South America with Baby

Justin and Wylie at the Vines Resort at sunset.

I had a baby in September and as you might expect, Wylie had a passport appointment within a few days of being born. My husband and I didn’t want to do an international trip too early, though, so we cured our wanderlust with a few West Coast road trips during the fall and planned a trip to South America for right after Christmas. Wylie would be just under four months old, a sweet spot we’d been hearing for traveling with baby, and we wanted to take advantage of it. The holidays were a whirlwind and I had a cold by the time our trip rolled around. Continue reading “South America with Baby”

What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Alhambra

Last spring, my husband and I spent two weeks traveling through France and Portugal. Justin had to return to San Diego for work, but we were so close to southern Spain, I decided to stay another week by myself. I have always wanted to visit the Alhambra and the Generalife, the complex of palaces used by the Kings of Granada as summer residences. The site’s Moorish architecture, sumptuous gardens and hilltop location backed by the Sierra Nevada mountains appeared to me in photos like a sort of Shangri-La. Continue reading “What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Alhambra”

The Surrey Hotel

Courtesy The Surrey Hotel.
Courtesy The Surrey Hotel.

There’s just something about New York’s Upper East Side. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nolita and Brooklyn as much as the next person, but on my last trip to New York I found myself drawn to to this historic neighborhood with its wide boulevards, unparalleled access to museums and proximity to Central Park. Continue reading “The Surrey Hotel”

LA By Subway


Would it surprise you to learn Los Angeles actually has a clean and efficient subway system? On many of our trips to LA these days, my husband and I  ditch the car and take the train to LA instead. By making downtown our base, we’re able to take the subway everywhere we want to go. The result is a hassle free and traffic free trip. I swear, there were moments I can trick myself into believing I’m in the Big Apple. Continue reading “LA By Subway”

The Saguaro and The Parker

The view from our room at The Saguaro and looking into The Parker’s plush lobby.

Even though we are die hard Ace Hotel fans, my husband and I took advantage of Palm Springs’ great summer rates and stayed at two different hotels on a recent trip. We loved both for different reasons.

The funky Saguaro has been featured in many blogs and magazines thanks to the kaleidoscope of color that engulfs the property. The color palette comprised of 12 different hues inspired by desert wildflowers, makes for great photos and if you’re anything like me will probably have you discussing which one is your favorite (I liked the pumpkiny orange). Located in a renovated Holiday Inn, most rooms look into the inner courtyard, which features a pool, bocce ball court and manicured grounds. With views of the surrounding mountains something about it all reminds me of Bedrock, you know the fictional home of the Flintstones? Like the Ace, the Saguaro isn’t super fancy but it offers great amenities like bikes, yoga and an hourly shuttle to downtown Palm Springs. The best thing about the Saguaro by far though is the food. Tinto, from James Beard award winning chef Jose Garces, serves Basque tapas and may be the hottest table in town. The more informal El Jefe is also great and offers Mexico City small plates, limey margaritas and the best tequila selection in the desert.

The swanky Parker has always been on my to do list so when I saw it featured on Jetsetter recently I pounced. Whimsical, bohemian and lush, it’s really one of the most unique and beautiful places I’ve ever stayed. Unlike other Palm Springs hotels where the pool is the center of the property, the star here is the fairy-tale grounds which have surprises around every corner– a fire pit, seating nooks built for two, an ivy covered ballroom. There is still a great pool with Balinese décor and a lemonade stand serving “adult” beverages (this is Palm Springs after all). I love the more intimate setting which feels like you’re lounging at a wealthy estate rather than a hotel. Rooms, which are spread out in different buildings around the property, feature crisp white linens, black and white photos from the 70’s and large bathrooms. The room rates are higher than the Saguaro, but the result is better service and more privacy. We even arrived to find an overflowing complimentary fruit platter in our room one afternoon. While this was delicious my one complaint would be the food, which is expensive, boring and certainly not local. What’s up with salmon from Scotland? Word on the street is they’re getting a new chef. Hopefully they’ll breath new life into Mr. Parker’s stale menu.

The Sagauro  

1800 East Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92264

760-322-1900

http://www.jdvhotels.com

 

The Parker

4200 Eat Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92264

760-770-5000

http://theparkerpalmsprings.com/index.php