Day 4, continued – Road-trippin’
Where I left off with recounting of my LA adventures, I was about to make the trip east toward Palm Springs while the rest of the country was watching the Super Bowl. The traffic wasn’t bad, and I entertained myself by catching up on podcasts – getting up to speed on all the crazy events that had transpired during the couple of days I had stopped listening to the news. The skies were still gray, until just outside Palm Springs. The sun was starting to set a bit as I came upon a massive field of windmills.
There sun beams cutting through a a ever-so-slight mist. It was complete magic. And it filled me with excitement about the days to come. Driving into Palm Springs had a similar effect. The city’s architecture… GUH. You can squint a little, ignoring the modern 7-Eleven and such, and imagine that you’re living in the 50s.
I arrived at my home for the next few days – The Alcazar – and quickly sunk into the plush bed to sleep. I’d decided to treat myself a LITTLE more than the budget hotel I’d stayed at in LA, though I managed to score 3 nights for the price of 2, so it wasn’t too much of a splurge. If you’re thinking about visiting Palm Springs, The Ace Hotel is likely an obvious consideration, as well as the even more expensive Parker. I considered the Ace, and visited the Parker while I was there (more on that later), but settled on The Alcazar because it seemed like the perfect option for a little bit of luxury without a huge price tag. This isn’t sponsored. Just wanted to pass along the recommendation. 🙂 It was nicely situated as well, in the Uptown Design District – within walking distance of lots of great shops and restaurants.
Day 5 – Architecture
I woke up READY for an awesome day – knowing I was going to start it off with a delicious breakfast at Cheeky’s (a choice decided upon through research, and then 100% confirmed when I found out that it is one of the restaurants housed at The Alcazar – so, steps outside my door), and then I was going to enjoy a three hour MCM architecture tour. But first – I needed to find coffee. If you read the LA post, you know I was trying to stay on Eastern time so I was up at 4 (ish), and the hotel didn’t start serving coffee until 7:30. A LIFETIME away. I walked a couple of blocks down the road to Ernest Coffee and enjoyed a latte and some laptop time. I should mention – Ernest Coffee is connected to an iconic tiki bar called Bootlegger Tiki, and if you enjoy delicious coconut drinks and such, it’s worth checking out.
Breakfast at Cheeky’s was yum, and I creepily watched the couples and families sitting around me – constructing stories about them. I decided that the dad of the family to my right was a big-shot movie producer, and the older couple to my left were vacationing in the U.S. but from Europe. When you’re traveling alone, you find interesting ways to amuse yourself.
Next came the architecture tour, part of which I’ve already posted about here. It was given by a gentleman named Robert, one of the founders of Modernism Week. It was obvious he LOVES MCM architecture and design, and I learned a lot. Plus, I was a little star-struck because I was in a car with one of the FOUNDERS OF MODERNISM WEEK, ONLY THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!
After the tour wrapped up, I spent a little bit of time on the outskirts of desert – driving up toward the aerial tram to get views, and exploring some of the other nature available that wasn’t too far from city proper. The landscape there is something to behold. Truly.
Next, I hopped in my car and went back to a couple of the neighborhoods we’d breezed through – taking the opportunity to go back to certain houses I’d liked a lot and grab photographs. I’ll be blogging more about that soon. Lurking outside people’s homes works up an appetite, and I grabbed lunch/dinner at the highly recommended mexican restaurant called El Mirasol.
By this time in the trip, I was excited to move at a slightly slower pace, so after a couple more stops (vintage stores) I went back to the hotel to sit by the pool and relax.
Oh. don’t worry. I’m not skipping over the vintage shops narrative. But, to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled. I went to the Frippery, Gypsyland Thrift, and Angel View. Selections just seemed to be really expensive (but pristine and designer) or really picked over. It just wasn’t my scene. I love vintage, but it doesn’t have to be in mint condition or designer. In fact, I’d prefer that it not be. Unless I can score those in the “wild” (at goodwill or something where the store doesn’t know what they’ve got and therefore it isn’t priced accordingly.) To my surprise, I preferred the vintage in LA to the vintage in Palm Springs. As for the furniture shops, which I haven’t listed here because I just popped in random ones walking through the Uptown Design District, they had some really incredible stuff, which I enjoyed in the same way I would enjoy a museum. I knew I wouldn’t be taking anything home.
Day 6 – Wandering and Wrapping Up
My original idea for the day was to go to Joshua Tree. I fell in love with the desert landscape, and wanted to see more of it. However, I knew the following day would be a lot of travel, and I was tired of being in the car. Joshua Tree is about an hour out, but I’d learned that with traffic everything takes much longer than forecasted. So, I stayed in town and just poked around. I grabbed a smoothie at Koffi North and walked (ahem strutted, because it was sunny and warm and I was wearing green cowboy boots) down the North Palm Canyon Drive stretch to the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center. The Center is housed in an old bank building (Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan) designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1961, and the exhibition at the time of my visit was interpretations of classic MCM designs. It was thought provoking. A hoodie attached to an Eames Lounge Chair. For instance. It nagged at me a little, but I think interesting art does that.
Then I lunched at Reservoir next to a gorgeous pool, and had my first ice cream cone of the year at Ice Cream and Shop(pe). The rest of the afternoon was spent driving (and walking) through neighborhoods filled to the brim with amazing houses, and popping in at Parker (mentioned earlier) just to check it out. I’d heard it was fun to experience. In the evening I ordered takeout thai, packed, and hit my early bedtime.
And that’s it, folks! Thanks for reading through my travel accounts, and I hope that if you get out to LA and Palm Springs sometime, my recommendations will be helpful to you.