We only went for one night, but it was so nice to getaway. The drive out there wasn’t too bad either! I think it only took us 90 minutes, and we left right after we dropped Oliver off at school at 9:00am. Since we got there way before check-in, we popped over next door to the hotel to Cheeky’s for breakfast. This place is super popular and the wait to get a table can be really long. You write your name on the clipboard and just wait…but oh em gee. It’s sooooo good!
Afterward, we decided to walk the strip aka Palm Canyon Drive. Notable stops include: Destination PSP, Desert of Hats, and just about every single thrift shop where you can peruse glitzy, sequined items that belonged to the old ladies of the desert. If you’re walking around and looking for a restroom (like I was), if you buy something at the Starbucks, they’ll give you the key code for their clean restroom. I suppose you could always hop in the Hyatt’s lobby and use one of theirs as well.
We still had some time to kill before check in, so we walked back to our car (Alacazar has free self-parking, you just need a placard that they give you to put on your dashboard) and drove over to the local CVS to pick up sunblock (because we always forget to pack it), water bottles, and a bottle of rum 🙂 Then, because I’m a basic b***h, we looked up where the “That Pink Door” house was and it wasn’t far at all! Driving around that neighborhood was so cool! I loved all of the mid-century modern architecture and I told Chris that we should do our winters in Palm Springs (cause I’m so bougie like that).
Then I was on a mid-century mod/exploring kick, so I navigated us over to the Parker Palm Springs so we could check it out. It’s valet parking, so Chris being Chris, found a spot on the street and we hoofed it inside like some bums. Yes, I’m being passive aggressive. When we go to Walt Disney World, we love spending time checking out the other resorts on property just walking around, finding places to chill out and people watch. I don’t think we really wander around other hotels like Best Westerns, etc., but when we’re nearby a really neat hotel we always poke our heads in (oh, like the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego!). Okay, so the Parker is amazing! If we had a couple hundred more bucks to spare, I’d love to spend a night or two here. Chris wasn’t that impressed from the front (it’s just their iconic white breezeway wall), but the lobby is totally mid-century modern/California eclectic cool!
Now, once you reach the outside, that’s where it gets even better. There are all these secret garden areas where you can find sitting areas, hammocks, bocce ball, swimming pools, a lemonade stand, and more. I had to Google Earth it for you so you can see it from overhead:
So we meandered around there for a good while and then headed back to Alcazar to check in! Our room was awesome! It was exactly what I wanted: crisp white with a fireplace and double doors that led to our private patio. Finally it was time for me to relax! I ditched Chris and headed to lay out by the pool with my book I had been dying to read, “The River at Night.” But first I stopped at the lobby to buy a Buzzbox (I got a Greyhound, my favorite drink of choice :)) The pool area was a little crowded, but quiet. They had nice, fluffy blue and white towels and a large carafe of ice water. Soothing (but not too soothing like at a spa) music was playing over the speakers, and the average age of the guests was probably 40. I saw one kid there who was maybe around Piper’s age (so under a year old). There weren’t a bunch of hipsters partying or laying out. I didn’t feel self conscious in my mom style swimsuit dress.
I must have been out there for a couple hours until I noticed the sun had gone down over the mountain and I was comfy huddled under my towel. I looked up from my book (which was soooooooooooo good) and there was only one other woman still in the pool area sitting next to me, also reading a book. I went back to the room to find Chris laying down watching Shark Tank by the fire. We got dressed and headed back out to the street for dinner at Las Casuelas Terraza. We ate there years ago with our old friends Candace and Sean (who live out there) and we loved it. The wait for a table was an hour, but there just happened to be a street fair going on so we stayed occupied looking at all the booths and enjoying the live music.
After dinner (and some very boozy margaritas) we walked back to our hotel to enjoy the hot tub before calling it a night.
The next morning we were up early (why can’t I just sleep in?!?!? Why won’t my brain let me?!?) and we went back to Cheeky’s (!) for breakfast. This time we got there right before it opened and we were third in line 🙂 Second time was just as good, if not better!
We had a couple more hours until check out, so I went back to the pool area to finish my book. I was sad to check out, I didn’t want to leave. I wish we had booked one more night. I could’ve used some more time to just sit and do nothing 😛
Our friend Sean had commented on one of my Instagram posts that we needed to check out the Mirage house as part of the Desert X art collection. So after we checked out, we drove over to the house, but the guard wouldn’t let us in until after 3:30pm, but that was fine because we had tickets for the Palm Springs aerial tramway that we needed to get to. I’ll sum this next part up somewhat quickly…if you’re afraid of heights, you’re going to hate the tram. Especially if your tram is packed like sardines. The flight up the mountain takes about 10 minutes and the floor of the tram rotates (slowly). And each time you pass a tower the tram swings and everyone gasps. Or in my case, cries.
The top of the mountain is beautiful. There were trees and snow everywhere. The hiking trails were covered with snow and were very icy. I have a horrible sense of balance and I knew I wouldn’t last 20 yards before slipping. So I plopped down on a table and waited for Chris to wander around and take pictures. It’s a very beautiful, mountain-y area. I was surprised at how many tourists there were (especially foreign tourists). We had a snack back at the lodge before going back down the tram (and no, I didn’t cry this time).
It was just about 3:30, so we went back to the Mirage house and it really was a sight to see. The whole house is covered in mirrors, inside and out. It’s like a fun house gone extreme. I really would recommend you see it, although I don’t know how long it’ll be there.
On the way home we made a stop at the Cabazon dinosaurs for a quick photo op and then at Morongo to check out their casino. We gave ourselves $40 to gamble with and ended up leaving with $80!
I was happy to make it home to see my babies, but I wish our vacation had lasted a bit longer. I had said that I wanted a getaway where I did absolutely nothing, but once again we ended up ‘doing stuff’ since I felt guilty 1) because I know Chris doesn’t want to just sit around and 2) because I don’t really want to waste my money just sitting by a pool. But now, the more I think about it, I think I may want to take a vacation by myself. The other night I was watching an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ and it was a classic one where Marge goes cuckoo and she takes a vacation by herself to Rancho Relaxo.
I know I literally just had a vacation, but I’m seriously considering it. My family (and myself included) may think I’m being selfish, but I would love some time away, guilt-free. I’m thinking about the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad. Thoughts? Have you ever taken a solo vacay?