Flying into Palm Springs is a breeze + that’s where a recent week in CA began. We met up with our buds at the Saguaro before heading up the hill for Sunday service — a sound bath at the Integratron. I love this experience, it’s truly immersive and hallucinatory. After getting our chakras vibrated we drove out to Giant Rock where I felt overcome by the power of the geology, the freedom of a vast world and the joy of the desert air. We descended into the valley, got a bite at King’s Highway, then settled into the Lautner for a single night splurge. John Lautner’s style is what I’d call macho modernism and it kind of felt like staying in a lavish museum/terrarium.
We then drove up through the park, stopping at favorite trails like the Cholla Garden and windswept campsites to scramble on boulders. The sun set and we arrived at the best digs of the trip, the Joshua Tree House. It’s a minimally appointed perfect homesteader cabin right in town and I felt very at home there. Dinner and music at Pappy & Harriet’s was really great, I just like the community here so much. The next day we embarked on a hike I love to 49 Palms Oasis. The first view of the palms in the distance nestled into the arid mountain is a special sight. After a couple fireside nights we headed south again — stop at The End for vintage + get a date shake in Yucca Valley.
Our next abode on this whirlwind was a Palm Springs estate basically; I love how you can rent a house now for less than the cost of a hotel. There are some real good ones in PS and I’d love to go back with a big group and just have a nonstop pool party. In the couple days we had there, we managed to eat at Birba, Chi Chi at the Avalon (stick to the lounge), Norma’s at the Parker (we wandered the grounds expecting a minotaur to chase us away), and Cheeky’s (great breakfast). Did a lot of hanging out around the house but the Moorten Botanical Garden is obligatory — humble overgrown cacti heaven.
“On the way” to LA we followed up on a recommendation from a friend to check out Deep Creek Hot Springs. I think going into this adventure with zero knowledge of how epic it was going to be was to our benefit. Dirt roads bring you to a shack and a hilltop trailhead from which you hike down sandy ridges surrounded by incredible vistas to an icy creek that must be crossed to reach the cascading hot pools fortified into the rocks and frequented by some colorful characters. Not realizing this was such an all-day affair we soaked up the scene as long as possible before we had to hike back up and out and hit the road for the drive into Los Angeles.
The city felt foreign after that nature experience, and we couldn’t get to every spot I wanted to check out in just a weekend, but we did get around. We stayed at the Echo Park cottage of the Geronimo Balloons boss and it was artful and lovely. We walked down Sunset to meet friends in Silver Lake, went to Venice to dip a toe in the ocean, to LACMA to see Levitated Mass, to an iffy soul party (should have gone to the Reverberation DJ night), and I ate some variation of fancy toast at Ostrich Farm, Dinette, Sqirl, AND Gjelina. Had some good food truck luck as well, and an awesome spread at Night & Market for our last supper after watching the sunset from a makeshift trail in Griffith Park. We sped through the Hollywood hills in the dark looking at the sprawling city lit up below.