Second visit in November to Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs Desert Heat

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. During the three weeks we were there, It was sunny most days. The temperature hovered in the high 70s to 80s, similar to a Seattle summer. Very pleasant, indeed.

And we got there in time for Gay Day on November 4th. I’ll do a separate post about that with pictures. And the following weekend was the veterans day parade, which is a really big deal in Palm Springs and somewhat of a deal for me becuase I am a veteran.

First Visit Last Year

Our first visit was last year in November. We stayed at the Triada Resort Marriott in the Movie Colony neighborhood. The staff was happy and helpful, the breakfasts were amazing and they had been comped to us because of our long 3 week stay. I am a Marriott Platinum Elite, which means that I have upgrade priority. Last year we stayed in a studio suite that had a bathtub but no outdoor space, which I always request. Interestingly, last year we paid for the casita suite, which I had forgotten about until Kathie reminded me a couple of weeks ago.

Back to the Marriott Triada

This year we arrived on November 1st, for our first 10 day stay. We could not book the entire 3 weeks this year because they had a wedding party that booked the entire hotel for the weekend right in the middle of our stay. We were put into a suite in between both pools. Thankfully it was normally not noisy, other than the constant pop music aired all day until 10pm. It was nice being so close to the hot tub, we enjoyed a good soak every morning. And, since we both enjoy having fresh air, we dealt with the unwanted music by playing our own. I always bring my small bluetooth speaker with me when I travel.

There was no real privacy, though, other than the fact that with the glare of the sun against the windows of our living room in the shade during the day it was pretty much impossible for anyone to see in. The most irritating light was at night with the extremely bright glaring lights spaced at every door burning all night long. I had to find a way to pull the drapes in the bedroom far enough over to prevent the light from glaring into the room around the edges of the drapes.

There is more to the Triada story, and I’m afraid, sadly, we won’t be going back. We both really love the staff there and always, even this year, appreciated their efforts. However, there were problems this time that we hadn’t anticipated. The Marriott (I guess) was inflexible about our breakfast arrangements and the new breakfast waiter (we really missed you, Nate!!!!), was practically rude. When we did finally order something due to time constraints, it was inedible.

The Andalusian Court

The Andalusian Court, Palm Springs, California

There is always a silver lining, so they say. Well, ours was staying at The Andalusian Court on Andreas off North Palm Canyon Drive about 3 blocks towards the mountains. We spent 3 glorious, private days there in the Lucy and Ricky villa. There is a large pool for all guests in a large central courtyard. We had a gas round fire pit in a private enclosed outdoor space with exquisitely comfortable wicker chairs with big cushions. It gets cold at night in the desert!

Next time, we’ll spend a week to 10 days there again. And we will rent a car, there is no parking fee, we just park in the parking lot outside the hotel. Which brings me to my next little rant about Palm Springs.

Wheelchair Mobility Issues

If you have a mobile impairment, know that there are pretty glaring problems and you will most likely need someone to help navigate the obstacles. What would be illegal in Seattle is apparently not here. Such as mechanical doors being absent at the art museum. If my spouse was alone there would have been no way to get in or out. We wanted to spend a little time in the outdoor sculpture garden but the only way out there was to open 2 very heavy glass doors while pushing or pulling a wheelchair through. I couldn’t manage it; Kathie on her own would just have to turn around.

We took Ubers most places after it was clear that K couldn’t walk, even with my assistance, more than a few steps. And I was having a very hard time being able to hold her up without getting hurt myself. We finally rented a wheelchair from a medical devices store and on about 4 or 5 occasions, we’d go out into the night (because it was dark at 5PM) and head for a restaurant. I learned quickly that the curbs were not level after I nearly through Kathie off of her chair onto the sidewalk. People stared at us, but I’m not used to that yet, we’re new at this. I did my best to remain cheerful and upbeat, although I can be a wise ass sometimes. Kathie is a MUCH better sport!

More About the Hotels

Marriott Triada

This time, to recap, we decided to stay for 21 days, which we both agree now is way too long. First 10 days at the Triada, next 3 at the Andalusian Court and then we headed back to the Triada for the last 10 days. The room we were given was so horrible I had a panic attack, it was tiny, there was no clothing storage space, the bathroom was tiny, there was a balcony outside the room that was tiny and on the main path right near the stairs down to housekeeping below us. There was a small window looking out onto the court, but, honestly, I felt like a monkey in a zoo. On a very bad cell phone connection, Kathie was able to make arrangements for us to stay at the Hyatt. After getting everything arranged with the first person she worked with, the call was dropped and there was NO WAY to get back to the same person.

I was doing my best to calm myself down, and Kathie was doing her best to get us a new room. After being dropped, she called a second time and spoke with a second person and had to go over the same complicated plans again (using a free stay night, using points, paying for the others, availability for the next 10 nights…). When we finally left the Marriott, I made reservations again there for the last 3 nights because there was apparently no availability for the 18th or 19th.

Hyatt, Palm Springs

Thankfully, once we got to the Hyatt with all of our luggage, the agent at the desk, Ivan, was an absolute hero. First, he was able to get us all 10 nights. Then we discovered that the only handicapped room available did not have a walk in shower. Between him and another agent in the office, they were able to move the current occupant to a different suite and give us the only one with a walk-in shower.

So, we stayed at the Hyatt right downtown on N Palm Canyon Dr and Arenas. It was a suite with a private balcony (all the rooms are the same). We might stay here again if the Andalusian Court was unavailable, especially since they are doing a much needed renovation of the property now. The pool is nice and big with plenty of places to nest or lay in the sun.

We were on the 5th floor facing the San Jacinto Mountains and after watching so many others do it, I decided to climb the steep switchback up to the top. I was a little apprehensive because my knee was really complaining this trip, but I made it unscathed. Palm Springs is just nestled right there under and very close to these mountains. Bob Hope’s compound, at least that’s what it reminds me of, is right there in the foothills and I wondered as I gazed upon it from my balcony day after day, how it would have felt when there was not much else here but a few scattered houses belonging to friends and peers. Interesting to think about. Reminded me of when I lived in a trailer in the Santa Rita mountains outside Tucson in 1980.

Why Keep Going Back?

And why do we keep going back to Palm Springs? It’s the restaurants! It’s kind of nice not having to cook (even though I love to cook) and clean up (not love so much) for over a week. I will write another post about the restaurants because I’ve blabbed on for too long already here!

Just as a short teaser, the night before we left we had dinner at Frank Sinatra’s favorite place, Johnny Costa’s. It was great, all the way. I like to think that my mother and Frank were there at the next table dining with us.