March 23 - 26

Palm Springs

A short weekend getaway to someplace warm... Palm Springs. We take a couple of days off and head off to the desert for a some rest and relaxation.

Day 1 - Friday, March 23 - Drive down to Palm Springs

Early Friday morning before 7:30am we packed up the car with our luggage and cooler and hit the road heading south toward Palm Springs. We take 101, across 152 (With a brief pit stop at Casa de Fruta), south on I-5 toward LA. Once in the LA area we take 210 east toward 10 all the way to Palm Springs. The drive was relatively smooth and easy, we made a couple of stops including lunch before reaching our final destination around 3:15pm.

We drove down Palm Canyon Drive before reaching our lodging on Warm Sands. The Hacienda is the #1 rated Gay resort in Palm Springs according to Trip Advisor rating. Their sites states "The most luxurious upscale gay male resort hotel in California". The resort is relatively small with only 10 units spread out between two buildings and two pools.

We were prompty greeted and shown our large deluxe suite which opened out onto the pool (Unit#2). We had a large living room/dining area, a full kitchen, separate bedroom and large bathroom with walk in shower with 4 shower heads! We quickly unpacked and hit the pool. The afternoon sun was warm with temperatures in the low 80s. The place is quiet with mostly professional couples. There was only one other person by the pool.

After soaking in some sun we dressed and went to Wang's for their Friday night happy hour. The outdoor patio bar was packed when we arrived and could barely walk around, I did make it to the bar inside for a couple of drinks! Afterwards we headed back to the Hacienda to make dinner. We took advantage of the full kitchen and cooked dinner all three nights. After dinner we hit the pool and hot tub.

  • San Luis Reservoir as seen from 152

  • Snow covered San Jacinto mountain just outside Palm Springs

  • Windmills as we approach Coachella Valley

  • Our greeting basket at The Hacienda

  • The living room of our deluxe suite

  • The luxurious king size bed

  • View of the kitchen and dining area as seen from the living room

  • The small but completely stocked kitchen

  • The walk in shower with four shower heads

  • The bathroom sink

  • The front pool just outside our door

  • Ready to catch some warm desert sun by the refreshing pool

Relaxing in the pool.

  • Palm trees sway outside the hotel

  • Relaxing by the pool

  • Cooling off

  • Pool lounging

  • Pool lounging and YES I'm wearing something

  • Quiet time by the pool

  • Two handed drinking during Wang's Friday night happy hour

  • Outside Wang's for Friday night happy hour

  • Cooking some stir fry for dinner

  • Time for dinner

  • Enjoying our quiet dinner in our suite

  • Pooltime in the fading light

  • Warm evening in Palm Springs

  • Time for a dip in the hot tub

  • Look I can point my toes!

  • Alan at the hot tub

Day 2 - Saturday, March 24 - Pool day

Saturday morning we wake up early and relax on the lounge chairs by the pool. By 8am breakfast was laid out in the breezeway. I had granola with yogurt and fruit and a cup of coffee. I didn't realize that lunch was included in our stay. We had order forms for lunch which we placed at the front desk.

We decided to hit downtown early and shop and walk around. We walked toward the French restaurant Le Vallauris where we celebrated Lon's 50th birthday a few years back. We walked outside the historic Willows Hotel.

After a couple of hours of walking around we head back to the Hacienda to soak in more sun. The day was nice with high thin overhead clouds with temperatures around 80. We were served our lunch promptly at noon. The rest of the afternoon we soaked in the sun and swam in the pool. At 5pm they had a wine and snack reception hosted by the owners Jim and Maurice. During the reception we met all the guests of the resort which was fun.

For dinner Toby baked some chicken with BBQ sauce, yum. Later that evening we hit Hunter's nightclub for a night of dancing!

Morning view of the pool at The Hacienda.

  • Saturday morning by the pool

  • Catching up on my emails before breakfast

  • Walking by Le Vallauris French restaurant where we celebrated Lon's birthday

  • Bougenvilla's bloom outside the historic Willows Hotel

  • The historic Willows Hotel

  • Celebrity 'stars' line Palm Canyon Drive, like Marilyn Monroe

  • The fountain downtown where I took a photo back in 1997

  • The shopping arcade along the historic Plaza

  • Lunch back at the Hacienda

  • Lunch back at the Hacienda

  • Time to work on that tan

  • Time to work on that tan

  • Relaxing by the pool

  • Cooling off in the pool

  • Cooling off in the pool

  • Toby!

  • Toby and Alan

  • Chicken with BBQ sauce, pasta and veggies and some red wine.

  • Dancing at Hunter's nightclub

  • Time to cool off with my gin and tonic at Hunters

Day 3 - Sunday, March 25 - Hiking Indian Canyons

Sunday was the coolest day of our trip where the temperature high was in the low 70's with impending afternoon showers. We decided to do our hike this day.

After an early breakfast we hit the road and head south to Indian Canyons and their lush oasis. The skies were bright blue and temps were cool which was perfect for hiking in the desert. Our first hike was the picturesque Andreas Canyon with the rugged rock formations hugging a small creek surrounded with tropical looking fan palms. The hike was a loop which crossed the creek onto a desert plateau over looking the canyon. We then drove to our second hike, Palm Canyon. This spot was more popular with a long hike along another lush canyon fed by numerous springs along the hillsides.

Both hikes were relatively short and easy, before long we were back in the car heading back to the Hacienda for lunch. After lunch we picked our spot by the pool while the sun was out and bright. As the afternoon progressed the clouds thickened and soon the blue sky disappeared.

Once the sky turned grey it was time to hit the town and check out more sights. We drove into town to visit the Palm Springs Art Museum. Afterwards we walked to La Casuela's for a couple of drinks by the bar while listening to live music. After my very potent margaritas we head back to the Hacienda for a grilled salmon dinner.

  • Sunday morning and the day starts off with clearn blue skies

  • Toby at Indian Canyon with the Coachella Valley in the background

  • FWEE! At Indian Canyon south of Palm Springs

  • Toby at Indian Canyon with the Coachella Valley in the background

  • Toby about to enter Andreas Canyon loop hike

  • Alan about to enter Andreas Canyon loop hike

The Coachella Valley and the community of Palm Springs as seen from Andreas Canyon hike just south of town.

  • A tall fan palm growing close to some towering rocks

  • This portion of the trail hugs the base of the cliffs

  • The Andreas creek fed by numerous springs allows the palms to grow

  • Toby and Alan at Andreas Canyon

  • The creek had a lot of water from all the snow melt

  • A 20x zoom of a lizard with my new camera

  • Alan on the rocks

  • Toby on the Rocks

  • The south portion of the Andreas Canyon hike up on a plateau

  • Looking down into Andreas Canyon

  • Bright cactus blooms covered in bugs

  • Andreas Canyon is one of the few oasis in the valley

  • Picturesque palms with rugged rocks in the background

  • Picturesque palms with rugged rocks in the background

  • Toby about to desend into our second hike at Palm Canyon

  • Amongst the numerous fan palm groves in Palm Canyon

  • A friendly tourist takes our photo

  • Toby at Palm Canyon

Toby along the Palm Canyon trail. The lush greenery resembles the tropics although you're right in the middle of a dry desert.

  • Toby in Palm Canyon

  • Alan on the ridge after our hike looking down into Palm Canyon

  • Toby on the ridge after our hike looking down into Palm Canyon

  • Looking back toward Palm Springs from Indian Canyons

  • There were numerous hummingbird feeds by the trading post

  • Relaxing back at the Hacienda

  • Relaxing back at the Hacienda

  • In the pool!

  • Cooling off after our morning hike

  • Cooling off after our morning hike

  • Alan showing off his assets

  • FWEE!

  • The Hacienda sign on Warm Sands

  • Glass exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum

  • Artwork inside the museum

  • The driftwood horse in the Palm Springs Art Museum

  • My first margarita at Las Cansuelas

  • The clouds are coming in that Sunday afternoon

  • By late afternoon the temps have dropped and light rain came down

  • Salmon dinner for our last night in Palm Springs

  • Washing his feet!

Day 4 - Monday, March 26 - Drive back home

Our last day greeted us with bright blue skies. After breakfast we packed up our belongings and bid adieu to the lovely Hacienda.

By 10:15 we were on the road heading north out of Palm Springs. Our drive was smoother than our drive south, traffic wasn't an issue in the LA basin. Heading north on I-5 was smooth sailing. We stopped to eat our sandwiches at around Buttonwillow. We stopped for gas in Santa Nella before finally reaching home around 5:30pm.

What a nice relaxing trip soaking in the sun and relaxing, we loved our stay at the Hacienda and it's warm cozy relaxing atmosphere, we would like to stay there again.

  • Snow covered peaks of the San Jacinto mountains

  • Trying to catch just a few more rays of sun

  • Not all plam trees are real!

  • On the road heading north out of Palm Springs

  • The windmill farms outside the Coachella valley

  • Quail Lake and the snow covered Tehachapi mountains

  • The poppy covered hills by the freeway near Gorman

  • I-5 descending down into the Central Valley

  • Oil wells near the southern end of the Central Valley

  • Rolling green hills near Casa de Fruta