As you know, if you are a regular reader, or if you follow me on pinterest, I have a bit of a love affair with California. I’ve been lucky enough to have gone to California pretty much every year (except those years of travel) since I was a wee little baby.
My grandparents have been snowbirds for years, enjoying the dry heat and the daily golf offered up by the desert. This winter lifestyle is clearly not possible in Edmonton, AB, where most of my family is from. Especially this year.
I’m pretty sure being a snow-bird is how my grandfather continues to get holes-in-one, despite being well into his eighties!
Recently my mom & dad and my dad’s siblings each bought one third of a home in the desert, so they could each try out the snowbird life for about 9 weeks a winter. What this means is that I’ve got an awesome place in California to try to lift myself out of the winter blues. For the Family Day (…or President’s Day… or Louis Riel Day depending on where you are from) long weekend the hubs and I went to visit my mom and dad in La Quinta, CA. (P.S. I appreciate that I’m posting this in mid-April. Approximately 2 months after I got home. But it’s good! I sort of get to re-live my holiday!)
The thing about La Quinta is that I am not in the habit of taking many photographs while we are there. But, this year, I brought down my dslr and decided that was going to change. Because, every single time I take a well thought out picture, it makes me a little bit of a better photographer. We were only there for about 4.5 days, but in that time I did manage to go on a couple of photo walks.
A short walk from my mom and dad’s place is the La Quinta Hotel. It is a fabulous mission-style complex that plays host to several famous people like Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale (though I’ve never seen anyone famous while there… rip off!) The hotel is spectacular; the grounds are beautiful, and the bright white buildings simply pop against the fabulous blue sky.
You might remember I’m having a bit of a love affair with succulents and cacti (though I admit, I haven’t actually picked up any succulents or cacti for our little place… a girl can dream, can’t she?) The La Quinta Hotel has a pretty amazing garden full of these babies.
One of the best things about hanging out at my mom and dad’s (ok, other than the home cooked meals and the jocular frivolity) is getting to hang out with their (our?*) puppy Roxy. She’s not got a lot going on in the brain department, but boy is she ever adorable. And she’s very trusting and very sweet; my younger brother has a whole series of images of Roxy in a Box. She’s patient.
*So, I lived with my mom and dad for the first 2 years after they got Roxy. I’ve been gone for 7 years since then. Does that make her “our” dog, or “their” dog? I sort of feel like she is “our” dog. But I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve the title of “our”. Hmm.
Isn’t she cute?! And doesn’t she sort of look mildly pissed off? “Mildly pissed off” is her signature expression. Pretty much 24/7.
Another great thing about La Quinta (and the whole valley, really) is the desert and the multitude of desert walks you can take. I never usually go on desert walks, which is kind of sad. In fact, I’ve never actually been to Joshua Tree National Park. This becomes a lot worse when you realize that I’ve been *this close* about 25 times. Doing some soul searching I realize that one of the reasons is probably because I feel like I’m at home when I’m there. I’ve got my mom and my dad feeding me and taking care of me. I’ve got my grandma rounding us up and taking us to the par 3 golf course (so we can actually, maybe, just start to get better). I’ve got books to read, blog posts to write, tennis to play, nails to be done and some serious shopping to undertake. So, somewhat unsurprisingly, desert walking — and Joshua Tree National Park going — just falls by the wayside. Especially when we are only down there for four or five days.
Not this time, however. This time, our friend Ian was there, and to keep him entertained, we went on a desert walk. And what a fabulous walk it was. The only problem? We had to turn around much too early to go meet some friends for lunch. Next time, desert. Next time we are coming for you.
Bright green, a pop of brown, and aqua. I love the desert.
And that, my friends, are some highlights from our (relatively) recent trip to CA.