Thanks to my travel hacker husband, who scored us 4 free plane tickets and a free rental car (through the southwest rewards credit card – awesome!), we got to head someplace warm in March: The Palm Desert in California. And it was glorious!
It required traveling pretty late, and so the littles were pretty cranked out by the time we got to our layover in Vegas. I carried our bags through the Vegas airport with a screamer clawing at my legs, trying to scramble up. I’m talking SCREAMING. That way that only 3-year-olds can scream. I did the mama walk-of-shame (well, really, walk of pride if you ask me) past all those dreamers throwing their coins in the slot machines for one last hope of striking it rich. THEY even looked up. It was pretty intense. And so, when we finally could take a rest, and I happened to glance at the sign we were sitting by, I literally laughed so hard I cried. Not sure this is what they had in mind when they came up with the “What happens here, stays here” slogan. But. Yeah. Pretty fitting. Carried the kids from the car into our “bacation home,” as the littlest calls it, very late at night. Woke up the next morning to sunshine on the mountains and a great big cup o coffee. One awesome thing about Tuscany Manor is it’s full of fruit trees, and guests are welcome to eat whatever they pick off the trees. My kids LOVED the clementines.WAY better mood the next morning for this one:) So, the reason we headed to the desert was to fulfill a dream of mine – to see the desert in bloom. I expected something like this or this or even this. Instead, we saw this:Not quite what I was dreaming of, but pretty awesome nonetheless. It had been a bad year for blooms weather-wise, and you really have to time it just right and be in exactly the right place to see the desert-sweeping blooms. Joshua Tree was amazing, though, and we were NOT disappointed in the least! My wild ones LOVED scrambling on all the big boulders. We really only went on one hike all together – through Hidden Valley. It’s only a mile, but we had many a stop for lizard-viewing, rock scrambling, and rocks-in-the-shoe issues. We all loved it! Hey, look! A bloom! Then the fates shone upon us, and the kids fell asleep in the car. Since the park is pretty big, we drove on through. I dropped Harry off for a quick hike of his own, and I got a quick one in too, while the kids napped. We ended with the Ocotillo Patch, which was totally in bloom (it blooms like 5 or 6 times a year). And, now they’re awake:) And singing “Frozen” songs at the top of their lungs (this happened a lot on this trip). Not sure if she’s gonna float. Probably needs a couple more noodles. That tiny little pink thing in the next picture is my daughter. Indian Canyon was like going back to dinosaur times. The Land of the Lost intro music kept playing in my head. I freaking LOVE this next picture. Wild one. Sometimes I feel like this girl just has sacred things inside of her. She started smearing dirt all over herself. But it’s not just that she does it, it’s the way she does it – like it’s some ceremony. I love it. Next day was supposed to be the warmest, so we made a day trip to the coast – Crystal Cove State Park. Awesome tidepools! “Um, but there’s dirt on my hands. There is DIRT on my HANDS!” Angry with me… Aaaaaandddd… not angry with me.We have this thing about running after birds. Accessorizing… And then, a lifelong dream was fulfilled. Whenever we see birds in the wild, this one is always asking me, “Can I hold that bird on my finger?” Um, no. But we happened to go to the Living Desert, on the suggestion of friends. And they happened to have a temporary feed-a-bird-with-a-stick-with-seeds exhibit. Giggles galore:) Not quite the same experience for this one. Luckily, the Living Desert also had rattlesnakes. The kids were pretty disappointed about not seeing a rattler in the wild (I was pretty damn relieved). All the carousel animals were from the desert – cool! And, there she is – walking along doing her sacred things again. She was singing softly and throwing sand in the wind. Last night here, so we dressed up and went OUT to dinner! Went to Woody’s Burgers, which we knew had a jazz band playing that night. Lots of dancing in our seats and in a crowded corner. Killer trip to the Palm Desert!!! Thanks for checking this out!