Yes, We had a ‘gorgeas’ stay

Rain again this weekend, L.A.? Sigh. Longing for last weekend’s Palm Springs getaway.

Getting out of town was tough– holiday traffic in the rain. It got dull, it got irritating. And We don’t smoke anymore, so it got a little anxious too. We asked the car, via voice command for an alternate route on GPS. A game begins. And so does the tweeting.

The charm of the game wore off. The puppy napped in the back, We stared at brake lights in front. Finally traffic started to ease up and We were cruising.

Within a few minutes We got to The Ace, our desert oasis for the long weekend. We stumbled out of the car into the rain, and rushed into the lobby.

While We’re checking in, the “PRIVATE” door opens behind the front desk, dude walks out in a hurry, interrupts our helpful check-in guy: “Jen just called from Portland. A couple of people Tweeted from the road. They’re rolling in from L.A. and they’re ready to party.”

Wait. What did you just say?

That’s Us.

What We didn’t realize is that moments earlier We had received this @ reply:

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As We arrived to the room, so did cocktails. Yes, We love The Ace Hotel.

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Sissy Bingo

We are in Palm Springs. Its roughly 150º. The pool at The Ace feels like a large bathtub. I love this place.

After soaking in the pool and baking in the sun all day, we decided to head to The Amigo Room for “Sissy Bingo” hosted by the wonderful Linda Gerard. Between games, Linda recounts her time on Broadway and, umm, Deal or No Deal and sings show tunes. She looks and acts exactly as you would expect a lounge hostess in Palm Springs to look and act; extremely large sunglasses, floral shirt under a floral jacket topped off by a floral scarf. She is as delightfully kitschy as the town she lives in.

So, Bingo. I haven’t played Bingo since I was in grade school. It sounded like a fun way to pass the time and escape the heat, but I didn’t think I would actually like playing Bingo. Somehow, I loved it. It was one of those moments that assured me that I am getting less cynical with age, and I’m able to enjoy silly little things that I would not assume I would enjoy. Like the time that I almost enjoyed Disneyland in 2003.

Oh yeah, and I even won a round! My prize was a Rice Krispies™ cookie and a box of wine.

Bingo!

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List w/o Commentary: New York, the first three days in food and drink

Patsy’s Pizzeria
Union Square Café
bar with no name
Bunnychow
Little Giant
Milk and Honey
Balthazar
Bar 89
The Ace Hotel
The Harrison

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Field Trip Fridays: Palm Springs Boozy, Not So Wine-y

Sometimes Field Trip Fridays last the whole weekend..We’ve just returned from a lazy, hazy, boozy three days in the desert oasis of Palm Springs.

parker-patio

Our intentions (beyond relaxing in the sun and checking out all the Mid-Century Modern goodness) was to continue The Wine Education, but, it turns out, Palm Springs wasn’t a wine destination for Us.

Parched and hungry from the drive (wonderfully close, under two hours), our first stop was The Parker, a swanky, kitschy hotel just down the road from where We were staying. What to drink? The wine list offered at Norma’s, the hotel’s daytime dining spot, was tiny and uneventful.

Our choices limited, it was a mimosa for Him, Bloody Mary for me. The Bloody was spicy and delicious. The mimosa, not so much. The oj appeared to be from concentrate and the bubbly had a dull, indistinguishable flavor–our guess was an inexpensive Cava or Prosecco. The lunch itself was lovely and large. I asked to take my half eaten Lox and Bagel plate with me and was very disappointed to later discover they had only included the bagel–what’s the point of that?

parker-cocktails

Surprised that a reputable boutique hotel would have such a mediocre wine list, I later looked up that of  their fine dining restaurant. I was delighted to see they had an excellent, somewhat eclectic selection. Was it not available at Norma’s?

Although the mimosa was middling, We were in good spirits–who cares, it was vacation. We drove down the road and checked into our hotel and were instantly charmed by The Ace. We surveyed our retro-camping-army/navy-chic room, unpacked, and headed out. He had read about a wine shop downtown that was supposed to be good–we needed supplies.

PS Wine gets positive, three and four star reviews on Yelp, but We found it dark and depressing. The wine selection was nice (included some favorite California producers like Paul Hobbs and Patz and Hall), but the sports on tv, upended tables and chairs, and bizarre displays (like the Cupcake Vineyards rack featuring a gigantic plastic cupcake) turned Us off. We politely browsed and then got back out into the Palm Springs sunshine.

Next stop: a liquor store. We decided to follow Julia Child’s advice who, when asked what was her favorite wine, replied “gin.” It was a big bottle of Tanqueray Rangpur for Us. A bartender told me once it was gin for beginners, but I love its limey and smooth flavors.

feet-pool

We drove around a bit and then got back to the hotel for some relaxing and gin drinking, poolside. The sun went down, the temperature cooled and We opted for dinner in our cool room–delicious burgers while watching the Lakers (sadly) lose a basketball game.

The next day We planned our architecture and design tour over breakfast at a popular spot downtown: Pinocchio’s. The place is lively, loud, and friendly. We recognized several (and equally hungover) fellow Ace Hotel-ers. And…Hello, what’s this: $3.95 bottomless “Champagne.” I mixed my “fresh squeezed” from concentrate grapefruit juice into the overly sweet Wycliffe sparkling wine and had a few palatable glasses from the screwcap bottle.

endless-champagne

Breakfast itself is basic diner fair. Nothing fancy, just good.

After breakfast We had a terrific self-guided architecture tour of the city. (See the pictures posted at our design site’s blog.)

We got back to hotel mid-afternoon for more poolside lounging (and gin and naps). Then it was time to clean up (what, oh what to wear– yes all those choices and for our two night stay).

closet

We were off to Viceroy, another sweet boutique hotel, for dinner. This time We planned on ordering a nice bottle of wine. But again We we’re not wowed by the selection, especially since they were out of our first two choices. We settled on a bottle of Casa LaPostelle Merlot from Chile. We did not take notes, We did argue about Mid-Century Modern architecture and wolf down our delicious meal.

The next morning came too soon. We turned on some football and hastily packed. For breakfast it was The Ace’s own King’s Hwy, which looks like a fancy Howard Johnson’s (which it actually was) with way better fare. We drank water. After the great meal We hit the road and headed back to the normal daily slice of paradise in Silverlake. It was a terrific trip. Next time we’ll try harder on The Wine Education. And there is definitely going to be a next time. Very soon.

palm-springs-city-hall

(A Post Script: Coincidently NotCot was staying a few doors down from us…she has some great pictures of The Ace on her site. Check them out.)

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