Food and Travel

Hot Staycation Idea: Palm Springs!

It was one of those spur of the moment trips to escape routine, especially upon realizing summer vacation’s almost over and you haven’t taken a vacation with the family yet. Living in Southern California, we are fortunate that we enjoy an “endless summer” at least weather-wise and can enjoy a “staycation” when we choose.

There is something about packing your bags even for just an overnighter and staying in a hotel. So that’s what we did. The choice was between Vegas (reasonable hotel rates) or Palm Springs (shorter drive)and we chose the latter.

The drive from Orange County is under 2 hours and as soon as we see the windmills, we know we are close.

windmills | palm springs

I always marvel at these giants, especially after seeing a documentary about wind farming. As it turns out, there are now more than 15,000 wind turbines in California producing enough power to meet the needs of about one million people. (fun fact!)

We have an hour to kill before we can check into Omni Rancho Las Palmas so we head to downtown Palm Springs for lunch.  It is a quaint town with its own celebrity star walk. Knowing that the Rat Pack and other stars of yesteryear used to relax in this desert town makes me wonder how they could always look so elegant in the scorching heat.

Marilyn Monroe | Palm Springs
The 26 foot tall sculpture of the actress is called “Forever Marilyn” by artist Seward Johnson. It is located at Palm Canyon & Tahquitz Canyon Way in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.

After a nice lunch at of nachos and street tacos at Maracas Cantina on Palm Canyon Drive, we head out to Omni Rancho Las Palmas – the best family-friendly resort in the desert (actually, its in Rancho Mirage).

Best cure for a heat wave? A cold drink and the Lazy River. I read a book while my boys hit the water slides and go around the lazy river multiple times. Now THIS is a vacation. No agendas, no plans. Just living in the moment.

The next day, after a morning at the Lazy River, we head back to the OC. It is way over 100 degrees and we’re wondering what were we thinking? But over a satisfying lunch at another retro diner “Elmer’s,” we talk about the fun one-day vacation we just had.