Merry Christmas!

Ristras New MexicoA quick note to wish everyone a very happy Christmas! I’m home with the fam in New Mexico,which is packed with southwestern decorations, like the dried chili ristras above, at my best friend’s house. Outside, the luminarias are glowing — brown paper bags that line the streets (including ours, and our driveway) with a lit candle in each. Inside, the cookie jars are filled with Mom’s homemade creations. Our dinners are always a mix of Italian traditions and New Mexican specialities, such as every Italian cold cut and cheese you can imagine, with spicy Sadie’s salsa and homemade guacamole on the side. I love it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

How-to: guided motorcycle tours through Grand Canyon

Abby Tegnelia After rising at 3:45 am, taking a private jet charter to Arizona during which we saw the sunrise, and then taking a Papillon helicopter tour through the Grand Canyon, our day had yet to reach the grand finale:  Have you ever considered guided motorcycle tours through this glorious national park? Let me tell you — it was amazing! I had one rather sad attempt at being a biker chick awhile back. I felt so uncomfortable that I didn’t even take any photos. But I made up for it this time! Don’t I look like a natural? And I definitely need to buy a leather jacket…

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How-to: guided motorcycle tours through Grand Canyon

Abby Tegnelia After rising at 3:45 am, taking a private jet charter to Arizona during which we saw the sunrise, and then taking a Papillon helicopter tour through the Grand Canyon, our day had yet to reach the grand finale:  Have you ever considered guided motorcycle tours through this glorious national park? Let me tell you — it was amazing! I had one rather sad attempt at being a biker chick awhile back. I felt so uncomfortable that I didn’t even take any photos. But I made up for it this time! Don’t I look like a natural? And I definitely need to buy a leather jacket…

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Sunrise: Grand Canyon from Above

Grand CanyonLiving in the southwest means I can to take all kinds of trips to places like the Grand Canyon, but I never thought I’d get to see that magical place at sunrise! For all the talk of gorgeous sunsets (for me, usually traveling along the coast of Costa Rica), it is sometimes easy to forget how special seeing the sun rise can be. For me, even though I am often awake when it is still dark, I haven’t been somewhere to actually watch the sun come up since my trip to Panama. So when I was invited to the Grand Canyon on an “early morning” trip, I jumped at the chance. Our private plane took off from the Boulder City airport at 5:30 am. And boy, was it worth it. Watching the horizon start to glow and then the sun shine over the magnificent Grand Canyon — as we flew overhead — left me awestruck.

Wild, beautiful, breathtaking: landscapes of Sedona

Abby TegneliaAlthough I love how exciting my life is in Las Vegas, one of my favorite parts about living there is that there are so many wonderful things to do and see within a few hours drive. I recently hit the road with my friend Diana to spend a few nights at the absolutely stunning L’Auberge de Sedona in Arizona before heading to nearby historic Jerome on a search for Quince, deemed by some (and now me!) the best New Mexican food in the southwest. On our first morning, we jumped in one of the town’s famous Pink Jeeps for a drive around the rock landscape that has made this town so famous. It was an unbelievable morning! In addition to taking in all of this incredible scenery, our driver knew all about the native plants, so we got a biology lesson along the way. I never knew anything about agave, which has a flower that grows faster than anything I’d ever heard of — and then dies after one season. Once you know where to look, you can see the plants in various states of decay all over the desert!

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L’Auberge de Sedona: the loveliest of pauses

Abby Tegnelia

Getting some sun on my cabin’s balcony at L’Auberge de Sedona.

In this world of online projects and juggling a million things at once (let alone my full time job, two rambunctious big dogs, plus three to four fancy fashion soirees, magazine parties, and premieres a week — and I try to save some time for friends), I think it’s become extra-important to take a pause every once in awhile. Stop time, turn everything off (most importantly my brain!) and just … pause. Recently I was lucky enough to land in gorgeous Sedona, Arizona, at the decadently peaceful L’Abuerge de Sedona.

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