Week in Palm Springs, California + quick drive through Arizona

Hello from sunny California! It feels so good to be back after 9 months! After an awesome time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we drove through Arizona and Southern California, and then we settled in Palm Springs for Joe to work during the week.

The drive through Arizona was interesting and diverse – Arizona was more mountainous than I imagined, from desert canyons to snowy mountains lined with pine trees. We spent one night in Flagstaff, which is the entry town for the Grand Canyon. We wish we had time to visit the Grand Canyon, but with our driving-on-weekends and resting-on-weekdays schedule, we didn’t have time for many stops in Arizona. 

Finally, we crossed over to California! 

We spent a whole day driving through the vast desert of Southern California, including the Mojave Desert. Of our whole drive so far, this felt the most “out there.” There were hardly any rest stops or gas stations. Funny enough, this was the point when Ellie decided to throw a fit, and we pulled over several times to clean up her messes. The silver lining was it forced us to stop and enjoy the unique desert scenery.

After an entire weekend of driving, we made it to Palm Springs! Palm Springs is a desert resort town in Southern California known for its stylish hotels, high-end eateries, art scene, shopping, and wealthy retiree residents. It’s also the entrance point to Joshua Tree National Park. We figured this would be a nice place to settle down for a week as the palm tree-lined streets put me in instant vacation mode.

We stayed at an RV park in Palm Springs for the week. Our parking spot was small (welcome to California), but I enjoyed our little nook and the amenities of the park. I spent a lot of time relaxing at the pool and soaking in the hot tub. 

Since Joe was working, I explored Palm Springs mostly solo. I took a walk downtown on my first day. It was poppin’ with tourists and a bit posh for me, but I loved the energy. It was a convenient 15-minute walk from the RV park, so we ended up going to town almost every day.

I also sought out the nature activities, as the surrounding valley had some hiking trails. First up – Tahquitz Canyon. This seemed to be THE hike of Palm Springs, and I waited 45 minutes in line to enter the trail.

Fortunately, the hike was absolutely beautiful and worth the wait! It was a 2-mile loop through a lush mountain filled with wildflowers, different from the rest of the dry town. There was also a waterfall halfway through. My only complaint was there were so many people on the trail, but I took it as a sign to take my time and enjoy.

Another activity was the Moorten Botanical Garden. This was a small family-owned garden filled with an assortment of cacti. Despite the size, this was another main attraction of Palm Springs as it was filled with tourists. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this 30-minute activity for an affordable $5 entry fee.

Not all my time in Palm Springs was spent alone; Joe and I did get out for some eating and hanging out in town together. Our phone data was not great at the RV park, which pushed us to go out and find wifi. We became regulars at a local bar. 😉

Other than that, one of my favorite parts of Palm Springs was relaxing and doing nothing. This is my last week of funemployment before starting my new job, and I savored every bit of free time as I know things will change once we get back to the Bay.

The cats loved warm SoCal. 🙂 

We’re in the home stretch of our cross-country move. This weekend, we are traveling from southern to northern California! Next time I blog will be from the Bay. 🙂

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