LIVING IN PALM SPRINGS and COACHELLA VALLEY

Jan. 9, 2018

Things To Do in January 2018

 

Things to do in January 2018

As a resort haven for the entertainment elite, Palm Springs International Film Festival launches the beginning of our social year. And, it’s becoming quite a year with new restaurant openings and happenings.

Restaurant Openings:

  • Palm Desert: Actor Massimo Dubrovic (Sci-Fi’s “Age of the Living Dead) and his husband, Paolo de Angelis are opening a new Italian restaurant in Palm Desert. De Angelis is noted for his cooking prowess. Look for it to open late winter or early spring on El Paseo featuring regional Italian specialties.

 

  • La Quinta: Hidden behind a some real estate professional, medical offices and directly neighboring Louise’s Pantry on Washington, a new Cal-Mex, farm to table restaurant is debuting. Billing itself as an artisan eatery, Chúla, delicious sounding items such as red chile mac ‘n queso, gluten free flapjacks and a salsa flight trio with house-made tortilla chips.

 

EVENTS:

 January 11, 2018: Cirque de la Symphonie comes to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA. Experience a heady, surreal and breathtaking mix of acrobats aerial flyers, dancers, and contortionists set to classical music pieces conducted by a world-class maestro. Tickets are on sale now.


Until March 8, 2018: Palm Springs Art Museum: No Glass Ceiling! Women Working in Glass, Part 1: Women have played an integral part in the American studio glass movement from the beginning and in today’s global world of communication and collaboration, women continue to excel.  This exhibition, Part 1 of a series, begins to portray the multiplicity of working styles and concepts that women working in the fluid medium of glass, share with the rest of us.  

January through April 1, 2018: Sunday Polo at the Eldorado Polo Club has long been an attraction of visitors and residents alike. Experience the thrill and the danger of professional polo while enjoying matches by the field, tailgating or at the Clubhouse Restaurant. Parking is just $10 per car. Clubhouse seating is just $10 per person and features the comfort of full table service. Matches are at 12pm & 2pm and gates open at 10am. Visitors can also enjoy games every Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 10am on the patio at the Cantina.Please note that reservations are recommended for Sunday Clubhouse seating, please call the Clubhouse reservation hotline to reserve seating at (760) 831-POLO (7656).

Dec. 23, 2017

What Makes Living In Palm Springs Unique


Whether you’ve heard of Palm Springs for its music festivals or relaxing resorts, there is so much more to this desert getaway than meets the eye.

 Located about two hours from Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a unique city in Southern California that will make all of your friends wonder why they haven’t ventured out to the desert.

 From one of the country’s most popular music festivals to a date garden (more on that later), Palm Springs is a vibrant and special destination.

 Here are just some of the features and activities that make Palm Springs a unique and exciting place to visit for a weekend or a few weeks:

 One-of-a-kind Desert Oasis

 Palm Springs: A city with old-time charm, modern amenities and outdoor activities galore. Enjoy the many resorts and spas year-round as winter temperatures are typically in the 70’s.

 Hollywood stars of past and present have called Palm Springs home and famous hotels like the El Mirador have hosted Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra and more.

 Although the hotel is now a medical center, you can still stay in historic resorts like the charming Del Marcos Hotel, built in 1947. Relax in the heated saltwater pool and enjoy the view of the stars in the night sky during happy hour.

 Then, you should check out the unique display of Cabozon Dinosaurs before you take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. As the largest rotating tramway in the world, you’ll feel on top of the world after a ride to the San Jacinto Peak.

 There are even dining options on top of the tram including the table service dining experience at Peaks Restaurant. Try to think of any other place that offers high-end dining with a view, history and even a little bit of weird. It’s all here in Palm Springs, where the weather and people offer year-round unique entertainment.

 

The Parker Hotel

 A Prime California Location

 Located within the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs grants access to surrounding cities like Indio, Rancho Mirage and more.

 Not only is this desert getaway outside of Los Angeles, but it’s also just two and a half hours from San Diego and a four hour drive from Phoenix.

 Palm Springs is a great location to call home while being able to explore all that Southern California has to offer. If you’re just visiting, the unique desert landscape and fun environment will make you want to come back year after year for more memories and good times in the Sonoran Desert.

 Good Vibes Make Positive Memories

 What truly makes Palm Springs a one-of-a-kind destination are the lively people and the variety of things to do in the area.

 Start your weekend on Palm Canyon Drive where you can stop in vintage boutiques and find the perfect Instagram-able outfit. Then, grab breakfast or lunch (or brunch) at Cheeky’s, one of Palm Springs many quaint restaurants.

 Let the good times continue while laying out by the pool and catching up on that reading list. Or, get a day pass at the trendy and always enjoyable Ace Hotel & Swim Club. This old motel was converted to have its now modern flare, a common trend in Palm Springs. Enjoy the Swim Club Pool for live DJs and drink specials or find yourself at the Commune Pool for more a laid back vibe.

 Outdoor Activities Galore

 You can spend an entire day exploring the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, where guests have the chance to feed giraffes and go on a private safari. The zoo also offers a botanical garden that gives information and perspective on native plants.

 Even better, explore Palm Springs’ terrain by foot – or ATV! Adventurers can rent ATVs and ride on a designated course with full training included. On the ATV you will get magnificent views of the famous Palm Springs wind turbines and can even take a selfie in your oh-so fashionable helmet.

 Another unique outdoor highlight is the Shields Date Garden in Indio. Make it a date and tour the stunning gardens, which are filled with fountains, exotic plants and more. Then, stop in the gift shop for delicious candy and a date shake made fresh from the garden.

 We can’t talk about unique outdoor activities without of course mentioning the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Held annually in Indio, California, the party spreads out to Palm Springs each year where thousands of music and arts fans from around the world come together.

 It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first time to Palm Springs or you’ve lived there all your life, there’s always something new and interesting to find in this diverse city.

 Book your next camping trip or stay in one of its post-modern hotels to truly experience all this city has to offer. Then, fill your itinerary with fun activities unlike any vacation you’ve been on before! But beware, after one visit, you’re going to want to start searching for a home to call yours in this beautiful desert oasis.

 

Guest Post by Hailey Keiser. 

Dec. 17, 2017

New Year's Resolutions: For Your Home

It’s that beginning of the new year when we make promises to keep ourselves fit, to become a better partner, to love each other with more care and on and on. What about the most significant investment of your life besides the person with whom you reside? (Or not.) Your home. Whether it’s your first, your second or your vacation home, it needs attention as well and not just when something goes awry. For many homeowners, that’s when we have the issues because we didn’t put the maintenance into it when we needed. In 2018, here are five suggestions on how to keep your home in tip-top shape so you can enjoy for years to come.

 1: According to Lifehack.com, keep your residence safe and sound: “Make sure your house ventilated properly. You could also install door and window alarms, which don’t cost much these days. And also, ensure that your home is up to date with latest safety standards.”  

2.  Clean your dryer vent every-time you use it says the home website, Angie’s List: “According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, dryers cause more than 15,000 household fires each year — most of which ignite due to a clogged vent. To properly clean the vent, detach the dryer and use a flexible brush, air compressor or vacuum/Shop-Vac to remove the buildup. Make sure you clear the entire length of the vent.  Inspect and clean the dryer vent at least once a year depending on the machine’s usage. If you have a large family or do a lot of laundry, consider a biannual cleaning.


3. In our desert communities, it’s essential to check for bugs. Due to the warm year-round temperatures, termites, and other pests will continue to do damage. According to online FamilyHandy.com, the homeowner can: “Pull out your flashlight and walk around your home, examining the foundation, both inside and out, to inspect for termite tunnels. Termites create invisible damage, inside walls and floors. Take the time to look for telltale sawdust and tunnels because termites can do significant damage before you even know they're there. If you spot signs of termites, call in a professional exterminator.”

4. And, lastly, since Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are the world’s number one location for private pools, the blog, IntheSwim.com states, Keeping up with pool improvements can be confusing and even costly, but it doesn’t have to be. This year make a plan for some specific pool maintenance, such as a new pool liner at the beginning of the summer or buying new pool furniture during winter clearance sales. Fix any and all pool leaks for good, to stop water loss. Just like homes and cars, swimming pools need regular restoration to stay in top shape. Every 5-10 years you can expect to spend money on maintenance. Try to remember that the improvements you make to your swimming pool can actually save you money in the long run and stress in the short run!

 Happy 2018!

 

 

 

 

Dec. 8, 2017

Ring in 2018: Palm Springs, Coachella Valley and a Trip to Pasadena

Palm Springs and the other eight desert communities are another lands far from the maddening crowds of New York, Miami and Los Angeles where New Year’s Eve celebrations take on thousands of partygoers.  Our festivities are far more fun without the chaos of parking, highlighted by the California low-desert sky, where you can count the stars between fireworks.

Palm Springs

Spa Resort Casino is having their third annual “2018 Palm Springs New Year’s Eve Block Party”. The best part of this is that it’s free from 8:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. The extravaganza includes dancing to DJ Dense, fireworks, a bar garden and local restaurants plying partygoers. If you want to spend a few more Washingtons, feel free to pony up $35.00 to $100.00 to listen to the outdoor Plain White T’s in concert (“Hey There Delilah”). www.sparesortcasion.com

Rancho Mirage

If you like to “Get Down Tonight” and then into 2018, keep your “Boogie Shoes.” Head over to Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage where you can “Shake Your Booty” to the sounds of KC and the Sunshine Band who are still performing nearly 45 years later with tunes like “That’s the Way I Like It (A-ha-a-ha!)” and “Keep it Coming, Love.” Tickets are $75.00 - $95.00. www.hotwatercasino.com

Cabazon

Morongo Casino is like opening a can of confetti where every door and venue at the resort seems to be another celebration. If you’re bold enough, get a room for the night. Then start picking them off one by one.  Start with a buffet lunch to start the last day of the 2017 year at Café Serrano while listening to the country strings of Hayride. Swim, head to the gym, gamble but then for dinner, dine at Cielo: The Steakhouse where its $250 per couple for a six-course, prix-fixe dinner which includes a bottle of champagne. Then you can take it to the top at The Drum Room on the 26th floor (limited availability) or Vibe: The Nightclub with DJ Icy Ice spinning and scratching while revelers “werk” their “twerk.”  www.morongocasinoresort

 Pasadena

If you’re feeling adventurous, stay at the luxurious Langham Hotel in Pasadena. Get one of the packages such as the “Family Getaway” or “The Art of Relaxation” taking advantage of some of the great spa treatments. Then rise and shine to get an early start on 2018 and the 129th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade whose theme is “Making a Difference….”  The show, presented by Honda, features American Idol alum and actor Todrick Hall and for closing the parade, pop singer Andy Grammer (“Keep Your Head Up”). Hotel: www.langhamhotels.com, Tournament of Roses: www.tournamentofroses.com.

Happy 2018!

 

 

Dec. 3, 2017

Tis the Season: Holidays in the Desert, December 2017

 

As beautiful as a fresh snowfall blanketing the ground can be, it also means wearing parkas and snowshoes throughout most of the country.  Coachella Valley, home to such lifestyle communities as Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells and La Quinta residents and visitors alike are jumping into heated pools for a night swim or wearing shorts and t-shirts while traversing nearly a thousand miles of destination hiking trails. Our average winter temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit which allows for lots of outdoor activities including food festivals, Christmas parades and Chanukah lighting ceremonies during the festive month. More importantly, it’s also about spending time with family, friends and loved ones.

Ice Skating in Rancho Mirage

The Renova Rink at The River makes its sophomore season appearance. Instead of heading into the New York’s winter or San Francisco’s crowded Union Square, ice skaters can bring their blades and skate along the picturesque mountains of Rancho Mirage. Our dusty pink sunsets are a perfect backdrop when practicing figure-eights or spins. The cost is  $15 and will run until January 14, 2018.

 

The Living Desert’s “WildLights Holiday Festival”

The Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Garden is landmark desert paradise. During the holiday season even more so as visitors experience the annual “WildLights Holiday Festival” featuring 750,000 lights illuminating the park in the winter evenings. It becomes a magical space offering a yearly tradition for kids and children of all ages.  Besides providing visual splendor, guests can experience shows, a variety of craft-making, carousel rides and feeling like an Egyptian riding a domesticated dromedary. (Yes, Virginia that’s a camel ride instead of Santa Claus.) Check the website for selected nights which runs through until December 24, 2017.

 Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert

The Palm Springs Art Museum hosts No Religion is An Island: An Exhibit of Hanukkah Candelabras from Around The World, featuring a lecture with Rabbi David Lazar. Learn all about the meaning of the lighting of the candles as well as breathtaking craftsmanship displayed celebrating the Jewish holiday. Thursday, December 21st. Lecture 6 – 7 pm.

Palm Springs Air Museum Hosts “Santa Fly-in”

 For one weekend, Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, Santa Claus swoops into our desert valley landing at Palm Springs Air Museum. Each day at 11:00 a.m. the “Big Guy with the Toys” arrives at the museum in an airplane (his sleigh isn’t available until Christmas, natch’) to greet all the families and children who have come to see him. He will sit for photos for social media as well as doling out a present for each child present. Lastly, Mr. Claus chills out with his “winter fun land complete with snow directly from the North Pole.”

Nov. 24, 2017

Burn a Calorie or Three: Palm Springs and Coachella Valley Areas

 

According to a recent Consumer Reports story, the average American can consume up to 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That’s the pumpkin pie with whipped cream, gravy on the mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, buttered rolls and on and on and on. It's all delicious but one needs to burn off the eating. 

Thankfully, residing in the Palm Springs- Coachella Valley area presents a myriad of opportunities to assist in burning off the excess energy we ate over the course of twenty-four hours.

Palm Desert Aquatics Center

Open year-round, the three-pool waterpark offers the novice and the avid swimmers alike the ability to burn off nearly 500 calories per hour. During the spring and summer seasons, the aquatic center opens up with slides and kiddie pools for youngsters to frolic.

7351 Magnesia Falls Drive

Palm Desert

www.pdpool.com

(760) 565 – 7467

 

Hiking trails

 

Maybe you didn’t excel in swimming class turning you into the next Aquaman or at least Olympian Michael Phelps; hiking is a dominant pass time in the desert communities offering easy to strenuous excursions. Head to the website All Trails where all forty of the area’s desert walks are ranked.

You can even download a map, search for walks that will allow horses, dogs and bikes. An average person weighing 160 pounds can burn almost 450 calories (say “goodbye” to the slice of pumpkin pie!) while a two-hundred-pound individual can exercise nearly 550.  Don’t forget to bring your water bottle and hydrate. A flashlight comes highly recommended if you begin later in the day.

 

Biking

 

The roads through the nine cities of  Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Bermuda Dunes) features lanes specifically for cyclists. There is also over 1800 over biking trails for avid two-wheelers to the more experienced. Head to the site Map My Ride and find maps for 92 courses throughout the desert.

 

 

Get out and burn a mashed potato or two, so you can eat the leftovers! 

Nov. 16, 2017

Not Cooking? Where to Eat Turkey in Palm Springs & Beyond. (Cooking? A Simple Recipe After.)

 

Most resort towns "get full-up" during the holidays, and the desert communities are no exception. (As a kid, I always wondered why people went away. As an adult, I understand why; there aren’t any messes to clean-up.)  Here is a short list of where to go:

Eight4Nine (Palm Springs)

Located in the design district of Palm Springs, the upscale and creative atmosphere will be a showcase for all turkey lovers. A four-course, prix fixe dinner begins from 1:00 p.m until 9:00 p.m and includes your entrée choices of the traditional to the gourmet such as cider-brined duck breast, sourdough-crusted Chilean seabass or maple and sage roasted root vegetables for the non-meat eaters. To drink, try one of the exciting wines by the glass such as Syrah from Austin Hope (Paso Robles) or Newton Vineyard's claret in Napa.

Reservations: www.eight4nine.com

Location:    849 Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, California

Phone: (760) 325 – 8490

 

 

June Hill’s Table (Indio)

Named after Dr. June Hill McCarroll, a Coachella Valley pioneer who created road markings on all streets, directing traffic. (Yes, dashes and double-lines were born in California’s low desert.) She was also well-known for entertaining skills which on Thanksgiving Chef Kevin Land honors the restaurant’s namesake by crafting up baked rosemary ham and of course, a roasted gobbler with the fixings. Kids are $19.95 and adults are $45.00 which includes unlimited Champagne.

Reservations: (760) 797 – 7229

Location: 51750 Polo Club Drive, Indio, CA 92201

 

Lulu California Bistro (Palm Springs)/ Acqua (Rancho Mirage)

 Are you in search of something a little more casual? Short-sleeves instead of long? Flats instead of heels? Lulu’s and its sister restaurant, Acqua located in Rancho Mirage’s The River are serving up the old-style fare but also on the menu expect filet mignon, vegetable towers, and pizza. They are also noted for their zesty cocktails, pastel wall colors and open-air vibe which works well with our desert climate.

 Lulu California Bisto/ Acqua

Reservations: www.lulupalmsprings

 

 

How to Make a Turkey:

 Ingredients:

·         10 – 12-pound turkey, fresh or frozen (thawed)

·         Aromatics: Onions, carrots, celery, parsley, sage, garlic, citrus (lemon, lime, orange)

·         Salt & pepper

·         Melted butter

 

 

1.       Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2.       Take all the innards out of the cavity. (Throw away the liver.) Place those in a pot covered with water for gravy.

3.       After rinsing the bird, pat it dry with paper towels. Season it well with salt and pepper, inside and out.

4.       Stuff it full of coarsely chopped aromatics. Your choice.

5.       Brush with melted butter.

6.       Craft a foil tent covering Mr. Gobbler and roast breast side up for 2 hours.

7.       Remove foil, baste with more butter and turn the oven to 425 degrees. Roast for an additional hour or until the thigh meat registers at 165 degrees.

8.       Let it rest for about 30 minutes while making the giblet gravy. 

Nov. 8, 2017

Honoring Our Veterans: November 11

 

 

 

Palm Springs

Deemed an official regional site observing Veterans Day by Veterans Day National Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the City of Palm Springs hosts the 21st annual Palm Springs Veterans Day Parade, Saturday, November 11th at 3:30 p.m.  The route starts at Ramon and Palm Canyon Drive heading north on Palm Canyon to Alejo. The finale of the parade includes fireworks and a concert. The event is one of the largest in Southern California incorporating military units, marching bands and non-profit organizations.

Indio

The General Patton Memorial Museum is free all day, Saturday, November, 11 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The non-profit will also honor veteran Mr. Robert Nobuo Izumi who served 60 years in the United States Armed Forces. Deployed initially during World War II in Europe, he also served during Korean and Vietnam Wars while in the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corp.

www.generalpattonmuseum.com.

Palm Desert

Palm Desert recognizes and honors those who served at a free celebration at Civic Center Park on Saturday, November 11 beginning at 11:00 a.m. The event will feature a keynote speech from Colonel Kyle Ellison, Regimental Commander of the 7th Marines, the United States Marine Corps adopted by the City of Palm Desert. Additionally, the annual ceremony will include performances from the Heatwave Boys and the Girls Club Jazz Band.

Cathedral City

Cathedral City hosts their 9th Annual Healing Field memorial at Patriot Park through November 15th. Area residents and visitors walk through rows upon rows of full-size flags flying on 7 ½ foot poles, which embodies a healing experience that is a source of the memorial’s designation. Free and open to the public, the site is visible at the corner of Dinah Shore and Date Palm Drives. 

Nov. 3, 2017

Things to Do in November 2017: Palm Springs & Beyond

 

 

We are in the throes of the Coachella Valley season when the snowbirds fly in from their chilly residences keeping themselves warm in our California desert. In planes, trains, and automobiles they come looking for things to do, places to sun and places to buy in our arid paradise. 

  • Gay Pride Weekend is November 3 – 5. It will be a busy desert. Check the Visit Palm Springs Guide for all things LGBTQ friendly.
  • College of the Desert in Palm Desert for the past 30 years has played host to a street fair. Opened year round nearly 350 vendors and food purveyors hold court selling their wares and gourmet bites. Every Saturday.
  • HITS (“Horse shows In the Sun”) starts their National Sunshine Series awarding over $1 million in prize money during two weeks in Southern California late fall. The events take place in Thermal at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal and include USEF Premier-rated Hunters and 5*/6* Jumpers. It features a $200,000 Sunshine Grand Prix FEI CSI4*, a $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the West Coast Pony Finals, the Zone 10 Age Group Equitation Championships and the inaugural NCEA Junior Medal Finals West. The competition schedule features deluxe hospitality services and gourmet cuisine to complement this elite fall series.
  • Cathedral City's 4th Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival begins, November 17 – 19. Eat, drink, ride in tethered balloons and watch them rise-up in the early morning. It’s a beautiful thing.
  • Martha’s Village and Kitchen is one of the largest providers of food and housing for the homeless in Coachella and Riverside. On Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 23rd), participate in their 11th Annual 5k when thousands of participants walk, run or walk/run to the finish line doing something good for themselves and others. 

Image result for thanksgiving photos

Oct. 27, 2017

CV People: Five Questions for Matt Young, Proprietor of Desert Wine Shop 111 in Palm Desert

What is the most important thing to consider when choosing a wine? Does it take you away. Wine to me is a journey, every time I taste a wine I try to put myself in the mind of the winemaker, what are they trying to do, say, show? Does it take me away from the everyday stresses of life, will others enjoy it, what is the story. I love to tell the story.

 Now that the holidays are soon upon us, what varietals do you think are best overall? Suggestions? It really depends on what you are having for the holidays. With food and wine you don’t really want one to overpower the other, you want them to complement each other. For me I think of Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, Chardonnay and Viognier for Thanksgiving, Rose is always a winner too. For the later holidays Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc, Zinfandel, Syrah and Petit Syrah. Again the real key is what is being made, you can find a wine to go with any meal.

 

Matt Young, Proprietor, Desert Wine Shop 111

 What are your favorite wine choices? Really depends on the day. I am more of a red drinker, but in the summer when it is hotter than hades a crisp white or rose does the trick. On Sunday’s though it is all about bubbles no matter what time of year it is.

 What are the trends you are seeing in winemaking? Blends and obscure varietals are really starting to come on to the scene, at least for me. I am seeing a lot of people going away from the big alcohol bombs and going towards blends that have nice structure and flavor, and on the whites people are really going towards the crisp clean styles, you will still have the people who like the big over the top wines, which are still great to me as well, but sometimes less is more. 

What is great about living in the Coachella Valley? For me I have a young family and we homeschool, so the homeschool community out here is great and really supportive of each other which is great. The restaurant scene is really starting to expand all over the valley which is great and I love the fact that we close enough to a little bit of everything, the beach, the river, the mountains, the big cities are only a day trip away.

 

 

Posted in Desert Wine Shop, Wine