Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Palm Springs (Again!)

I have never subscribed to the notion that a hotel room is just a place to sleep. For me, the hotel is every bit as important as the rest of the vacation. And even though I’ve never had a good trip ruined by a bad hotel, I have been on several great trips that were made even better by a wonderful hotel (the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua anyone?).

One of our latest fave getaways is Desert Hills. One of Palm Springs’ many “boutique” hotels, Desert Hills is located at the foot of the San Jacinto mountains in a very quiet part of town. I discovered it last year when we made last minute plans to attend Modernism Week at the height of the desert tourist season. We returned this past weekend for much deserved R&R—plus I was craving sun, sun, sun. We got tons of all of the above.

The best thing about Palm Springs, of course, is that it’s only two hours away. On Friday, we waited till rush hour traffic had passed and then hopped in the car and headed east. We were eating lunch in the desert by 1:30PM.

There’s not a heckuva lot to do in P.S., but we always manage to have fun anyway. Highlights this time included a terrific Richard Avedon photography exhibit at the Art Museum within walking distance of Desert Hills. (If you ever visit the museum, be sure to go up to the third floor and look into “the tunnel,” an art piece using lights and mirrors to create the illusion of an endless hole—absolutely mesmerizing!) We also drove out to Palm Desert to see Mike Leigh’s Another Year (fabulous film). En route we spied this great neon sign advertising a do-it-yourself carwash, of all things!

The most unexpected part, though, was a World War II celebration at the Palm Springs Air Museum, certainly one of the best air museums in Southern California, if not the entire state. Two veterans shared their memories of the war, followed by an exciting air display by an authentic WWII plane. At least 200 people were there to cheer as it took off and then buzzed us three times. As thrilling as it all was, I could easily imagine how frightening it must have been to see that thing flying overhead during WWII. I wanted to run for cover!

The rest of the time we sat around the hotel: me doing crosswords (my favorite form of relaxation) while Tim read. We were completely refreshed by the time we got back home on Sunday—just the short break we needed. . .


Raven said...

If you ever make it to Nampa, ID, you may be interested in a visit to the Warhawk Museum. They have many WWII items and planes that you can tour through. But, most interesting is that they have been recording the stories of people who lived during that era, both soldiers and non. It was an experience that changed me...I nevere really understood that era before having been born in 1964.

Glad you were able to get away and have some fun!


Suzanne said...

We're planning a trip to Joshua Tree next January -- and I think I know where we'll be staying!
Want to hit the WWII museum in New Orleans in June?