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Palm Springs

Last weekend, Mike & I took a long weekend to visit Palm Springs, California.  How/Why?  I've been wanting to visit Palm Springs and on a whim about a month ago I looked at flights.  There were flights from Chicago to LA for $200!

We stayed in the town over to save some money.  If I had all the money I would stay at El Saguaro.  For sure!  It's nickname is the rainbow hotel.  We stayed at a Residence Inn with free breakfast. :) Budget travel...from hotwire.

We tried to squeeze in a lot of activities in little time.  Relaxation through movement.  Here's a little recap if you'd like to see.

Let's start with El Saguaro since I already mentioned it above.  It's nickname "the rainbow hotel" is no joke.  I loved it and would stay there in a heartbeat.  We ended up just walking around the lobby and having lunch at their restaurant.

We walked around their downtown and then drove through the fancy neighborhood as close to the mountains as you can get.  Mike was searching for the old hollywood star's houses and I tried to navigate.  (It appears I didn't take any photos of the houses.  If you'd like to see any, just ask Mike... There were some really cool ones.)

We took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is actually really cool.  It was created in the 1930s on a hot, summer day when electrical engineer, Francis F. Cocker, looked to the top of the mountains and said he wished he could get up there.  And so it began.
The thing was not summer when we were there.  The temperature at the top was 32 degrees and there was a wind warning...  We were not prepared for this drastic weather change.  And the funny thing is, as Mike noted, we likely had more winter clothing in our hotel room (from our walk to the eL) than most people there (who were all bundled up) owned.  
We survived.
 cold cold cold - there's ice on the ground

hey palm springs
We checked out Coachella Valley Brewing Company.  We got our usual flight to share.  I clearly was NOT paying attention and chose a 20% beer.  20%!  Which Mike took one sip of and said it was mine.  So after my sample (5oz I think) I was definitely feeling it.

My favorite meal may have been our brunch at Cheeky's.  It was amazing.  Note: we got there 20 minutes after they opened and got one of the last tables.  It didn't take long for the line waiting to grow.  It was so good!
Mike's bacon flight.  Check out those flavors!


This area has so many hiking options.  We were planning to only spend one day hiking, but then we tacked on another place because it was so cool and fun.  Note: we were a bit caught off guard that we had to pay for each hiking site.  Just because we're not used to it.  As we thought about it though, National Parks, Reservations preserving lands are organizations we want to support anyway.

Likely because we were there during the off season, we almost had the trails to ourselves!

Aqua Caliente Tahquiz
This was our first stop.  It drizzled the day before so they were having flooding.  #desert  They recommended we stay on the left route the whole way even though it's a loop.  Hike to the waterfall, turn around.  We got to the waterfall though and looked at the crossing and decided to go for the other side so we could see it too.  It was a bit muddy, but really not bad at all.
Mike is serious about photos

do you see Mike?

Joshua Tree National Park
I'm not going to lie.  This was a trek (maybe an hour driving).  We didn't have a ton of time with the sun setting at 5. We could have easily spent a day+ exploring here.  They have a ton of trails and people camp out too.
Mike: Wouldn't it be fun to camp here.
Me: You hate camping.  You want to camp?
Mike: For one night.  Here.

We spent the most time at Keys View and Forty-nine Palms trail.  At forty-nine palms we hiked up, down, around and the end of the trail is a surprising collection of palm trees.  It was really beautiful.

Indian Canyons
Mike honestly tacked this one on to the list because he saw a postcard with a picture of a car by the split rock.
It was a really fun hiking place too.  You could probably spend a day here too!  We opted for the Victor Trail and the Andreas Canyon Loop.  Amazing.  It was the perfect way to close out Palm Springs.

we made it
Salvation Mountain
This was a truly interesting experience.  It's honestly so hard to explain through words or even photos.  This was high on my list in the area so we hopped in the car for the 1 1/2 hour drive there (and back).  It was just amazing though.  As we walked around and explored this (still developing) art area, we met really nice people and looked over at the surrounding campers of people who just hang out there for awhile.  At one point Mike ignored a question I asked and when I gave him a look he said, "I'm listening to the hippies talk."  There were a lot of "hippies" there and it was amazing.
On the way back to Palm Springs we had to stop pause at a Border Patrol check point where we were waved through.  I was annoyed by the whole thing.  This may have influenced Mike donating to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in my name for part of my Christmas gift.

I'm going to do a bit of clumping here...
We headed back to LA Sunday night, stoping at the famous (?) dinosaurs on the way.  We stayed in Venice Beach and ate dinner on the ocean.  It was very lovely.
Monday we grabbed some breakfast and made our way to Warner Brothers for a studio tour.  I didn't know most of what they were talking about, but I did get to see Ellen's set and Mike really enjoyed it.

I just really love the vibes in SoCal.  Although my friend did remind me that "people are not real".  As a tourist it's so lovely though.  


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