“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
It was the fall of 2007 when I first visited Palm Springs, California. What brought me there was a getaway with five other girlfriends. The trip was instigated by one friend whose in-laws were generous enough to let us hang out for a long weekend at their winter place in La Quinta. We had all known each other almost two years and had met through a Baby & Me class with our first-borns. We had often done things outside of our weekly class, like park play dates, making the rounds for lunch at the kid friendly locales, and even a few fun happy hours without kids. But, an entire long weekend away did give me the slightest pause. What if we didn’t travel well together? What if, without kids in tow, we found we lacked common conversation? I knew I was just being silly, and really, it was too kind an offer to refuse… In hindsight, I really have to applaud and thank my friend for taking the risk and extending such an intimate invitation to new-ish friends. Perhaps she knew that building close friendships requires moving beyond the situational togetherness and into a more personal space (or, maybe she didn’t know that at all and is just way more laid back than am I).
Thank goodness for that invitation, because we had an excellent time getting to know one another even better, sunning ourselves, visiting the spa at La Quinta resort and the uber-premium Desert Hills Outlets in Cabazon (can you imagine YSL, Prada, and Jimmy Choo outlets all in one spot?!). I think we even managed to hit a few good restaurants though it was so long ago now I cannot remember the names, maybe Desert Sage?
This inaugural trip was such a success that it began our annual fall/winter girls weekends away, with our main requirements being time to connect with each other, loads of sleep, a warm locale, and great places to eat, be pampered at a spa, and shop. The following year we went to Scottsdale, then last year Las Vegas (which I wrote about here). We all eagerly plan and look forward to our weekend together — even more so now that two of the six of us are no longer living in Minnesota, so it’s our time to reunite as well. This year we will venture back to Palm Springs and stay at the Riviera Palm Springs. One of my friends found it after looking into several options and seemed like a great spot. Some of the main areas look a little over the top, but a very Palm Springs vibe in the rooms. This is the view from a poolside cabana….
On the docket for our weekend will be the usual blissful, and yes, even indulgent stops. Itinerary includes a visit to the SpaTerre at our hotel, I’m leaning toward the Pacific Seaweed Body Mask, which includes a Dead Sea salt scrub, a body mask, and Vichy shower — heaven just thinking about it! We also secured dinner reservations at a few fun spots, including Mister Parker’s at The Parker Hotel — I already have my eye on one of the foie gras hors d’oeuvres (practically a prerequisite for me on vacation – I literally think I have it at least once per trip, a few times on the last one I think!) and the barramundi fish dish — YUM! And will definitely spend an afternoon at the Desert Hills Outlets again, but this time I need to be on a tight leash. Our remodel is taking a bite out of my budget and a girl’s got to cut back somewhere. That said, we’ll see how much restraint I can maintain when faced with insane deals on Jimmy Choos, my weakness! Keep an eye out in early February, I’ll be sure to post a few pics real-time of our adventures!