We leave Los Angeles and travel through the Mojave Desert to the oasis that was once the stomping ground for Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack, Palm Springs. It’s about an hour and half drive east of Los Angeles and it is HOT in the desert, as temperatures can soar over a hundred and there isn’t much to see other than Joshua Trees.
I had previously found the town full of ‘oldies’, but as I have matured, this time around I enjoyed the chic desert resort that has a retro feel. It’s a combination of Spanish homes in palm tree and bougainvillea lined streets and a place where vintage cars drive up and down.
What springs to mind when you think of Palm Springs? The sun, the heat, and a cooling beverage in hand. Nevertheless, there is more to it than that. We took a 10 minute ride up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon to the second highest point in Southern California, using the Aerial Tramway. This is the world’s largest rotating tramcar and passes through four different ecosystems and a 30˚ temperature drop on your way to the summit. Apparently on a clear day you can see Catalina Island and at night the Las Vegas lights, we didn’t see either as there was a heat haze but, it was a spectacular view, Dare I say a little reminiscent of going up Teide, but then Tenerife can be compared to lots of places.
We spent some time wandering the galleries and did a bit of shopping as well as acting like kids when we spied a couple of shop signs.
Late afternoon we headed to our hotel The Saguaro. Over the years, we’ve stayed in some places but this has to be top of the list when it comes to encountering a psychedelic experience. The rooms were clean, the beds comfy and both inside and out was bright. Very very bright.
We spent the evening at one of Arizona’s Cowboy Steakhouses, where legend goes it was once a hideout for cattle rustlers, but it was an average meal and so crowded you could hardly think. We were glad to get back to the hotel.
Following my original visit to Palm Springs, have my thoughts changed …. Definitely yes – I really love it probably because it was very like home, and it doesn’t get more beautiful.
The following morning begins with a Phoenix sightseeing tour, then we headed for the mountain resort of Scottsdale. In ‘Old Town’ they have created a feel of the Old West. There are stores, restaurants, and Western saloons with wooden beams, wagon wheels and cowboy hats in abundance, the only thing we didn’t see were the outlaws.
I’m getting the feeling that the places we are visiting are ‘My Kinda Towns’….