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  • Cabazon is High on Peoples List for Things to Do in Palm Springs

    Not familiar with Cabazon? If you have not heard of it, there is a strong chance that high-end shopping and bargains are not foremost on your mind when you are planning your next getaway. However, if you like shopping, let me enlighten you why you may want to seek out this international attraction. Cabazon is actually a town, about 18 miles west of Palm Springs, California. However, it is known for its Desert Hills Premium Outlet. It is a mecca for shoppers from around the world in search of a bargain for designer clothing, accessories, and household items. You will need a rental car to get there if you are flying into the Palm Springs Airport. Another option is an Uber or Lyft. If you are driving to Palm Springs from San Diego or Los Angeles you will see the high-rise Morongo Casino and Hotel Resort in the distance. The Outlet is before that, so keep your eyes open for the exit sign, it comes up fast. If you miss it, you have to travel down the road a bit before you can turn around. Parking your car is sometimes a challenge for top-rated attraction. I’ve discovered if you park behind the famous In and Out Burger, your chances of finding a space significantly increases for it is at the far end from Palm Springs. Be sure to make note what entrance, and by what store, you are approaching this adventure. This complex gets confusing. Another caution. This mall is located in a sort of a wind tunnel, there is a reason the windmills are in this area. So be sure to take a sweater along. In the winter, you will be glad you will have a REAL winter coat for the winds whistle through here at a good pace. What kind of stores can I expect to see here? Name any Brand and I’m pretty sure you will find a store carrying the name. Here is a list of a few of the brands represented at Cabazon: Saks OFF 5th Stores, Ann Taylor, Salvatore Ferragamo, Armani, Marc Jacobs, Carter’s, Coach, Elie Tahari, Ugg, Columbia Sports Wear So you get the picture. Truthfully, it is best if you have a list before you arrive because there is no way you can traverse this complex, which is divided into three sections, on a day’s visit. There are no restaurants, just a food court in the middle section. There is an occasional kiosk for some lights snacks. Insider’s Advice – eat a hearty breakfast before you leave and/or make reservations at your favorite restaurant in Palm Springs for the evening. Trust me, you will be tired and just want to relax and enjoy some good food after sharing the complex with thousands of people. Coupons are Honored Go to the Desert Hills Premium Outlet site. There you will find information on their VIP program. I urge you to sign up for the savings with coupons listed there will increase your savings at many of the stores. By the way, when you are in Coachella Valley, and you say you are going to Cabazon, we know you mean you are going shopping. Desert Hill Premium Outlet 48750 Seminole Drive Cabazon, CA 92230 www.premiumoutlets.com Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Explore Garage Sales on Your Next Visit to Palm Springs

    Bargain shopper? Well, then you have come to the right place. Ask a local person, and they’ll regale the virtues of garage and estate sales throughout Coachella Valley. Since I had worked on a project in Palms Springs, I was well aware of the bargains that could be found at these two kinds of sales. Once I decided to make the move from Vancouver, Washington, I decided it made absolutely no sense to move my stuff to Palm Springs. Like the declutterers are recommending, I packed only things that brought me joy, my Caribbean artwork, and my clothes. Just saying, six years later, I have no regret about leaving stuff behind nor do I miss it. Garage Sales and Estate Sales Hunting For many of us, these sales have become a hobby. One never knows what treasures one will find. My girlfriend and I head out at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings with a sense of expectation and adventure. She happens to love research, so she has with her a list of sales, with addresses, she has found on Craigslist, Facebook or Palm Springs Neighborhood Newsletters. If you are here a short time, ask a local what is considered the most affluent area. For these areas are most likely to have the sales with often pristine items. As you drive around, you will see a number of signs posted on main streets, competing for your attention. By the way, be sure to put sunscreen on and wear a hat. Also, keep in mind, when in Palm Springs a bottle of water and sunscreen is a must ANYTIME you leave the confines of your home or hotel room. What Kinds of Things Can You Expect to Find? One time I went to an estate sale and there was a black, all leather, perfect condition sofa for $150. Admittedly, that is an extreme bargain; however, none-the-less it was for sale. As I write, I’m sitting on my deck writing on a wrought-iron table with four chairs that rock purchased for $75. One time, I decided I wanted a waffle maker. Second stop, I found one that made four waffles at a time for $5. Works perfectly. Linens? I think I’ve gone overboard on my napkin collections. Hey, at 25 cents a piece for brand new ones, why not? How Do I You Keep from Cluttering your Home with Bargains? It soon became apparent to me I needed my own guidelines. So I made two of them: 1. It has to be an upgrade from something I already have in my possession. An example, I had a standard office-type stapler. At an Estate Sale, I found a Cadillac of staplers for $3. The other promptly went in my giveaway bag. 2. It has to have an art component to it. Since I am a jewelry connoisseur, this guideline prevented me from buying many a normal piece of lovely jewelry. I look for movement in it or it is created by an artist. As for wall art, I must love it. Why are Bargains so plentiful? Actually, there are three reasons: 1. Often these are winter homes of elderly people. Children find themselves overwhelmed when parents pass on. Thus, they have sales to purge their parents’ things. 2. Condo and homes are sold often here with contents in tack. New owners want an entirely different décor. 3. Neighborhoods often decided to go together to have one grand community garage sale since they do not have enough time/energy to put one together on their own. By the way, there is still another reason why I enjoy this Saturday morning activity. You meet the most fascinating people, and you get to peek in peoples’ backyards. With Estate Sales, you get to see an entire house, which may or may not be to something you might want to consider owning. It should be noted sales are often on Friday too. People say that is when you get the really good stuff. Also, do not be afraid to bargain, especially if it is getting close to closing time, which is usually no later than 2:00 p.m. Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book, It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Plan your Visit to Palm Springs

    Are you really going to Palm Springs? Let me explain. As a resident of Palm Springs, I have friends call and tell me excitingly that they are coming to Palm Springs. They have their hotel and look forward to spending time with me. I smile at the other end of the phone and ask, What is the name of your hotel? Since there are hundreds of them in Coachella Valley, often I never heard of the hotel, I ask: What is the address? They say I don't know, but I will check. An email later, I have the address of their vacation spot in Palm Springs. The only problem the actual address is Indio, California, a one-half hour drive from here. Coachella Valley Travel Tips Palm Springs does have an International airport. Personally, I believe that is what causes the confusion about this area all being called Palm Springs. However, the Coachella Valley is actually composed of nine separate cities, all with their own City Government. They have their own identity and are very proud of it. Desert Hot Springs This is the only city East of Highway 10, the main artery between Los Angeles and Phoenix. This where you will be able to experience hot mineral baths. Palms Springs Spa Resort Casino is in the process of building a new Spa, so their mineral spring is presently capped. Two Bunch Palms is a luxury resort is where the LA crowd comes to get away from it all. Not to be missed is the famous Cabot Museum. Palm Springs This has become the hip place to visit for many activities revolve around outdoor activities, including many restaurants with outdoor dining. This community is very LGBTQ friendly and VERY dog-friendly. The city had the perception of being full of only retired people, not anymore. Lots of music, a terrific art museum and lots of shopping make for a diversified travel experience. Let’s not forget hiking. Cathedral City This city is going through a rebirth. Once known for the place where the worker bees lived, it is becoming a city that has a booming downtown square, art galleries and numerous activities for families. It also is the location for my favorite luxury movie theatre called The Mary Pickford D place. Rancho Mirage This city has always seemed to keep its cache as a city where the rich and famous live. It still is for Thunderbird is often in the news because of the Obamas visits. The Library is one of the finest I have ever experienced. One of my most favorite places, Sunnylands, is located on the famous Annenberg Estate. Palm Desert This is the city had has our magnificent venue the McCallum Theatre where our major art attractions perform during the winter months. The Living Desert is a must-see for any visitor to Coachella Valley. If you want to experience a Rodeo Drive without going to Beverly Hills, you want to plan a shopping trip to El Paseo. Indian Wells The drive on Hwy 111 through this city is breathtaking. The road is lined with magnificent palm trees with entrances to golf courses and gated residential communities. You will want to drive slowly so you can check out the entries landscaped to perfection in any season. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden is located here, the home of BNP Paribas Open and WTA Indian Wells Open. La Quinta When I want to go to someplace to feel like I have been on a journey from Palm Springs and want to relax, this where I go. Old Town beckons you to slow down. This city is also the site of one of our major international art shows which occurs in March. The grounds of the Town Hall Complex, with its magnificent park and permanent art, are enough to make anyone feel like you have arrived in Paradise. Indio This is my go-to place for two reasons. Shields Date Garden makes the best date shakes, in my opinion in the Valley. A short block away you can experience my favorite Happy-- Happy Hour place Jackalope Ranch. The ambiance in their garden is spectacular and totally unexpected in our desert. It is also home to the Coachella Music and Art Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival on the Polo Grounds. Coachella It is known as the City of Eternal Sunshine. It is mostly a rural and agricultural community. If you want to see groves of date palm trees, orange and lemon groves, this is the place to soak it in. There you have it. Nine separate cities with, in my opinion, totally different personalities. The only way you will know which city you are in is IF you keep a lookout for the cities welcoming signs. There is no natural space between them. I trust this explanation will help you when you plan your stay or deciding on things to do in Palm Springs. Yes, now I know you now understand the difference…just wanted to see if you were still alert. Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Pinocchio for Breakfast when you Visit Palm Springs

    You might want to include this fun place in your plans for your stay in Palms Springs. This is a breakfast and lunch place where you will be able to mingle with our relaxed locals. Pinocchio's is located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. So what is the appeal? Patio dining is one of our favorite pastimes in Palm Springs. Since it sits right on the sidewalk, the ability to people watch is satisfying in itself. However, we locals like it for its good food, at reasonable prices. Well, okay, there’s another reason. They have bottomless champagne for $4.95. Add a bit more if you want orange juice to turn the champagne into mimosas. They do have a 90 minute rule about how long you can stay. It is very casual, and relaxed. How Pinocchio's Became a Reality Before she came to the United States, Desiree Hunen-Gerhardt, owned and operated several hotel restaurants in Germany. One of them had significant acreage and was often the site for events serving 450 people. She discovered Palm Springs when she visited friends in 1995. Then she started looking around for a place to start a restaurant in Palm Springs. In 1997 she bought the Hacienda. She owned and operated it between 1997 and 2005. She took a year off before she found herself anxious to get back to the restaurant business. When interviewing Desiree, she said, When I lived in Germany, my favorite restaurant in that town was called Pinocchio. When I bought the restaurant in 2007, it was call, 'More than a Mouthful.' She laughingly told me, I desired to find a hole in the wall off the beaten track, and it was at that time. When asked what her guiding philosophy is, she replied, I wanted Pinocchio’s to be a staple of Palm Springs where locals come to meet. wanted it to be happy place where no politics or negativity is found. It seems the Desiree has accomplished her goal. I noticed that when I have out-of-town guests and they want to a real Palm Springs resident breakfast, my first thought is to take them to Pinocchio’s. No wonder the place is getting busier. By the way, I have never had a visitor who didn’t enjoy the food, the atmosphere and the positive energy in this charming Palm Springs restaurant. As I was about to leave Desiree said, Look around. Notice there is a bottle of champagne on most of the tables here. I think we have are accomplishing our mission for people are here to enjoy themselves while having a hearty breakfast. Now that I know the story, I am even more enthusiastically recommending to you this absolutely charming Palm Springs restaurant. Palm Springs Insider Guide Tips Look for the umbrellas on Tahquitz Canyon Way, literally between our two local major streets, Indian Canyon Drive and North Palm Canyon Drive. The key is to get there before 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for it fills up rapidly. They do not accept reservations. There is free parking in the back accessible from Indian Canyon Drive if you can't find a space on major streets. Pinocchio 134 E Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs, CA 92262 760-322-3776 www.pinocchiops.com Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Palm Springs Insider Tip for Outstanding Florists

    You had a delightful visit in Palm Springs for a couple of days with friends. You bought them a lovely meal along the way and picked up incidentals. Yet, you want to do more. From experience, I can tell you there is nothing lovelier than receiving flowers from one of these two florists. My Little Flower Shop This florist shop was recently named, Best of Coachella Valley for 2018-2019. A very prestigious award, when you consider this Valley consists of nine separate cities. It is a full service florist, which means they have a staff available to help you plan that corporate event, non-profit fundraising event, your wedding, or an elegant surrounding for a very special evening. Their clients have included the Academy Awards, fundraiser for Presidents, and dignitaries at private functions in some of our most magnificent homes. It is located north of Palm Springs in the Design District. Last Sunday, there was a quiet knock on my door. When I opened it, there was man holding this beautiful bouquet sent to me by a dear friend, whom I had given my Insider Tour of Palm Springs. This is a bouquet worthy of a special post on Facebook and Instagram. The only word I can used to describe it is stunning. My Little Flower Shop 861 N Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262 760-778-7111 www.mylittleflowershop.com Jensen’s Florist On the south end of Palm Springs, you will find their floral department in their fine food store. They do not plan events. However, they are great listeners, know many of the prominent local people and already have ideas that will be just the right touch for your special gift. They are locally owned and operated and have been serving our area since 1990. They will deliver flowers throughout Coachella Valley. If you want a number of similar bouquets for your weddings, fundraisers etc., no problem they can accommodate you. If you are shopping for some special items in the store for your dinner, you can find a large select of both cut flowers and plants that will be the perfect addition to your special evening’s dinner table. Jensen’s Florist 2465 E Palm Canyon Drive Bldg 7 Palm Springs, CA 92264 (760) 325-8282 www.jensensfloristsandfinefoods.com Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide Her book, It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News . Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Joshua Trees are Calling from Palm Springs

    One of the most asked questions: I have a half day available. What would you do with the time? One-Half Day Trip to High Desert from Palm Springs There continues to be controversy about whether the area 40 miles from Palm Springs should be called the high desert. Recently, the community has embraced the phrase Joshua Tree Gateway Communities for describing this 100 mile stretch on Highway 62. In any case, let me share with you my adventure, just yesterday, I highly recommend. You will need your own car. This particular journey is NOT taking you into Joshua Tree National Park. We Are Off My traveling companion picked me up at my home in Palm Springs at 10:00 a.m. We headed straight North on Indian Canyon Drive. It dead-ends at Hwy 62. Turn right, and you are on the way. As you head up the winding mountain, the passenger should keep an eye open for Big Horn Sheep grazing on the floor of the canyon. Joshua Trees are found at elevations of 2,000 to 6,000 feet, so you will start seeing them as you go up the mountain. I’m writing this at the end of March and they are beginning to blossom. If you have never seen a Joshua tree, even when they are not blooming, it is worth the trip to see these magnificent trees. If you want to get up close and personal with a Joshua tree, without going to the National Park, as you come over the mountain into Yucca Valley, you will see places to pull over and get a closer look. Once you take you Joshua tree photos, get back on Hwy 62, head east until you get to Old Women Springs Road. Turn left, and you are on then on the way to the Gublers Orchid Farm. It is 15 miles from the town of Yucca Valley in Landers. As a visitor, you will find it interesting to see the change in the landscape. Gubler Orchids Greenhouses in Landers Yes, there is an amazing orchid farm in the desert that grows and ships orchids to Lowes and Ralphs in Southern California. Frankly, people don’t know about this place. I guess that is why I might even call this The Palm Spring Insider Guide Secret places. When you see the sign for Landers, turn right. Go straight until you see the well-marked sign to turn left to the orchid farm. It’s down about a mile on the left. There is plenty of easy parking. Don’t be alarm when no one in the parking lot. People just don’t know about this place. It is just before the Integratron if you have been there for their sound baths. By the way, wear closed-toed shoes. Without them you can view the gorgeous showroom, but you will not be allowed into the greenhouses, so you would miss the tour. When we arrive, this particular day, there was a sign on the door, We’re open; but please call this number, and we will greet you at the door shortly. We called, and they graciously opened the door. We looked around the showroom and then we were off on our terrific 20 to 25-minute tour. We purchased a couple award-winning orchids in the showroom. There is a large selection of sizes and varieties available. I could go on and on about the tour, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Let’s just say, no matter how many times I go there or who I take, we walk away thinking I’m so glad we did make an effort to come here. Joshua tree Saloon Bar and Grill Stop for Lunch Retrace your steps; go back down the mountain to Hwy 62. Once there, turn left and head to the town of Joshua Tree. Travel about six miles and you’ll see the town at the foot of the hill. Keep your eye open as you travel through the town. The Saloon is at the far end on the right. There is plenty of parking. This is the place where the serious hikers stop, and people wanting a feeling of the Old West without going to Pioneer town. I have a different motive; however, for I’m determined to have my friend experience deep-fried dill pickles. As suspected, he agreed they were tasty, real dill pickles and a new, fun experience. Lots of items on the menu so the most discriminating eater, can find something here. Time to head back to Palm Springs. Our entire trip was 4.5 hours. So plenty of time to relax around the pool, then get ready for Happy Hour or dinner. If you choose to spend more time in the Joshua Tree area and have an RV, you might want to check out this link about camping in Joshua Tree National Park https://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/rv-camping-in-joshua-tree-national-park/ Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book, It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News . Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Here is my Choice for Palm Springs Movie Theatre

    Is it the neon signs? The giant lizards made of mosaic glass that guards the entrance? Is it the ambiance when you come out at night? First of all, let me say, the Mary Pickford Theatre is actually in Cathedral City, located in their town square. I did not want to confuse you, the visitor, for more than likely you told everyone you were flying or driving to Palm Springs. You were unaware there are nine cities that are often collectively called Palm Springs by outsiders. (I’ll be writing a blog on this shortly) The Mary Pickford, as we affectionately call it, is my go to theater for a number of reasons. · It is about eight miles from my home in Palm Springs. It always feels like I am off on adventure when I head, down valley (Locals call driving south down valley) · Parking is very easy. · The giant lizards on both sides of a small pond can’t help but make you smile. A closer look will have you marveling about the artistry of the person who actually created them. I’m not sure the Barcelona lizard has anything on these two magnificent creatures. · Like most theatres, you can buy your ticket online or head to the box office. You also select your seat at the time of purchase. · Armed with your ticket, you walk into the grand lobby. Your eyes wander to the ceiling, the arches and the staircase lined with trailing ivy. Don’t forget to look up behind you and see the large window over the entrance. · They have a year-long Popcorn Pass for $39. Admittedly, this year-long pass for popcorn serves my popcorn addiction well. · With your assigned seat, you head toward your almost full-reclining chair. · For those so inclined, the theatre has capability for both 3D and DBox. I believe you are getting the picture. This theatre is beautiful and comfortable with an array of amenities, food and drinks that will satisfy the pickiest attendee. My ideal time of day to attend is about 4:30 p.m. when it is daylight. Then when I come out at the night the town square is a fairyland of beautiful colored lights, the theatre’s neon lights makes you feel like old Hollywood and the palm trees are bathed in lights. Mary Pickford Theatre www.dplaceentertainment.com/location/mary-pickford 36-850 Pickfair Cathedral City, CA 92234 760-328-7100 Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is a six-year resident of Palm Springs and the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Palm Springs Restaurant with Great View for Breakfast

    Often overlooked for breakfast by both, visitors and locals alike, is this restaurant that will quickly jolt you out of your routines when visiting, or even living in Palm Springs. In fact, it is one of my go to places when I want a celebratory breakfast with friends or enjoy the beauty of the mountains in Coachella Valley. Escena Lounge and Grill Admittedly, I had heard about this place long before I actually made a decision to go there for breakfast. People raved about the view and were often quoted as saying; it has the most beautiful view of the mountains in the valley. Honestly, can’t remember the occasion why the time had come. Just remember the experience. The entrance is off Vista China Drive in Palm Springs. There is plenty of parking, even though it is the official clubhouse for the Escena Golf Club. This area can be very windy. IF you want to experience eating out on the patio, I would advising waiting until the winds calm down. Our weather forecasters clearly have handle on wind situations in our valley so check with them. As you walk in, check the patio to the left. The water screen is fascinating and draws you in for you can see this is not your ordinary water screen. Then you will marvel at how simple the design is to create the great look. It is not often you walk toward the entrance of a restaurant and see before you a reflection pond with great sculpture. You immediately feel you are in for a special experience. A gracious hostess will greet you. Ask to be seated on the patio. In spring, any table will do, but if you are in the warmth of the summer ask to be seated where you will be protected from the sun. There are umbrellas, but the sun angle makes all the difference. If you like breakfast beverages, this is the place to order them. Once you are seated, you will want to bask in the beauty that surrounds you. As far as you can see, is the manicured golf course landscaped with rivers, palm trees, flowering plants and the mountains in the distance. What’s on the Menu? Frankly, I’m the wrong person to ask. I’m a connoisseur of eggs benedict--totally fussy about the béarnaise sauce. This restaurant is one of two in the Valley, I have discovered, that never let me down with the perfect sauce. Thus, my go to order is always eggs benedict at this restaurant. You will find the normal American menu. My friends have shared with me that the omelets are superb. This is the place you want to linger. Great place to catch up with friends, and enjoy the mountains in the distance. Depending on the sun, and even sometimes the presence of clouds; you will discover no visit is ever the same for the view is constantly changing. I’m sure you noticed I emphasized Escena Lounge and Grill for breakfast. I want to make it clear you can also go there for lunch or dinner. I have a bias for breakfast since it is such a magnificent way to start one’s day. If you want to go on Sunday morning, be sure to make reservations—they are on Open Table. It is located near the airport, so it is a bit away from downtown. However, if you have a car it is a very easy drive. Otherwise, taxi, Uber or Lyft can easily find their way for you. Escena Lounge & Grill 1100 Clubhouse View Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262 760-992-0002 http://www.escenagolf.com/dine Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Palm Springs Super Bloom

    Rain, rains go away. Wait! No, I don’t mean that for I have had one of the most beautiful, short road trips I can remember. All our winter rain has brought us a Wildflower Super Bloom. A Super Blooms means that a number of seeds that have laid dormant; perhaps for years, have decided to grow and display their blooms in a most majestic way. The warmer temperatures have urged them to bloomer sooner than most predicted. Packing for my Excursion As a desert rat, an endearing term some of we locals ourselves, I knew I needed to pack a bag for my journey. My bag included: 1. Two water bottles filled to the brim. One learns never to go without water in this region. I was traveling mostly on a major highway and just a short distance. However, accidents have known to cause major backups. Why not be on the safe side? 2. Since I planned on taking lots of pictures, I figured a phone charger was a must. 3. Tennis shoes if I decided I wanted to walk one of the plentiful trains in the area. 4. A snack. Well, maybe I packed two. With sunglasses in hand, phone in its case, along with a pair of reading glasses, I headed out the door for my 40 mile journey East of Palm Springs. My destination is the Southern Entrance of Joshua Tree National Park. When traveling in the area for Palm Springs, if you can, plan your activities after 9:00 a.m. People here have to get to work. So avoid the semblance of any traffic situation by leisurely starting your morning. The sun was shining brightly; the weatherman predicted an 80 degree day. My spirits were high as I headed out on this new adventure. By the way, check your gas gauge. Once you pass the town of Indio, in the distance, there are no gas stations between there and your destination. I was on my way. I quickly noticed anytime there was a piece of land not landscaped for residential or commercial purposes, there were beautiful purple flowers hugging the ground. Taller bushes of yellow flowers cry for your attention too. The canyons in the distance were awash in the color yellow. Note, I have not used flower names, because I don’t know them. However, if you are curious Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Centers have a plethora of books on plants in the area Southern Entrance of Joshua Tree National Park. You can’t miss the sign for the national park. It is about 40 miles East of Palm Springs on Hwy 10. Turn left over the bridge. AND then, you eyes begin to focus on what lies ahead of you—thousands, if not millions of wild flowers, as far as you can see in purple and yellow hues. The park entrance, where you have to pay, is up the road. If you haven’t been to the park, I encourage you to pay the fee and go through the park. I’ve been through it many times. I could tell my adventure to see wildflowers could be filled in this area alone. The pictures I have attached to this blog have not been retouched. I told a friend, I feel like I am in heaven as I text her one of the many pictures that now grace my photo album. Speaking of texting, this area is very spotty for Wi-Fi, so don’t get frustrated if your pictures, attached to a text do not go out right away. Alas, it was time for me leave this wonderland behind me. Though on the way home, I thought about how, if I write and post a blog on this adventure, just maybe it will encourage others to get out of their routine and experience this wonderful gift of nature. Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News Kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 http://www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

  • Palm Springs Day Trip to LA Garment District

    Your friend owns Kimbals, a clothing and accessory shop in Palm Springs, California. She asks you go on a buying trip to the Garment District of Los Angeles. Now really, what are the chances anyone would say, No? Natta. The day arrived. The weather was checked: Cold but sunny! A heavy sweater should do it. Comfortable slacks and top for ease in out of the car multiple times. Oh yes, the most comfortable walking shoes completed the comfort outfit. Day Bag This is what I included: • Two of my reusable water bottles filled to the brim. I’ve seen way too many documentaries on plastic water bottles to think they would be a good idea to take on this trip or any other trip. • An extra pair of shoes. I find a change of shoes half-way through a walking day makes a big different to my feet and my disposition. • Snacks. Those corn muffins I made from scratch and have in the freezer would be perfect. Also included some almonds, love their portability. Bananas are good too to give you a boost. A welcome fruit for my drag time around 1:30 p.m. • Mobile phone battery charger. Not only do I post pictures of the sites I see, I use my phone to send gift ideas to friends, keep up with text and phone calls. One needs it because before I know it my phone is drained have a 2.5 hour drive back to Palm Springs. First Stop – Often called Chinatown Even if you are not shopping for something, this area of the Garment District between 1st and 4th and Los Angeles is an experience. Think of huge warehouses with vendor booth upon vendor booth filled with things you equate with Made in China items. Want a fan to cool yourself in summer heat? No problem, you can buy them by the dozen and hand them out to friends at your next hot backyard party. Need ribbon? Every color and size imaginable is available. Party favors? Adorable boxes for favors as your friends go out the door. You get the picture. All these vendors and items produce a sensory overload. Next Stop Near 12th Street and San Pedro Street, we find ourselves surrounded by small boutiques selling their brands. Mannequins beg us to come in to view next season’s lines. Yet, this trip, the goal was to purchase jewelry so their beckoning to us to come in proved to be ineffective. We were on a mission. Now if you want jewelry, this area will most certainly meet your needs. I commented to my friend, since I am a lover of jewelry, this place makes me feel like A little kid in a candy store. Each store has hooks of row upon row of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. I found a pair of gold earrings I liked, but I wanted it them in silver? No problem, I found a silver pair right next to the gold one. At this point, I knew if it wasn’t there, it would be, more than likely, located in the silver aisle. Thus, I ended up with jewelry I didn’t need, but it was arty and unusual, so how could I leave them behind? Alas, we looked at the clock. If we didn’t head back, we would get stuck in traffic with the in Los Angeles folks traveling to Palm Springs for the weekend. Snack on the Way Home My friend, and driver, was getting weary, so we made a stop at Starbucks. She selected a cheese/fruit plate and we sat there and ate while smiling about our purchases. She was pleased for her next Las Vegas trip tasks had been cut down considerably and she has great new merchandise for the store. As for me, my treasures are still on my kitchen counter. As I finish this article, I am smiling for now it is time for me to open, my bags, and put away my treasures. PS - People ask if you do not have a business can you shop in the Garment District? The answer is, "It depends." In the stores, most likely you will need a vendor number assigned to your company. However, it doesn't hurt to ask. The street vendors are happy to sell you products, which include things such as hats, shoes, toys etc. Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger, and founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guide. She was recipient of US Book News Finalist Award for her book: It Doesn't Hurt to Ask: It's About Communication. www.palmspringsinsiderguide.com kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094

  • Palm Springs Invaded by Rabbits and Babies

    It is not often a bunch of 10 foot babies or 8 foot rabbits come to an area at the same time. However, that is the case for our community. Let me explain. DESSERT©WARREN If you are driving on Hwy 111, near Ranch Mirage, don’t be surprised if suddenly you see rabbits somewhat hiding from the Palm Springs sun. These colorful sculptures beacon you to stop and touch them. There is plenty of parking so it easy for you to stop and take playful photos. These nine colorful rabbits are approximately eight feet high. They are made out of highly polished steel and finished in bright colors. They are the creation of Karen and Tony Barone. The artists have work throughout out the world, but proudly call Palm Springs their home. They have always understood public art is important to a community. This warren, a name used to describe a bunch of rabbits, will be on site through the end of the May 2019. Individual rabbits can be adopted and will be taken to their new homes in June. I’m partial to the one named by its adoptive family, Happy. BABIES Behind the new Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs one can find 10 fiberglass black babies with no faces, but barcodes. They are found in the sand of the future home of an underground parking lot in an area we presently call the “The Sand Pit.” It’s located right in front of our beautiful Palm Springs Art Museum. These figures are at least 11 feet long and weight between 200 and 300 pounds. They are placed throughout the area so they look like they are crawling within the space. In one case, one is even crawling up a wall. Fiberglass, in the hot sun, can heat to extremely high temperatures. Thus, visitors are not allowed to touch and interact with them. The artist is David Cerny, Czech sculpture, originally created the “babies” for the Zizkov Tower in Prague. When they were returned, he found a home for them in Palm Springs. Listening to comments from visitors one can hear words such as creepy, disturbing or ugly. Since they were created to represent the societal dehumanization, it appears Cerny has accomplished his goal. Kathy Condon is a travel writer, blogger and founder of Palm Springs Insider Guide. She received US Book News Finalist Award for her book, It Doesn't Hurt to Ask; It's All About Communication kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 www.palmspringsinsiderguide.com

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