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.  

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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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

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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