From LA to Palm Springs is roughly 1.5 hours away making it a fairly quick and painless get away. The only downfall is the heat. Something to be conscious of before traipsing out. Mind you, when it's not summer (or close to summer), it's not horrible. It's calm, serene and a great place to clear one's mind.
Enter: an impromptu trip with my friend, Bianca to do just that.
First stop was Doug Aitken's Art Installation "Mirage". A piece that profoundly describes the age we live in. A mirrored ranch style house made for every type of selfie possible. The crux to our social media era. We were not unique in our surroundings. We blended right in. There was no need to feel shy because each and every person lost the right the minute they pulled up to park.
But go beyond yourself for one minute and you will marvel at how beautiful it truly is, how each reflection creates an infinite desert. How the house itself becomes its own cloaking device. It took time and energy for the artist to make it come alive and it was effort well spent.
Selfie upon selfie, landscape upon landscape, reflection upon reflection until the desert heat began entombing us with it's embrace. Water became our new motivation and the hankering for food shortly followed. We bolted and made our way to Palm Greens Cafe.
We downed a couple glasses of water and ordered two hearty breakfast options for our first meal of the day.
It was everything I needed it to be. Hearty, full of protein, potatoes, starch and deliciousness. We ate till we couldn't eat anymore and then sat there with one pertinent thought on our minds, "What's next?"
It was too hot to walk around, too hot to shop, too hot to think, so what else does one do when you are in the desert?
We got down with our bad selves and bowled a couple rounds under the flowing AC units.
Little family fact, my grandparents owned a couple of bowling alleys in Los Angeles when I was younger and when I say younger, I mean they sold them by the time I turned 2. My siblings were fortunate enough to have it as a local spot, but for me, all I can remember is carpet and the underside of arcade games from when I sat on said carpet.
But to be as random as possible felt freeing and fun. We had no time table, no place to be and we were in sync in letting the day take us any which way.
As we came upon our last round, we made the move to head back to our room for some relaxation before our night time shenanigans.
The evening was going to be a mix & match of different stops and places. First up was the Ace Hotel for dinner at Kings Highway Diner–a first for both of us.
I don't have a picture of the meal, but I'll say the menu has options–very vegan friendly. Bianca had the Mushroom Chorizo & Potato Tacos while I had the Karma Burger and a side of fries. Everything was tasty and extremely flavorful. Mix that with the 1970's desert diner vibes and you know I'll be heading back next time I'm in town.
Even though I didn't take any pictures from dinner, the shot above can give you a sense of what the Ace Hotel ambiance is like. Think Pulp Fiction meets Gidget.
From there we headed to the Opening Weekend of my brother's new bar! Yup, my brother opened a pretty fabulous bar right off the strip.
Blackbook Bar exudes quality without arrogance. Open windows make it inviting and pragmatic–allowing for gentle daytime mist sprays or natural night time breezes. As well, the expansive menu was curated with everyone in mind INCLUDING vegans. From appetizers to salads to the Conscientious Objector Burger!
Yes! The exclusive Beyondmeat Beyond Burger is on the menu in PALM SPRINGS!
AND it's damn good! You have to give extra credit for the spots that go above and beyond.
I was happy, impressed, having wonderful conversations with bartenders and patrons while thoroughly enjoying the good food and drinks. This made the trip! But our evening wasn't over yet. We still had to see what the Palm Springs nightlife was like that evening.
We ventured to the Hard Rock Hotel and stumbled upon a change of pace. An amazing acoustic set by Cantau was calling us to the lobby bar. It was beautiful and I didn't want to move till the last set was played. During this Palm Springs trip, I was at a challenging time in my life which means the power of music can be hard to swallow at times. Music can evoke emotions and when you have enough emotions to hand out as party favors, you can't really take the depths of what music oozes. It can break you and it can rebuild you, but you have to be open and willing to accept it. As I listened to Cantau, I let the music in. It hurt at points, but it was also so pleasing I had to stay.
Below is a snip it. Excuse the crappy lighting, but in person, it completed the experience. So score one point for me for witnessing it live.
After Hard Rock we ventured to another spot on the strip, had a blast and then headed back to our hotel.
We took in the evening, the stars and the existential chats you only have after midnight.
As the sun rose bright the next morning, we thankfully were not aware till we wanted to be. Palm Springs admiringly recognizes the strength of that bright yellow star and most hotels come equipped with black out curtains.
Our trip was quick and we may have not tackled a few activities we would have liked, but we accomplished the goal. I laughed, I danced, I ate, I drank, I saw an art installation, I bowled, I tried new things in a place I've been a thousand times before and I went on road trip for the first time with my dear friend. It was what was needed in a time of need.
You don't always have to go far and spend a fortune to give yourself a break from the chaos that may be brewing. The truth is, it's hard sometimes. It's hard to adult. It's hard to have relationships. It's hard to deal with real life issues and it's hard to just breathe. It's not always an option to escape and if you can't, you learn to find the tools around you. Hiking, yoga, boxing, friends, family, affordable massage (or enlist your friend, spouse, lover, cat, whateva, to cut the price down to zero or a return massage), cooking, jumping on a trampoline, reading a new book, painting, museums, inviting friends over, going to an arcade, taking yourself out on a date or maybe even taking an online course.
It may not be immediate. One day at a time. I know for myself, my body let me knew when it had, had enough. It was a rude as hell wake up call and it screamed "Pay attention!"
I will. I will pay attention. I will adult, but I will incorporate what I need to not the let the chaos win. If the chaos win, what does that accomplish in the grand scheme of life? It doesn't matter how deep that hole goes, start clawing yourself out. There is light, even if you can't see it yet.
This comes from someone who is learning to find their balance again too. A new balance. A balance that works for me here and now. We all change and what worked for us before may not work for us now. We evolve, we grow, but the direction in which we grow depends on you.
On our way out of town, we stopped at a natural mart that carried the same exact necklace I was wearing. Palm Springs is alive and eerily, it sometimes feels like it knows you. That weekend, minus the heat. It did.
Until Fall Palm Springs.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email.