Category Archive for Arizona

Valley of Fire top Instagrammable photo spots! electric car review: EV cars rentals from Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Welcome to planet Mars! While in Las Vegas, I got a taste of the future of travel… by renting an electric vehicle from Halo.Car. We took the EV on a road trip to Valley of Fire, where we hiked the Fire Wave and shot photos in the most Instagram-worthy locations.

Read on for the (literally) red-hot adventure — and see my Instagram reel here for videos of our journey to the Nevada state park!

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At this stage in The Collapse, it’s nigh time that we move away from fossil fuels. If you’re in Las Vegas, booking a rental car from Halo.Car is the way to go for many reasons: 

– It’s easy to use Halo’s app or site to book the EV, and select where you want it delivered. Halo Car has a fleet of Kia Niros and Chevy Bolts, which you can rent by the day or hour.
– The staff drops off the electric vehicle right to you in Vegas, and helps you get set up. also has driverless delivery (domo arigato, Mr Roboto!)
– Charging an EV is simple, and costs far less than gas — yay for the environment and your wallet.

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By having a rental in Vegas, we were able to do day trips and explore outside the Strip. It only took about an hour to drive to Valley of Fire, the remarkable Jurassic-era state park located northeast of Sin City.

Outfit details: Protecting my eyes with DMY by DMY Billy sunglasses and a Lack of Color wave bucket hat. My purple dress with big bell sleeves is BlackMilk. Photos by Joey Wong, shot with a Nikon mirrorless camera.

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Located in the Mojave Desert, Valley of Fire known for its brilliant red sandstone formations that date back 150 million years. The park covers 46,000 acres, so be prepared to spend a day here driving to the various natural attractions. (The entry costs $10 for Nevada vehicles, which is $5 less than the regular fee — we qualified, as we had a local Halo car!)

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If you’re keen to take pictures at the most photogenic Valley of Fire locations, steer over to Mouse’s Tank Road. Chances are you have seen this scenic path on Instagram, framed by canyons and colorful rocks.

My purple dress is Blackmilk Clothing (Spectre Violet style). Find my DMY by DMY Billy sunglasses and Lack of Color wave bucket hat below.

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You’ll need a car to access and explore Valley of Fire. Our Halo.Car had GPS and maps on its digital dashboard, making it easy for us to navigate. (It also had a USB plug so that we could blast Italo Disco MP3s!)

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Joyful road trip vibes. Valley of Fire is a photographer’s dream — it’s full of Instagrammable spots like this one at Mouse Tank Road. (All images Joey Wong.)

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Nature’s design is fascinating, isn’t it? Above are the Beehives, or layers of sandstone that developed grooved lines because of the different layers of silt deposits, which were affected by wind or water.

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Valley of Fire is a bona fide Jurassic Park — the bright red sandstone dates back to this dinosaur period. Then, about 11,000 years ago, humans entered the scene and carved petroglyphs into the rocks.

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Watch out for stinging scorpions… but say hello to the friendly desert wildlife, such as iguanas and lizards.

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Needless to say, the Valley of Fire lives up to its name — temperatures are hot as hell! Come during the colder months of the year to avoid burning up, and wear tons of sun protection. (I only took off the hat for this quick photo.)

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Bring lots of water and electrolytes, and make sure your electric car is charged up — there’s no cell or WiFi reception here.  The high temperatures are no joke: we saw signs that said “Extreme heat warning, you might die.”

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We got lucky, and came on a May day that had some breeze and clouds. Still, you can expect temperatures of close to 40 degrees Celsius.

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The alien landscape is unlike anything I’ve seen. Check out the contrast of the gray, tan, and red Aztec limestone, as well as soft red sand.

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The Nevada state park also contains ancient petrified trees, and tufts of heat-resistant bushes (primarily creosote, burro and brittlebush),

Find my fashion below:

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Hiking the Valley of Fire feels like walking on another planet. The terrain ranges from hard red rock to soft sand with pebbles. We did half of the Fire Wave trail, which is a 1.5-mile loop (we went to the famous waves formations and back).

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I changed to a more hike-appropriate outfit (tennis dress, kimono, backpack, and sneakers). The trail was moderately difficult, and it was hot out there…

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… but we made it! Here is are the otherworldly striped sandstone peaks, which you can climb for cinematic photos. It’s named the Fire Wave because of the ocean-like ripples.

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Keep in mind that the Fire Wave trail (and other parts of Valley of Fire) are closed during the hottest months of the year, so check for closure announcements before you go.

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It can be difficult to stay on the trail, as the path isn’t paved or clearly demarcated. Look for piles of stones with a rod on top; these serve as markings to keep you going in the right direction.

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I’m not usually an outdoors / nature person, but I’m trying to be more endured to the heat and tough conditions to better survive The Collapse… The Fire Wave hike was great practice for our Mad Max future.

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We got “Vegased-out” after a few days in Sin City, so it was a joy to get out and do a road trip to Valley of Fire Park (an hour away).

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We stopped to charge our electric Halo.Car at an Electrify America charging station. Charging the rental EV was simple: look up nearby stations on your dashboard map…

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.. then plug it in, wait for the charge to get up to 80%, and pay with a credit card. We ate and did errands while we waited (I got collagen drinks, colloidal bandages and Mr Beast cookies), and the cost was far lower than if we had rented a gas-guzzler.

To see the Halo EV car charging in action, check out my reel on Instagram @lacarmina.

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Dropping off the rental EV was a breeze: just park it anywhere in Vegas, let Halo Car know the drop-off point, and the staff will come pick it up! We left the EV on the top of the Aria parking lot.

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Cheers to Halo.Car — their on-demand EV car-sharing service was a fabulous experience, and enabled us to have a road trip to remember!

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Thanks to Halo’s short-term electric car rentals, we were able to do day trips from Vegas while going green and saving money on gas.

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Keep Halo.Car in mind if you’re coming to Las Vegas, Nevada so that you can do a road trip like ours… Have you seen images of Valley of Fire before? Would you hike this Martian landscape?


Filed Under Arizona, Fashion

Monsterland: monster theme restaurant re-opens in Mesa. Watch my Arizona bizarre travel video!

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Help! I’m locked in a cell with a Gothic Lolita… Where in the world am I?

To find out, watch my new video about alt, spooky travel in Arizona.

Can you tell I had fun on this trip? I’m especially happy with how this video turned out, thanks to the original soundtrack by Leon Lindon, and performed by the Lindon Automata.

** Please support our creative work by Sharing and Liking the article on HuffPost, or below. Thank you so much.

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Eerie music plays as we explore Monsterland Bar & Grill, a theme restaurant in Mesa, Arizona (east of Phoenix).

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I was already shaking as I entered the restaurant through a winding passage. Creatures of the night awaited me…

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… some of which jumped out unexpectedly!

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Inside, it was every horror scene come to life, from dungeons to dragons.

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I got tied up in Frankenstein’s lab.

Bunny shirt: Miffy store in Hong Kong
Scallop shorts: KiLaRa, from the Hong Kong Hello Kitty store
Bunny-eared headband: gifted by Soho Hearts
Monster gloves: gifted by Josie Loves J Valentine (remember the photoshoot we did in LA?)
Lolita shoes: Yosuke, from Marui One Shinjuku

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Leon Lindon, in the Adventure of the Pharoah’s Curse.

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His visual musical band, Colosseum Thesis, braves the Grim Reaper’s scepter.

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“We did the Monsterland mash. It was a graveyard smash.”

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The VIP room was ruled by an alien (perhaps from our Sedona road trip?). Monsterland often has special events like video game nights, costume parties and “Scary-aoke.”

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The food matched the monstrous theme: beer tasters in a skull, “Children of the Corn” balls, bat wings.

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The blue Swamp Water cocktail had a surprise at the bottom. You’ll have to order one to discover what lies beneath.

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Dare to be scared! Monsterland re-opens on August 24th (they were on temporary hiatus); check their Facebook for upcoming events.

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Here’s a bonus outfit photo, from dinner with Visit Mesa at Postino Wine Cafe in Gilbert, AZ.

Octopus print dress: gifted by Sourpuss Clothing; buy it here.
Black eyed bag: Hyoma, Izzue boutique Hong Kong (store photos soon)
Sunglasses: gifted by Lumete

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I have fond memories of this meal. I tried a Macedonia Tikves Vranec wine, and stuffed myself with salads and bruschetta.

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Gilbert, a town known for its water tower, has a nice food and arts scene.

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I also ate very well at Liberty Market, across the street from Postino’s.

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We enjoyed fresh favorites like caprese salad, pizzas, burgers, and endless coffee refills.

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I leave you with these photos of me in the Downtown Phoenix Westin hotel bathtub. You can see more photos of my Miffy bunny dress in this post.

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Did you expect Arizona to have such spooky culture? Would you visit the monster restaurant?

I hope you enjoy the video and soundtrack. Tell us what you think of our Arizona adventure.

PS: Plane tickets booked for August! Can you guess where my travel team’s going next?