mini vacation

Thank you all so much for you positive feedback on our last post. We weren’t expecting that, but it was much appreciated. Some of my favorite blogs are monetized and I respect the way they’ve navigated the changing times, I just don’t think it’s the right track for us. So with that, here’s to blogging randomly!

Last week we flew down to Palm Springs for a 3-day mini vacation! We’ve lived in Seattle for nearly ten years now and this is the first time we’ve taken a true winter vacation – it was just the dose of vitamin D we needed to make it through the next three months or so of rain and gray skies.

We stayed at the Ace Hotel (naturally). Going mid-week and for three nights got us a bit of a discount and less action at the hotel, which was nice. (Though look at Avery, obviously bummed to be hanging out at the Commune by herself.) We took an early flight from Seattle on Monday and arrived at the hotel in time for brunch, followed by an afternoon at the pool. That evening we went to the downtown area for dinner. Kyle and I were both surprised just how elated Avery seemed to be about everything. This is also the first time I’ve seen her walking around in shorts and sandals – poor Seattle kid must have felt so liberated!







On Tuesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel then drove out to Joshua Tree (we rented a car, which we realized after getting there was pretty essential, at least with a toddler) which is about an hour away. The park itself is fairly accessible and there are lots of short “nature trails” that were toddler-friendly. This area of southern California is so radically different from what we’re used to in Seattle and it was fun to introduce that to Avery. We got back to the hotel after lunch and spent the afternoon at the pool.













Avery picked out the coyote (which she calls “Kai”) at the visitor center and they have been BFFs since.

On Wednesday we went out to breakfast then headed to the north side of town to the Palm Springs visitors center, looking for info on the local architecture. We ended up buying a $5 map that listed all the significant homes/buildings/neighborhoods (there was also an iPhone app for the same price, but it took a while to download so we decided to skip it). Working our way south, we spent the next two hours driving through neighborhoods, stopping occasionally to snap a few photos and trying not to look like creepsters. We weren’t sure how Avery would do, but she ended up sleeping the whole time (and she hasn’t taken a morning nap in months). I’m sure she was just incredibly bored, but her architect parents were thrilled.








We didn’t take a ton of photos (and only used our phones), but it was fascinating to see first-hand this style of architecture and how it responded to its desert climate – particularly the use of layers, color and shade and shadow. Avery woke up just in time to walk through the downtown design district and grab lunch, then it was back to the hotel for afternoon pool time! It didn’t take long to realize that nap time interfered with pool time (i.e. – nap strike) so once she got fussy we just did a couple of laps around the hotel then let her snooze in her stroller.







On our last night she refused the hotel crib and because we had to get up super early anyway, we decided to let her co-sleep. This was a first for us and it was both adorable and comical. I’m not sure how well Kyle and I slept but she was still passed out after both our alarms went off and all the lights were turned on.


This is the only photo I took of the much-Instagrammed hotel lobby and it was from the car at 5:30 in the morning on the day we left. Oops.

And before we knew it we were back on a plane to Seattle, waving goodbye to the sun and warmth. It was a great mini vacation with just the right mix of activity and chill time. In fact, we’re already scheming about where we’ll go next year.


14 Responses to “mini vacation”

  1. kurt says:

    oh i wish you would have have given me a heads up. i’m a follower and live in palm springs! i would have loved to say hi. you did have gorgeous weather here indeed. glad you enjoyed your time in our fair city. it’s very special place.


    • Lauren says:

      Aww, thanks Kurt! It was a bit of a last-minute trip and we didn’t even think about if we might know anyone in the area! (Although, we did run into a lot of people that were from Seattle and other northern states, haha!)

    • Kyle Zerbey says:

      thanks, Kurt, yes, what a special place indeed. I don’t think we could survive the summer there though:) Already looking forward to our next trip back:)

  2. Brent Blersch says:

    Brilliant post. It seems like the Zerby’s have a budding second career in travel writing with and architectural point of view.


  3. Amy M says:

    Oh, how relaxing is Palm Springs? If you happen to head there again, you have got to check out Hotel Lautner. Just amazing. Stayed there for a short mini honeymoon a couple years ago.

  4. Emily R says:

    Ha! I just read this while I was at the Pool at The Saguaro down the road. It was my first trip to Palm Springs and I absolutely loved it. Doesn’t help that it’s 30 degrees back in Boston where I live. I made my folks drive around ALL the neighborhoods and now I have a million pictures of beautiful MCM homes taken from inside a car. Womp womp. But it really is an amazing place! So glad you guys also loved it.

    • Lauren says:

      Oh yeah, I totally know which hotel you’re talking about! Glad you had a good time – I remember turning to Kyle once (poolside) and saying, “you know what’s crazy – it’s only March!”. I’m just glad we live close enough (via plane at least) to somewhere that’s so gorgeous in winter.

  5. Amanda says:

    we live about an hour from palm springs, so we pick up and go for day trips on random saturdays. It’s interesting to see the perspective of an out-of-towner. we’re sorta spoiled here in southern california and we don’t even realize it. although, we’ve never been smart enough to buy a map that spots the architectural gems, we randomly drive down streets with our fingers crossed. lesson learned from the seattlites!

  6. marie says:

    did you find the frey house II up in the rocks? pretty fun to see it outside of a book. if you ever go w/o babies check out hope springs. it’s quiet out of the way, small, and really fantastic.

  7. seattleheather says:

    Thanks for this post! We went last weekend for the first time and picked up the map you guys had suggested. I will say- after seeing driveway & privacy walls for miles, we decided to take the time to download the app and it was definitely worth it! Most had videos and/or interior photos and a short audio informational spiel. Also want to give a shout out to Indian Canyons which was super close to where we stayed (in a vrbo). easy & hard hikes and it was like being on a movie set or in a disney park. Really, really cool. Thanks again – I love your blog! 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks for sharing Heather! Yeah, we noticed that the more famous the house, the more screened it was from the street. Good to know the app had more info.

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