We bailed for the desert on Thursday afternoon. There was traffic, of course, but not to bad. We still made it to 29 Palms under 3 hours. The house was perfect, not as secluded as last year, but pretty damn secluded, maybe 2 neighbors we could see. The house was 2 bedroom, 1 bath, fully furnished, satellite tv, wifi, hot tub huge lot with a private backyard area. We made use of the outdoor fireplace which totally set the mood. The kids explored the property, vacuumed bugs in their bug vacuums and played with the array of outdoor toys we packed with us. After checking out the property we headed to the nearest market and bought some supplies for the long weekend. No eating out for us, we cooked every meal! Yum! We spent the evening at home enjoying the cool weather, big sky and warm fire, super perfect.
Day One, Friday - We went to Joshua Tree. The kids could hardly contain themselves. For most of the drive into the park all we heard is "climb rocks, climb rocks." We drove straight to Jumbo Rocks. Mom couldn't believe what she was seeing. She found it hard to believe that rocks could erode in those perfectly round shapes and stack in the configurations she was seeing. I told her seeing is believing and pictures does not do this place justice. We climbed and explored for a few hours. Me and the kids came away with cuts, scrapes and bruises but they were much deserved. hiking around the park really tired us out and we wanted nothing more then to go home, soak in the hot tub and relax.
Day Two, Saturday - After lounging about the house in the morning we took a drive through Joshua Tree again to check out some other sites and took the long route, through the park to the 10 and headed to Palm Springs. We actually gave the kids a choice: 1)Air Museum or 2)Living Desert. They chose the air museum which was cool since we had visited the Living Desert the year before. The air museum was amazing. The planes were all World War 2 era and the day of our visit was the first time ever they allowed the public to actually climb into the some of the planes. It was so cool, seeing the cock pit and how "primative" seating was back then. Technology and design has come a long long way! Many of the planes were housed in hangars however there were a handful of planes out back which, to the thrill of the kids, overlooked the runway of the Palm Springs International Airport. Watching the planes land and take off was exciting for all of us! If it were a bit more overcast we probably would have stayed out there longer. The afternoon was amazing! So far the kids are loving their vacation. We spent the evening at home doing what a desert house allows you to do - R.E.L.A.X.
Day Three, Sunday - We decided to head back home on Sunday evening to bypass Monday traffic which we encouted last year so we really wanted to make the most of the day. We all slept in! Much needed! The kids spent most of the morning and early afternoon playing outside. They were having a blast. Once everythign was packed up, the car loaded and the house straightened we headed to Pioneer Town. The kids were excited to check out a "cowboy town." I mean who would have known this place existed, all nestled up in the mountain area of the Yucca Valley. It was kitschy and fun, we all enjoyed it. We got some good pictures, the kids had fun with the local color and I fell in love with the miniature horses on the grounds. It was like being at Knotts but not really, you know?
The drive home was smooth sailing. We made it home at a nice time. Everyone rested. Mom and I got caught up on some tv and just relaxed. Since it was mom's last night in town she offered to watch the kiddos so T and I could go out for one last hurrah. Since T has been nursing a sore throat we decided on asian food since he was convinced an asian soup was a cure all. We dropped in at Sushiya on Sunset and it was yummy. We weren't starving so we just ordered up a few pieces of sushi, some appetizers, hot soup for T and hot sake for me. It was nice to be out alone with T since its so rare we get to go to dinner. We really wanted to go all out and hit a 10pm movie. However as we got closer and closer to the Arclight the lazier and more tired we became. So much so that we scraped the idea and headed home. Precious sleep was much to important to us. K and mom were still awake when we got home so we watched a dvd of a Discovery channel documentary (K loves them!) and all went to bed.
It was such a good plan to come home on Sunday evening because Monday we got to hang out a bit, grab a late breakfast, hang with mom and then drive her to the airport. After doing a few loads of laundry on Monday morning we dressed and headed to The Waffle for breakfast. The food was pretty good but the service SUCKED. we were all so pissed! With two toddlers in tow you do not want slow service and a restaurant should no better. Cranky, impatient toddlers are no fun for the parents and no fun for other customers. We weren't the only ones with bad service it was everyone. We saw people get up and leave, we saw people bitch at the manager and we were one of them. We waited for 20 mintues just to bring us the check! Ridiculous! Mom pleasantly complained to the manager who removed all the drink purchases off the check and i'm hoping mom didn't tip. I mean, my and T's ordered were slightly messed up but service was so poor that we didn't want to bitch in fear we would never get our meals. I felt most bad for the bus boys. They were totally on the ball! and running ragged picking up more then excess slack of the servers. So food good, service bad. (the did mention that the service was bad becasue they didn't anticipate this type of crown on memorial day. I say bullshit!) By the time we got outta there it was after 11am. We decided to go to City Walk which was fun. It wasn't to crowded and we sprung for the preferred parking which was and is so worth it! Mom spoiled the kids on her last afternoon picking up little toys and tchotkes for them at most every store. We finally headed home at 2pm since mom had to be at the airport around 4-430pm. We headed to the airport around 340 and there was no traffic we got to LAX in 30 minutes flat it was heaven! We were all sad to have mom leave but i'm sure she wanted to get home to my dad. It was a great visit and I think she had a nice 29 Palms vacation, I think we all did!
Pics are on flickr. let me know if I need to add you to view the photos, they are all set to private.