If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I spent last week in gorgeous Palm Springs. Well, technically I was in Rancho Mirage, but as far as I am concerned the entire area is called Palm Springs. We stayed at the Rancho Las Palmas, which you might recognize from Beverly Hills 90210 when the group goes to Palm Springs and Donna’s boyfriend pushes her down the stairs. Ah, memories.
This is also the hotel I used to stay at every spring break when I was a kid. My mom would load up the four kids, pick up my grandmother (her mother) and we would all drive out to spend the week in the desert. I loved every minute of it. I have very fond memories of playing games by the pool, doing crafts set up by the hotel, eating way too much food from the buffet, and the hot evenings spent running around the golf course. The cool thing was my mother used to go to Palm Springs when she was a kid for spring break, so now that I took my kids we have had three generations of family vacationing in the California desert.
The real reason we chose Rancho Las Palmas is because they have the coolest pool area for kids- something that didn’t exist when I was growing up. It has two water slides, a lazy river, and even a beach area for the toddlers to play.
When I was a kid we had to be content with Marco Polo and the highlight of the break was when the hotel threw $100 in coins into the pool for all the kids to pick up. I always managed to get kicked in the face, but at least I earned a few bucks out of it! There were no water features, unless you count my brother making bubbles with his farts. Kids these days have it so easy.
Selfie! This is about as much as you are going to see me in a bathing suit. Notice the wide brimmed hat- a must in the 100 degree heat!
I took the above picture after we had scored the best seats in the entire pool area. See, it was ridiculously hot while we were there, and the sun was almost unbearable. We were sitting in the “beach” area because it was the best place to be if you have toddlers. The area had a covering, but for some reason they didn’t make it big enough and most of the chairs were in the direct sun. Only four chairs were under the protection of the cover for the entire time one would be sitting by the pool.
In order to get the coveted chairs you had to line up at one of the various gates and wait until 10am when the doors would open and everyone scrambled to the area they wanted to save. It seriously was like The Hunger Games up in there! A whistle would blow and then it was on like Donkey Kong. I swear I saw someone elbow someone else into the pool. (kidding!) I can imagine this would be a turn off for most people, but I happen to enjoy a little competition, and was thrilled to win the enviable lounge chairs two days in a row!
My favorite part of the trip was continuing my family tradition of schlepping to the desert and spending time as a family. The kids are already making plans for next year because I told them they could each bring a friend. There is something to be said for having a place that is special to you and your family that can instantly bring you warm memories. I am hoping my kids love it enough to take their kids as the fourth generation of Palm Springs vacationers.