Days 2-4: Palm Springs

After catching up over dinner and drinks with some LA friends on Friday night in West Hollywood, my friend Jim and I made a 2 hour drive out to Palm Springs and checked in very late at the Villa Royale.  The desert beauty of Palm Springs revealed itself in the morning as I took a walk around the Villa Royale’s charming courtyards and admired the towering palms and mountains in the background.

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We spent most of Saturday going up to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. There, a Swiss-made cable car whisks you way up to the top of San Jacinto Peak and offers spectacular views of the Coachella Valley below and the surrounding mountain ranges.  The platform in the gondola actually rotates, so you can get a 360 degree view of the scenery.  The temperature was significantly cooler at the top of the mountain, but wasn’t too terribly cold.  There were actually patches of snow on the ground at the mountaintop.  There is a network of trails available for hiking.  Unfortunately, my traveling companion, who already had his arm in a sling from shoulder surgery took a nasty spill on the stairs inside the lodge and hurt his knee really bad, so he rested some while I went on a short hike.

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The following day, Jim and I explored downtown Palm Springs and got our picture taken under a gigantic statute of Marilyn Monroe called “Forever Marilyn,” which depicts the scene in the Seven Year Itch where the street vents blow Marilyn’s skirt up.  The statue was unveiled in 2012 and may or may not become a permanent addition to downtown Palm Springs.

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That afternoon, Jim and I took a drive around to admire the midcentury modern architecture around and about Palm Springs.  There are some stunning examples of this kind of architecture throughout the city.

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I also took some time to relax in the sun and swim in the pool.  Jim and I lounged for a bit at the Ace Hotel pool before heading out for the evening.

As we drove away from Palm Springs, I was struck by the numerous windmills standing in the valley.  Since we arrived at night we didn’t get to see this on our way in.

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Palm Springs is definitely a relaxing and enjoyable getaway.  I definitely want to come back sometime and explore more of the architecture and also do more hiking nearby.

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