Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Palm Springs in the Summer

The decision to celebrate my birthday in Palm Springs was sort of last minute. We had thought of wine tasting in Temecula, or staying at a Bed and Breakfast in Julian, but when Chris suggested going to Palm Springs instead it sounded  perfect: a place neither of us had been to that was far enough away (two hours) to make it an easy weekend vacation by car.

The forecast for Palm Springs that weekend was sweltering - between 100F - 115F - so we knew we had to find lodging with a pool. As I usually do, I checked tripadvisor for suggestions on places to stay and found that the Del Marcos Hotel seemed to suit us best. It's many positive reviews praised it as "vintage", "mid-century modern", "adults only", "quiet", "wonderfully located", "refreshing salt-water pool", and "great service" so we made reservations for two nights and headed over on Friday afternoon.

Upon arrival we were each given keys to our room - the Shag Room (as they called it) - and a Tecate. In our cute room they had placed a chilled bottle of champagne along with a note that said "Happy Birthday"; I knew then that we had made the right decision and that it was the start of a great weekend.

That night we ate Thai food and then floated around the pool listening to classic pop music from the 40s, 50s, and 60s that was streaming from hidden speakers, plastic champagne flutes in hand.

 Saturday was mostly spent in cool places to escape the heat. We ate breakfast at Palm Springs Cafe, where the food is sustainably sourced and healthy, the staff are paid living wages, and the decor, like virtually everywhere in Palm Springs, is fun, vibrant, and happy.

*Jesus getting barreled

Then we went to the (apparently) world-famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that carries you over 8000 ft to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains where the temperature tends to be 40 degrees cooler. 

During the other three seasons of the year the San Jacinto Mountains are a popular destination for hiking, camping, and skiing. When we went the state park and surrounding wilderness areas were closed due to the typical forest fires that occur during the hot summer months. It was still pleasant to experience the vertical climb up and down the mountain in the tram and wander around the refreshing air of the tram's mountain station scenic view points and patio areas. 

*This is what a wind farm looks like from a mile and a half above sea level.
*The biggest crow (raven?) I've ever seen...and at that altitude! My admiration of crows grows everyday.

When we descended the mountain we drove to the Palm Springs Art Museum where we spent another couple of hours hiding from the heat. The three-storied museum is currently featuring a wing of artwork from Picasso and other Impressionists, like Monet and Van Gogh, which we didn't want to miss while we were visiting. I wasn't allowed to take any photos of that display but I did get many other shots of amazing art that caught my eye.

*My favorite: The Stray

After cooling down in the art museum we ate a hearty lunch at the original, and always delicious,  Native Foods Cafe and then went back to our hotel to lounge around before going out for dinner and drinks.

I don't have any pictures from that night but we ate Mediterranean food and drank Sangria in the patio of Alicante, then went dancing to live music at the overpriced but highly entertaining tourist trap that is TheVillage Pub. We counted three different bachelorette parties there that night, complete with tipsy brides-to-be wearing cliche condom laced veils.

I enjoyed Palm Springs (even in the heat) much more than I thought I would like a place known as a "desert resort city". Everything from the friendly locals, the proud LGBT community, the bright pops of color everywhere, to the architecture and decor. Now I understand why it's such a popular vacation destination and I'll definitely be back.

Next post will be another tasty vegan recipe so remember to check back and, as always, thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...



Sunny said...

Great pictures :) I love Jesus getting barreled--hilarious--and all the colors! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Tram! Who knew Palm Springs could be 65 deg in the summer. Ideas for Winter 2013 for sure. -C

Ana Maria said...

Thanks Sunny! Yeah, surfing Jesus is pretty awesome :)