Travel: Palm Springs, California

by Cris Lubrick

We are full on into fall. The leaves are perfect; no storm has come through yet to knock them all to the ground. I have a pot of chili on the stove, and we're enjoying sweater weather. We even have a new niece, Evelyn Faith, that we're over the moon about. October was good to us and also busy. Which is why we're just now getting to those travel photos from our first anniversary trip to Palm Springs.  


We chose Palm Springs for its warm temps, desert scenery, and midcentury architecture. Eric and I have agreed to each decide a destination every other year. We always default towards beach and having lived in the desert, I opted this year for southern California. I did a lot of online travel guide digging and found a photo of El Saguaro Hotel pinned a year back on my aptly named, "I want to go to there" board. The colors drew me in, the off season deals were in our price range, and although The Ace and a few other hotels we saw while there were more up our alley, I booked our long weekend here. It has been converted from an old Holiday Inn, keeping the same architecture and layout but adding amenities and needed updates. We had a red room on the first level with walk out to the pool and bocce ball courts. We arrived Friday night (thank you time change) and went down to El Jefe, the restaurant/tequila bar on site. It was full of beautiful people from Orange County (guessing) in town for a wedding. They ordered a round of tequila shots for the entire bar, and we gladly made a cheers to them and to us! We got the scoop from 2 locals on restaurants and bars in the area as well as plans to visit Joshua Tree National Park. 


The next day, we found a natural food store that made smoothies (Nature's Health Food & Cafe) then joined the cool kids at The Ace Hotel. El Saguaro had free loaner bikes, so we took advantage and biked the short distance down E. Palm Canyon Dr. There is a pool entrance fee for non-guests, but it's worth it. We relaxed on a giant cushion under the cabanas, drank boozy slushies, and ate $12 hot dogs to our hearts' content.  


The people watching is magic and the views are out of control. All of it set to a DJ-controlled playlist. I'm going to close my eyes and pretend to be back there.


Eric only makes a few appearances in this post, and it's quickly going to turn into a portrait session of me. But we were lucky enough to get a mini-instax taken of us by accident (yay souvenir!) by a fellow pool-mate, and the Ace also has a photo booth (of course it does) that we jumped into. 


We biked ourselves back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We were told to eat at Las Casuelas Terraza on S. Palm Canyon Dr. and to make reservations for outdoors. The restaurant is in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, which reminded me of Old Town Scottsdale, if you've been there. The food was delicious, and the reservation was key.

Sunday we made the trip out to Joshua Tree, and the photos are enough for a post of their own. So let's skip ahead to Monday...

We ate diner food for breakfast, spent quality time floating on giant rafts at our nearly empty hotel pool (off-season has its perks), then decided to ditch our self-guided architecture tour and head to the Parker Hotel. 



The entrance is stunning, and we couldn't resist a shot in front of that orange door. The interior was designed by Jonathan Adler, and I fell in love with all of it. It's glam, cheeky, modern, and comfortable all at once. He's just too good.


I felt a little like a kid breaking the rules, but you are fully allowed and encouraged to wander the grounds and gardens.  It truly feels like an oasis, a kind of paradise within paradise. I would gladly go back.


We followed up all of this fancy with a trip to In-N-Out Burger because why wouldn't we? Also on my list? A date shake. Not a shake with 2 straws but a milkshake made with date puree (!!). We found a little chocolate shop downtown that made them by hand. We did share one as we walked, and it lived up to the hype. 

Tuesday was for brunch at Cheeky's and packing back up to travel home and see Huck. I forgot to mention that our hotel and the Ace are pet-friendly, so there were cute dogs everywhere. He would have fit right in.

First anniversary success (do you ever get anxiety with trip planning? I get nervous I'll make a bad choice).

We can't wait to show you photos from Joshua Tree. 

Have you been to Palm Springs? Where have you stayed, and what did we miss? 

Images by Eric Lubrick 

p.s. if you liked this post, you may like our trip to Michigan 

Studio Visit: Ape & Bird in Providence, RI

by Eric Lubrick

About 3 weeks ago I made an inspiring trip to Providence RI to help document an amazing non-profit arts organization and community called AS220. While I was there, I met a lot of badass artists. In the next couple of weeks, I plan on having a more in-depth post featuring AS220. But for now I’d like to share with you the couple April and Richer, who own the company Ape & Bird.


I quickly realized that it’s because of people like them that I love my job as a photographer. They are the definition of makers and have all kinds of cool goods. I walked into their studio to find 5 panel hats, purses, reclaimed wooden bow ties, bottle openers and coolest of all, ukuleles made out of upcycled skateboards and cigar boxes. 


The entire time I was with them, I felt as though I should be making art, something, anything. Not only were they passionate about their craft but also about their vision to recycle and repurpose materials into beautiful handmade objects. The space was well-lit and streamlined, and they were warm and down to earth. These guys are the real deal.


I walked out of their studio with my new favorite hat. It ended up being perfect for our trip to the desert.


p.s. You can also follow Ape & Bird on instagram and like their page on Fa cebook.

one year

by Cris Lubrick

It's hard to believe that it's been one full year since our wedding. The time around it was a mixture of chaos and bliss, and we truly understand why people say that it's the happiest day of your life. When else are you surrounded by the people that you love directing their energy and attention to celebrating your happiness?! Magic.

We're off to Palm Springs, California to celebrate with a long weekend spent poolside and hiking through Joshua Tree National Park. I'm beyond excited, and I'm also feeling a bit nostalgic. I thought I'd share our wedding video by Honey & Salt so you can reminisce with us. I will be watching it on repeat this 9/29. 

p.s. You can see photos from our wedding here and here. 

Quick Trip from Indy: Turkey Run State Park

by Cris Lubrick

Eric just took a trip to Providence, Rhode Island, and while he's processing those images, I thought I'd revisit our Labor Day weekend. 

It was the Sunday after Lobsterfest, and Eric and I somehow managed to get up early enough to go to Long's donuts (yum!) and hit the road with Huck. Our destination: Turkey Run State Park. 

Turkey Run State Park greenery

I was there a few summers ago to canoe with some friends on Sugar Creek, which runs through the park. I have to tell you, though, that I had no real idea where I was at the time. Also, I was "ca-brewing".

The drive was just over an hour from Indianapolis. Eric had purchased an Indiana State Park pass, so we sailed through the entrance, grabbed a map of the trails, and headed into the park. We were impressed with the facilities. There was even a pool to take a dip in if we hadn't had Huck with us. There had been a large amount of rainfall and the suspension bridge to cross Sugar Creek has been closed for the summer. Although wading and swimming was prohibited, we followed the masses and crossed the creek at a shallow point to make it to the majority of the trails. Huck is not a fan of water.


Huck Turkey Run

The trails are as difficult as you make them, but there is true beauty everywhere you go. I was surprised by the rocky ledges and small canyons created by sandstone. We chose a loop created by the 2 most difficult trails, and I even lugged Huck up a couple of ladders.  He was a willing participant.

Ladders at Turkey Run State Park

It was hot, lush, and busy because of the holiday weekend, but it never felt crowded. We had to wait in a few spots to let people pass, but everyone was friendly and in good spirits. How could we not be with views like these?

Turkey Run State Park rock
Turkey Run State Park fallen tree
at the ladders at Turkey Run State Park
mushroom Turkey Run State Park
Cris at Turkey Run State Park

Eric and I both brought our cameras. My most recent assignment was landscapes, but I worked ahead and took a portrait: 

Eric at Turkey Run State Park

Have you taken any quick trips from Indy recently? We'd like to head down to Bloomington or Nashville, Indiana this fall. Any tips or little-known gems?


Images by Eric Lubrick

p.s. You might also like our post on Eagle Creek