"Where are you from?" is a question we often ask people that we are just getting to know. The question itself seems simple enough, but the moment we hear the other person respond with their place of origin we begin subconsciously crafting our impression of that person. Sometimes the initial perceptions we internally create are based on our own experiences in that location or they're arbitrarily built off of what little information we've learned about that place without having actually visited it.
Until very recently, I had never ventured down to Palm Springs, California, the place that my best friend Courtney has called home for years. My only preconceived notion of Palm Springs was that it was a decaying desert oasis for retirees and "old Hollywood" types like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Over the course of a single weekend, I discovered that this place is so much more than that. Palm Springs is a modern vacation destination with stunning modernism architecture, delicious dining options and stylish poolside hangouts.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a city by how they brunch. Courtney took me to the charmingly monikered Cheeky's restaurant in downtown Palm Springs. With a cute outdoor patio and a menu that's refreshed every week with original offerings, it was easy to see why we had to wait forty-five minutes for a table at Cheeky's. However, the wait didn't feel very long because we were able to get iced lattes at the restaurant's outdoor coffee bar. After getting settled at our table, I ordered sourdough French toast with Nutella and a berry compote in addition to scrambled eggs and a mimosa. Courtney ordered passionfruit curd waffles with fresh berries and a bacon flight for us to share. The bacon flight included several flavors of the brunch staple like Nodines applewood, jalepeño and Beeler apple cinnamon. My French toast was simply decadent and paired nicely with some of the flavor profiles of the bacon. By the time we were finished, I could attest that brunch in Palm Springs is a laid back, yet luxurious affair.
I was so lucky to not only have Courtney as a tour guide, but her local family members as well. They enthusiastically took me on a bar crawl through downtown Palm Springs that included stops at Eight4Nine, Birba and Rooster and the Pig. Each restaurant had a different vibe, making the night full of exciting experiences for all of the senses. After our brunch at Cheeky's on Saturday, Courtney and I cruised over to an extremely Instagrammable hotel called The Parker for a (highly necessary) photo op. I wasn't prepared to bare my pale legs for all of Palm Springs' attractive vacationers so I decided to wear several breathable pairs of jeans the entire weekend. These gray ones from ZARA have inconspicuous rips at the knees. My pale blue tee from Everlane coincidentally coordinated with Courtney's bright pink top as well.
The Parker's interior is composed of eclectic furniture and decor set against minimalistic white walls, which contributes to the hotel's unique aesthetic. I think The Parker does a fantastic job of blending the outrageously quirky with the undeniably chic for a vibe that's really the best of both worlds. It's no wonder this hotel is a go-to hangout for bloggers and celebrities alike. Courtney and I would have explored the fabulous hotel further if it wasn't Modernism Week, an event that forced The Parker to close off most of its iconic grounds to guests and event ticket holders.
On our way out of Palm Springs proper, Courtney and I stopped by the Ace Hotel & Swim Club. This was a hotel where mid-century modern design really took center stage. The swim club alone was packed with swimmers and loungers socializing to the beat of energetic EDM music. It was hard not to be instantly reminded of the time we went to Drai's Beach Club in Las Vegas.
In the span of nearly twenty-four hours, my feelings toward Palm Springs had already completely changed for the better. Stay tuned for Part Two of my whimsical weekend in Palm Springs where I explore more of what makes this paradise so enthralling.