Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tom's Hiking Adventure at Indian Canyons

Tom got up one morning and went hiking. Of course, I didn't go. I stayed back at the Hotel California and lounged around the pool with my mom and sister. Here are some pictures from his hike at Indian Canyons on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Welcome to the Hotel California, Palm Springs, CA

The next stop on our trip was Palm Springs. We checked into the Hotel California. Yes, the Hotel California. When Tom found this hotel, I knew I had to stay there. How could we not?

When we left the Renaissance Esmeralda, we drove into Palm Springs. We were not sure if our hotel room would be ready but luckily it was. We were meeting my mom and sister who were driving in from Los Angeles.

We checked in and immediately threw on our swimsuits and went to lounge around the pool. It was heaven. Check out the video of the hotel room and part of the hotel.

I can't tell you how wonderful this hotel is. It is not fancy or elegant but it was so much like you would think Hotel California should be. It had lush foliage, Spanish tiles on the roofs, fountains and just had a great vibe.

My mom and sister arrived a few hours later and we all met around the pool and then went out to a delicious Mexican dinner. That night was debate night so me, my sister and Tom piled onto our bed and watched the debate. My mom went to her room since she is not interested in politics.

The next day Tom got up early and went hiking. If you know me, you know that is not my deal. I hate hiking. So I stayed in bed for awhile and then went out to breakfast with my mom and my sister. When we got back, we put on our swimsuits and lounged around the pool all day.

The great thing about this hotel as well is that they offered free drinks, including beer and wine, and snacks all day. They left some in our room but you could also go to the small kitchen on the property and grab more. It was fabulous.

For lunch, my sister and Tom went to get us Pollo Loco. If you never had Pollo Loco, I feel sad for you because it is the best. I had not had Pollo Loco in over 10 years! I saw it when Tom and I were driving to the Hotel California. I vowed I would get that damn chicken if it killed me. Tom wasn't as enthusiastic as I was about it but he had never had Pollo Loco so he didn't know. Look, I steer Tom wrong on a lot of things. But I never steer him wrong when it comes to food.

Because we were so comfortable poolside, they went and got lunch and brought it back. Luckily, there was a table by the pool where we set up for lunch. It was perfect. It was like having a picnic. The chicken was as I remembered. And Tom loved it! We ate, cleaned up and then hit the pool once again. Heaven.

We literally stayed out all day. The nice thing about 90 degree weather in the desert is that it is a dry heat so it is not that bad unless you get too much sun. For once, we didn't get too much sun. We got enough.

For dinner, we headed out to a nice Italian meal. Then again, we headed back to Hotel California and lounged around the hot tub area and talked. Then it was time to pack and get some rest because the third part of trip was beginning the next day.

After breakfast with my mom and sister, we started our 4 drive back to Las Vegas and the Flamingo Hotel, where we were staying. We had a fantastic time. I would have to say our stay at the Hotel California was the best part of the trip.

The hotel itself is comfortable and wickedly clean! I loved they provided us with free drinks and snacks. The pool was great. It wasn't huge but it had a deep end and the hotel provided giant move able umbrellas that were great because they provided much needed shade. They also offered bikes if you were so inclined to go biking around Palm Springs.

The location was great. It was close to downtown and there were plenty of stores and restaurants in walking distance.

The staff was super duper friendly. The owner's daughter Lucy was great and Jay,the manager, went over and above to make us feel welcome. If you are ever in Palm Springs, I say go stay at the Hotel California. Trust me, you can check out and you can leave. I didn't want to leave though. I wish they had made me stay.

Next stop, Vegas Baby!!!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our California/Nevada trip! First stop Indian Wells, CA

I know I have been very lax about writing about our trip to California and Nevada. When we got back, we had trouble adjusting back to East Coast time. We also had to go back to work. Work has been busy and then I also have my other blog to deal with. I think we are finally back on schedule so I thought I would share a little of our adventure. I will have more pictures in later posts as well.

Originally, our plan was to go to Vegas for a few days because Tom had a conference. But a few months ago, I had won a two night stay at the Marriott Renaissance Esmeralda Resort in Indian Wells, California. I almost turned it down because we had no plans to travel to California but decided to keep it.

We figured that maybe we could take a week off at some point and go out that way. Luckily, when Tom mentioned Vegas, I reminded him about the certificate. After checking schedules and travel time, we decided we could swing the trip.

Then when I was visiting my family in Costa Rica in May, my sister mentioned she and my mom would be in Los Angeles during October. After checking schedules and such, we saw we could actually meet in Palm Springs for a couple of days. Of course, most of our trips start with us driving all the way to Atlanta and spending the night so we can fly out of the Atlanta airport This trip was no different. We arrived Saturday and then flew out Sunday.

We actually flew into Las Vegas since that was the last stop on the trip. So we got to Vegas, rented a car and took off towards Indian Wells. The desert is a drab and boring place and the drive was exactly that.

We were starving because we had left Atlanta at the crack of dawn and it was a pretty long trip. We had decided to stop in Barstow. I had seen a sign for Tommy's Original Burgers and I had my heart set on one of their chili burgers with chili fries. But along the way, we kept seeing signs that said: Stop At Peggy Sue's Diner.

After about the 20th sign, I pulled out my Droid and did a Trip Advisor search on Peggy Sue's Diner. It actually got good ratings and the menu looked good. So we decided to be tourists and stop there.

It was the best decision ever. It was everything a roadside diner should be and more. There were all sorts of funky things on the walls. There were also tons of celebrity pictures on the walls. The waitresses were all decked on in diner uniforms. It was cool.

The food was delicious. Authentic diner food. I had meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans. Tom had the fried chicken. After lunch, we visited the the gift shop that was filled with lots of cool retro stuff.

Then we got back on the road and headed toward Indian Wells where the resort was located. One of the most interesting things we saw on the road was a giant wind farm. I am all about alternative energy so it was nice to see that California was embracing it and using it!

When we finally got to our resort, we were hot and tired. luckily, our room was ready and we were able to check in immediately. the room was great but the view from the room was even better. We had a beautiful view of the pool area with some mountains in the back. To see the room video, click here.

We unpacked then got into our swimsuits and went down to the pool for awhile. Then we had dinner and went to bed early because we were still on East Coast time. The next morning we got up, had breakfast, went to the fitness room and exercised (yes I know this is shocking) and then went to sit by the pool for the whole day. It was fantastic.

We swam, relaxed, read and had lunch by the pool. Then we had dinner and went to bed again because we were tired still. The next day was check out day. We got up had breakfast and then got ready to check out and head on to our next adventure in Palm Springs.

I have to say that our stay the Renaissance Esmeralda was fantastic. The hotel is very fancy. The room was perfect. The pool was fantastic. The food was good. The best part of the whole experience was the staff. Everyone there was super friendly and helpful. There was not one staff member who was not nice. They went out of their way to help out.

I am adding more picture below for you to view. I will continue our California/Nevada adventures on another post. Our next stop is the Hotel California!