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.
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.