Over Easter weekend, The Mechanic and I flew to Southern California to visit friends in Palm Springs and Pasadena (okay, technically we were in La Quinta and Eagle Rock, but I think those cities are not as well-known as Palm Springs and Pasadena).
Palm Springs was our first stop, for the wedding of one of my bestest friends ever. The wedding was in the beautiful La Quinta Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. Talk about swanky! It’s probably the fanciest place we’ve ever stayed, but I have to say, probably the most gorgeous. The property was originally built in 1926, and was a popular getaway for Hollywood stars; Frank Capra and Greta Garbo, to name two. Our “casita” was a fairly large bungalow duplex, with a front porch, screened in back porch, huge tub and separate shower, and a fireplace – one of the original casitas in the center of the resort. We spent a fair amount of time sitting on our front porch, just admiring the gardens and watching the other guests. We did take a quick dip in the adults-only pool, which was absolutely heavenly. I’m still fantasizing about it. The weather was hot but with almost no humidity, it felt perfect.
My friend’s wedding and reception took place in Greta Garbo’s own space, called La Casa. Because the two buildings are not earthquake-safe, everything was outdoors, and we could only peek over the velvet ropes into her rooms. The wedding was lovely, of course, small, intimate and elegant. It was wonderful to catch up with friends and my parents, who were also wedding guests. Definitely swankier than ours, complete with a photo booth!
Because the wedding was the day before Easter, several of us stayed for the over-the-top Easter brunch at La Quinta. I have no words to describe this event, but I’ll try! Unlimited mimosas, over a dozen food stations, the Easter Bunny, a kids’ area with their own buffet, exotic fruits, pastel everything, even Peeps on the dessert tables. Yes, I said tables – more than one! An ice cream sundae bar! I think we ate for an hour and a half straight. Totally worth it. And so fun to see all the little girls dressed up in their Easter best. I wore my new floral reflective top; it hasn’t been warm enough here to wear it, but I made my entire trip all about the florals. And I wore my BikieGirlBloomers under my casual floral dress – haven’t had a chance to wear them either and love them!
After the wedding festivities were over, we drove to Eagle Rock, a tiny Los Angeles neighborhood squeezed in between Pasadena and Glendale, to visit other friends. It hasn’t changed much since I was there four years ago, although now there are bike lanes on each side of Colorado Blvd., and we saw several roadies out our last morning there. We weren’t there long enough to do much more than eat and play with my friends’ five dogs (!!!), but we did visit The Huntington Library and Gardens, which I just love. It was so relaxing to just stroll around and admire all the different gardens and sip on the amazingly fragrant jasmine iced tea served in the Chinese Gardens.
Southern California seemed to be a big contradiction – facing a severe drought and water restrictions, yet watering the lawns in the middle of the day. A car-centric area, yet bike lanes and shared sidewalks (huzzah!). And just outside of La Quinta, with it’s lush green lawns, a windmill farm, to power nearby homes. I suppose all cities are like that, but it seemed much more extreme in Palm Springs.
It’s hard sometimes to be environmentally aware and visit places that clearly are not. Ah tourism. The Mechanic and I decided that eco-conscious resorts will weigh more heavily in our future travel plans. But I can’t forget how wonderful the resort was, how relaxing and green and luxurious! And I would love to go swimming again.