After graduating from UCSD, I moved around a lot. I stayed in San Diego for a bit where I met my now-partner, and then moved to LA to pursue modeling. Stuck around for two years, and went back and forth between my tiny room and David’s spacious condo in San Diego once we started dating. The third and final year in LA, David moved and we got our first apartment together. Fast forward to 2018… Facebook reminded me not long ago that it’s been one amazing year in good ol’ Palm Springs!
There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
I can’t believe how quickly time flies. It feels like just yesterday we moved into our new home with giant windows and high ceilings. I was completely smitten with Palm Springs since the day our realtor showed us this place, and am happy to say that none of those feelings have changed. What has changed, is the new furniture and wall art we’ve added over time to make this our cozy abode. We survived supposedly the craziest and one of the hottest desert summers in 2017. Since David and I are both hermits, it wasn’t so bad staying in a lot with our kids and AC. When we first moved here, I also took full advantage of our two pools and got REALLY dark, REALLY fast. It’s incredible how I can get many shades tanner in just 30 minutes of scorching heat, even with loads of sunscreen on – and I’m not complaining about it. 😉
While I LOVE warm weather (and would choose it any day over cold gloomy weather), shooting outdoors in the insane 125+ degree heat last year was no easy feat. Even getting up early at 5 or 6 am wouldn’t help us “beat the heat,” because it’d still be scorching 94 degrees at 2-4 am. As the hours went by, the temperatures would just go up. Long story short: summers here are a living hell if you like to be outdoors a lot, which is why “snowbirds” live here. Most of our neighbors are “snowbirds,” which means that they are only here for about half the year when it’s not unbearably hot. Many are retirees from Canada where winters are brutally cold, so they come out to Palm Springs to enjoy the nice weather and golf. Personally, I can live with a tough summer and be rewarded with perfect weather 9 out of 12 months of the year. It’s pretty crazy how we’re about to embark on our second summer here![spacer]
When it’s time for you to venture out, don’t let fear have you looking back at what you’re leaving behind.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it’s been a year since we moved here, we definitely explored and adjusted our lifestyles a lot. Never in my life did I think that I would ditch city life to live in a desert where I know nobody, but it is one of the best decisions I’ve made. It was lonely at first, but there are so many pros to living out here that I don’t mind — and have gotten used to it. I think I’ve finally found a place I’m proud to call home. Plus, I’m lucky enough to have family & friends driving and flying out many miles to come visit. It definitely helps that Palm Springs is a hot vacation destination. Now, I feel like we live in our own little bubble!
Just last week, David and I drove to San Diego to do some shopping and to visit a friend. After getting used to driving on the same three-lane road (Highway 111) in Palm Springs where the population is 50,000 tops, we found it extremely stressful to maneuver through city traffic. Let me also clarify for non-Californians: San Diego traffic is not nearly as terrible as LA traffic. With that said, now looking back, I can’t believe we survived through all that!
Did I mention that half the population here is gone in the summer? Helloooo ghost town, we practically own the desert. In July, I got my first luxury vehicle (another emotional milestone). Living in LA, I could never imagine myself driving a brand new BMW X5 because I’d be constantly worried about inconsiderate people dinging my car or rear-ending me. Don’t get me wrong – there are inconsiderate people here too, and accidents happen everyday like in any other town. But, parking is MUCH easier and we have the luxury of parking further away in lots where there aren’t as many cars. Like I said, driving down the same road to get literally anywhere gives me some certainty, so I’m not stressed about when to turn or where to go next. Getting around here is so easy-peasy. I couldn’t say the same living in a big city like LA or SD.
To find this cute neon #PALMSPRINGSISBETTER sign, visit Ice Cream & Shop(pe), my favorite ice cream shop in the desert. Not only is their ice cream delish, they have the cutest little shop where you can find classic Palm Springs souvenirs. My personal recommendation on an ice cream flavor? Pomegranate Chip. It’s BOMB!
One thing that’s taken me a while to adjust to is the lack of good Asian food out here. There are no Asian markets nearby. As someone who has grown up eating Asian food for every meal (including breakfast), it’s tough. The few Asian restaurants we’ve tried have either been a) overpriced, b) mediocre at best, or c) all of the above. Actually, dining out here in general is on the pricey side since it’s a tourist destination. It’s a major bummer on days we just want to go out to eat and not worry about cooking & cleaning up the kitchen. On the other hand though, it’s encouraged us to cook often and be more conscious of what we feed our bodies. There’s always a silver lining, right?
As you can see, I’ve compiled some of my favorite photos to recap my first year of Palm Springs living. David has become an avid gardener, collecting plenty of succulents, cacti, and more — many of which are from Moorten Botanical Garden located just five minutes from us. This garden has a very picturesque walkway filled with an endless variety of plants.
We’ve also explored new hiking trails with the dogs, became familiar with popular shopping areas, and got an annual pass to The Living Desert where we take our weekly walks while enjoying nature and making new animal friends.
When we first relocated, iconic Desert X exhibits were all over. This mirrored house was one of our favorites, and we were blessed with a beautiful sunset the night David captured this!
It’s still surreal living just 15 minutes away from my favorite hotel ever, Korakia Pensione in downtown Palm Springs. I love that this one is so different from other hotels in that it’s a boutique one — but in every photogenic way ever. It’s literally a blogger’s dream. Unfortunately, the staff here can be sticklers about picture taking depending on your luck, so any shots taken here most likely has to be on a cell phone.
The Coachella Valley is home to a plethora of gorgeous hotels, and it’s always fun walking through them. We have not done a staycation yet but I’ve definitely accumulated a list of hotels I’d love to stay at soon! Check out some of my favorite local hotels!
Have you made a life-changing move recently? What was your experience like?