Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'll Show You a Place....High on a Desert Plain...

Well, that was certainly the case driving up through the mountains and down California Highway #74 into Palm Desert.  Thank God for the turnouts!  Crazy all around...... hairpin curves, drivers whipping around those corners ....keep your foot on the brake pedal otherwise you'll be sorry!

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Anyway, we arrived into Palm Desert on a bright hot sunny day, checked into our hotel in La Quinta - Embassy Suites.  Great hotel again:  #1 - air-conditioning, #2 - a Manager's Reception from 5:30pm-7:30pm, #3 - full breakfast included (excellent selection, better than the "standard" continental breakfast), #4 - no valet parking and fees, and #5 - easy to find.

Our GPS featured a Hillary Clinton-ish sounding voice, which seemed to become overly aggressive stating the street names in La Quinta...."turn right on CA-LLE TAM-PIC-O!".....which is now a running joke in our household.  Calle Tampico!!!  Maybe it was that desert heat provoking that kind of reaction, who knows.


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                                        I said, turn right on Calle Tampico!!

We drove around Palm Springs and Palm Desert admiring the mountains, gated communities, palm trees and wealth.  After enjoying the Manager's Reception at the hotel, we went for dinner at Lavender Bistro in La Quinta, which I highly recommend.  I took a chance on the restaurant after reading good views on Trip Advisor and we were very impressed.  We were led outside in the patio dining area surrounded by gardens, the trees were lit and there was a soft breeze in the air.  There was a musician providing easy listening music (almost like the Father of the Bride reception when Steve Martin finally makes it there) and everyone was enjoying themselves.  We ordered seafood for supper and enjoyed the ambiance.


The next morning, we enjoyed the full breakfast at the hotel before departing for Joshua Tree National Park.  If you have never been to Joshua Tree National Park, Go.  This drive was one of the highlights of the entire trip, probably our most favorite.   It was stunning.  We drove through the north part of the park (which takes about an hour with stops) and I recommend listening to U2's The Joshua Tree Album (and really, any U2 songs circa 1984-1990), all of those songs came to life on that drive!  There is just something about being in the desert.  I'll post some pics here, although the park is best seen in person:








Another cool part of the trip was driving through Twentynine palms, listening to Robert Plant's 29 Palms (which is rumoured to be about Canadian "Black Velvet" singer Allannah Myles; Twentynine palms was her favorite desert spot):



If you're ever in the Palm Springs area or just want to plan a trip to the Mojave Desert, I highly recommend it....it is something to be seen.

20 comments:

  1. I really want to go there! Sounds like you and the Mr. had quite a Romantic little time to yourselves. We also have a GPS who is very domineering and who can barely contain her contempt when make a wrong turn. Her name is Daphne and she scares the hell out of us!

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    1. It was fabulous Sulky!
      We dubbed our GPS Hilary, and by the end of the trip, we were thanking her profusely for keeping us on the right roads.

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  2. Hello:
    What an extraordinary, at least to our eyes accustomed to a more domestic landscape, place. The countryside appears to stretch for miles with vegetation so unlike anything which we have ever seen. You appear to have had a wonderful stay, with the highlight of a visit to the Joshua Tree National Park.

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    1. We are used to flat prairie lands here so the mountains and the Joshua Tree Park were particularly outstanding to us!

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  3. Isn't Joshua tree just incredible? I have such an affinity to that sort of landscape.
    I can feel the heat sizzling from these photographs.

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    1. It is magnificent. It's something that a person just has to see for themselves to fully appreciate it!

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  4. Great photos and it sounds like you had such a wonderful time. Very cool how you put together the soundtrack as well. No U2 for us though.

    I love the crazy roads in Cali. There is one from Palo Alto to the PCH via La Honda that twists and turns as you rise up through the giant redwoods and then back down to the coast. Continue on past big Sur and it's really exciting with the major drop to the water. Fun!

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    1. Hubs and I are big music buffs so having the necessary soundtrack was essential. Just wait until we get to the LA post! lol

      That route does sound like fun, maybe I can convince Hubs to do it one day. ;)

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  5. Awesome road trip! LOL at "turn right at..." and that pic of Hilary...

    I love how musicians write about each other in their songs... Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I swear, she had a Hilary voice!!

      I love finding out info about musicians too.

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  6. You made me laugh so hard with the Hillary voice. I can just imagine it.
    So glad you had such a wonderful trip. The photos are wonderful and it's nice to share them with you.

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  7. I remember driving towards Palm Dessert and then missing a turn off. Argh!! I ended up driving another 20 miles until I could turn back. Too funny about Hilary voice. We have a constipated sounding narrator (take the NEXT turn. Take the NEXT turn).

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    1. Our GPS voice starts out nice, then barks out orders whenever we miss our first turn.

      RE-CAL-CU-LA-TING...

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  8. Phew! I just got caught up on your posts/travels. What a great trip and it all looks simply stunning. I would love to visit out there some day. The Hillary voice was hilarious!

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    1. You'd love it Bliss, the area is wonderful to see by car.

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  9. Looks like you had an amazing time! I love California, it is such an incredibly beautiful state. It has been many years since we drove through the desert and visited Palm Springs, but just looking at these photos takes me back. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. We fell in love with California - it completely exceeded our expectations. We are definitely going back!!

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  10. LR. Looks like a really fun time. Love La Quinta and that area. I still haven't gotten to Joshua Tree and want to very much. Great music suggestions and will keep those for when we go. I'm guessing you went at the perfect time. I think summer may be crazy hot! That restaurant is magical.

    xo
    Kim

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    1. That's the word for Lavender Bistro -- magical!

      We loved La Quinta, we would love to go back in the wintertime (when it's snowy and -30 here in Canada...)

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