When my roommate asked me to go to Palm Springs last weekend, I had to look it up on the map first. Ok, it's a small desert resort city, 2 hours drive from L.A. What's there to do? - golf and spa, so not for me. Sounded like an adventure anyway and I went nevertheless.
Going to Palm Springs for 3 nights seems like an utter nonsense - the flight from New York takes 6-7 hours. However, I will never forget the moment I was swimming in the hotel pool at night surrounded by desert, all alone, in complete silence looking up to starry night sky. So I guess it was worth it. Living in New York, you easily forget that complete silence and darkness even exist.
For my recent quick getaway to Palm Springs, California, I only packed two facial care items due to carry-on baggage restrictions. One of them was Avene's 50 SPF sunscreen (for obvious reasons) and the other AHA-BHA moisturizing cream from Estonian brand LUMI.
A few months ago when I went back to Estonia for winter break, I discovered that LUMI had released a new product line Tundra, developed especially for acne-prone skin. For some reason, my skin always gets worse in New York...maybe there's something in the air or food in America, who knows, but either way I'm always struggling with breakouts here. After using Lumi products for a little while, my skin is probably the best it has been in the last 6 months. Definitely not perfect yet, but getting there.
One mights say that absolutely everything is available in New York, but there are still some products which I prefer having made in Estonia, skincare being one them (the other one is bread, of course). Can't wait to go back home and restock.
When not traveling, I use the whole Tundra series including cleansing milk with willow bark extract and hemp oil, and yarrow mist with salicylic acid. The earthy smell might be uninviting at first, but it really grew on my after some time.. reminds me of home while living in a metropolis.
Allegedly the best "paladar" (privately-owned restaurant, as opposed to state-run) in Havana - La Guarida. Located on an ordinary run-down street in Central Havana, La Guarida goes almost unnoticed, but once you step in and go up the massive staircase, the majestic old colonial building will impress everyone.
As the building itself and its high ceilings, rooftop, and balconies are just picturesque, it is not surprising that one of the Cuba's internationally acclaimed movie Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate, 1994) was shot in there, in addition to many fashion editorials.
The hotel was located very close to elegant Prado promenade that was perfect for people-(and car)watching. Although, all those exquisite 50's American cars are nice to look at, the pollution they create is incredible. At some streets it was actually hard to breathe and I had to cover my eyes from all the exhaust and dust.
Exploring residential buildings in Central Havana, most of them didn't have windows or doors / salsa night at Hotel Inglaterra
“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in La Floridita,” wrote Ernest Hemingway of his infamous drinking exploits in Havana.
We stumbled upon La Bodeguitain Old Havana by chance so trying mojitos there was a must. Of course, as one may guess, it was very touristic and they were a bit stingy with rum, but the atmosphere and live music was great nevertheless.
The street in front of La Bodeguita del Mediowas excellent for meeting with locals and other tourists. Most locals take money from you for taking photos or for asking help, but this guy was just happy to chat and show his National Geographic cover shot he was very proud of.
United States recently opened its borders to Cuba, and Havana is definitely becoming a popular tourist destination for Americans soon. However, technically it is still illegal to travel there as a tourist from US, you have to fall under one of 12 legal reasons (e.g. education, journalism) to go. Even though I am not a US citizen, the same rules apply if I depart from here.
Having had another week until my Spring semester at Fashion Institute of Technologybegins, I decided to go and check out this controversial and exotic country before the first Starbucks pops up there.
It is hard to fall in love with a city where where poverty in evident on every corner, the pavements (or the lack of thereof) are covered in debris,bottled water is not always available in stores, toilet paper is a luxury item, no credit cards are accepted, and WiFi is still a privilege to be paid for per hour (after standing in a long line to buy a wifi card).
Restaurants in Havana often run out of certain food items or coffee machines might be broken for weeks but then again, there are always unlimited supply of rum and cigars, and never ending live music and salsa. What's not to love!?
More detailed posts coming soon, meanwhile check out instagram for photos.
Anyone planning to travel to Cuba soon?, let me know you have any questions or need recommendations.