this week we’re headed to a magical place i’ve always wanted to visit, arcosanti, a beautiful blending of both architecture and ecology in the arizona desert, and just a short road trip from phoenix or flagstaff. founded and designed by italian-born protégé of frank lloyd wright, late-architect paolo soleri, arcosanti was designed and built as an experimental self-contained town focused on environmental accountability. we drive in along a dusty desert highway and arrive in a surrealistic mini city built of geometric concrete shapes with large, circular porthole-like windows and mound-shaped buildings with “walkability, access to nature, localized food and energy, and a focus on frugality.” welcome! there are daily tours, and you can even spend the night in one of their guestrooms, attend one of the many dinner soirees or events held here (or host your own — it’s also known as a destination wedding location), or dine at arcosanti’s cafe with breathtaking views of the valletta canyon to the south, spectacular sunsets to the west. 

it’s a uniquely unusual and mind-blowing spot to visit, so i’ve packed us ready for just about anything — from day to night. and while quietly serene, it’s also on the rugged side, so i’ve packed us in comfy daywear — a warm shearling coat and beanie, jeans, cozy turtleneck sweater and scarf, and some lace-up boots for exploring the exotic property. since i think we should definitely attend one of their dinner parties, i’ve packed us a slinky skirt to slip into with some somewhat psychedelic tights and a pair of dressier boots for the evening. since the focus here is on our natural environment, i’ve included my favorite dry gloss manicure set from barehands, and one of my favorite novels — the overstory by richard powers. it’s the winner of the 2019 pulitzer prize in fiction, and a sweeping, impassioned story of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of the natural world. perfect, right? let’s get going!

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