Back in March Josh & I spent some time in Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, CA.. I posted some JT stuff here, so now on to a PS re-cap! (Is today abbreviation day?)
We started out with this map and it was worth every penny. It highlighted different neighborhoods and specific homes/buildings of interest from an architectural point of view. You know how people say that you should just drive around and “look at the houses/neighborhoods” in Palm Springs? It’s even more than that. I mean I’m an amateur lurker in general. Here, it’s like, WHAT YOU DO.
I had no qualms about unabashedly aiming cameras at people’s houses, sitting on stoops for pictures (oh gosh), walking up a driveway to get a second look at landscaping, etc. Definitely against the laws of etiquette but I stand behind my actions.
I wasn’t the only one. cough JOSH cough
Seriously though, there were more. We kept bumping into fellow lurkers and it was pretty funny.
It’s a small enough town that we saw a lot of it, even though we were only there for a few days.
We couldn’t have gone at a better time – everything was blooming. It was heaven for the eyeballs, especially since we were still in the post-winter, pre-spring slump at home in Michigan. Big beautiful blooms everywhere just radiated joy and life. Josh & I rarely travel during the winter months so this was a real treat. I think I soaked in the color as much as I soaked in the sun.
Our backyard pool at the Airbnb we rented. This post is getting hard to write. #TakeMeBack
Oddly enough, we did very little shopping. Beforehand we expected to do more but we were there on Easter weekend and lots of things were closed on the days we needed them to be open, scheduling, blah blah blah .. The shopping we DID do, though, blew our minds. This store below was like a high end museum of everything we’re interested in. Usually we’ll see one or two things like that and a bunch of stuff we’re not too interested in. It was like they got inside our minds and then exploded them. (Too much?)
The store I’m talking about is A La Mod, check it out!
I can’t say enough about how inspired by/fascinated by the landscaping I was as we toured the neighborhoods. Probably as much as the houses, or more? Desert landscaping is just the bee’s knees.
The iconic visitor center (originally a gas station) is where we got info on touristy stuff. If you’ve been around this blog for long you’ll know that I looove touristy things. The cheesier the better!
Our favorite “touristy” activity was getting up early one morning (like, before coffee early) and taking the tram up the mountain. I’m so glad we did, it was quite the experience! If you ever go, GO EARLY. The best advice we got. Not sure we would’ve enjoyed it much if we had to wait in long lines and contend with crowds.
I think the top of the tram is at 8,500 feet. It was cold and we walked on a path through snow, which is significantly less thrilling when you’re in the desert to leave snow behind in the first place. Ha. I have two pictures on my camera of my feet – one in the snow, and the next picture was 2 hours later of bare feet on the edge of our pool in the heat. So bizarre!
The “little hike” we did up top was a big challenge for me. I definitely felt the thin air, and to get to this area (below) we had to walk down a long STEEP switchback. Coming back up was the biggest challenge and I kept getting winded and having to stop. It wasn’t my favorite – I don’t like being reminded of my limitations with breathing, especially not in public. But I’m still glad we did it!
It was about 40 degrees that morning and of course I had refused to bring winter gear on the trip and basically froze… and I can see you rolling your eyes through the screen, Mom.
We really liked seeing the Coachella Valley from the mountain (off toward the top/right in the pic below, in the distance), especially since we had just seen it from the other side at Joshua Tree days earlier. Nothing like bringing the ol’ map to life in 3-D!
Back to neighborhood lurking. That topiary tree spoke to my heart. Loudly.
We were able to meet some friends of the Brandsens for dinner one night, which was really fun (Hi Mike and Vicki!), and every night we came back to our own little oasis.
Needless to say, we can’t get back there soon enough. You know how sometimes you go somewhere and you’re like, okay, crossed it off the list! This was more like, okay, put it right back ON the list. I’m really grateful that this trip came when it did (after a hard winter health-wise) and that it was such a boost in life-living. We’ve been wanting to go to Palm Springs for YEARS and it happened just right!
Anyway, I made a video of our time in Palm Springs so check it out if you want! It’s got some killer houses, some tram stuff, and a surprise at the end.