Friday, June 14, 2013

What to see in Palm Springs

For our Anniversary, Andrew and I decided to go on a week-long vacation in Palm Springs. One: because it was close by, two: I had never been, and three: Andrew's parents gifted us some of their time-share points to stay at the Palm Canyon Resort (score!).  
I had no idea what there was to see. Other than being ferociously HOT, I discovered Palm Springs is a pretty fun place to spend a vacation.  I enjoyed the architecture, furniture, and store signs of the entire town (especially downtown). It looks like Palm Springs was frozen in time from another era - mainly the 1960's. 
 We spent the entire week there from Sunday to Friday. To give you an idea of how hot it was this week, here's a snapshot of the temperatures. 
Sizzling hot! We tried to do our site-seeing (that required being outside) earlier in the day or in the evening. We also spent a lot of time by the pool.
My sister recommended we check out a restaurant called Cheeky's (622 N Palm Canyon Dr). They have some really unique menu items and serve breakfast all day long. I ordered the french toast with nectarines, peaches, and strawberries, while Andrew ordered the cheese and egg quesadilla. We shared our savory and sweet dishes together. 
They also serve a bacon bar in which you can order flavored bacon by the slice or the entire "flight" of bacon options (like wine tasting... I know, right?).  Bacon flavors include jalapeƱo, Nodines applewood, Beeler apple cinnamon, sweet balsamic, and rosemary sugar. Cheeky's is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays just as an FYI. 
If you are in the mood for Thai food, Thai House Restaurant (at 246 S Palm Canyon Dr) had arguably some of the best Pad Thai that Andrew and I had ever tasted!   
Very fun atmosphere too. Make sure you sit outside. There are cooling mist fans above us. 

Be sure to check out the downtown area in Palm Springs. They have some cool statues and monuments. Here's larger-than-life Marilyn Monroe:
And there's also Sonny Bono:
And on Thursday evenings they have a street fair on South Palm Canyon drive. They block off the streets so visitors and residents alike can view artwork, jewelry, buy food, farmers market produce and listen to live music. I highly recommend checking out this street fair when you visit. 
I made a new friend at the street fair too. 
There was a vendor selling crystal fireplaces and they offered complimentary marshmallows to anyone who wanted to roast them. 
Another recommended sight to see while you are in Palm Springs is the Palm Springs Air Museum. They have dozens of planes and helicopters, mostly from WWII era, that you can view up close and personal. Some of them you can even walk through. 
They had walls and walls of WWII history.
And Andrew enjoyed the flight simulator. 
We spent almost four hours in the museum like it was no time at all! All the docents were very helpful in explaining the history of each aircraft.
Yet another must-see near Palm Springs is the Aerial Tramway to Mount San Jacinto State Park. The aerial tram goes up almost a mile in altitude in about 10 minutes. The floor rotates inside the tram so that you get a 360 degree view of the scenery (Forgive the quality of photos here, they were taken through a glass window).
The temperature was about 30 degrees cooler at the top than below in Palm Springs, so it offered a nice escape from the heat.  
Once at the top, you can hike the miles and miles of trails. I recommend the Desert View trail loop because it has five amazing viewpoints overlooking Palm Springs.
We packed lunches, snacks and plenty of water for the hike. At one of the viewpoints, we rested and met some friendly people from the East coast.
Lastly, don't forget to shop the outlets in Cabazon. The Desert Hills outlets have over a hundred stores and it's another way to take refuge from the heat. 
I scored some deals at Under Armor, The GAP, Rip Curl, and Andrew bought some  items at VanHeusen and the Levi's store.
Our trip to Palm Springs was very memorable!
Hasta luego, Palm Springs. Looking forward to seeing you again sometime in the not-so-distant future.
If you have any additional places in Palm Springs you recommend seeing, please leave in the comments below!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

1st Anniversary

Andrew and I are celebrating our first anniversary this Sunday. It's hard to believe it was one year ago we said our "I do's". Being married has actually been easier than I thought it would be. (Yes, I am one of those people).
I never had even the slightest notion that being married would be a fairy tale.  Seeing a divorce firsthand shatters that idea. In fact, part of me believed I would never get married. That is why being married has surprised me is countless ways.
I enjoy being married to Andrew because we are as much best friends as romantic interests. And maybe the fact that both of us are middle children helps us 'get' each other. We both strive to create win-win situations for each other. He encourages me. I comfort him. He negotiates. I am a peacemaker. He has also taught me how to have thicker skin and let go of some of my people pleasing tenancies.  I can be brutally honest with someone now even when it might hurt their feelings... because it is the right thing to do... and if they hate me for it, that is their issue, not mine to carry. 
When I look back to who I was 5 years ago... heck, who I was before I met him, and I think about how selfish and deeply insecure I was. Andrew helped me believe in myself and realize that things don't always revolve around me. In the same vein, I am not always the one to blame for everything (I tend to take on responsibility for everything, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders... but again, it's not all about me). Its not always my fault (well, some things are - but not everything) and that is huge for me.
I have so much more confidence in who I am because I have someone ON MY TEAM. It's incredible. 
My heart found a place to rest and not be anxious. Be still my heart. I love you Andrew. Thank you for your patience, your love, freeing me to be who I am, and for being a solid rock in my life. I thank God for you everyday. XO
All photos by the talented Becky Lew