Tag Archives: california

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs


The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

A couple of weeks ago we spent the weekend in Palm Springs at The Monkey Tree Hotel. After following them on Instagram for awhile, I was excited to be invited out to check out the place in person- and it did not disappoint! Palm Springs is only a 4 hour drive from Phoenix and the weather is pretty much the same, so the heat wasn’t an adjustment for us. Plus I prefer triple digit temperatures for swimming because I’m a wimp like that :)

The hotel was designed in 1960 by Albert Frey, and changed names and owners throughout the years. The current owners, Gary and Kathy Friedle, bought the property in 2015 and moved from New York City to Palm Springs start their new adventure as boutique hotel owners. They restored the hotel to it’s original mid-century design, back to the original name, and reopened it earlier this year. The hotel is a mid-century lovers DREAM, decked out in vintage furniture & decor that was all found around Palm Springs. They did an AMAZING job of restoring the great property and adding some unique touches to the place- like a Scandinavian Spa with a cold plunge (I suprisingly did it!)!

One thing I loved about the hotel is that it’s smaller with only 16 rooms- which made it perfect for a more relaxing getaway, and a more personalized experience. Breakfast is served each morning and included my favorites- homemade scones, granola, fruit, and yogurt. Our room was really spacious with a kitchenette, and bright white with pops of yellow and blue. The sparkling pool had flamingo & donut floats, 60s garage rock on the speakers, and a homemade sangria served each afternoon- it was really fun but without the craziness of the packed pools you find at some of the larger hotels.

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs
The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs
The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

The Monkey Tree Hotel in Palm Springs

Ok, are you sold? I definitely recommend staying here on your next trip to Palm Springs! It’s the kind of hotel you’ll leave actually feeling refreshed, which is kind of the point of getting away right??

Thanks so much for having us Monkey Tree Hotel! We had the best time and can’t wait to come back!

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Joshua Tree


Joshua Tree California

A couple of weeks have already passed from our Joshua Tree getaway, but I’m just getting around to sorting through all the photos. It can be so bittersweet to look through all those vacation photos, ya know? Brian planned this weekend road trip for us, which was nothing short of perfect, and we took his car on our first out-of-state road trip with it.

I shared photos of our amazing digs for the weekend a couple of weeks ago, which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We also did a ton of sight seeing- from exploring nature to weird tourist spots. We visited a few of the High Desert Test Sites, had a sound bath at the Integratron (which was more of a hangover recovery to the sound of quartz bowls), and scoped out some vintage shops.

We drove through Joshua Tree National Park as part of our route home, making periodic stops for exploring. The park is the intersection of 2 deserts and it was interesting to see the landscape shift from high desert- with boulders and Joshua Trees, to low desert with the cholla and ocotillo that we are accustomed to in Arizona. And here I am almost falling into the San Andreas fault and rearranging some boulders…












California is definitely one of my favorite places, and as much as I think I would like to live there one day, living in a bordering state is the next best thing. In the last 9 months we have visited on 3 weekends and had totally different trips only a few hours away- the mountains, beach, and desert. Okay, I’m off before I start sounding like a California tourism commercial…

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the French Riviera of California…


salton sea camping trip

Last week our good friends Zach and Adrienne tied the knot with a family celebration, but took some friend’s on a camping trip to celebrate.
salton sea bombay beach

We went to the Salton Sea which is a man made lake near Palm Springs, CA, a quick 4ish hour drive for us. If you have never heard of this place, I highly suggest reading about it, and if you have a chance, watching the documentary Plagues and Pleasures narrated by the awesomely quirky John Waters.

salton sea camping

There’s a lot of interesting information out there so I won’t get too much into the details of the area, but a place once dubbed “the French Riviera of California” is now more recently called an ecological disaster.

salton sea camping
We visited Slab City, a place where people can really go to live off the grid. Seriously check out this article for a great description of this town with an exiting sign reading “Warning Reality Ahead”. These pics are from the town stage, where they host talent shows, bands, and a prom- that a local cordially invited us to but we were a week early :)

slab cityslab city

The highlight of the area was definitely Salvation Mountain, one man’s folk art tribute to God. It reminded my of every acid trip you see in a movie, meets church. You can walk up to the top by following the “yellow brick road”.
salvation mountain
salvation mountain salton sea
salvation mountain salton sea

In a nutshell, this place is a trip. We were so fascinated by the whole experience that we watched the documentary as soon as we got home and I was devouring articles on it the next few days. The Sociology major in me was intrigued :) If you live nearby, I recommend at least a day trip!

salton sea camping polaroid

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a mini getaway…


The week before Christmas, Brian’s brother was in town from Nashville so the parents took us on a little getaway to Palm Springs. It’s only a four hour drive from Phoenix and boasts one of the biggest collections of mid-century homes.

This area of California is super windy and is home to the San Gorgonio Wind Farm- a familiar site to anyone who’s ever driven from Phoenix to L.A.
palm springs windmills

We stayed in Desert Hot Springs at a hotel with a bunch of pools and hot tubs built around the natural hot springs, all varying temperatures. This hotel sports mid century architecture and a lot of… vintage charm.
desert hot springsdesert hot springsdesert hot springs

I was hoping to hit the thrifting jack pot but no such luck. There are so many collectors and dealers in the area, it’s hard for a tourist to strike gold. We visited some beautifully curated vintage shops resembling mid century museums. I should’ve taken more pictures, but I was awestruck by all the amazing furniture in perfect condition (and 4-digit price tags!). If you want to kill a few hours, google Palm Springs mid century architecture for some eye candy.

Close to the California border in Quartzsite, there is a flea market run by the snowbirds (AZ slang for retirees) flocking from the mid west for winter. That is where I had some luck, picking up some Pyrex for my collection that is getting a little out of hand.palm springs instagram

One good thing about living in Arizona is the proximity to Southern California destinations for a little weekend trips.

Do you have any favorite spots for mini getaways?

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