Palm Springs: A Perfect Girlfriends’ Getaway

My friend Kristie and I had a weekend to spare. Our boyfriends both had their adorable children that weekend (ah, the joys of dating forty-somethings!), and we thought it might be nice to take the opportunity to have a little rest and relaxation getaway, just the two of us. So, knowing how much I adore my time in Palm Springs, Kristie suggested we make a weekend out of it. Perfect, I said. Let’s go!

We had an easy drive out, stopping for a little retail therapy along the way at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon. Barney’s and Tory Burch in the same sweep of stores AND I don’t have to pay retail? Yes, please.

My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Murphy, accompanied us as we browsed skinny jeans at Barney’s and the preternaturally colorful selections at Tory Burch (that is, after we’d waited in line to get in). Which was the first time I have ever–or will again–waited in line behind a red velvet rope to enter a shop or boutique of any kind (“Crowd control, madam”). I’m not sure which bit of the explanation was more alarming. “Crowd control,” at Tory Burch? What, are WASPS going to stampede the racks and destroy the perfectly folded sweaters and scarves? But I think “madam” won. No one is permitted to call me madam until I have flowing silver hair down to my knees (worn in a chignon most days), and have increased my list of personal eccentricities by at least sixfold. I think that’s reasonable, don’t you?

Kristie, Murphy and I then made our way to Uptown Palm Springs for a little vintage browsing at the marvelous stores along that corridor, and then a lovely late lunch at Jake’s Palm Springs. We sat on the charming patio where Kristie and I indulged in people watching (always a rewarding pursuit in Palm Springs) and Murphy in hoovering crumbs from the ground and ogling the rather fetching Dachshund at the next table. Thus sustained, we ventured on to the condo. And here, a note: everyone, if they aren’t fortunate enough to own their own home in Palm Springs, should befriend someone who does. Of course, Palm Springs’ hotels are marvelous beyond compare, but sometimes it’s fun to settle into a room of one’s own.

We decided we’d delay our hike till the next day and enjoy the desert sunset from the warm and welcoming confines of the Jacuzzi. One of my favorite ways to enjoy a January evening (or most evenings of most months) is to sink into a decadently overheated whirlpool and watch the sun sink below the purpling tips of the mountains as the blue and wide California sky bruises to black.

That night found us dining at Jiao, a fabulous new restaurant featuring Asian-fusion fare, by trendsetting Palm Springs’ tastemakers Tara Lazar and Marco Rossetti (who also own eateries Cheeky’s and Birba as well as boutique hotel Alcazar). Jiao gives a cosmopolitan twist to Asian specialities and their delicately spiced small plates are a globetrotting foodie’s dream. Kristie and I particularly enjoyed the Tempura Brussels Sprouts, Shishito Peppers and the gorgeous Chinese Eggplant. Highly recommended!

We caught up with my friend, Adam (Tara’s brother), over coffee the next morning at the aptly named, Koffi–I dream about their American roast nonfat latte! In town from Paris with his family, Adam was full of stories and stock tips. And as always, it was a delight to see my old friend. I love that about Palm Springs–you never know who may be in town, who’s visiting for the Palm Springs Film Festival or conference or event, who now lives there full time, who you may see in line for coffee or at a gallery. Palm Springs draws the best and the brightest, and not a few eccentrics (which suits me down to the ground).

Appropriately caffeinated, Kristie and I decided it was time to climb a mountain. We headed for one of my favorite hikes in the area: The North Lykken Trail. We began at the trailhead at the end of Ramon Road and continued onto the picnic tables high above the Palm Springs Art Museum…and back again. A beautiful and invigorating climb with spectacular panoramic views of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley–highly recommended!

We made our way down the mountain, relaxed and refreshed, feeling grateful and centered–happy to have spent such a beautiful weekend in one of our favorite places on earth!

About Kate Buckley

Kate Buckley is a brand strategist, premium domain broker and consultant, interviewer, storyteller, visual artist, and award-winning poet & writer. She’s worked in media and marketing since 1997, holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press) and Follow Me Down (Tebot Bach). A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her awards include a Gabeheart Prize and the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize. She was most recently shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. A ninth-generation Kentuckian, she’s made her home in Southern California since 1998.

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