This from just days 1 and 2 - you can see it was a blast! Stay tuned for more, or read all about the experience here - Palm Desert Road Trip
I try to have a somewhat ready calendar of my travel plans for the year, every year. Some years are great and some not so much but I’ve had a reasonable amount of travel the last few years, for work and pleasure, mostly within the U.S and slowly but surely expanding my horizons to international destinations. The earlier part of this year is actually looking a tad bit lighter with a few U.S locations but here’s what is in store for now:
January – New York City
February – Carlsbad, CA
March - Michigan
April - Virginia
May – Costa Rica
June – Poland/Buenos Aires
July - India
August - Vermont
September - Hawaii
October – Greenville, S.C
November - Quebec
December – Yucatan
Of course, there is always leeway for my travel plans to change so check out the editorial calendar link in my About page to stay abreast of my travels. Better yet, sign up for the newsletter to get more on where you can travel to next and my ideas for what you can experience there, Cheers!
Have your travel plans laid out for 2017? Share a link in the comments below, maybe our paths will cross this year!
Heard only great things about The Broad since it opened doors late 2015 and had a tough time getting tickets initially but made it today just after they celebrated their first anniversary so here’s the scoop!
What? You didn't know? It's National Hamburger Day this Wednesday, December 21st so here are some of my top go-to burger joints in L.A. for an over-the-top burger, becasue, really, who needs an excuse to have a burger anyways?
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (Sawtelle, Fairfax, Downtown, Santa Monica)
Think many renditions of the all-American classic, each composed of premier house-ground beef and condiments like their kimchi mustard and dashi-infused American cheese. You must have the Plan Check Burger, which I can personally vouch for as one of the best ever, especially since it stars their Sriracha ketchup leather. There's also the Cheeseburger Machismo and Da Phat Hawaiian Burger up for grabs.
Boneyard Bistro (Sherman Oaks)
A classic BBQ joint with modern twists from Executive Chef and Owner Aaron Robins, Boneyard Bistro is known for its time-honored BBQ offerings and eclectic bistro fare, including a selection of oak-grilled burgers ground with 100% Snake River Farms American “Kobe Style” Wagyu beef. Their playful burger staples include The O.M.G., The California Special and the Extremely spicy! No mercy, no refunds! “Burn In Hell” Burger.
Great Maple (Del Amo)
This modern American eatery specializes in comforting dishes and drinks with exciting twists and a unique presentation. The kitchen’s goal is to create towering masterpieces “For the People.” You can try the Montreal-Spiced Grass Fed Beef or maybe The French Cowboy “A Burger that Eats Like a Hot Dog”. No, I'm not telling you what's in it - I know you will go find out yourself!
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For my last day in Palm Desert, I got up fairly early so I could sit out in my balcony and watch the sun rise as I sipped my coffee to the sound of the birds in the lake below creating their morning ruckus/symphony. I will miss waking up to these beautiful views every day. The air here is just so much cleaner, you can feel it within a day.
Breakfast today was at Wilma & Frieda's at The Gardens on El Paseo. Went in fairly early and thought the place was deserted but by the time we left, there wasn’t a spot empty! Looks like a breakfast and brunch fave around here. For a true blast from the past, just like the huge sign hanging on the wall reading Café Dining Cars, get their specialty pop tarts – so many flavors and so much fun. There’s a few varieties to choose from so I won’t spill the pops on what those are – I hope you will visit to discover.
Enjoyed visiting the Palm Springs Art Museum at Palm Desert with docent Patrick Blythe, and perused the newly installed “Glass for the New Millennium: Masterworks from the Kaplan-Ostergaard Collection” exhibition, which is on display through early March 2017. The exhibit features works by artists from more than 10 countries and traces the history of studio glass from the 1960s. I seriously could not believe some of the artwork I saw here – incredible that they are all made from glass. Images do not do justice to the critically curated collection.
Ordered in breakfast today which is always fun. I think in-room service is such a lost luxury and wish more folks would enable that then charge additional for it to be a room service.
Headed straight to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which is dedicated to preserving a portion of the Colorado Desert in its natural state. I got a behind-the-scenes shuttle tour of the zoo’s grounds. My time there included many highlights – feeding Pono the giraffe carrots while he posed for pictures (even managed a selfie, which, given our height differences, was quite the achievement), watching Clyde the camel engage in his favorite activity – painting!, and seeing some lovely butterflies at the Winged Wonders! Butterfly Exhibit. Also saw Mexican wolves (three, and they appeared to be completing their morning laps) as well as my first peccary. Finished off with the Cheetah Run, an event that highlights the “Year of the Cheetah” and The Living Desert's efforts to help preserve this endangered species.
A short 2-3 hour ride from L.A took me to Palm Desert. Very tempted to stop at the Cabazon Outlet Mall and the towering Morongo Casino but put my self-control skills to test and kept driving on. I was wowed by the rows of windmills that greeted me as I drove in. Word of caution – the area does get windy and you can find yourself fighting against gusts to keep control of your car.
My home for the next few days is JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa at Palm Desert and while I expected it to be just another Marriott property as I drove in to park, I soon found out this one had its own charm. The lobby is simply majestic, I have actually never been inside a cruise ship proper but this lobby reminded me of one from a movie. Right off the bat, the gondolas and water pool inside the building caught my attention!
Enjoyed a casual weekday lunch at Birch LA with members of the media and the friendly folks at Diamond PR to learn more about Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa. As you can see from the pictures, the event was a blast!
Recently discovered this app and website called Table8, which can be used to find and book restaurant reservations and discover new food and drink experiences. Looked up Indian and Italian restaurants near Los Angeles where I live and received quote a few options that I was able to sort not just by date, time and number in my party but also by price range, type of cuisine, distance, etc.
The company has been around a while but they also launched a new restaurant perks program for Dining Club Members at select partner restaurants in LA as well as the 12 other cities across the U.S. where they operate. These special perks are complimentary and range from a welcome cocktail or amuse bouche to a signed menu from the chef or wine cellar tour with the sommelier. Sounds interesting, how fun!
Looks like a perfect way to impress for date night or maybe with family members when taking them to dinner, especially over the holidays. Its an extra special touch, and exclusive in that you have to know of the app and reserve though there. Some of the perks in LA include:
Now if that doesn’t sound like a unique experience to make you and your guests feel special! The app itself is free to download on your phone or use online through their website but the Dining Club Membership costs $95. If you want to sign up asap, then just click on the image above and it should take you directly to the sign-up page. Have you tried the app or are you in a city where the service is available? Would love to hear your experience in the comments below!
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