Monday, March 13, 2017

A Family Weekend Getaway to Rancho Mirage

I've missed chatting with my blog friends! I hope each of you are doing well.  My family and I have just returned from a long weekend in Rancho Mirage, California (Palm Springs Area) where we celebrated my dear son-in-law's 40th birthday!

We stayed at a condo in Rancho Las Palmas which has a beautiful setting.

You may know that California has been in the midst of a terrible drought.  That was until this winter when we received lots of rain and snow.  Look at the snow on these mountain tops!  I've never seen anything like this before on my trips to Palm Springs area.

The whole family was together but of course, the two little people stole the show!  Pictured here are my little grandson Oliver and my little grand daughter Sadie.  They loved playing in the pool (Mom and Dad are not shown in the picture but no worries as they were right there, too!)

I found a little bit of time for my knitting.  The orange blossoms were in bloom and their fragrance was heavenly.

On Saturday afternoon we ventured down the road a bit to Palm Desert.  It is such a beautiful, inviting shopping area and free parking too.  (I think after you spend all your money at the fancy shops, you have no money left to pay for parking. . .haha)  I spend my money that day on a handbag.

I'm always amazed at the desert landscape.  Isn't this beautiful with all the cacti?

Here's the birthday boy on the right; my dear son-in-law along with my husband on the left.  From their smiles, you can see they were enjoying the happy hour at Tommy Bahamas.

Us girls, had a good time too.  Pictured from left are my daughter Heidi, our dear Irina and myself.

And, here's my son Andrew along with Irina.

Rancho Mirage is about 115 miles (two hours) drive from our home.  As the crow flies, it is due east from where we live.  But, the problem is there are mountains so the main highways go around those mountains.  Going there, we took the CA-91 which is a major east west highway from Los Angeles and Orange County area.  But, it is a horrendous road with tons of lanes, cars, and trucks!  It is my least favorite road of all time.  It's the main road to link you to the 15 if you want to go to Las Vegas or south to Palm Springs, you need to go on the 91 (:

So, when it was time to leave to go home, I googled some different routes and we ended up taking California State Route 74.  It was amazing to say the least.  An old, two lane road that winds up and over the mountains of the desert below.  The scenes were so lovely since the desert had a carpet of green and so many wildflowers were in bloom.

We had to turn left to continue onto State Route 371 and we just missed the turn.  It wasn't a problem since there were no cars and we turned around in front of this amazing horse ranch.  It was such a wonderful feeling to be in touch in natural nature (is there such a word as natural nature?) We stopped in Anza, CA (population of just over 3,000 people) and ate lunch at DQ (Dairy Queen).  My children have such fond memories of DQ from their childhood.  It brought back happy thoughts of long ago.

You're probably laughing at me but if you've read my blog these past few years,  you will recall that I'm from eastern Washington where I lived for 43 years in small towns.  Small towns in that you had to drive for 1 to 2 hours to arrive at a proper shopping venue.  And, we had nature at our doorstep.  After living in south Orange County where everything is kept in a perfect, manicured state, I long for seeing something in its natural state.  

So, we could have driven home via the CA 91 and arrived in approximately two hours but instead, we ventured over the mountain and arrived home after four hours.  And, I got to discover a part of California that is still basically untouched and yet holds such natural beauty.

It's always good to return home and Lilly was happy to see us as were our plants.  Our warm temps have started to make their return.  Yesterday on our trip home, we passed near Oceanside, CA and there was tons of fog/marine layer in the afternoon.  I love fog.  

Thank you for visiting today and feel free to leave a comment if you wish.  I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into a beautiful area of California.

With my best wishes,



  1. We use to live in Hemet, the other side of the San Jacinto mountains from Palm Springs and would often, in the winter, drive over to Palm Desert for the day.

  2. Hi Janet. That's amazing as I saw the signs for Hemet and I had always wondered where it was located. The southern park of Riverside County is so beautiful. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Very scenic indeed. And that is probably the closest I'll ever get to it. I enjoyed seeing the different Cati. Were the taller ones Cati too?

    1. Hi. If it's the photo of the shopping mall, the taller ones to the left I believe are called yucca palms. But, I'm not too sure. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today. Pat :)

  4. I meant to ask, what does Lily think when you take mini vacations? Our Maggie gets miffed, and stomps around for a little while. But then she forgives us and is all over us to get her pets.

    1. Hello again. Lilly is lucky in that she gets to stay home and enjoy her regular routine. But, when we return, she is insistent to sit with us and pay lots of attention to her! Maggie sounds adorable. Pets are so special. Take care, Pat

  5. what a lovely time and set of pictures!!! I really enjoyed seeing that! I have never been to CA but it is so beautiful! so neat about the snow on the mountains! 40 is a big birthday, glad you were able to celebrate your S-in-L's in such a special beautiful way!

  6. Beautiful photos! It looks like you all had a lovely time. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  7. Hello, Dear Pat, this looks like a lovely little get-away and Happy Birthday to your handsome SIL. A very lovely family - I enjoyed seeing all the nice photos, especially those sweet little grands. Don't you just love those little legs peeking out of their summer clothes? You are a gal after my own heart, always searching for the back-roads and trying to avoid the hustle and bustle of multi-lane highways. Such beautiful views of the high chaparral and mountains with flowered valleys. My children have vacationed in Palm desert and really enjoyed their time there, but I have yet to go. Perhaps really does look lovely. Sending hugs xo Karen


I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!