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

(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.




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.


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:


·         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.


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.

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
Oct. 24, 2017

Comings, Goings and Things to do: Coachella Valley


William Shatner/Facebook

We are firmly within the storm of our desert season as is seen in the multiple of stories about our Coachella Valley cities.

Take a look through them stories and learn more about what's going on, what to do and where to go.

Palm Springs:

·         According to The Desert Sun, Captain James T. Kirk is wandering around the Coachella Valley along with Back to the Future's Doc Emmett Brown. Anyone know about flying cars?

·         The Los Angeles Times reports that Hollywood's Golden Age actor Cary Grant's playground is up for grabs at $13 million. It comes complete with three residences and 14 bedrooms.

·         Wanna live in an 'agri-hood'? Wanna know what one is? Look no further than the Orange Country Register story on Miralon.

Palm Desert

·         The Yard House's General Manager wins a national award from her company according to Palm Desert Patch.

·         Palm Desert gets tougher on short term rentals.

·         "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" rolls into town at the Palm Canyon Theater. Based on the movie of the same name, the show highlighting disco tunes and drag queens begins October 26 and ends November 12. 

CoCoachella/ Facebook


·         The annual Coachella Music Festival shows no sign of slowing down. It was the first annual music showcase to surpass the $100 million dollar mark reports Forbes.

·         The Family YMCA in Coachella celebrates 35 years of being a community resource states the Patch. Happy Birthday!

·         Time to get your pumpkin on. According to the Desert Sun, all three of the Coachella Valley's certified organic farmers markets sell the big squash. Did you know that nearly 1.5 billion (!) pumpkins are sold annually? You do now.




Oct. 17, 2017

The Buzziest News about Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

We completed our second show of “Palm Springs Real Estate Buzz” talking with HGTV’s remodelers “Kitchen Cousins” and Nebia’s CEO and co-founder of the newest designs for a bathroom fixture, the shower head. It allows users to save nearly seventy percent of water while bathing. It’s a great product, and although not cheap, it’s a must-have for the design and eco-conscious.

Palm Springs has been in the news recently:

  • At Conde Nast Traveler, the headline is that we are hotter than ever.

  • Modernism Week Fall Preview starts this week. The event precedes the international design experience in February 2018. Buy your tickets; they are going fast.

  • Our The Desert Sun reports on the new book, “Palm Springs Confidential: Playground of the Stars” whose author Howard Johns writes on the nearly 500 homes of the rich and famous.

  • Wally’s Desert Turtle, the legendary dining and bar lounge rooted on Highway 111 opens their doors for the 40th anniversary. Some marriages don’t even last that long.

If you aren’t suntanning, seeing fantastic architecture, drinking martinis or reading a new book, we have plenty of homes to see including:

287 Loch Lomond, Rancho Mirage: A beautiful three bedroom and four bath home with a courtyard, guest house, private pool, and spa overlooking the Gary Player Signature Golf Course in the Legacy at Mission Hills. Meet Wendy, who loves showing high-end homes.

81903 Villa Reale, Indio: Located in the family area of Indio, this stunning home features a great room with a fireplace, five bedrooms, three and a half baths, plus a two room casita. It’s a castle for a growing family.

78915 Rio Seco, La Quinta: A three-bedroom dwelling with three baths, three car garage and specially designed Pebble Tec pool. The price dropped from $540,000 to $519,000. HOAs do apply, but it comes with nine additional community pools and tennis courts.


All that and more to come this week. Keep reading!

Top Photo: Courtesy of Modernism Week.

Oct. 6, 2017

Things to Do in October 2017: Palm Springs & Beyond

We are proud, excited and scared about the launch of our “Palm Springs Real Estate Buzz” on KGX (920AM/ 99.1FM). Our first show consists of Jarrod Leitch from Franklin Loan Center, PS Appraisal’s Paul Sloan and new reality star, Eliise Stowell, from Bravo’s “Real Estate Wars” which debuted on the cable network on Thursday, October 5. Tune in or get the KGX Radio to listen on your phone or devices. Call us at (760) 394 – 6680 or send your questions via Facebook.

October is the beginning of fall and the start of the holiday season. It’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Health Literacy Month, and World Blindness Month. For Coachella Valley, it’s the start of our exciting nine-month when the temperatures become temperate. 

Open Houses, October 7 – 8:

81903 Villa Reale, Indio: A lovely, five-bedroom, four-bath family house.

Other Events:

Desert Music Oasis, October 7 – 8, Empire Polo Club, Coachella

The two-day festival features live performances with on-site camping and food that organizers say, “Rival the best festivals in the world.” The evening is heavy on reggae with sets by Damian “Jr.Gong” Marley, Rebelution, Steel Pulse and Inner Circle. Other global musicianss include Los Lobos, Kinky and Warren G.

The 11th Annual “Paint El Paseo” Pink, October 14th, The Gardens of El Paseo.

In support of breast cancer awareness, all walkers wear pink in solidarity. Proceeds benefit the Desert Cancer Foundation – Suzanne Jackson Breast Cancer Fund for our Coachella Valley residents.

Desert AIDS Walk 2017 | Sponsored by KMIR, October 21, Ruth Hardy Park

Register to walk supporting those with HIV and AIDS as well as raise money.

The Great California Balloon Race, October 21st, Mecca

Hot air balloon pilots will race in a series of challenges earning points which converts into prize money at the end. An inaugural event, expect lots of fun and eye-popping color. Although the occasion is free, parking is $7.00.

Trick or Treat at Keller Williams Office, October 31, La Quinta. 2 – 5 PM.

Bring the kids into our offices at 47100 Washington Street for a safe and scary good time. Our colleagues will be dressed to scare with goodies and delights.









Oct. 3, 2017

"Palm Springs Real Estate Buzz" and KGX

Who knew it would be fun to start a radio show? At John Sloan Real Estate Group, we didn’t. Working with Garry Wing, a veteran radio broadcaster and his team is an enlightening experience how to bring people the news.

Garry has been flying under the Palm Springs radar although he has been a full-time resident of Palm Springs for the past 13-years. Throughout the country, though, he has been on-air and programmed some great radio stations since the mid-'70s, in cities such as San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, Orlando, Grand Rapids, Charleston and Raleigh. Earlier this year, he was profiled by the our Desert Sun as the new owner of KGX. He's an active commercial airplane and glider pilot, an Instrument Flight Instructor and volunteers as a mission pilot with Angel Flight and Pilots 'n' Paws.

We are very excited to have an opportunity to discuss Palm Springs and the growing real estate in the area.

Our first show is in the can with Jarrod Leitch, Franklin Loan Center, talking about mortgages and lending. On the same show we have Paula Sloan from PS Appraisals discussing what goes into assessing your home’s worth and lastly, as we have mentioned, we have the very savvy, Eliisa Stowell, from Bravo’s new reality show, “Real Estate Wars.”

We are happy to announce that next week, we have talked to the handsome guys of HGTV’s “Kitchen Cousins” about their podcast “Home with the Cousins” and disaster preparedness.


Listen to the show every Saturday at 8:00 am, Or listen to the podcast on