Currently | 12.31.23
I’m currently writing this on the road. We just finished our off-the-grid camping trip in White Pocket. This is a special place for us. We started coming here in 2009 when nobody knew about it and have been coming ever since. Everyone comes to this area for The Wave but you don’t need one for White Pocket. You can read more about it here.
After our road trip from Raleigh to Albuquerque followed by hiking in New Mexico (photo below left) and Kanab, Utah (photo below right) Thanksgiving week we settled into Phoenix for the month. We used my mom’s house as a home base.
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We spent an afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden, checked out the updates, and had a fantastic meal on the terrace (in December!) at La Hermosa Inn, and more, the Phoenix area has SO much to do.
We revisited some of our favorite day trip spots on the weekends. Like a really great weekend in Tucson. We started off at the Sonoran Desert Museum a spot we visited many, many times when we lived in Phoenix, then lunch at Five Points (check Best Bite below), then we drove to Mt Lemmon where spent an evening with the Dark Sky Program.
We stayed at The Tuxon, a former motel that has been redone in a vintage mid-century modern style, hip pool, and darn good food. Sunday morning we headed to Saguaro National Park for a bit then started our way back to Phoenix with a stopover at Biosphere 2.
During the week I worked for my day job until December 22 and then we headed to Las Vegas for Christmas.
I must have been living under a rock because Vegas has changed a lot! My last visit was pre-Covid when we were still full-time RVing and it is so different now. The pandemic really took its toll.
Lots of buffets have closed (something around 16 of the majors, it is hard to fact-check that, I tried). What is a Vegas casino without a buffet? We stayed at the Paris Casino (I know, I can’t help myself) because it was supposed to be one of the few casinos that keeps their pool open in the winter.
Mais non! Closed!
Didn’t even think to check about the buffet still existing!
Fewer buffets meant fewer places for people to eat. Several of the buffets required reservations… on OpenTable!
P.S. Want to see a real commentary on society? Watch people at a buffet in Vegas. Scary stuff.
And it’s EXPENSIVE! Mr. Misadventures did some research. Most of the casinos have a single landlord, a corporation with multiple financial institutions owning shares, and a few casino operators, Ceasar’s or MGM. That means 2 people have to get their cut.
And if you’re talking about something like Starbucks, 3! Which is why coffee drinks cost $7-9!
You can’t sneeze in Vegas without spending $50. That was my last personal trip to the city of lights. I am only going back for trade shows.
We left Christmas Day and made a quick trip back to Phoenix to prep before heading to White Pocket. We love coming during the off-season and winter is that time. We have camped in November, in March, in April, in early May, and September. It’s the desert so summer is brutal although our very first visit in 2009 was July.
It was freezing and our gear was at the limit. We weren’t cold sleeping but every water bottle we had including the one in our tent froze! We just melted the ice down to heat our meals! All that to say it was pretty darn cold!
Currently, we are on our road trip back home!
Now, onto December and what's happening in the Misadventures world.
Watching | For All Mankind + SATC
Watching season 2 of And Just Like That made me nostalgic for the original show so I am re-watching SATC and am on the last season. I have the two movies next and then will re-watch AJLT again.
My mom hadn’t seen For All Mankind so we re-watched seasons 1-3 and finished up to episode 7 of season 4. Mr. Misadventures loves anything remotely space-related so he was in his happy place. We also watched Monarch which we are digging so far. If you’re a fan of Godzilla and King Kong you will appreciate this show.
One disappointment was Napoleon. The film had major gaps in the story. Important pieces of the timeline and his life were missing. The cinematography was great, Joaquin Phoenix was exceptional but Vanessa Kirby as Josephine was too young.
Reading | American Royals IV: Reign
Didn’t have a lot of time for reading! So I am still in the same spot as I was for Currently October!
Best Bite | Five Points
Five Points huevos rancheros followed by a slice of grapefruit olive oil poppyseed cake. Five Points is our absolute favorite restaurant in Tucson. No trip is complete without a meal here. It had been 4 years since our last visit and it did not disappoint.
Working On | Paris Articles
January is the time people start planning trips. 2024 is a big year for Paris so I want to make sure my articles are up-to-date. I published my Paris in 2024 article and updated January through March and May (still working on April!)
Feeling | Grateful + Delighted
Grateful to have such wonderful readers, especially those who take the time to comment or email.
Thank you to everyone who wrote amazing comments and suggestions when they responded to my reader survey. You still have time to complete it, here it is for you!
I was delighted when HSN selected our photos in Paris for their Gabrielle (also called Glasgow) biker boot campaign. Fast forward to 8:13 and 26:46 minutes in…
Loving | The Southwest
We had such a good time hiking and/or camping in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. It’s gorgeous and winter hiking is my favorite!
We repeated some of our RV trip as well as visited some new spots. The Southwest is magical.
Photo of the Month | Where to?
Not published on Instagram yet but I love this photo from the Clark County Museum a quick stop we made on the way to Vegas. They have an entire vintage town (okay street) and you can visit the different homes and businesses to see what life was like in the 40-50s in Nevada including a train station.
Published or Updated In November + December
- NEW: Paris Travel Guide (2024): What to Expect
- NEW: Why Cashmere Sweaters are a Capsule Wardrobe Essential
- NEW: How to Create a Winter Capsule Wardrobe with Quince
- NEW: Why Suitcases Make a Great Gift for the Traveler in Your Life!
- NEW: Christmas in Paris
- NEW: How to Frenchify Your Thanksgiving
- Updated: New Year’s Traditions in France
- Updated: Paris in January 
- Updated: Paris in February 
- Updated: Paris in March 
- Updated: Paris in December 
- Updated: Paris for the Holidays
That’s my month, what’s CURRENTLY going on with you?