Wishing you the Merriest of Christmas and a toast to this holiday season. Here’s hoping that 2022 brings you happiness, good health, and most of all, HOPE for normality in our lives once again. Have fun as often as you can. Cheers!
Only in Palm Springs will you be able to find Christmas Tree Ornaments in the likeness of fashion icons such as Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld, music legends like John Lennon, TV idols like Lucille Ball and sex symbols like Marilyn Monroe. And of course other frivolous and fabulous embellishments to adorn your modern day tree.
ornaments available (or were available because believe it or not, they sell out fast) at just fabulous. A one stop shop for all things you never knew you needed but you definitely want.
We spent the better part of the day/evening in this amiable little town which is only about a 35 minute drive from Palm Springs and had dinner at a chic Mexican restaurant called…
La Quinta is a small resort city in Coachella Valley, known as one of the leading golf destinations in the States. Known for incredible year-round warm and dry climate and superb shopping, world-class golf at more than 20 golf courses, biking through the valley among the orchards and vineyards, and dining at a number of first-class restaurants.
Summing it up: elegant boutiques, gourmet dining, wine and olive oil tasting bars, art galleries, and charming cafes. Upstairs are offices and businesses, creating a fine balance between work and pleasure. There is always something going on in Old Town La Quinta, such as music on weekends, the Art Under the Umbrellas art show, Taste of La Quinta, and very popular Sunday Certified Farmers’ Market.
Summing it up: vacationidea.com sums it up best with the best of the best:
Golden Grapes, a popular Palm Springs wine festival returned (after a long hiatus) on December 4th, 2021, to celebrate the best of small-lot, organic, bio-dynamic, sustainable wineries throughout California. Tickets sold out fast. The event was hosted by two well known local hangouts; Ace Hotel & Swim Club and Dead or Alive Bar + Shop – both within walking distance to where I live lucky for me.
I have to say I was both surprised and disappointed to discover how little supply of organic wines are available for purchase in any of the local grocery stores here; even “Total Wine” the big wine supplier in Palm Desert. This was really my main intention for attending the event…to discover fine tasting, organic California wines. That plus the fact this fest is known among industry insiders as a winemaker’s favorite wine festival.
Even though it was small in size, it was still overwhelming since I was not at all familiar with any of the wineries featured. In actuality, it was hit and miss for me. As with choosing films at a film festival, the movie title (or wine label here) is what first garners my attention. After that, I hope the film (wine) lives up to my expectations. Many times it does not. All in all I enjoyed this outing on a beautiful afternoon with great views. I was able to pace myself and keep it classy, enjoy small bites in between tastings while people-watching. My dog enjoyed it too especially when I shared some of my cheese with her.
It was fun to meet the winemakers and taste the Golden State’s distinct and diverse bounty of grape varietal, style, and terroir, from Shasta to Mendocino, Sonoma to the Sierras, down the Central Coast, all the way to San Diego – and everywhere in between.
How it Began:
Palm Springs Wine Fest was founded in 2018 by Dead or Alive owner, and locally-born-&-raised wine merchant, Christine Soto, as a platform to uplift and evangelize small producers and their conscientiously-farmed and crafted wines within the greater desert community. The inaugural PSWF was also held in December 2018 at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, bringing together over 30 winemakers of California’s new-guard to pour their fresh, honestly-made juice for the wine-loving assemblage – and the rest is history.
The $75 admission included unlimited tastings (although they recommend you keep it classy but you know how that can go), small bites, and expert insights from the winemakers such as:
Ashes & Diamonds, Broc Cellars, Las Jaras, Scribe Winery, Ruth Lewandowski, Hoxie Spritzer, Inconnu, Nomadica, Minus Tide Wines, Forlorn Hope, Roark Wine Company, En Cavale, Iruai, Ardure Wines, Augur Wine Co, Carboniste, Los Chuchaquis, Stirm Wine Co, Field Recordings, Fine Disregard, Lo-Fi Wines, Penville Wine, Thee & Thou, Raft Wines, Little Trouble Wines, Rootdown Cellars, Es Okay, Cole Ranch, Roark Wine Company, Woods Beer & Wine Co, Origin Wine, Two Shepherds and more.
If you love wine and want to experience something unusual and unique, I suggest getting tickets early next year.
Later that evening…
I attended the BouschetChristmas Party (one of my favorite places for curated wine and tastings, small bites, PS Air Bar) and met a few new friends.
Sometimes you’re in the mood for glamour and sometimes you’re in the mood for something a bit more gritty, or something you didn’t even know you were in the mood for…something like the wild, wild West…which has its very own style of glamour. Way out in the desert, on our drive back from Joshua Tree, we came across an enchanting Old West Town that was built in the 1940’s and used as a film set throughout the 40’s and 50’s.
In 1946, Pioneertown was founded by a group of Hollywood investors,including actors Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. They dreamed of creating an Old West set that was actually a town worth visiting, with 1880s-style false-front façades but interiors that had stuff for visitors to see and do too. Up went (from the outside) frontier stables, saloons, and jails; inside, they housed ice cream parlours, bowling alleys and motels. More than 50 films and television shows were filmed here in the 1940s and ‘50s.
These days Pioneer Town is no longer used to make Old West movies. Instead, it’s a real town with a few houses, restaurants and all the remains of the movie set that you actually walk around. If you’re an old John Wayne and Western movie buff you’ll probably find it quite worthwhile and exciting. At the very least you feel what it was like to live that lifestyle.
While location shooting and businesses here have dwindled, you can still see mock gunfights on Mane Street (pun intended). But the most happening place by far is Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, with surprisingly good live music (Robert Plant and Leon Russell have played here) in a seemingly unlikely setting. This must-see desert find also serves up awesome ribs, plus classic Santa Maria barbecue, burgers, sandwiches and salads.
Bar Cecil (pronounced sessel) is a homage to Cecil Beaton, a renaissance man who was equal parts rebel and aristocrat, an artist who lived between classical charm and new world rebellion, a provocateur, an Expressionist, and an aesthete who incorporated many mediums to create a style all his own.
THIS is how we like it!
Diane Keaton was a walk in the other night. Guess she was just looking for a good bar.
Cindy Crawford was there for dinner next night. The place is a draw…for good reason.
We met John (one of the owners) who very kindly gifted my friend and me some very cool swag. Lucky us.
Bar Cecil is a love letter to Beaton’s vision of life and art: a celebration of what’s good, of eliminating that which is only pomp, and in the process creating memories through food, drink and hospitality. Bar Cecil is for those who follow the beat to their own drum, horn or whatever inspires them to create, to be individuals, and to embrace diversity. – taken from their website.