The holidays are here, and I feel happy that a lot of things I ended up doing were those I did set out to do in 2016, and 1 very important thing that I did not plan: *this*. Yep, blogging wasn’t part of the list, this time last year. I was just a girl who loved different shades of style and writing down my thoughts. One thing led to another, and I found myself blogging that helped me combine the fun I have with clothes and writing.
Link to top: White sweater top with crocheted flowers on sleeve
Between this, and the work, plans of buying a house, working on a relationship, 2016 was one heavy platter. So much so, that I hardly had time to get away and travel, something that for every year before this occupied a major portion of my plans. And with just one week left for the year to end, I really felt the need to get away and recharge my batteries, even if it’s just a short trip. Which is where, staying in Southern California is a real blessing. There are tons of cool places around to visit, a seemingly endless list. We picked the desert resort city of Palm Springs, in Coachella Valley.
We left in the day, a few days before Christmas. It was a short drive, just over 2 hours, and seems even shorter since the breathtaking views take away any tiredness. I love driving and this was one pleasurable drive. We passed through mountains, creeks, desert lands, and a slew of gigantic windmills that make it look like the scene from Interstellar where Matthew McConaughey wakes up in the future on a faraway planet with everything super-sized.
We had a sweet suite waiting for us at the Hyatt, overlooking the San Jacinto Mountains, and that made for a great view. We quickly got a few drinks at the evening cocktail hour arranged by the hotel, and then walked around the downtown area for my coffee fix (yes, alcohol and coffee, the twain do mix).
We got into a coffee shop, where we had a very special encounter. You see, my boyfriend, apart from his day job as an engineer, is also an up and coming stand-up comedian. And pretty soon after we had entered the place, he spotted one of his idols, popular LA comic, Fahim Anwar. They had a nice chat about starting out in comedy, and introduced the rest of us. My boyfriend tried to play it cool, but I could see he was fanboyishly thrilled to meet Fahim. And to think of it, he didn’t even want to go to the coffee place (he hates coffee, but he owes me one now for a while for getting him there)
We then walked through downtown Palm Springs, and this is one of my favorite things to do around Christmas time. I love walking through the lights in whichever town I am on the holidays. This reminds me so much of my hometown and awesome holiday fun with family. We were in a small town, and decorating our house and seeing the lights everywhere used to be so much fun. The only difference was, our town was lined with coconut trees instead of the palm trees I was walking among here.
We got back, and chilled at the hotel. I got a massage at the spa and then we spent some time in the pool. That really fixed me up. Up next, was dinner at this upscale restaurant called Reservoir at the Arrive hotel. It’s a rustic, chic restaurant, and they had cool poolside tables. With the fire next to the water, the ambience was amazing. I tried out one of their seafood entrees and loved it. We got back pretty late to the hotel and called it a night after spending some more time at the pool.
Waking up to the view of the mountains was an out of the world feeling. Had a nice brunch and morning tea in the balcony, and then set out to explore around town.
First stop were some of the beautiful houses in town, Palm Springs being the swankiest towns of them all. Most streets there are dotted with beautiful houses, and a unique aspect a noticed was the flat outlay of most of the houses. Its pretty distinct from the houses one sees in big cities like San Diego. The houses were really urban estates, with most of them having one distinct feature, either a foyer, a façade or in one case: a door. Yes, we managed to find #thatpinkdoor. We later found out that this is one of the most instagrammed doors in the world, and it really is one pretty sight. It looked like a really delicious bar of chocolate gone pink. I wish I was in a decent dressy shape to have some pictures clicked next to the door, but this time I was happy to just do the clicking myself. One could tell almost all the houses were at least a few millions worth.
We then went up the world famous Palm Springs Aerial Tram aerial tram, home to the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway. There was a long queue to get on the tram but we got lucky since a good Samaritan was selling tickets she no longer needed for the next ride. The tramway takes you from the floor of the valley to pretty much the peak of San Jacinto mountain, at 8500 ft. One goes through five climate zones, starting from the desert and ending up in the snow filled Alpine forests.
The views were breathtaking through the ride, and at the peak. We played around a little in the snow, even though it was snowing when we got there. Finally settled down with a few cocktails and some snacks at the fine dining restaurant at the peak, nestled next to the snowy backdrop. Quite the refreshment I had hoped when I set out for the getaway. White Xmas is soon becoming my favorite kind of Christmas!
After the snowcapade, we grabbed dinner at the Greek Islands restaurant in downtown (amazing lamb chops, gyro and kebabs) and it was time to head back. It was quite a trip, short but packed a great punch and had me refreshed for the days ahead. We managed to pull back into San Diego right in time for the Christmas Eve midnight mass. The best part about this trip was that after all the fun, I still had 2 bonus holidays to look forward to. Isn’t that the best feeling?
I want to wish all the readers of the blog a very happy new year. When I write, I like to write thinking I’m speaking to each one of you, individually. And your support has meant the world to me in my fledgling blogging life. I hope I hear more from you and continue to build this connection in 2017. Hope you and your loved ones prosper and have a fun year ahead!
All images by the brilliant and fun to work with, @urbancell_vault. Do check his feed for great shots and sights.