Disclaimer: This trip was awesome! Massive amounts of photos were taken and a lot of words are going to be said. Read along at your own will ; )
BUT, if the wordage bums you out just click on the links throughout the post and enjoy the photos. My feelings won’t get hurt.
Tradition has it that cotton is given for the second wedding anniversary. It is said that cotton is fresh. It symbolizes the necessity for a marriage to remain strong, yet the ability to adapt with life’s curves, the ability to remain malleable. Although Allan and my marriage is still new, it has gotten stronger and infinitely better with each year. Therefore cotton gifts were exchanged between Allan and myself. I gave him a new Frasier shirt and my gift is still in the mail, to be determined.
…and to celebrate our two years of marriage, and make up for last year (reference here), we planned a quick getaway to Palm Springs which DID NOT disappoint. We started our trek down south last Thursday stopping in Valencia to visit with one of my dearest friends over sushi. From there we made a bee-line to the Wigwam Motel, a nostalgic Route 66 stop in Rialto.
We settled into our wigwam, turned on the TV, and watched the finale of Wayward Pines. Now as uneventful as this may seem, I promise you, we were pretty stoked about it. We have really enjoyed M. Night Shyamalan’s mini series! You should give it a chance it if you haven’t already! As Allan puts it, “it’s like a mix between the Truman Show and X-Files”.
Anyhow, the next morning we got ready and headed for Redlands, but not before an impromptu trip down memory lane. Immediately following high school Allan moved down south with friends and lived in this area for a short period of time. He showed me his old stomping grounds: his workplace at an auto dealership, apartment building, and the spot he was pulled over and consequently received a ticket from Officer Battle (he also handed the police officer his dealership business card like a smart aleck in case the police officer “needed anything”). I love these kind of nostalgic stories because I feel like it gives me a glimpse into how a person has been shaped, more specifically how Allan was shaped. In a way I get to participate in Allan’s past, one where I wasn’t physically present. I could do this all day and be content.
Now being from Riverside, I think I’ve taken most things “Riverside-esque” for granted. I know it’s normal to be jaded by your daily surroundings, but since moving away I have learned to appreciate under-the-radar cities. In my case, Redlands was amongst these disregarded cities, but it should be explored and appreciated more!
I was introduced to Augie’s Coffeein Redlands a few years back (thank you Julia), but I wasn’t quite aware of the burgeoning local scene in Redlands. One of my favorite bloggers, Calivintage, is based in Redlands and through her various city-guide posts my desire to explore this town has grown. After Augie’s we walked around the corner, literally, and stopped at Parliament Chocolate. We grabbed a delicious baked donut complete with scrumptious dark chocolate cream! It was so yummy. Afterwards we drove around exploring the cute surrounding neighborhoods and admiring the vintage architecture.
En route to our ultimate destination, Palm Springs, we were obligated, as many Palm Springs bound travellers are, to stop at the Cabazon dinosaurs. We stopped, instant film photos were taken, and we were back on the road to SALVATION MOUNTAIN. Quick and easy.
If you know me, you know I have wanted to see Salvation Mountain for quite some time. I was so bummed when the person responsible for this massive piece of folk art, Leonard Knight, passed away a few years back. So on our way to this remote destination I was pretty giddy. This area (Niland/Slab City/Salton Sea) absolutely blew my mind. I have never been to a place like this before. Salvation Mountain is approximately 2 hours outside of Palm Springs and in the middle of nowhere, no hyperbole whatsoever. IN. THE. MIDDLE. OF. NOWHERE. I’m sort of surprised Betsy, my 12 year old car with over 200,000 miles, didn’t break down on the way.
Salvation Mountain is so intricately fabricated and revered, that it seems to exude an eerie and somewhat foreboding air. Beneath brightly lacquered hills alcoves of makeshift shrines are hidden. These various mausoleums, seemingly dedicated to general ideas of love and hope, house abundant amounts of photos, prayer candles, and articles of clothing left behind from travelers teeming with wanderlust. In the far off distance, we were also able to view Slab City, a community with a really interesting history full of desert dwellers, campers, and squatters. We got back in our car and began driving towards Palm Springs, but not before one more stop at the Salton Sea. It was smelly, salt crusted, had no shortage of dead fish lining the outer rim of the sea, AND AWESOME.
After a long, but great day, we made it to our hotel at the Korakia Pensione. This hotel is probably one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Really. It is a beautiful Moroccan style estate once owned by a film star. To give you an idea of the romantic and relaxing vibes of this hotel, the staff puts out Moroccan mint tea every evening, lights the candles within the Moroccan lamps, lights the three fires surrounding the pool, and the fire pit outside our room, and hosts nightly film gatherings on the wall outside. Dreamy, right? That night we walked downtown, which is extremely close, grabbed a delightful shake from Great Shakes(complete with a mini-donut on the straw), and took a night swim!
We woke up early, grabbed the best complimentary breakfast I have ever had, and got a massage. No big deal, right? I felt so bourgeois! Afterwards we just laid around HARD! Allan got his Ethics of Money Production book out, and me, The Virgin Suicides, and lounged in and around the pool for a few solid hours. That night we enjoyed a fancy pants four-course meal courtesy of Tinto, a restaurant tucked away in the Saguaro hotel. Tinto’s boasts of Chef Garces and his Basque tapas bar and restaurant which serves small plates typical of northeastern Spain’s pintxo bars. The restaurant even congratulated us on our anniversary by giving us champagne. By far, the best, most classy dinner I’ve had.
We left bright and early, ate our hotel’s complimentary breakfast once more, and headed to the Ace Hotel to take photos in their photo booth. From here on out we leisurely made our way back up to Bakersfield. With a stop back at Augie’s in Redlands (have I mentioned how much I love coffee?), quick meet up at Whole Foods with Amanda, and spontaneous Stumptown Coffee Roasters(I love coffee, have you heard?) and Howlin’ Ray’sHot Chicken food truck stop we made our way home.
Since coming back from Nashville and being introduced to Nashville Hot Chicken (thanks Mike and Gretchen) Allan and I have not stopped dreaming about anything else. So you could image our excitement when Twitter told us that this food truck would be in an accessible LA spot at the exact time we were driving through. It was so, so, so good!
Alllllll this to say our anniversary was equal parts quirky, kitsch, adventurous, relaxing, spontaneous, and I loved everything about it.
Below are a handful of photos from the weekend! Enjoy!