Ace Hotel, Palm Springs.

5 Oct

It has been hot as two rats [doing math] in a wool sock, this week in Los Angeles. Starbucks’ hot pumpkin spice latte is almost sickening to think about. And it’s hard for your boiled brains to understand why everything has candy corn in it these days.

Oh, what? It’s October?! It’s supposedly cooling off to a breezy 75 degrees this weekend. At least then I can begin to remember the Autumn I love so much. Maybe consider an iced pumpkin something latte.

For my bday back in Aquariustime, my sister gave me a gift certificate to the Ace Hotel, Palm Springs. It wasn’t until the sweaty start of Fall, that I could actually find time to use it. But we did. Ervin and I hit the highway and headed into the desert.I had only heard about Palm Springs from people over 65. So I thought it was more of a retirement destination. I also thought it was in either Florida or Nevada. Turns out, it’s in California! And a mere 2 hours drive away. Unless you did like we did, and crammed in an audition the afternoon we were supposed to leave, then stuffed our gullets with crap coffeeshop sandwiches, then sat in 4 hours of traffic to just get out of LA.

That’s the best way, I find, to kick off a relaxing mini-cation. But we arrived safe and sound around 7p on a Monday. WHICH, you should mark in your calendars. BE AT THE ACE HOTEL on a Monday. There is famously entertaining bingo nite in the restaurant, followed by drag queen trivia, in the bar. I was desperate to throw my bags down in the room, and sneak into bingo, but it was packed. Instead, we opted for the best cocktails a girl could hope for, in the Amigo Lounge.

Then trivia started. I confessed to Ervin that I suck at it. He said the same. BUT, we signed up anyway. Keep Vacation Weird. It took me like 20 minutes to figure out a team name that would suit us in the mix of mostly gay men, a couple celebrating their anniversary, and a bachelorette party.I wasn’t sure if Jungle Fever encompassed all jungles, so I wrote “*But for Puerto Ricans”, to clarify. Well, singular Puerto Rican.

As it turns out, Ervin and I make an awesome trivia team. I answer all the entertainment/easy questions in the first round, he covers geography/history/math/science when it becomes clear I only graduated 3rd grade. We ended up in a tie breaker for first place. We lost to a gay couple who knew more song names than we did. But we still won $50. That’s more than $0!I thought I would hate the desert (even though technically, I live in it, in LA). I love water and trees and refreshing. The desert sounded like there was none of that. But it was a surprisingly magical place. There’s something about the hot air that feels comforting. It’s like you have room in your brain to be inspired by life. Also, it was just great to get out of LA. With that heinous traffic as a mind-barrier, I could hardly remember my former life from 6 hours ago.Our room was totally hipster and I loved it. It had a private patio with an instant gas fireplace, a record playa, non-hotel art on the walls, and a ton of booze. We brought our own Trader Joe’s snacks, but this was the mini bar:We didn’t touch the +, the XXX or the Skittles. But so weird – how did they know I like eating chips and salsa while wearing 3D glasses. They thought of everything.

I developed a fireplace problem. Every time I walked by it, I had to flip the switch and stare at it. It was mesmerizing. We made S’mores. And then we invented S’mores with graham/marshmallow/banana. And then we invented a million other varieties in our minds, over some whiskey gingers. See? The desert makes you s’marter.Ervin kept calling S’mores “S’morfs”, which I found insanely hilarious. But I didn’t want to laugh too hard at any cultural hiccups. I don’t want him to change them. Ever.

We swam in the pool, we dipped ourselves in the hot tub, we ate a ton of food, drank a bunch of drinks, walked around town a little bit. It was a killer first day in Palm Springs. PS, that Marilyn statue from up top, is HUGE. And no you can’t see up her pants.I swim with the form and grace of an underwater T-Rex.

The next day, we took full advantage of the pool, pre-checkout. We found these two dead bees clinging to each other in the water. Or maybe they died separately and somehow intertwined legs. Either way, it reminded me of Titanic.

Then we found this other bee, trying to scramble out of the pool. We saved its life by hoisting it to safety with a hair band, watching it clean and dry itself for 20 minutes, then screaming like little girls when it took flight at our faces. Heroes.
Before we left, I wanted to find a postcard for my sister. We ALSO found a smashy penny machine! There was a time when I thought that paying $.51 for an unusable $.01 was the worst deal ever, but not this time. Ervin had never seen one of these before. We plugged in the change and cranked ourselves a souvenir.
On our way out of Palm Springs, I wanted to stop by the Robotic Dinosaur Museum because it sounded bad-awesome. When we got there, Ervin warned me “Babe, I think this might be kinda dumb…” and I was all “I know! That’s what I was hoping.” There’s a giant Bronto and T-Rex out in the parking lot. The Bronto is also an office, so it has windows in its butt and a stairwell leading into its lower intestines. We didn’t go into the museum part, but the muffled roaring was enough to set the scene. T-Rex, you may have been like way smaller than we thought, but at least you were real. (Sorry, Bronto.)The evening sun slowly setting, we hit a bunch of traffic on the highway. Ah. Almost home.
We already plan to return to you, magic desert…

XX,

L

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14 Responses to “Ace Hotel, Palm Springs.”

  1. Rennie October 5, 2012 at 12:26 PM #

    You’ve sold me on Palm Springs! And you sent sparkling water OUT MY NOSE w/your line about swimming with the grace of an underwater T-Rex. So thanks for that, too.

    • Lauren Bair October 5, 2012 at 12:29 PM #

      Rennie! COME VISIT! I’ll meet you in Palm Springs and we can have a swim competition (I already know you’ll get first place). XO

  2. artfulife October 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM #

    You are cracking me up! Love reading about all your adventures. Happy Birthday!

    • Lauren Bair October 8, 2012 at 11:18 AM #

      Thank you!! Technically, my bday is in February, but I will take the wishes all year! Thanks so much for reading! I love hearing that what I’m writing is funny ;)

  3. tinykitchenstories October 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM #

    I went to the Ace Hotel once with my gay friends from the UK–it was fab! Great DJ in the bar, some random wedding party out on the dance floor, and free crafting out by the pool. Awesomeness! But not as awesome as staying there. Your addition of banana to s’mores is genius, BTW. xo

    • Lauren Bair October 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM #

      Poolside crafting???! That sounds amazing! First project: Knitted intertubes (and free drowning for non-swimmers in the deep end).

      • Lauren Bair October 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM #

        *Innertubes. Inner tubes? What the heck is this word! Raft.

      • tinykitchenstories October 8, 2012 at 2:37 PM #

        Only if it was performance drowning. Much more dramatic and elegant than the real thing, which can be, let’s face it…a bit messy.

  4. Beth October 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM #

    Ahhhh, it’s the dinosaurs from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure!! BEST. EVER. Large Marge, The basement at the Alamo, and…. tequila.

    • Lauren Bair October 8, 2012 at 11:21 AM #

      YEAH!!! And you are right. It feels more relaxing the further you drive away from LA! Tequila!

  5. Missy October 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

    just curious how your sis picked that place?

    • Lauren Bair October 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM #

      Hey Missy! OK, my sister is an amazingly thoughtful gift giver and she heard me talking about it months ago, then thought I needed a break from LA. The Ace is relatively new, so it was on my radar as “thing to do!” sometime. We are seriously going back. It’s the best ;) Thanks for reading!!!

  6. Island Thoughts October 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM #

    I love your blog! Yani (my daughter) turned me onto it and although my lifestyle is about as far away from LA as you can get, I totally enjoy hearing about your adventures. You make me smile :}

    • Lauren Bair October 11, 2012 at 1:21 PM #

      Yay!! So glad to hear from you Yani’s Mom! I dunno… I think island livin’ might be the way to go. There are times here when I just want to see the ocean. Thanks so much for reading! I really appreciate it.

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