Travel: Guide to Palm Spring’s Aerial Tram

One tip we received during our honeymoon was to do the Palm Spring’s Aerial Tram.  Unfortunately, by the time we found out about it, tickets were sold out and we were SOL.  So this time we planned ahead and made sure it was on our trip itinerary.  So if you’re visiting Palm Springs, this is definitely a fun adventure to spend a few hours doing and make sure its a successful experience with these tips!

  1.  Buy Tickets Early! Not only will this guarantee you a day/time to visit and experience the tram, but you’ll basically skip the line when it’s your trip time.  Tickets range from $26 for adults to $17 for children.
  2. Plan for 20-30 extra minutes for Arrival.  We definitely cut it a little close with our arrival time and ticket time.  First, because our GPS took us on a wild adventure to the wrong address, second – there are different level parking lots depending on the time of day and how busy it is, you might be farther away – so get ready to hike up a hill or wait for the bus to come pick you up!  Also there is a $6-8 parking fee.
  3. Consider Planning Your Trip Around A Meal.  This would be a way to fully experience everything the mountain station has to offer.  From a casual cafe, full bar, or the Pine’s more upscale restaurant, this already memorable trip could be topped off with a delicious meal and endless desert views.
  4. Dress in Layers.  At an elevation of 8,516 ft. it is definitely cooler on top of the mountain than the base – so depending on when you go plan accordingly.  When we visited it was in the 70’s at the base and in the 40’s at the top!
  5. Consider Hiking.  If you’re in for more adventure and activity verses a sit-down meal, there are over 50-miles of hiking trails to take advantage of, so dress and pack appropriately for an afternoon of hiking!

IMG_2469Honestly, I totally underestimated what this experience would be like – from being on multiple trams in the Teton Mountains, the mountains surrounding the desert cities although beautiful are smaller in comparison, or at least that is what I thought!  The quick 10-minute tram ride, is a stunner and fairly intense with steep inclines running 2.5 miles and climbing 5,873 from the Valley Station to the Mountain Station.  It was an incredible ride up and took us out of the desert for the time we experienced the aerial tram!

Learn more about the tram here!

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Travel: Palm Springs Eats

We celebrated our one year anniversary with a little trip back to Palm Springs/Palm Desert California.  What better time to head out west when the temperatures are dipping below 30-degrees and snow flurries are becoming a regular occurrence?  After getting our feet wet a little last year on our honeymoon – we definitely knew of a few spots we wanted to go back too and then a handful of spots yet to explore – and a few we had on our list from watching Desert Flippers on HGTV.

Our Brunch Spot.  From meatloaf with an egg on top, biscuits and gravy, french toast or a tradition eggs with bacon, everything is beyond delicious at Wilma & Frieda’s.  A MUST-HAVE is their biscuits, they fall apart and melt in your mouth, plus are served with a fruit jam that just puts it over the top.

Because It’s Just So Good.  I could’ve had In & Out burgers everyday, the double cheeseburger is the only way to go.  Plus the first bite needs to be documented at all accounts – plus with a side of animal style fries, yum, yum, yum! Whether you’re getting this go to or dining in the experience of an old-school diner topped with a delicious meal is a west-coast must.

The Perfect Drink + Dinner Combo.  One of our favorite nights was spent with family friends who live in the desert year round.  We told them to pick the spots and we would come along for the ride!  We started with drinks at the bar at Lulu Bistro (which we also brunched at) to get the evening started with a fun atmosphere and music.  From there we popped over to Tropicale and had the perfect seats out on their patio, which is a must when you dine in there! We ordered a number of small plates, continued to drink, laugh and just sampled a variety of dishes – the calamari was by far one of the best things we had!

A few other honorable mentions that are must visits throughout the greater Palm Springs and Palm Desert area are AC3 at Hotel Paseo – the service, food and atmosphere was incredible it was a good pick.  Spencers was another brunch spot, but came highly recommended as a favorite dinner spot from our desert dwelling friends – the patio again was magical with trees growing up right up into the sky.

We had a great time eating our way through our trip -one night we even grabbed sushi at a Japanese Steakhouse because we were craving it for our actual anniversary dinner!  It was so good, although we didn’t put the Steakhouse name and idea together until we sat down. Every spot we went had a fun yet welcoming atmosphere with bright colors and warm faces – not to mention most of the patios had heaters too, so it was perfect for morning breakfast or late night dinners!

The sad part and good part is there are so many other, trendy, delicious spots that we haven’t even visited yet! The good news is we’ll also have new places to try while still being able to head back to our favorites.  What’s your favorite desert dining spot?

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Travel: California Honeymoon

**This post was written before the recent turn of events with the California/LA Fires; my heart goes out to every single living creature directly and indirectly affected by these sad and destructive fires.  Donate to the Greater Los Angeles American Red Cross to help those affected.

In case you missed our Thanksgiving in Palm Desert, you can catch-up on it here.  Our #emnbhoneymoon was our first vacation that we took together – usually we are with family, so that in and of itself was fun, plus it was our first time in Cali!

We flew in and out of Burbank, which helped save us some money and was also super manageable for being right outside of LA. We had a quick 2-hour trip to the desert each way and were able to explore some more sites around the Hollywood area on our way back to the airport.
Travel - California - the bee life
While we were in Palm Desert, we stayed close to the resort, only heading out to random stores to pick up groceries for various meals.  The pool was right next to our condo and it was the perfect spot for us to soak up the sun, take a nap, and just detox from the world. Mornings started with the sunrise, and usually a long walk around the complex exploring the sites.  We went out to brunch and dinner a few times but the standouts besides Eight4Nine were Trio for dinner and Wilma and Frieda for brunch – WOW, both were so delicious.

Before our flight, we headed back early to the Burbank area so we could check out Venice Beach and both see the Pacific Ocean for the first time! It was neat to check out the area, grab some pictures, walk along the beach and stick our feet in the ocean.  From there we found the closest In and Out Burger, each ordered a double and soaked up some more sunshine as we indulged!  From there we headed to Beverly Hills and took a drive down Rodeo Drive – it was unlike anything we ever imagined and blew shops in NYC out of the water. It was stunning. We didn’t have as much time as we would’ve liked to explore the greater Los Angeles area but we were able to drive around in our mustang convertible and take in the Cali life and all the sunshine before heading back to reality.

It was so fun exploring California – although there are a lot more places we will need to check out since it’s a biigggg state, but our mini-moon was the perfect little getaway after all the wedding excitement.

Where should we visit the next time we are in Cali?! Leave a comment below.

Travel: Thanksgiving in Palm Desert

We were lucky enough to take our #emnbhoneymoon right after our wedding, meaning we spent our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife in sunshine, just the two of us!  We love our families, but it was nice to detox, soak up the sunshine and do something new and not rush around to three different dinners within 48-hours.

Since we were still on east coast time, we woke up fairly early and were ready to roll, enjoying the sunrise from our balcony.  We started our Thanksgiving off with a walk through our resort over to the main hotel to grab Starbucks and explore the extensive campus of the Marriott Desert Springs.  We got back to our condo and B cooked breakfast, we found Home Alone on TV and vegged out, made some calls back home and figured out where we could eat that night searching for a spot to make dinner reservations on Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving in Palm Desert - the bee life
By 10:30 we were suited up and at the pool, soaking up the sun as it warmed from 75-to 91-degrees.  The pool was fairly quite, we were able to nap, cool off and just soak up the sunshine while sipping some drinks. By early afternoon we headed back up to the room to get ready for our early dinner at 4pm. We headed to Palm Springs for our dinner reservation at Eight4Nine.

Luckily they had some Thanksgiving dinner reservations available and we snagged one up for their limited 4-course menu for the evening. This modern venue is sported in all white furniture, with pops of pink and fun art throughout and a stunning patio. Our “First Impressions” was a house-made ricotta with autumn root and shishito pepper giardiniera.  The “Second Course” we were able to select from 5-choices, I went with the Pear Salad while B had the Curried Cauliflower Bisque. For the “Main Event” there were 6-mouth watering options, one of which was your Traditional Roast Turkey – as tempted as I was, I went with the Marsala Pork Tenderloin; dried plum, roasted spiced yams, greens, candied bacon, and toast pine nuts.  B went with the Sourdough-Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with dungeness crab-stuffed piquillo pepper, saffron aioli, greens.  It was all so phenomenal, and we both ended withe the Bourbon Pumpkin Tart and some hot coffee to finish up our Thanksgiving meal.

It was nice being served an extravagant dinner while enjoying each others company after a day of sunshine and pool.  It was definitely a fun and a different Thanksgiving, but one for the books as Mr. & Mrs.