Tag Archives: California

Palm Springs 2016 (3/3)

[Click here to read Day 1 or Day 2.]

Day 3

On Thursday, we enjoyed a slow, peaceful morning on the patio before venturing out to explore the thrift shops and antique stores in Rancho Mirage. We didn’t buy much, but had a nice time anyway. We ended up in downtown Palm Springs at the end of our shopping excursion, where we visited Great Shakes to cool off with a Date Shake and a Blueberry Hill shake (blueberry, lemon, and lavender).

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We sipped our shakes and wandered the streets. Near the Chamber of Commerce, we came across a tiny, historical general store. It was once a private collection of original goods and products dating from the 1800s through the 1940s. Now, the collection can be viewed for just 95 cents per entry.

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We drove back to the condo to enjoy leftovers for lunch. We soaked up some more sun on the patio and then ventured out to a nearby hiking trail known as the “Bump and Grind”.

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It was very steep walking, but the view was beautiful.

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When we returned, I went for a run before our dinner at Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza. There, we enjoyed some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, followed by mini donuts for dessert.

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On our route home, we drove through the El Paseo Shopping District to admire the fancy storefronts and the unique artwork along the streets.

Before bed, I packed my luggage. Our fourth and final day was mostly travel: driving our rental car back to the Ontario airport and flying through Vegas to Detroit. Everything went smoothly in spite of high wind advisories in the Midwest, and we arrived back home in Perrysburg around 1am.

It was a wonderful getaway!

Palm Springs 2016 (2/3)

[Click here to read Day 1.]

Day 2

Paul seemed to have no problem adjusting to the three hour difference between the time zones, but my body decided I needed to wake up every day by at least 4:30am — which was 7:30am back home. I dozed in bed or spent time on the internet each morning until Paul woke up.

The good news is that I won’t have any trouble adjusting back to the Eastern time zone when we get back!

On Day 2 (Wednesday), we spent the majority of the day at the Joshua Tree National Park. We left around 8am to drive 45 minutes to the park’s south entrance.

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The park features the meeting of two different deserts: the Colorado Desert and the Mohave Desert. Each desert features a unique type of vegetation. It was neat to see the progression of change in the sights as we drove through the park. First, here are the photos of the Colorado Desert.

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Close up of a cactus.

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At various points during the drive, there are pull-offs, some with hiking trails of 15 minutes to 3 hours.

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We saw a lizard. 🙂

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This trail featured “Skull Rock.”

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At this point, we entered the Mohave Desert, which means we started seeing Joshua Trees!

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A desert flower.

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This pull-off area, Keys View, featured an elevation of 5185 feet. We could see Palm Springs and the San Andreas Fault in the distance.

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My favorite area was Barker Dam. Here, early settlers had built a dam for their cattle.

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During the hike to the dam, we also got a view of hieroglyphs on the cliff.

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The Joshua Trees are all so unique!

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We left the park through the west entrance. Below is a map of our drive through the park (click to enlarge).

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We drove an hour to get back into Palm Springs and then made a quick stop at a little sandwich shop called The Sandwich Spot to split a sandwich. We ordered the Djokovich: turkey, bacon, avocado, cheddar, and a garlic vinaigrette on Dutch Crunch bread. It was a fantastic sandwich!

Back at Grandma’s condo, we chatted on the patio for awhile. I decided to go for a short run while Paul decided to squeeze some fresh lemonade. The many fruit trees within Grandma’s country club feature oranges, grapefruit, lemons, kumquat, and clementines — and it’s all free for the taking to anyone in the community.

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After a shower and lemonade, we went to Talay Thai-Dim Sum Restaurant to enjoy some Thai food. The Yellow Curry was to die for, but we also enjoyed sharing Pineapple Fried Rice and Drunken Noodles.

Back at the condo, we enjoyed each other’s company in the living room and chatted.

Click here for Day 3.

Palm Springs 2016 (1/3)

Paul and I just got back from a lovely — albeit too short — trip to Palm Springs, California. Having $400 worth in travel vouchers about to expire prompted us to schedule the trip! Paul’s grandma lives out here during the winter, so we were thrilled to be able to visit and stay with her.

What follows is our travel journal of this trip.

Pseudo-Day 1

Our flight was supposed to fly out on Monday morning on February 15; however, we were very disappointed to encounter a horrendously long line at the Southwest Airlines counter. We quickly learned that the reason for the huge backup was due to dozens of travelers in need of rebooked flights because of a snow storm that passed through Chicago overnight. Unfortunately, those necessary rebookings caused many other travelers to get stuck in line unable to check their bags, and therefore miss their flights.

This is exactly what happened to us. Despite arriving at the airport at 6:15am for a 7:30am flight, we stood waiting in line with our bag until 10am before reaching the counter. The clerk rebooked us for the next earliest flight, which was the following day at 6:30am.

We took the shuttle back to our car with disappointment, but we resolved to make a fun day out of our Monday off nonetheless. We decided to spend the night with Paul’s mom in Ypsilanti so we wouldn’t have to travel far to get to the Detroit airport in the morning.

Using my iPhone, I searched for thrift stores and antique stores in the area. We visited a few interesting stores and came home with a assortment of old buttons and an old sewing machine drawer to use for decoration.

For lunch, we found a Cuban restaurant in Ann Arbor called Frita Batidos. Paul ordered a frita (a frita is a Cuban version of the American hamburger: with chorizo sausage mixed in the hamburger and fries on the burger) and I ordered a pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich.  On the side, we enjoyed crispy plantains and churros. And, of course, a coconut cream Batidos to drink (a milky frozen treat).

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After lunch, we went to Paul’s mom’s house to relax. We spent the evening with our nephew, Tyler, and went to bed early in anticipation of an early wake-up the next morning. Before bed, having learned our lesson, we repackaged our clothing into a carry-on sized bag.  🙂

Day 1

We left for the Detroit airport at 3:30am, armed with only carry-on bags. We got through security in record time and were pleased to have plenty of time to kill at the gate before boarding.

We had a short layover in Denver and then landed in Ontario, California at noon. An airport shuttle took us to the rental car area, where we picked up our reserved rental car: a 2016 Ford Fiesta hatchback in red.

The drive from Ontario to Palm Springs was just over an hour. During the drive, we admired the sun, warm temperature, palm trees, and windmills.

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Palm Springs (and specifically, Rancho Mirage) is located in the Coachella Valley. Being neatly surrounded by mountains means that the weather is very consistent — it is rare to get a rain shower and the skies seem always to be blue. Palm Springs does experience seasons — although it is during the scorching summers when locals avoid being outside and driving in the heat.

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Paul’s grandma owns a lovely condo within the Rancho Las Palmas Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

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We were hungry for lunch, so we went out to the restaurant at the Desert Willow Country Club — Grandma’s favorite place.

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Paul ordered a gourmet hamburger while grandma and I enjoyed their outstanding Monte Cristo. It was the best Monte Cristo I’ve ever had!

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We enjoyed the lovely view overlooking the golf course as we ate.

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Back at grandma’s condo, we enjoyed the sunshine from the back patio and watched the golfers tee off.

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After a quick nap, Grandma made a dinner of chili and salad, with brownie and gelato for dessert.

For the rest of the evening, we relaxed on the patio, walked around at the outdoor shopping area across the street, sat in the hot tub, and chatted in the living room. This is what vacation is made of — relaxation!

Click here for Day 2.

Trip to Cali PART 6:

March 17-19
Our last few days:

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Exploring the golf course some more…

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Eating lunch at The Willows country club.  What a menu!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Fresh lemonade.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

It’s nice to be outdoors!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Lemonade.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

My hubby’s salad came with a pretty orchid.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Such a gorgeous view!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

I put the orchid in my hair.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Back home, out on the patio.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

The view out towards the golf course.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Paul found the fruit picker could also be a vicious weapon.  :]

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

We spent quite a few afternoons soaking up the sun by the pool.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Another flower!  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Another sunset!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Another trip around the golf course!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

The door to grandma’s.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Another outdoor shopping center, where we ate lunch before we headed back to the airport.  They have OUTDOOR escalators!!  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Palm trees and mountains.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Inside the airport.  It’s refreshing to be indoors yet outdoors at the same time, especially in a busy place like an airport!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Looking up at the airport…cool!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

What a trip!!!!  We hope to come back soon!  :]  

Trip to Cali PART 5: The Aerial Tram

On 3/15, we drove to the Palm Springs Aerial Tram.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

It was a little bit of a drive…

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

I didn’t get very many good pictures on the way up the mountain….too crowded.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Here we are at the top!  What a view of the valley!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

My hubby admires the view.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

There were trails to explore too.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

I found a great big pinecone!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

And a big tree.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

My hubby is so strong, he was able to push that big tree….just a little!  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

It was a little chilly up there on the mountain, but the sun helped keep us warm!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

There was snow up there too……ahhhhhh!  Reminders of winter back home!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

I walked between this giant log.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Awwww, my happy hubby.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

He’s showing off more of his strength.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Mountain flowers.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Rocky. 

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Back towards the building/tram.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Now we’re on our way back down the mountain on the tram!  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

I was able to get much better pictures this time.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Pictures just don’t do it justice. 

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

You can see the entire valley from up here.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Wind farms.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali
From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

The tram has a floor that slowly moves, allowing everyone to get a 350-degree view of the scene!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

We’re almost back to the bottom!  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

This is the tram.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Safely at the bottom once more, we got a picture together using the camera’s timer.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

See the little salamander??

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Driving back down the mountain.  

Trip to Cali PART 4: Squeezing Oranges

A STORY:  Squeezing Oranges

One day, my hubby decided to make freshly squeezed orange juice.  I decided to help — mostly by taking pictures.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

We picked lots of oranges and tangerines.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

We brought them inside.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Mmmmm!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

We did it the old-fashioned way — by hand. 

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

After lots of hard work….look how much we made!   

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

And look how much of a mess we made!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

It was lots of hard work, but let me tell you, it was sooooooo delicious.  :]

Trip to Cali PART 2: Airport, picking oranges, and shopping

Here’s our first view of sunny California, outside the airport:

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Let me tell ya, it’s love at first sight!!!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

My hobby is reaching to pick an orange.

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

And there it is!  He’s so proud.  

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Palm trees!!!!  :]

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

This is an outdoor shopping mall.  I wish all malls could be like this!

From 2008 03/14-19 Trip to Cali

Just beautiful.  (p.s. – not a real crane)