Happy New Year to you all! Thank you so much for continuously stopping by the blog on a regular basis! I'm so happy that you all are along on this journey called life with me!
I took a little time away from the blog to enjoy family during the Christmas holiday and to vacation in Southern California! This trip I visited Palm Springs, CA to ring in 2016 and take in some exciting activities and sites.
I have to be honest with you all because honesty is the best policy, right? Right. This "vacation" to Palm Springs was a little rough. For starters, I didn't really know much about Palm Springs other than the fact that Joshua Tree National Park is located there, it's somewhat of a retirement community and it's where Cochella is held annually. I just decided to come out on a whim because I liked my last California trip so much and a new friend of mine lives there! Although there are some fun outdoors things to do, the people aren't very friendly in my opinion. The only nice people I encountered were my amazing Airbnb hosts, the rental car attendants, my hotel's front desk concierge, and the waiters/waitresses at the restaurants I visited. Not saying that everyone in Palm Springs is rude, but they could definitely be a bit more hospitable.
But before I even landed in Palm Springs I had to deal with a 40 minute delay which lead to a late arrival/missed flight at my layover in Dallas. By the grace of God, I ended up on a later flight out and had the joy of sitting to this lovely elderly couple. We chit chatted for the first few hours of the flight and I even taught the lady how to play Candy Crush! They were so kind and made the trip so much more tolerable!
Palm Springs International Airport is slightly older but it's actually pretty cool looking! It's got these white tents set up all over the place, I'm assuming to help with the high temperatures and blinding sunlight? The sun was shining non-stop the entire time I was there!
After traveling all day I was relieved to finally make it to my Airbnb. Is this place not the cutest? My hosts, Bill & Louise were so nice and hospitable! I rented out their casita for a few days and I honestly did not want to leave! It was so comfy and cozy! If you're every traveling to the Palm Springs area, be sure to stay here and let them know Margo sent you!
After a little bit of shopping at the Desert Hill Premium Outlets in Cabazon, CA (a few miles northwest of Palm Springs and almost 200 luxury stores!!!) I made my way to the downtown area to grab a late dinner at La Bonita's. Whenever I travel, I typically use Yelp.com to help me decide where to eat and this place had great reviews. I ended up getting chicken tacos, refried pinto beans and rice. The chicken was slightly dry, but the portions are large. Overall, it's a tasty and fairly cheap- by Palm Springs standards- meal. Check it out!
I had a full day planned for Thursday so I started my morning early in the downtown Palm Springs area looking for breakfast! I honestly can not get over the mountain backdrop! They're both intimidating yet magical all at once.
Per my Yelp.com searches, I found Bit of Country in downtown Palm Springs for an easy yet filling breakfast.
I'm a lover of breakfast and I stick to what I know and love...and foods you can rarely mess up! Blueberry pancakes, bacon, eggs, and green tea! The atmosphere is very relaxed and the decor is kind of old school. The entire staff are very welcoming and provide excellent service! But my plate was a bit pricey...I paid just over $15 for my meal. Yikes!
After roaming downtown Palm Springs for a little while, I made my way to the first touristy site-- Moorten Botanical Garden. It's full of native desert plants, most being cacti and some succulents. $2 for kids and $4 for adults, so it's one of the cheapest activities in Palm Springs!
While planning my trip out Palm Springs, I knew I had to visit the famous Joshua Tree National Park. I had to Google what a Joshua Tree was and how it got it's name. [Read about it here.] It was crazy windy out by the time I got there, so I opted to take the 2 hour scenic drive through the park. The cool thing about Joshua Park is the fact that the park landscape kind of changes throughout the drive. I started at the Cottonwood Visitor Center and worked my way north, passing through desolate desert, past huge boulders, around winding curves, and through miles of Joshua trees. Even if you're not super outdoorsie, driving through the park is very interesting! There are lots of exhibit stops where you can get out of your car an venture out to climb around on rocks or take pictures. Be sure to grab a map of the park when you pay for your driving pass at any of the entrance points!
If you have time to visit a few stops throughout your drive, be sure to check out Keys View. It's so high up in the park that you get a clear view of the surrounding cities!
After spending most of the afternoon in Joshua Tree, I headed back to Palm Springs to take a ride on the aerial tram they have there. One thing I noticed and know PS is famous for is these windmills, so there's no way I could leave without getting a picture of them! These things are MASSIVE and they hardly ever stop moving!
To finish out the day, I booked a ticked for a tram ride with dinner at the top of Mount San Jacinto! Ya'll, I'm thinking I might have gotten over my fear of heights on this trip. I took a swinging tram 8000 ft up to the top of a mountain and had a delicious, plated dinner with no issues!
The ride down was a little more stressful but it was great seeing the cities below at dusk as the sky changed from pink to blue and later that night when the bottom of the mountain was illuminated by city lights.
You can faintly see a bit of leftover snow in this pic! I didn't make it to the snow covered bottom of the hill because I wore the wrong shoes, but I saw plenty of people making their way back to the top with snow sleds and wearing snow boots!
Sorry for the grainy picture but this is what the tram actually looks like! Be sure to visit the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway website for more info. It's definitely worth taking a look at if you plan on visiting the area anytime soon!
After a long day of being out and about, I decided to rest up before stepping out for NYE. Be sure to visit the blog later this week to see what I did during a day in downtown Los Angeles during this vacation!
Hello, I'm Margo
I'm 24 years young and taking one day at a time! Sharing my growing faith, evolving style, favorite recipes, and exciting travels with you through my blog, Simply Monday Musings.
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