March: Palm Springs, CA
For the month of March the book told us to go to Palm Springs. I was quite excited about this month because my birthday landed on a Saturday and the month was so extremely busy that the first weekend happened to be the only one to work anyways.
When I began to look for hotels almost anything within 20 miles was booked solid because March must be the start of all Spring Break weeks and this has to be the prime Spring Break spot. Going back and forth between two hotels outside the central Palm Springs or Palm Desert area, my mom and I landed on a Hilton in Beaumont, California. To be honest there were a couple of rooms left at Hiltons within Palm Springs but they cost upwards of $400, not exactly in my birthday weekend budget.
The drive to our hotel was such a whirlwind crazy adventure! Our first plan was to head straight into Los Angeles and go to a museum we missed out on back in January. Immediately after driving past the Los Angeles County Sign, this plan was scraped. Almost all week in the Bay Area and Central Valley it rained, but I could have never guessed the amount of rain that would be falling in L.A. The fog was extremely low and heavy when entering the Grapevine and barely lightened up as we continued to drive. This mixed in with POURING rain and made it absolutely unimaginably hard to see even the car just in the front of me. When checking weather reports it was only going to continue as we drove into the city and with our luck, we figured the time we were done at the museum would be right in the middle of rush hour. We asked Siri for help and took the next exit onto a new highway.
Our drive down CA-138 was something neither my mom or I had experienced before, but got us to Beaumont more efficiently than any other route. We stopped along the way to get a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's (Which happens to always be my birthday treat because I am a March baby) and to get some gas, but other than that, we just wanted to make our destination. Finally we made it to our hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites Banning-Beaumont. We rolled all our luggage upstairs, got settled and decided it was time to get something to eat.
I began to look at the map on my phone as to what was close to us and what I came to happily find out is that we were close to one of the biggest outlet malls I had ever seen and they had one of my favorite fast-pizza restaurants, Blaze Pizza. We drove to Banning to go to the Desert Hills Premium Outlets and it wasn't till then, we realized how large this place actually was.... We had to park on one end to eat our food and then drive to the other to go shopping so that we wouldn't miss the store before closing. Once we did find parking and then find Blaze, we ordered and of course enjoyed our meal as much as always when visiting this place. (More about Blaze and our meal in Food&Drink.) Near the pizza place was Calvin Klein which reminded me that I had a $10 reward to be used! Quick couponer tip for you guys... Calvin Klein rounds up your points at some point in the year (at least for me they did... haha) so even if you are like no where near a $10 reward, you will get one! Anyways, I found the most comfortable pajama pants for like $15 on clearance and also had a 20% off birthday reward that I had no idea about, super score!!!
Next, we drove over to the other side of the mall and found my favorite place... Lululemon! Since I am not familiar with this outlet mall, I am not sure if this Lulu was new, but they had close to no product that I liked. I tried on a few things and none of them worked for me... All that I bought was a sports bra! Every time I enter the regular store or the outlet I spend at least $200, sometimes close to $300 on product! This was an unreal experience for me. So... For the time being, I would not suggest shopping Lulu at this particular outlet store.
Back to the hotel we went to catch up on more episodes of the Amazing Race. We are obsessed! We tried out Hulu for a month and didn't love it, but loved the Amazing Race, which we found through it. We knew that the show had to be on one of our other services or we would find another way to watch and low and behold... Amazon Prime gives you almost every season for free!!! It is literally the best show and makes me want to travel the whole world and try the craziest things! Enough about TV... Next day... I wake up and I am officially 20 years old! AHH!
Today we set out for the Palm Springs area to enjoy date shakes, play tourist and overall just enjoy another weekend away from home.
First and foremost, I had to know where Coachella was held. I know, Festival Goals for all of us! We were able to find the venue and almost all of it is covered by trees and blocked off to the public, but I could tell that it was plenty big to fit the amount of people that attend each year. It was so cool and only made the dream of going more of a need than a want!
Next, we went to Sheilds, enjoyed our date shake, watched the "The Romance & Sex Life of the Date" for the 100th time in my life and decided we wanted to do something authentic to the Palm Springs area and first thought about the tram but decided no... So we got to thinking, what did the book suggest we do here? I remembered that the told us to go to a botanical garden, so I started to look up where we could find one. Inside of the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens there was actually a few, so then it was decided, this was our big destination for the day.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens was the perfect place to spend my birthday. There was so many exotic animals, an amass amount of cacti (which I love) and it was overall I nice walk in the desert heat. Whether one has kids with them or not, you will enjoy this place! Each adult ticket was about $20 and fully worth it! Once we arrived back home and looked at the book, it suggests the Moorten Botanical Garden, so ours was a stretch, visiting the Indian Ethnobotanical Garden inside of the Zoo but we made the trip our own!
After this we had a quick bite to eat, we headed to El Paseo, which I soon found out was the Beverley Hills of the Palm Springs area. I probably couldn't afford many stores down this row, but my trusty Lululemon stood on the corner and because it was my birthday I couldn't help but go inside. I ended up treating myself to a new outfit that I wore the very next day to Los Angeles!
On our way back to the hotel, we took the back roads so that we could see all the towns because we hadn't visited the area in years. We drove thru Cathedral City, Palm Springs and Thousand Palms. When I go on vacation, I love to drive through areas like these and see what is going on in each and how one part of an area differs from another. I also like to explore the idea of staying in a different part of town next time I visit and driving through gives me those options. Obviously seeing California is a large goal of mine this year and taking this longer drives only makes the goal more real and more wide spread.
Once we arrived back at the hotel, we settled in, ate leftovers and turned on the Amazing Race again! Only way I would want to spend my birthday ;)
Sunday morning we ate breakfast at the hotel again and got on the road, headed for LA! I am posting a Bonus Blog on this because of the museum mix-up in January... We steered our trip in the right direction to make up for it :)
This was definitely not a jam-packed trip for us, but it was nice to have a relaxing 20th birthday weekend! Hope I gave you some ideas of what to do and where to stay during your trip to the Palm Springs area!