Thursday, December 5, 2013

Picto Blog _ PALM DESERT, CA

This holiday season, we decided to skip the long lines in the popular destinations and take the lesser travelled road to Palm Desert, CA.  

Imagine majestic mountains, a desert landscape and an oasis in the middle; that is Palm Desert, CA. Only 20 minutest east of Palm Springs, CA, it could be called sub-urban Palm Springs too. This is my first travellogue cum picto blog. Come with me to this small town where you can see life spring from stones and rocks. 

SFO _ PALM DESERT, CA _ Approx 7 hours drive assuming NO Traffic and minimal stops. It took us 9 hours. As soon as we entered LA .. it was stop and go. The last 120 miles took 4 hours :) 

Every good road trip needs a picnic. Lots of stops along the way to Palm Desert to have a little picnic.
As we crawl in LA traffic.. Last 120 miles took 4 hours.

Club Intrawest Lobby. Beautiful place and definitely a thumbs up accomodation.

This is what we saw as soon as we entered our accomodation. 
Many don't like cooking during vacation.. but thank fully I don't mind it.
Makes life a lot easier when you have a family with a varied pallete.
And this kitchen was a delight to be in.

The main living are.

DAY 1: SUNRISE ... and view from the Patio.
Definitely a Good Morning!

Panaromic view from the patio.
Palm Desert is heaven if you like golfing. 

Day 1: Tourist Stop:  THE LIVING DESERT

Love knows no caste, color, creed or animal group.
Some Giraffe Love.
Ok.. In reality its feeding time.. they are eating from the feeder from two opposite sides :) 
No two giraffes have the same spots :) 

And you thought a nest was simply some twigs put together.
It's a science. 

This would look gorgeous in a backyard too.
Beautiful display in the African Village at The Living Desert. 

A very handsome Yucca!
What do you think?

The Live Animal Show at The Living Desert.
This is an African Serval. Very unique animals and very up close interaction. 

DAY 2: THE PALM TRAMWAY: It takes you from a Desert landscape to a National park 8500 feet above. From a dry desert landscape to a snowy redwood forest. AMAZING! 

The beginning of the hike as we get down from the tram at the Mountain top. 

Hike starts _ Its a simple hike, but most of the walk is unpaved, so wear good shoes. 
Tree Canopies _ it was a gorgeous day. 
The Desert Trail _ An easy trail for little ones too.
There are 5 vista points, check out all of them.. they are breathtaking views.
Learnt something new.. Jeffery Pine trees.. their scent is like Vanilla or butterscotch like :)
And yes, we did get a few whiffs.. YUMM!

Another tree canopy.. the trees are just gorgeous. 

Can u see the Desert Below? 

Can u see the remains of the melting snow?

This was also Thanksgiving Day _ We had a gourmet meal made to specification and taste of every member of the family.  The boys wanted Chicken and the girls wanted something spicy and Indian :) And why not.. Palm Desert is surrounded by Indian Reservations. 
The Thanksgiving Dinner table is set.

Pani Puri _ transcends all cultures and festivals.

Green Beans Casserole with an Indian Fusion

Chicken Tikka

Cake _ yes we bought it from the store. The kids topped it off with ice-cream too :)


The Drive to Indian Canyon. 

The Aqua Caliente Indian Reservation taken over by modern man. 

As we drive towards Palm Canyon

Wonder what thrived here before? 
Some excitement in the otherwise dry landscape
It's dry, barren and lifeless. 

And then we see this.  The word "Oasis" comes alive. 

Life springs in the most lifeless conditions. 

As we hike down to the Palm Canyon Trail. Its a 15 miles trail.
i would not recommend going all the way.
As you hike down, you will see the Oasis area.. its perfect for those vacation Photo Opps.
Take pictures and then head on over to Andreas Canyon. 
Pictures don't do justice to the beauty of this landscape.
ANDREAS CANYON TRAIL _ My Personal Favorite Part of the trip.
Its a 1.5 mile easy trail. Its unpaved with up and down climbing on small rocks , but its totally worth it.
You will be blown away.  The stream I am told flows all year long. 
Andreas Canyon Trail
It's hard to believe there is a desert on the other side of the trail. 

As we exit the trail, this is the view that greets us.
It was surreal.
Cabot Pueblo. A very nice little Pueblo... tucked away in its own world.
If you have time, take their tour.
A door in the Pueblo. Love the words next to the door.
"There is no place just like this place, anywhere near this place. So this must be the place." 
Notice, I did not link this in the post above. We were hoping for it to be more
than just a date shop.
Well that's the impression we got after eading its flyer at the hotel.
But it does not have tours, just a 15 minute video and its a very basic date shop.
But if there is still time in the day, go on over _ their date cakes are pretty good and so are the dates that you will buy.

Day 4, we head out early from our hotel, hoping to hike a little in Joshua National Park before 
heading home. But seeing the traffic and how far away it was, we saved it for the next trip to 
Palm Desert :) Yes, I think we will go here again some time. 

It's one of those places that surprises you. We went thinking there won't be much and the 
only saving grace will be the hotel pool.  At the end of the vacation, we realized, we tested the
pool waters only once. 

All in all, a great place to take your family to.  Next time you don't know where to go to.. 
Think Palm Desert, CA. 

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