Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Rest of Palm Springs

Rewind to Day 1 of Palm Springs weekend.

Our trip started with a bang when I hit myself in the face with the car door.  Let's just say that I may or may not have a permanent bump on the bridge of my nose.  But that's besides the point. 
There was hardly anywhere to pull over on the drive through the desert, but here are a few shots from the road.  I was surprised by how short the drive was!  Maybe we just got lucky traffic-wise?

Our first stop in Palm Springs was Cheeky's for lunch and we grabbed a bloody mary at Birba next door while waiting to be seated.  It's a cute enough place and the drink was well-made, but I ordered the wrong thing.  I usually let the servers at restaurants choose for me, assuming that they know the food best.  Maybe that wasn't the best strategy here - I had the chilequiles, which is like nachos basically.  Brian's croque madam was much better.  (I shoulda gotten the pumpernickel waffle with smoked salmon and creme fraiche damnit.)

{mod mod mod}

After that, the day went down hill for a bit.  We were staying at the Westin Rancho Mirage (still living on residual Starwood points), and I must say, this was the most disappointing Westin experience we've ever had.  Usually, Westins are nice and modern, and they easily give upgrades and freebies to their status members.  This one, not so much.  Stucco condo-looking buildings, lots of screaming children, no upgrade, and no free champagne for us.  We at least got to change our room from one overlooking the kids' pool (kill me) to a quieter one, but still.  Not chic.  Not even worth a picture.

And the drive to Rancho Mirage.  Endless track houses in gated neighborhoods, and lots and lots of golf courses.  Golf in big grassy fields...does that strike anyone else as a little out of place in the middle of a desert, where there's no water??  As Brian said, "it's like a big middle finger in the face of nature."  I'm not an environmentalist or anything, but still.

Well, after I pouted a little (yes, I'm a hotel brat), we decided to seek out Anthony Bourdain's recommendation for the best date shakes in town -- Shield's Date Garden.  It was a 20 minute drive away, but worth it.  The decor was kitschy and cheesy and the shakes were smooth and almost chocolatey.  A nice relief from Rancho Mirage.

Next, anxious to get back to downtown and away from the Westin, we hit up two of the hotels in town: the Ace and the Viceroy.  The Ace had a meeeaaaan margarita.  So fresh!  But otherwise, I was a little scared.  You see, I'm a pretty straight-edge type of person - habitually awkward in trendy poolside situations (ask Brian about the rooftop pool at the Solamar...who knew you weren't supposed to swim there?), and incapable of emo (you can ask Lisa about that one).  And the Ace is hippie/hipster/emo in exactly that way that makes me feel like the biggest square in the world and makes me wish I could either disappear or magically transform into Agyness Deyn.  (Brian said it just made him feel normaller than everyone else.  Men.)


There was a circle of like 20 people playing bongo drums, everyone was wearing something retro or vintage I'm sure, and there were no shoes involved.  I was wearing a Forever 21 dress and Nine West heels (via TJX obvi).  'Nuff said.

{Evidence of my painful lack of hipness}

Not that you shouldn't go there.  Just make sure you're prepared to be confronted with coolness.  And don't wear shoes.

We followed that experience up with a big dose of mainstream at the Viceroy.  Trendy mirrored furniture, sharp black-white-yellow color scheme, bachelorette parties...ahhh comfort zone.  Foodwise, the menu is pretty uneventful except for the burger - TWO kinds of cheese AND bacon.  Amazing.  Get it.  Don't get the signature margarita because it's not a margarita at all and it's so overly sweet you might go into sugar shock.

Although the food was so-so during dinner, the night picked up around dessert when all of a sudden, everything smelled like a certain medicinal herb.  I have no idea where it was coming from, but it was just waftering through the entire courtyard.  When the waiter came over to ask about dessert, I said "no thanks, I'm full," and he responded "how could you be full with that smell?"  LOL I died.  It was ridic.

Anyway, after dinner we drove down the main street to scope out the nightlife, but turns out there isn't any.  (Except for the drag show at the gay bar that we almost unknowingly went into...)  So off we went to our room to share some champagne.

Overall, I had a lot of fun, but my first day in Palm Springs was nothing that I expected.  The Parker really is the best thing that Palm Springs has going for it.  But I've said that before.


Leslie said...

We're taking a mid-afternoon/evening siesta so I caught up on the blog. All I have to say is that if you're a square in Palm Springs or the Ace hotel, I should never ever ever go there. :) xoxo

Ashley said...

haha yeah, it was intense! and yay for my first international comment :) miss you!

Lisa said...
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