Carefree, Arizona

Carefree is a quaint town that we like to go and visit, but the couple of years we have seen many shops closing and a rather attractive (or could be) shopping Plaza getting more and more run down. We do hope they inject some cash into this area as it could be and should be an amazing and vibrant place.

Carefree is famous for it’s sundial, which was erected in Sundial Circle Plaza in 1959 and is the third largest sundial in the western hemisphere. The sundial is 90ft in diameter, 35 feet tall and 72 feet long.

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Pioneertown

Pioneertown, is quite a strange place as you think of it as a Ghost Town and yet people still live there.  The town started as a live-in Wild West motion picture set, which was built in the 1940’s. It was designed this ways so actors had a place to live their homes and other buildings were used in the movies. A number of movies such as the Cisco Kid, were filmed here.

As we strolled down Mane Street (no, not a typo), it was totally deserted, and yet we couldn’t help but feel like we were being watched!

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It had all mod cons, including restrooms!!

005There is the Sheriffs office.008

007And also a post office, which seems to be a real, working post office!

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Some of the items in the gardens are a little strange, this one looks a bit like a replica of Tombstone and the one below is full of desks and old typewriters!

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011The church.

012Apparently Gene Autry frequently taped his show at the six-lane Pioneer Bowl bowling alley. According to the Morongo Basin Historical Society, the bowling alley is one of the oldest in continuous use in California (source: Wikepedia).

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If you choose to stay a little longer, it does have its own motel too!

It might be a little odd, but we are happy to have a stroll around anywhere as long as the sun is shining!

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Elvis Presley Honeymoon Home, Palm Springs

This home was built in 1960 and was known as the “House of Tomorrow” – you can see why…when Elvis first pulled up outside this home, he commented that somebody had gone and landed a spaceship!  Elvis rented this home for around a year starting in 1966, and paid $21,000 (£12,500). It is a 5 bed, 5 bath, 4,695sq.ft home.  The home was built in 4 perfect circles, so no room in the home is completely square!

001 Exterior front

004 Exterior Front

005 Exterior FrontFloating steps set within a waterfall lead you to the entrance.002 Steps

002a StepsHere is a picture of Elvis and Priscilla standing on those steps in front of the gate.Elvis & Pracilla on in front of gates2The huge living room is complete with a built-in 64-foot curved sofa! Although when Evlis was here in the 60’s he probably had to wade through about 3 inches of shag pile carpet! 009 Living Room

007 Living Room

Here are a couple of photos of Elvis and Priscilla sitting in this very room.

Elvis & Pricilla on Sofa Elvis & Pricilla on Sofa2

Elvis & Pricilla on Sofa3 Elvis & Pricilla on Sofa4

 

 

 

 

 

 

The living room has a fabulous view out to the pool.  You can see that the steps to the right of the photo inside the house line up perfectly with the steps outside the home.

008 Living RoomThis is the dining room, the stairs you can see beyond, lead to the upper level of the home.  010 Dining RoomThe round kitchen, complete with round central island.015 Kitchen

016 Kitchen

017 KitchenNo kitchen is complete without gadgets! 018 KitchenThe next room is The Jungle Room – he had one in Graceland and he had one in Palm Springs! It is sort of a lounge/study/get together area. There is a vintage jukebox in which you are allowed to play with, all Elvis tunes of course!019 Music RoomThe master bedroom is huge and has panoramic views of the mountains.020 Master Bedroom

021 Master BedroomThe en-suite bathroom, sadly the old sunken bath has since been replaced with the one shown. On the vanity unit is a bottle of High Karate Cologne, so you can get a whiff of Elvis, although we have since seen that Brut was also a firm favourite of his.  025 Bathroom

027 Bathroom

026 Bathroom Down in the garage is one of Elvis’s cars, it needs some work and restoration – we hope they do it. 030 CarOutside is the pool area. The pool is quite unique, in that they are usually oblong or kidney shaped, this one is the same shape as the roof on the house!

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042 PoolIn 1967, it was by this pool, that Elvis and Priscilla were to be married and all the arrangements were in place.  However, a local journalist got wind of the wedding and set up camp across the road.  Because of this, they decided at the last minute to escape out of the back of the house in the dead of night, they took Frank Sinatras limo to his jet and flew to Las Vegas.  They were married the next day in the Aladdin Hotel before flying back for their Honeymoon, which only lasted for about 3 days before they headed back to Graceland.  The home became known as the Honeymoon Hideaway.Elvis & Pricilla by poolDespite how long Elvis did or didn’t spend there, it is a very interesting house in its own right and we really enjoyed our look around this lovely home.

If you are in Palm Springs and wish to visit, or would just like more information click here
E&J

Hollywood Homes in Palm Springs

Back in the day, many Hollywood stars set up home in Palm Springs, (be sure to See Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway Post too).  The reason being (we believe) is that the film makers at the time didn’t want their stars to travel too far from Hollywood and this condition was written into their contracts.

Over the course of several days, we took a drive out to one or two of these homes and here’s what we found:

Liberace’s House: This home was built in 1952 and has the most amazing piano mail box, which we just loved.

009 Liberace Home

008 Liberace Mailbox

007 Liberace Mailbox

Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn lived here before moving to Bighorn in 2003!

010 Kurt Russell & Goldie HawnBarry Manilow owned this home from the 1970’s until 1993.  It apparently has a huge pool and a tennis court.  011 Barry ManilowThis home was owned by Walt Disney during the last four years of his life.  001 Walt Disneys HouseBing Crosby lived here for over 30 years with his first wife and their sons.  The home was built in 1934 and they lived here well into the 1960’s.  It is in a lovely setting with a park just across the street. It is claimed that it is under this roof, that President John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe committed adultery.  An affair that went on for eight years and there are apparently many other rendezvous sites for the pair in and around the desert!012 Bing Crosby

012a Bing Crosby

Elvis Presley owned this home from 1970-1977 and he bought it for $105,000. It is rumoured that he bought it as a reminder to his honeymoon days in Palm Springs.  He and Priscilla spent about three months a year in Palm Springs.  In 1971 Elvis added a fountain to the back yard, (which my sister Linda Lewis knows all about, but that’s another story)!  After their divorce in 1973 the home became more like a boys club. Elvis remodeled the living room and apparently recorded nine songs here.  You used to be able to take a tour of this home but the previous owners, who lived in the home for 9 years and are about $50million in debt, have have since been evicted and taken the memorabilia with them, it has been a long and drawn out legal battle and we don’t know the in’s and out’s of it, but we do know that it is a real shame that you can no longer take a tour of this home, which is considered the second most valuable piece of Elvis memorabilia, second of course to Graceland!  In January 2014 the home was put on the market for $3,950,000 and we think it now has new owners.

002 Road To Elvis House

003a Elvis House

003 Elvis HouseThis is no longer on the chimney, we assume it was one of the many items removed by the previous owners!Elvis HomeLong before Elvis bought the home above and long before he bought Graceland, Elvis rented this 3 bedroom, 4 bath home.005 Elvis House 2

006 Elvis House 2

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The Living Desert, Palm Springs

It was a beautiful day to be outside today, so we decided to head to Living Desert Zoo.

The first animal we came across was this very attractive Mexican wolf.001 Wolf

002 Mexican Wolf

We then came to the Bobcats.003 Bob Cat

004 Bobcat

and the Serval005 Serval

The Mountain Lion (or Cougars as we know them) was spectacular, although he did look a bit hungry!  These are the beasts that get spotted around Okotoks from time to time.006 Mountain Lion

007 Mountain LionThe Wild Boar011 WarthogThis poor big horned cow looked like it could barely lift its head with the weight of its horns!012 Longhorn CattleThese are Greater Kudus

015 Greater Kudu

And of course the very entertaining and amusing Merekats!016 Meerkat

017 Meerkat

As well as animals, it also has a fairly spectacular outdoor miniature railway – it is very detailed. 010 Trains

For more information on the Living Desert in Palm Springs click here, it is a great day out, if you are in the area.

E&J