Palm Springs: the land of retired golfers, insane heat and a few high schools that look like shopping malls. I’d be lying if I said that summed everything up. Palm Springs is a beautiful oasis built in the middle of a dessert. It’s surrounded by mountains that look like they’ve blown in during a sandstorm in the night, their dimension is so extreme you get the feeling you could reach out and touch them when you’re driving past. They remind me of the drippy sand castles you make when the tide has left small pools of soaked ready-to-be-drizzled-into-Cinderella-castle-peaks sand. Our visit was quick, but here are a couple of my favorite things we got to see and eat.

Local Flea Markets

When we drove around early on Saturday morning, we lucked in to finding a few different flea markets set up in the parking lots of the local high schools. Like any flea market, we had our pick of socks and fake purses but the further we walked in to the maze of tables, the better it got. We ended up finding a booth run by a guy who scavenges for geodes. We each picked a couple of un-cracked geodes to take home with us and crack once we got back.

Joshua Tree

When you are traveling with a family like mine (2 people over 70, one over 50, one in her early 20’s and 3 under 16,) you are hard pressed to find locations and activities that please everyone. My one request during while in Palm Springs was a trip to Joshua tree. The drive is right around an hour long and SO WORTH IT. My grandpa was willing to make the trip with me, my sister and both brothers. We were met with rows and rows of the Dr. Seuss-esque trees made me feel like I was in another world altogether. Pair those with massive rocks and you’ve got a landscape dreams are made of. We climbed to the top of huge boulders and looked out over the valley we were in.  Seriously unreal. I really love getting to do stuff like this with my little babies (read: brothers and sister) because I don’t get to see them often and it’s awesome to help pass along a love for nature.


Another place I would highly recommend in the area is Woody’s. It’s part of the old downtown and definitely looks it from the outside. The crew was not huge on exploring new territory, hoping for an easy chain. I was excited to find a spot off the beaten path and the 30 minute drive from our hotel to the restaurant was expected to lead us to a highly recommended burger/entertainment spot. What we pulled up to looked like a run down diner with 12 stools at a bar (we had been told to make reservations.) From the backseat of the car I put my hands over my face and said, “Oh no…” hoping that once we got inside something miraculous would happen and everyone would enjoy themselves.
“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. we drive 30 minutes for THIS?!” Was the first thing I heard. All I could do was walk in and hold the door for everyone with my fingers crossed behind my back that things would turn for the best. At this glorious moment I realized the amazingness that is Woody’s. In a semi-hidden back area more tables and a small stage were set up. That night the stage was filled by an older man and woman and their instruments. They called themselves a quartet because they each played a number of instruments and sang. They were wonderful, I was swaying in my seat the entire time I ate my super spicy jalapeño burger and tater tots. Absolutely my favorite meal of the trip.

I was sad to leave this place filled with sunny-dessert vibes and surrounded by mountains. But the trip ended with a wonderful flight where I got my own row of seats and watched the sun set over a blanket of pillowy clouds. Successful last trip of the year!
Time to plan the next one 🙂