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Palm Springs Trip

When did we go….

  • Dec 1-8, 2021

 

Why did we go…

  • Palm Springs is an easy trip to break back into international travel, and it’s a warm climate during the Calgary winter

 

How did we get there…

  • 3-hour direct flight from Calgary on Westjet
  • Palm Springs airport is small and has an open area which is nice other than the hour-long wait for our luggage and rental vehicle

 

 

Where did we stay…

  • ARRIVE boutique hotel
  • centrally located on the north end of Palm Springs
  • nice pool, hot tub, ping pong tables, bocce pitch, restaurant, and firepit lounge area
  • the rooms were quite nice with an outdoor patio
  • the open concept shower was a bit different
  • mostly stellar service by a bunch of young kids

 

 

Where did we eat…

  • GastroPub (dinner, right beside our hotel, nice outdoor patio, great service, excellent food and drinks)
  • Birba (dinner, outdoor seating only, dark lighting but fun ambiance, good food)
  • Rooster & Pig (dinner, exceptional Vietnamese food, outstanding service, casual ambiance)
  • Fix (lunch, modern California cuisine, decent food)
  • ChiChi’s (lunch, Avalon hotel, beautiful courtyard/pool setting, informative historic talk regarding the property from the concierge)
  • 4 Saints (dinner, top of Rowan hotel, 270-degree views if you are on the outdoor patio, average service, decent food)
  • El Patio (lunch, Mexican food, funky venue, great service, and food)
  • Sandfish (dinner, sushi with a Scandanavian influence, excellent food and many unique items as well, excellent service)
  • TQLAS (lunch, Old Town La Quinta, very good food, decent ambiance)
  • Del Rey (dinner, in the historic Villa Royale hotel, dark ambiance, quite noisy, great food and service)

 

 

What did we do…

  • visited our friends Gregg and Laura Palm Desert and hiked up Bump n Grind trail with Gregg, Robyn, and Saskia
  • visited the Palm Springs Art Museum, the ‘Forever Marilyn’ statue of Marilyn Monroe, cruised the street market, and had a drink at the rooftop patio of the Rowan Hotel
  • visited the Joshua Tree National Park (one of the most amazing areas I’ve ever seen)
  • shopped El Paseo drive in Palm Desert (lots of upscale shops)
  • rode bikes around the streets near our hotel in the Las Palmas historic neighborhood (cool retro style properties)
  • hung out at the pool enjoying the glorious weather, reading, swimming, playing bocce and ping pong
  • attended the Palm Springs Underground Shaken, Not Stirred Spy Night event (nice intimate venue, fun concept, great food and service, singers and band were very talented but didn’t evoke the emotion one would expect)
  • toured the Palm Springs Vintage Market (a haven for all things retro and vintage, open-air market, bought some cool posters, t-shirts and tea towels)
  • had drinks at Boozehounds (cool bar that people bring their dogs to, chatted with some models from LA that were in town filming for Nieman Marcus)
  • shopped at Mojave Flea Trading Post (great selection of high-quality vendors where I bought a variety of items)
  • had drinks at Bootlegger Tiki (old fashioned tiki-style bar, fun quaint atmosphere)
  • visited the Palm Springs Popsicle Art exhibit, which features five hands holding up five different varieties of popsicles
  • hiked the Andreas and Palm Canyon trails which are lush oasis filled with 150 species of plants, palm trees, rock formations, birds, and other wildlife
  • toured Moorten’s Botanical Garden (an amazing number of cacti)
  • toured Old Town La Quinta (not many shops and not the old historic area that I assumed it would be)

 

 

Background:

  • Palm Springs is located in the Sonoran Desert of Southern California in the Coachella Valley
  • the name originated from seeing hot springs oasis with palm trees around it
  • it was originally known as Agua Caliente (meaning hot water), then Palm Valley, then Palm Springs
  • it is known for its warm and sunny climate, stylish hotels, golf courses, and spas
  • population of 50,000 people in Palm Springs and 500,000 in Greater Palm Springs
  • there are numerous other communities adjacent to Palm Springs (Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indio, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Coachella)

 

 

What did we not do that is on the agenda for next time:

  • tour the Sunnylands Center and Gardens
  • tour The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
  • check out Ruth Hardy Park
  • hike other trails (Chuckwalla, McCallum Grove, Pushwalla Palms, and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve)
  • play pickleball, tennis, and golf
  • cruise the streets of Deepwell to check out the retro houses
  • check out other local events
  • drive to the coast (L.A., San Diego, Laguna, etc.)
  • check out other areas/towns around Palm Springs
  • dine at Grill-A-Burger in Palm Desert (owned by a chap from YYC)

 

 

Final thoughts:

  • the weather was spectacular, with high’s around 30C and low’s in the mid-teens
  • Palm Springs has plenty of variety of events and sporting activities to keep a person as busy as they want to be

 

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