Seven Hours in Palm Springs

You know what’s about an hour’s drive of Joshua Tree? Okay, let me give you a hint. Two words. The first starts with a P. The second word contains the name of a season. Yep, Palm Springs!

Ah, Palm Springs. This place makes my heart sing happy songs. Bright colors. Retro style. And of course home of that awesome cactarium I was telling you guys about. Not to mention time seems to pass just a tad bit slower here in this part of the desert. Can you fall in love with a place in just a few hours? My head is nodding yes. Ironically, we had the least amount of time here — all in all we were only in this area for seven hours, as we came here on a day trip from Joshua Tree — and yet the majority of our photos from this weekend getaway were snapped in Palm Springs. I guess we got a bit snappy happy. But can you blame us?

We didn’t really know what to expect, as neither one of us had ever visited this area before. Yet, this place was just as vibrant and flamboyant as I imagined. Very animated. Yes, there can be wafts of pretentiousness in the air depending on which streets you wander down, but then again, it is called Hollywood’s hideaway. To paint a better picture, think stylish hotels, trendy vintage boutiques, and of course hot springs and spas. But as long as you have your fancy-pants blinders on, this dreamy desert fantasy land is quite enjoyable and serves as a nice escape from reality. Oh, and if you adore mid-century architecture then this place is calling your name. What’s funny about Palm Springs is that it pops up out of nowhere in the desert. You’ll be driving along the road and then POOF! You haven’t just arrived, you’ve traveled back in time and landed in the 60’s. Mad Men, anyone?

While sipping pretty cocktails by the pool did sound nice, since Derek and I were only here for just a few hours, we skipped the lounging scene and instead stuck to the plan. Our mission: to find as many bright painted doors as possible.

If you’re familiar with this area then you know your trip wouldn’t be complete without driving past that “famous” pink door. Okay friends, confession time. After reading blog post after blog post, we finally uncovered this door is located in the Indian Canyon neighborhood. Now, let me put an emphasis on the word neighborhood. I say that because Derek and I found ourselves waiting in a rather long line of cars to enter Indian Canyons. I remember turning my head to him asking, “Is this really the right place!? Is this house that popular that people are waiting in line to drive by it?” Ten minutes later we discovered what we were in line for was NOT the entrance to this neighborhood, but instead an entrance to a nature preserve. HA — I know. I still laugh thinking about the moment we made the realization. Luckily, our compact-car rental literally turned on a dime so we backed that thing up and headed to the actual Indian Canyon neighborhood.

And there she was, located on 1100 Sierra Drive for anyone who is wondering. That blush pink door sure was pretty, but what really stole my heart were the long-legged palm trees planted in the front yard. Now, those were a real beauty!

Palm Springs. The place where it is completely socially acceptable to take random photos in front of other people’s private homes. Or, at least that’s what we told ourselves…

We made a quick stop to The Saguaro — aka the rainbow hotel — to check out that colorful poolside. Is it weird to visit a hotel just to see the pool, especially given the fact that you’re not even a guest there? Since we were those people, I’m going to vote no.

We were going to grab a bite to eat at Kings Highway but the wait ended up being too long. However, I now know why so many people recommend this place. I’m not sure about the food, but the quirky decor and roadside-diner type of atmosphere made for good vibes. Not to mention there is a photo-booth in the back!

Have you guys ever heard of Modernism Week? Yeah, we hadn’t either until a coworker brought up it would be taking place during the time we were visiting Palm Springs. The mission of this week is to celebrate and foster appreciation for mid-century architecture and design. One of the main events is the Christopher Kennedy Compound Home Tour. “What’s that?” you might be asking yourself. After reading about more about it, I discovered this event brings together 20 designers around the nation to design and create unique rooms in the showcase house.

We thought it’d be a fun way to see all the different designs, as well as a behind-the-scenes look inside a Palm Springs home, so we ended up buying tickets. The tickets were well worth the purchase. So many eclectic designs all under one roof. Everything — and I mean everything — was photogenic. One of my favorite parts of the entire house was this deck below. Quirky, right?

In one of the bathrooms, there were about a dozen bottles of champagne chilling on ice. Now, I don’t know about you, but that is one kind of bubble bath I can appreciate!!

#PalmSpringsDream

I’ve got to hand it to Palm Springs. This place sure knows how to deliver that laid-back feel. While we spent the afternoon riding around daydreaming about which homes we’d own — ANY of them, right!? — it was one of the most relaxing times of the entire weekend.

Quick question: Why is it that when you’re driving for hours at a time — in my case, riding — your stomach works up the biggest appetite? I mean, it’s not like I’m burning that many calories just sitting in the passenger sit daydreaming out of the window. And yet, somehow my stomach still finds a way to cry for another snack. Snackie problems.

Fast forward to when we made a quick detour to Great Shakes and said hello to this hand-spun banana-caramel milkshake. Is it just me, or is that mini donut hanging on the jumbo straw not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, or eaten!? The milkshake was sinfully delicious, too.

It didn’t take long for us to realize Palm Springs is certainly a unique place to visit. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a town quite like this one. If you’re looking for a ultra chill, sun-filled sabbatical, well this might just be the perfect match.

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