekend, traveling and getting away from the cold is definitely a morale booster for me. Getting some much needed Vitamin D during these grey winter months can have a serious positive impact on how you feel and how you deal with winter. It’s also something to look forward to. Some of my favorite destinations that are still relatively cheap and close enough to travel to for a weekend are: Miami, Las Vegas, California, Arizona, Memphis, etc. If you can’t take any time off, I recommend looking to travel during Family Day and/or Easter. Though it may be more expensive to travel during those weekends, if you book enough in advance, you can definitely find some deals. Also, if you’re desperate to get away and want to make it the cheapest trip possible, try booking red-eye flights, or early morning flights that way you don’t even have to tell your boss you were away or ask for any time off, you’ll be at the office at the same time as everyone but with an extra glow! You can check out my travel section on the blog here to get more travel ideas!

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2) Treat yourself – Whether you like massages, manicures, trying out new restaurants, going for brunch on the weekend, playing board games, visiting a museum, cooking, being crafty, making dyi beauty products, etc. it’s the perfect time of year to treat yourself and do things for you. I find that I have a lot more free time in the winter and so I take that opportunity to take care of myself. Sometimes, it’s the littlest thing that will be a moral booster. I definitely feel like when I treat myself or just take care of myself, I automatically feel better. Some of my favorite things to do in the city this winter: Having dinner at Electric Mud BBQ, grabbing the goûter at The Tempered Room – the best French bakery/patisserie in the city hands down, eating brunch at The Drake, enjoying the pools and get a massage at Body Blitz Spa, going for tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, grabbing a snack from Bolt Fresh Bar, etc.

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3) Try a new outdoor activity – Yea being outdoors when it’s -20C might suck, but if you’re doing something fun with friends or even by yourself, you might not think it sucks as much. Plus, I realized after all these years, my mother was right – Dress warm and you’ll be fine! I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I’m planning on being outdoors for a while, style or any kind of fashion sense gets thrown out the widow. I’d prefer wearing my big dorky boots and huge jacket than freeze my butt off! As you may have read in one of my previous blog posts here, this year I’ve given winter running a try. To my surprise, it’s a whole lot easier than I thought it would be. Layers are super important and make sure your extremities are covered, but once you’re out the door, you’ll be sweating in no time. Also, if you’re lacking the motivation to run by yourself, there are tons of great clubs out there. Just in Toronto, you can run on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings with the Nike Queen West Run Club, on Thursday evenings with the Academy Of Lions run crew and also on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with the Parkdale Roadrunners. These are just some of the many clubs in Toronto and there are run clubs in just about every city! And with all of these clubs, no matter your level and speed, no one gets left behind!

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Another thing I recently started doing is snowboarding. I grew up skiing but in Ontario, the “hills” are so small that skiing is quite boring if you’re an avid skiier. Luckily, Offner offered to teach me how to snowboard three years ago and these small “hills” have been the perfect place to learn and progress. I’ve also noticed that a lot of ski stations offer discounted day rates online, which makes riding a little more affordable! Walking is also a great way to spend time outdoors. The streets are almost empty in Toronto in the winter, so it’s actually really nice to explore the city when there’s no one around. Offner and I often walk at night from work or walk around on weekends. Plus, there’s nothing more awesome than going into stores to warm up or stopping by your favorite coffee shop to grab a treat mid-walk.

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4) Catch up on all the movies & television series you’ve missed – Two years ago, I made the decision to get an Apple Tv and I must say it’s been a lifesaver during the winter. I love making myself a warm cup of tea (currently obsessed with the rose bud tea that I got in California), lighting my new Dyptique candle and watching a movie wrapped under a blanket on my couch. In the summer, I’m usually so busy traveling and being outdoors that I rarely get to sit down and watch “television”. So I write down all the new series and movies that interest me and catch up on them in the winter. Currently, I follow about 7 series and try to watch at least 1-2 new movies a week, so it gives me something exciting to watch every night if I want to. Some of my favorite movies lately: Virunga, Copenhagen, Boyhood, Chef, Interstellar, Fed Up, etc.

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5) Read a book – I’ve said it in one of my previous blogs, I’m making a real effort this year to read a lot more. I’ve also noticed that I tend to read more during the winter, I think the reason being because it’s a nice form of escapism. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not escaping winter but it’s nice to get carried away in a story once in a while. It’s the perfect way to also disconnect from your busy day at work and relax.

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So those are the top 5 things that are currently keeping me sane this winter. What about you?

Pilot Day #DailyOutfit

Happy Wednesday!

Really happy to have finally booked my summer vacation last night. We were intially planning on spending two and a half weeks in France but due to the crazy flight prices we’ve had to think of plan b. Though it makes me really sad to not be able to go visit my family and go surf in Biarritz, we’re already planning our trip for December. What we’ve decided to do instead is a mini road trip in Arizona, Texas, Utah & California. Yes, California again… but honestly is there really such a thing as too much California time?! Don’t think so…

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Today we shoot our show pilot for Season 2! There are some big changes coming to BRBR for the second season. I can’t talk about most of them just yet but I think these changes will help the show move forward quite nicely. We’ve got tons of new series, projects in the works and are also working on developping a new website 🙂 Yay!

For today’s shoot I’m wearing pops of red and organge color with gold accessories. I got these orange pointed cap toe pumps from H&M at the end of last summer and haven’t had the chance to wear them too much. I’m glad it’s finally getting warmer so I can finally whip them out! What I love about them is that they aren’t too high, so I’m not stumbling all over the place and they’re also really comfy!

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H&M denim jacket (get it here)

H&M skinny navy trousers (get them here)

H&M stripped red and white silk tank 

Lionette SINEAD bracelet (check the site for more info)

Forever 21 spiked and rhinestoned bracelet (get it here)

Stella & Dot gold renegade cluster bracelet (get it here)

Forever 21 etched Geo cuff set (get it here)

Uranium Signal necklace from Spring Summer 2013 collection 

H&M pointed cap toe orange high heel

Feeling Southwestern #DailyOutfit

Today’s outfit is inspired by my current obsession with all things Southwestern. I think I initially developped my love for that style a few months ago, when I started following The 2 Bandits on twitter and instagram.  All of Tamar’s designs are influenced by the south.  I’ve also had the chance to travel to Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and California on several occasions and have always been inspired by the architecture, art, clothing and general culture there.  Today’s outfit puts a little bit of warmth and sunshine into this cold and grey day in Toronto.

Today, I’m wearing a southwestern navajo print top, a vintage thunderbird (I LOVE thunderbirds!!) & carriage brown belt, a denim jacket and classic mid-calf brown suede boots.

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H&M denim jacket (get it here)

Public Butter vintage thunderbird belt

Kitson LA wrapped vintage brass bracelet

H&M dark blue trousers (similar ones here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots