Here’s A Secret Worth Knowing: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

Here’s A Secret Worth Knowing: Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club

There’s a little known secret hidden away in Southern California, and it isn’t Catalina Island. This gem is instead tucked away in Malibu, providing some of the best resort experiences and activities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Nestled in the stunning hillside of the Malibu Canyon, is Malibu’s best kept secret — and the only resort in the region. Offering a picturesque blend of luxury and rustic charm, this exclusive haven is redefining the standard of indulgence for travelers and locals alike. While many who travel through Southern California may gravitate toward Los Angeles to be closer to the action and glamour of the city, true relaxation and escapism lies within Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club.

With a rich history that dates back over 80 years, the Gerson Family invites guests to enjoy the over-250-acre resort with a boasting array of unparalleled amenities. From a private beach club with breathtaking ocean views, to a private horseback riding excursion, serene poolside relaxation, a world-class spa, and incredible dining experiences, this one-of-a-kind property is nothing less than extraordinary.

Credit: Catherine Dzilenski

For more than eight decades, five generations of the Gerson family have valued and revered the 250-acre estate, which was purchased by J. Grant Gerson in 1937. Moreover, Calamigos is the only upscale resort in Malibu that offers a beachside club exclusively for members and guests, as well as a private ranch in the Malibu Wine Country. With its luxurious cabins, cottages, bungalows, and estate rooms built on the property’s rural grounds, Calamigos embodies the pinnacle of sustainable luxury. Every home is meticulously constructed to be cozy and to coexist sustainably with the untouched landscape around it. A fire pit and soaking tub are common outdoor features in most rooms, which are perfect for relaxing in the evenings.
Enveloped in serenity, the resort is fitting for large and small families, groups of friends, romantic getaways, or even corporate retreats.

Outside of the luxurious suites, guests can enjoy the Calamigos Beach Club located just off the PCH in Malibu – where they take on the LA-lifestyle by renting paddle boards, soaking up the SoCal sun with a private beach butler, or dine at the Beach Club restaurant. For the more adventurous guests, the Calamigos team can arrange private guided hikes along the property, yoga and a sound bath, horseback riding, pickleball matches, and fitness sessions. On the other end of the activity spectrum, a reviving facial or calming massage can help guests balance their mind, body, and spirit, available in-room at Spa Calamigos or at the spa. Foodies can enjoy the renowned Calamigos Burger and fish tacos poolside, or they can choose to dress up and eat at the Ranch Club, the on-site restaurant, where they can sample a variety of dishes such fresh sushi, sirloin, miso glazed salmon, and seasonal salads. Finally, notable dessert options include chocolate fondue and freshly baked cookies served with milk upon request.

Visitors can prepare to be whisked away on an extraordinary journey where every detail is meticulously crafted to ensure an unparalleled level of luxury and comfort at Calamigos Guest Ranch. This hidden away, little known secret invites guests to immerse themselves in the world of nature, where each moment is a testament to the extraordinary and an homage to all things Malibu.

Calamigos Guest Ranch is located at 327 S Latigo Canyon Road, in Malibu, California. The Beach Club is located only a short drive away, where Corral Canyon meets the Pacific Coast Highway (guests are transported by house cars). Rooms can be booked online at calamigosguestranch.com, or by calling the front desk at (818)-540-2440. Visit their website to learn more.

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail
Below the Border

Below the Border

Lunch with a friend recently revealed that he had never been outside the United States and had little desire to travel. “How different people are,” I thought, as I love to travel and have always made an effort to find my way to an airport. Indeed, travel is not easy—checking in, missing flights, security checks, luggage, seating arrangements, snacks at a cost—it takes effort, but the landing and the arrival are more often than not worth it.

An email arrives announcing a press junket to Cabo. A term not heard much anymore, “press junket” once referred to an opportunity for journalists to interview celebrities for an upcoming film. It could also be an invitation to visit a particular hotel, property, or event. For the record, I have been on many junkets, most notably to Egypt and the Maldives. This particular press trip was to visit a resort located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula—Cabo San Lucas. From Los Angeles, this is a less-than-three-hour flight.

Cabo is known for a few things: a vibrant nightlife, the Arch of Cabo San Lucas (the iconic arch-shaped rock formation located at Land’s End), and as a port of call for large cruise ships. It is a tourist destination, as are Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tulum, and, most recently, to the north, Holbox.

From the Cabo airport, shuttles are frequent, and it is less than a half-hour drive to the heart of Cabo. The veil lifts as Highway 1 comes into view—here, the Gulf of California meets the Pacific. Connecting San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas is the Tourist Corridor, a 33-kilometer (20-mile) four-lane highway surrounded by stunning views of both the desert and the coastline of the Sea of Cortez. And here we find Mar del Cabo by Velas Resorts. This is but one of the three Velas Resorts that all sit next to one another. To the right is the Grand Velas Los Cabos, a luxury all-inclusive resort. A short walk to the left is the Grand Velas Boutique Los Cabos.

Our stay is at Mar Del Cabo, a boutique hotel catering to adults only, with a pet-friendly crowd. All three are designed by Ricardo Elias, principal of Elias and Elias Architects in Guadalajara. The three hotels could not be more different—Del Cabo exudes old-world charm with lush entryways and a sloping sidewalk to the sea. The Grand Velas Los Cabos has an entrance that is dramatic, stylized, and cinematic.

For this junket, we are joined by fellow travel writers—it is a good group: diverse, informative, and friendly. We are staying at Mar Del Cabo by Velas Resorts, a triptych of hotels, all unique and vastly different. Mar Del Cabo is a boutique hotel—it feels intimate and organic to the region. The hotel, Mar del Cabo, is a stylish adaptation of a classic boutique hotel, designed to captivate and comfort with its unassuming and pleasing minimalism. With 46 one- and two-bedroom suites, two penthouses which have king or two queen-size beds; kitchenettes with a coffee maker and microwave oven; terraces with a sitting area, separate living areas with a sofa, a bathroom-width step-in rain shower, and daily turndown service. The restaurant, Encanto Farm & Sea, showcases the local and fresh flavors of Baja California in a unique seaside chic ambiance less than 50 yards from the ocean’s edge. Two bars, spa services, a sleek and sensual oceanfront pool, as well as outdoor spaces to hold private events, complete Mar del Cabo.

It was our first day on the press trip, and we headed off to Todos Santos with Cabo Adventure with our loquacious driver, Marcello. It is a 47-minute drive north on Highway 19. Marcello informs us that in Todos Santos we will find the Hotel California—the hotel behind the famous Eagles’ song. He alludes to “colitas,” which in Spanish is the flowering bud of the cannabis plant, as proof of the song’s linkage to Mexico.

All of which is conjecture—there is no evidence any of the Eagles ever stayed at this particular hotel, but it is a fun storyline nonetheless. Todos Santos is a magical and mysterious place. There is a large bazaar which belongs to the designer Rouss Ramírez. In the bazaar, you can discover the objects that Rouss has found on her travels through Mexico and around the world.

From there, we head back south towards Cabo and stopped at Cabo Adventures’ Camel Ranch. Here, we are treated to a vision straight out of Lawrence of Arabia—groups of people on dromedaries wearing shemaghs (headscarves). It is here that we learn a single-humped camel is called a dromedary—a camel with two humps is a Bactrian.

Lunch is enjoyed outdoors while in the distance we watch whales play along the Pacific.  Later that night, the entire press group is treated to dinner at Encanto. It is Valentine’s Day, and the atmosphere at the restaurant is festive. Near the sea, with a small stage, a performer is singing love songs in English. It is our last night—the days have swept by. Tomorrow is the short flight back to Los Angeles.

I think of my friend and what is missed by not venturing beyond. I have been visiting Baja since I was a child. As a young teen, I went to the bullfights, and the dog races in Tijuana. I have slept on the beaches below Rosarito, been astonishingly drunk at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, eaten lobster in Puerto Nuevo, and only recently, in the briefest of windows, come to Cabo on a “tender boat” from a large cruise ship and swam in the moody waters. For Californians, Mexico and Baja, in particular, hold a certain allure—proximity, cost, food, people, weather, and a coastline that rivals Italy. It is part desert, mountainous and almost always close to the ocean—  A striking combination of cactus and palm trees that invite the traveller to experience the lower California known as Baja.

: The “famed” Hotel California in Todos Santos.

The locks—legend has it that if you write your names on the locks and leave them here at the

Bésame Mucho Bazaar, you will be together forever. Surreal artwork on display. The man who sweeps the Bazaar. Our guide, Marcello, gives us the heads up that its time to leave.

 

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail
Spend The Holidays in Hawaii: Wailea Beach Resort

Spend The Holidays in Hawaii: Wailea Beach Resort

There’s a song and phrase rooted in Hawaii that makes a yearly return: “Mele Kalikimaka!”

If you didn’t know, “Mele Kalikimaka” means “Merry Christmas,” and there’s a good reason some visitors will be saying and/or singing the song this holiday season. In what shocked many earlier this year, Maui is still recovering after the devastating fires that resulted in the loss of over 100 lives, and the majority of structures in historic Lahaina. However, it’s what can’t be seen that remains and gives hope to those who lost so much: memories, a strong collective spirit, and aloha.

As we approach the holidays, the best way travelers can show continued support for Maui after the Lahaina wildfires is to travel mindfully, respectfully, and responsibly. And there’s one hotel who will help with that mission: Wailea Beach Resort in Maui.

The resort’s “Return to Maui: Travel with Heart” package donates $100 of each stay to supporting Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund. Hawaii Community Foundation is one of the most trusted and credible sources for updates on the latest in Maui’s recovery efforts, plus the island’s overall wellness, as it transforms lives and improves the island’s communities.

During the holidays, children can greet Kris Kringle as he arrives to the shores of Maui via canoe for the island holiday experience. Additional holiday programming and activities include some of the classics and new experiences, like an Elf Parade with milk and cookies, Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunts, wood ornament making classes, pineapple carving, sugar cookie, donut and gingerbread decorating, holiday Hula, wreath and floral lei-making workshops, holiday ukulele, a mermaid meet-and-greet, story time with Mrs. Claus, festive movie matinees and movie nights, and so much more. Adults can also get into the holiday spirit(s) with festive culinary and mixology workshops.

On top of the festive fun, visitors can enjoy some of the resort’s everyday amenities and features, like the recently unveiled “Olakino Wellness Pool Experience.” The experience features an unparalleled adults-only wellness sanctuary with personalized service from Po’e Mālamas (translated as ‘one who takes care’) and elevated wellness and culinary offerings – all included in a private poolside setting.

The resort also recently introduced a new way to luxuriate in island-style outdoor living with its new “Sundeck Garden Oasis” room category, a group of private garden oasis’ that feature expansive lanais appointed with outdoor bathtubs, lush amenities and firepit lounge areas for rest during Maui’s cool nights and further honoring the island’s famous outdoor living.

As part of the Sundeck Garden Collection, the resort is introducing the rebalancing Bath Butler Program. Each bathing ritual and treatment is designed to cater to individual needs, providing a rejuvenating and revitalizing experience like no other. Bath rituals include Air/Enliven Bath Ritual (a powerful body cleanser to reduce toxins with uplifting lemon and juniper), Fire/Replenish Bathing Ritual (a citrus soak that will relieve muscle tension, ease joint pain and detoxify the body), Water/Release Bathing Ritual (an algae-based soak to alleviate sore muscles and soothe stressed joints) and Earth/Embrace Bathing Ritual (a lavender fusion milk bath that will leave one feeling refreshed and renewed).

Additional experiences include foot conditioning treatment, reflexology, sound therapy session, frangipani hair and scalp treatment, Reiki session and in room massage.

Finally, the resort recently opened its new Makani lobby bar, inviting guests to “breeze” by in the Grand Lanai Lobby for thirst quenching libations including a selection of craft cocktails, wines, locally brewed beer, and lite bar snacks. This holiday season, guests can expect festive mixology classes and drinks at the bar. Even more, there will be new room renovations starting in March 2024!

The “Return to Maui: Travel with Heart” package includes a $100 resort credit and daily breakfast buffet for two, while also donating $100 of each stay to supporting Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund. This turns that holiday visit into a chance to not only live in island luxury and comfort, but to also give back, learn from, and support the local small businesses and people who breathe life into the island of Maui.

About Wailea Beach Resort

At the ocean’s edge nestled between two of Maui’s golden sand crescent beaches, Wailea Beach Resort is the epitome of scenic luxury spanning 22 acres with three spectacular pool experiences including private floating cabanas and the longest water slide in Maui. Distinctive dining options showcasing locally sourced ingredients range from the signature Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi and private candlelit oceanfront experiences to a poolside food truck.

Te Au Moana, meaning “The Ocean Tide” Luau, transports guests on a cultural journey through Hawaii’s history with song, dance, and traditional culinary fare. Immersive activities such as Outrigger canoeing, kayak turtle tours, ukulele lessons and nightly fireside s’mores and Mo’olelo (Hawaiian storytelling). For highly sophisticated accommodations, look no further than the Sundeck Collection which features luxurious indoor-outdoor living with an expansive 150 square foot private lanai for convenient access to the beach walk, lawn and pools.

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail
Lake Tahoe Sojourn

Lake Tahoe Sojourn

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies the third-deepest lake in America and the 10th-deepest in the world, Lake Tahoe. It is a glistening gemstone in the wilderness filled with clear water and alpine trees. This is a lake that is claimed by both Californai and Neveda, and it is stunning no matter which direction you look at it from.

It is a 7 and a half-hour drive from Los Angeles, but what a drive! Of course, you can fly for $150 and be there in under two hours (stop in Reno and find your way to the lake).

We opted for the slow ride through the 395, with visits to Bishop, California, Lone Pine, Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, and finally South Lake Tahoe. Our destination is the Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe, with its spa and Casino. And just like that, we arrived. This is the weekend before the 4th of July, and there is a buzz about it. Dogs—to be sure, this is a dog-friendly hotel—and staff friendly!

WE HAVE ARRIVED

The hotel sits across the street from the lake, but it is a short walk to the lakeshore.

There is something to be said about what must be called “lodge style.” It is a rustic and rugged style built of wood and stone. It’s heavy and solid, and if anything can be called lodge style, it is the famous Lone Eagle Grill, which is one of the restaurants in the Regency. With vast views of the lake and at night, the open-air pits along the boardwalk provide a unique, romantic setting. The menu is also rustic, as it offers up Duncan Ranch Elk Strip Loin or Grilled Ra King Salmon Filet. Venture out a little further, and one can end up at Pier 111 Bar, which is a 275-foot suspended pier over the lake. And it is beautiful and the perfect place to mingle. Our first activity is the fine art of axe throwing, a newly appreciated sport that requires the throwing of a heavy axe at a target from a distance. It is not an easy sport, and as this is summer, it soon requires that we find shade in the verdant courtyard of the hotel.

After the strenuous axe-throwing workout, it is a good time to visit the Stillwater Spa, which offers facials, body treatments, and massages. All treatments spring from a sense of renewal and calm, and the physical Spa itself is testimony to this notion. But adventure calls once again, and we are drawn to the lake shore, where an afternoon yoga session is about to begin. In the distance, on a floating pier, is the unique Pier 111 bar. Located at the end of the floating pier, it is home base for speedboat adventures and, of course, cocktails. Back at the hotel itself, the large outdoor pool is one of four different pool areas. The large pool has a winding waterway that leads into the hotel itself. It is summer, the weather plays easy, and a night swim turns out to be a good idea. Another day, another activity.  As the sun sets on the lake, we take to our kayaks and head out into the lake, where the shoreline grows smaller. It is a fun fact that the name Larry Ellison is often mentioned. Ellison is the CEO of technology company Oracle, and he is rich. It is his property, Cal Neva Resort & Casino property, which is a 13-acre property that occupies much of the view from the kayaks. (Rumor has it he has sold the property.)

YOGA, LAKESIDE

There is nothing quite like doing yoga by a lake.

The lakeside yoga event series is hosted by DJ JOOLZ and local yoga instructor Alexandra Farrar. There is music, there is sand, there is water, and there is Yoga. DJ JOOLZ is spinning out quiet vibes as Alexandra Farra leads a group of 25 through the various yoga positions. It’s all for a good cause, as the suggested $10 donation will benefit Incline Elementary School’s “Step Up for Stem” program.

The lakeside yoga sessions  take place on September 14, and September 28, with registration beginning at 5 p.m. and the classes starting at 5:30 p.m. Following the classes, attendees are welcomed to relax and unwind at The Nest Bar and Grill for a post-yoga happy hour.

We venture around the lake on bikes, with the Regency as our starting base. The Alpine air, the clear skies, and the trails along the lake provide a unique opportunity to see the lake from a many angles.

As all things must come to an end, it is time to pack it up and leave all this behind, with regret—so many unique experiences were offered, we felt like we had scratched the beautiful surface.

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino

 

DJ JOOLZ and local yoga instructor Alexandra Farrar lead the Yoga by the Lake. Above: Zuke Oshiro, DJ KOOLZ, and Alexandra Farrar enjoy a post-Yoga moment.

The vast “lodge style” of The Lone Eagle Grill; a view of the resort; the spa faciltities, a lone kayaker; sunset on the lake.

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail
Elevate Your Rideshare Experience With Alto

Elevate Your Rideshare Experience With Alto

If there’s anything more inconvenient than scorching temperatures this year, it’s using rideshare apps and services that are unreliable, inconsistent, and expensive while keeping you waiting—one canceled ride after another—in the heat. If this is your headache of a reality this summer—or if you’ll be heading to LAX to get away from it all (or come back to it), there’s someone new who will make it all better: Alto. (Kudos if you saw Alto in our Summer essentials roundup!)

Alto Ridshare

Get Around, Better!

When it comes to all of the above and more, Alto has you covered with exclusive access at LAX! Their special status grants access to the ground level of the airport, so that you can jump into the backseat moments after you step off of the plane. So long to traversing the seemingly endless construction maze.

More cost-effective than calling an Uber Black or other types of luxe rideshare services, Alto offers a fleet of spacious, modern, and stylish SUVs across the greater Los Angeles area. This ensures a comfortable and enjoyable ride every time, while their drivers are professional and experienced, with your safety being their first priority. Alto operates with punctuality, hygiene, and seamless service at its core while revolutionizing the way we think about ride sharing.

Sit back, relax, and let their drivers take care of everything while you indulge in a comfortable, luxurious, and stress-free journey—complete with all of the environmental and mood-setting controls that come at a premium with other rideshare companies. Feel free to choose from an assortment of curated vibes with preselected beats, and tune the volume to your liking in Alto’s company-owned vehicles. From tunes to climate, Alto believes that you, the rider, should have the freedom to make your ride match your mood—even going so far as to have a “Do Not Disturb” toggle in-app! Whether it’s a bad day or a case of social anxiety, that means the driver won’t bother you unnecessarily. Ahh, silence.

It’s time to say goodbye to parking hassles, navigating unfamiliar routes, or dealing with the frustrations of LA traffic while enjoying a seamless door-to-door service that saves time and energy. Travel like the beloved LA celeb you dream to be!

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail

Sojourns

Sojourns

As summer approaches we begin to ask…what will travel be like this summer?

 

An estimated 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, a 7% increase over 2022, according to a new forecast released by AAA on Monday.

Some 2.7 million more people will travel for the unofficial start of summer in 2023 compared to last year, the company said.

Are we daunted? No way. Pack the bags, fill up the tank and let’s explore a few of the  popular destinations for SoCal locals.

 

“Unveiling Earth’s Sculptures: Joshua Tree National Park”

Venture into Joshua Tree National Park and witness a surreal landscape of twisted Joshua trees and massive rock formations. This unique desert ecosystem attracts rock climbers, hikers, and stargazers, providing an otherworldly experience in Southern California.

https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

 

“Exploring the Hidden Oasis: The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve”

Discover a vibrant display of California poppies at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. This hidden gem boasts acres of colorful wildflowers, offering a stunning sight and a peaceful escape from the bustling city life.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627

 

 

“A Journey into History: The Queen Mary in Long Beach”

Step aboard the Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner turned floating museum in Long Beach. Immerse yourself in the ship’s rich history, explore its decks, and even spend the night in one of the luxury suites for a truly unforgettable experience.

https://queenmary.com/

 

“Unearthing Subterranean Beauty: The Salton Sea”

Visit the Salton Sea, a saline lake nestled in the Colorado Desert. Despite its eerie and unconventional allure, this offbeat destination offers mesmerizing sunsets, diverse birdlife, and the opportunity to witness the remnants of forgotten towns along its shoreline.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=639

 

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail
Up the Nile: Luxury Cruise

Up the Nile: Luxury Cruise

There are many kinds of vacations—the relaxing island vacation, the adventutuous trip up the mountains of Peru, the majestic splendor of old churches throughout Europe, and then there is the Middle East. A term coined in the 1850s by a British India official, it is composed of 18 countries, 60+ languages, and nearly four million people. It is the birthplace of most of the world’s religions and “has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.”

So, let’s just say, it’s not Hawaii.

Our journey began in Cairo and ended in Russia. An overnight trip to Aswan by overnight train was a unique experience. Waking early in the morning, a rattling train is now alongside the Nile River, a country with a long history that hasn’t seen, in these parts, enormous change. Men still pull carts with cattle, and horses carry cane sugar. In one brief moment, a dead cow carcass can be seen in a small pond by the side of the road. Time has stood still. Aswan is a smaller version of Cairo. To be sure, there is a McDonalds, a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and likely any day, a Starbucks, but for now, it is a popular city that sits on the Nile with a substantial amount of river boats. A four-night Nile cruise provided by Sanctuary Tours put us on Boat IV (there are four cruises), which begins in Aswan and ends in Luxor. It is a luxury tour—everything is provided, including all meals, tour guides, and entertainment. This particular cruise is an ode to the Art Deco style with its lavish interiors. It is an approximate 112-mile journey that makes numerous stops along the Nile.

4 nights/5 days, the Nile River Cruise from Aswan to Luxor!

“Wait, that long?” you might wonder, considering the distance between those two ancient cities is only about 150 miles. Well, there is so much to see at both the departing port of Aswan and the arrival port of Luxor that the boat stays docked for about 36 hours in both cities while you get to see cultural and archaeological treasures. After all, Egypt is home to one-third of the world’s antiquities, while Luxor is referred to as the world’s greatest open-air museum.

“Boat, Sanctuary Boat IV.” 

The Nile cruise was luxurious and personal. As soon as we boarded, the host, Aylian, and the entire staff came to greet us as we boarded. We were offered drinks, making us feel welcome and in good hands. Each staff member always paid attention to our personal needs, smiling and bowing. Polite and friendly. (The host, Aylian Liahlioud) The first activity of the cruise was an Egyptian Felucca (a typical Egyptian sail boat) as we sailed around Elephantine Island, Lord Kitchener’s Botanical Gardens, and the Agha Khan Mausoleum. This is a wind-driven boat. It is mostly silent until the boat crew sings a native folk song. The ruins on the Nile river bank and the crystal blue no-wave flat water on the Nile are surreal.

Temples

Going up the Nile, from Aswan to Com Ombo, Eduf, Esna, and Luxor, our guide, a trained Egyptologist, took us to many temples and tombs and explained the histories and meanings of everything we encountered. If you are expecting to see a series of pyramids along the Nile like I was, you will be in shock because there were none! Pyramids are in the Cairo/Giza area, built with sole Egyptians’s architectural products made possible by their own technology and wisdom, with of course the aliens’ help. On the other hand, the ruins in Upper Nile were built with Greek and Roman influences, a unique mix of Arabian, Islamic, and Mediterranean influences. OK, in other words, Greece and the Roman Empire invaded Egypt, banned any more pyramid-making, and built what they liked.

Just like many other places, the most popular and sacred places are prohibited from taking pictures. In these tombs, you need to buy an extra photo ticket (USD $10). Only with that are you allowed to take photos. Our tour group decided that not all eight of us needed to buy it. Only one person in the group should take photos, and we can call and share the photos. I’d say it’s a smart plan. However, inside the very long tomb, where virtually no one is, one would attempt to take some pictures. I know I was. And I took some pictures. And some videos. And some more. Then I got caught by the guard and was asked to show him the photo ticket. I had to lie for my life. I said I wasn’t taking photos and was just texting. Then he took my phone and showed me all the pictures I took. That was the end of my life. I would spend the rest of my life in a corrupt Egyptian jail where even the American consulate couldn’t barge in. I might as well take my life here in the tomb and lie dead next to the mummy. Then, my fellow traveler, an Egyptian lady, came along and found me in trouble. She started to talk Egyptian with the guard, probably tipped him off, and in the end, I was released. She was an Egyptian miracle! When I thanked her, she had these sad, disappointing eyes full of shame. I carry those shaming eyes in my heart every day so that I don’t cheat the system and live an honest life with a humble spirit.

On the boat, there was always something happening. They had an Egyptian cooking class, tea time before dinner every day, movie night (Death on the Nile, of course) a dress-like-an- Egyptian party, and opportunities to mingle with your fellow boat travelers. I especially enjoyed the disco night, dancing with other travelers, all while in costume.

Fellow Travelers

So much of travel is about the people you meet—and on this cruise, we met many people from many lands. An Egyptian oil queen, A Brazilian Opera singer, and Indian family from England with a son who would perform the musical  song from “Hamilton” on demand.

Looking back— this may well be the trip, so far, of a lifetime. There was a moment in Caro at the Giza Pyramid Complex where if one stood very still, listened intently, (hard to do with all the tourists, guide, and traffic) you sensed the history, felt some connection to history—more than Europe, more than Asian, a sense of history well-preserved and stunningly unique.

 

 

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail
Palm Springs: City of Night

Palm Springs: City of Night

Sun, Fun, and the Magic Nights

Fun Facts: Palm Springs has the largest concentration of midcentury modern residential architecture in the world, showcased every February during the Modernism Week celebration.

With more than 70,000 pools, Greater Palm Springs can boast that it has more pools per capita than anywhere else in the country.

Greater Palm Springs is the home of more than 100 golf courses, which is why many refer to us as the Golf Capital of the World.

Every city has its personality. Something to consider is whether or not that city is a city of night—or day? Los Angeles by day, is frankly an often-unattractive attraction of template malls—especially if the background light is the opaque gray that haunts the the early summer. This has become a topical discussion in such masterworks as John Rechy’s City of Night and the Door’s L.A. Woman, which begged the question: ” Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light? Or just another Lost Angel? City of Night”. Los Angeles by night actually has some glamor. Take a visit to the Griffith Observatory to see a panoramic view of the city with all its twinkling and a parade of heatwaves and enjoy. The daylight will reveal a sprawling endless scenery of freeways and buildings—hardly the stuff of Hollywood dreams.

)As we head southeast to that cozy town of Palm Springs and its environs, we are treated to a different perspective: this is not a city you want to be in the daylight. In the summer the heat can settle in at 108 degrees and above. Barefoot walking not recommended for humans or animals. It is a perpetual Play Misty for me as the misters create a watery gloom of vapor that quickly evaporates in the mid-day sun. But then comes the night—The Palm Springs night, the night of the cashmere wind, the whispering hush of palms trees swaying—sounds poetic? It is. For at the close of day, the lights come on, lines get drawn, the temperature dips, the rattling of cocktail stirrers begins—it’s time to party!

There is something unique about the desert night—there is little humidity in fact, Palms Springs with the exception of June 23, has not had any rain in 128 years, but there is a slight breeze and that makes everything sexy. This must be true as it explains the proliferation of bedroom mirrors that are everywhere in Palm Springs—closets, ceilings, walls, everywhere there are mirrors—which is surprising given that this is to a large extent an older community, weathered and worn by the perpetual and endless summer. There are also plastic surgery centers on nearly every block.

As with all good things, PS summers, despite the heat draws hordes of sun-seeking tourists willing to battle getting there—it’s actually the leaving that is difficult. But like that other “resort” town, Las Vegas, the key is in their being unique as cities—quite unlike any other cities in the US—and in this case, one best seen at night.

Book in advance (as in February).

Best Food & Drink

1. The Tropicale Palm Springs

A chic and sophisticated décor provides the setting for our distinctive “world cuisine”, a provocative mix of zesty influences that creates a delightful dining experience in Palm Springs, California. Plush high-backed semicircular banquettes surround our dining room and offer comfortable and private seating. The cuisine has a light, exotic feel with an emphasis on Pacific Rim specialties, from Chilean Sea Bass baked in Banana Leaves or Kahlua-Barbecued Pork Chops to all sorts of tasty tapas, salads, wood-fired pizzas, and desserts. The Coral Seas Lounge, a hip mid-century style bar is lined with sexy black leather bar-stools and is reminiscent of the upbeat lounges of old Palm Springs. It wraps around the dining room and leads outside to a lush, tropical, 2000 square foot dining patio where a variety of specialty cocktails and old-school favorites are mixed – an ideal place where friends gather and martinis are sipped under the starlit desert sky.. Map

Best Places to Stay

1 Korakia Pensione

257 S. Patencio Rd., Palm Springs, California 92262, United States

This Mediterranean style bed and breakfast bills itself as a retreat. In the heart of downtown Palm Springs, the Korakia Pensione (the name translates to “Crow Hotel”) is a magnificent oasis made up of multiple buildings spread across an acre and a half. The heavy stone, almost tiki look, exterior spreads from the outside to the rooms and villas inside.

 

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 760-864–6411

. Map

2. Sparrow

Originally built as Castle’s Red Barn in 1952 by MGM actor Don Castle and his wife Zetta, it was one of the original resort getaways for Hollywood elite. Legend has it that iconic actress Elizabeth Montgomery had her first marriage at the Red Barn. The property also has had incarnations as Catalina Palms, El Rancho Lodge and now Sparrows Lodge. The Lodge was fully restored in 2013 and many of the original buildings are still in use with modern updates retaining the charm of the original Red Barn.

THE LODGE:

Sparrows Lodge is a completely restored 1950s retreat. You will be welcomed roadside with a simple hand-painted sign with two Sparrows. The Lodge has a modern rustic vibe that carries through to our rooms, communal barn, outdoor fire pit and vegetable garden, accented by a collection of fine art including works by Ruscha, Kelly, Katz & Baldessari. The 20 rooms feature exposed beam ceilings, russet red walls, concrete floors with inlaid pebbles and butterfly chairs. Swiss army blankets top plush mattresses, and instead of closets you’ll find a metal footlocker along with hooks and hangers. Our bathrooms feature rain showers, and many include horse troughs as bathtubs. Most rooms have private patios. All rooms have AC/Heat and ceiling fans. With no televisions or phones in the rooms, there is an environment of ease and simplicity.

Sparrows Lodge
1330 East Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92264
tel. 760 327 2300

 

Day 1

RELAX, JUST DO IT

Time to chill, get some sun, take in the fresh air and relax. There are more pools per capita in Palm Springs than the entire United States—enjoy one, you’ll like it.

Day 2

THE PLANE, THE PLANE!

The Palm Springs Air Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of flyable WWII aircraft and from Korea and Vietnam; and unlike many other museums, our air-conditioned hangars have no ropes to keep you from interacting with our exhibits. In addition to our aircraft, exhibits and activities allow visitors of all ages to gain a fresh perspective of World War II — the unparalleled event that shaped the world we live in. A new hangar opened May of 2017 holds exhibits and aircraft from the Korea and Vietnam Wars. 

 

Day 3

RISE ABOVE IT ALL

Leave the city, the heat and the margaritas behind an head on up the mountain in the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world’s largest rotating tram car—travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. During your approximately ten-minute journey, tram cars rotate slowly, offering picturesque and spectacular vistas of the valley floor below. Once you reach the Mountain Station—elevation 8,516 feet—enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, natural history museum, two documentary theaters, gift shop and over 50 miles of hiking trails.

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail

WanderLust: Travels Here + There

WanderLust

Adventurer, Photographer, & Professional Blogger

Taking on the World, One City at a Time

My family went nowhere. Other than some road trips to Tijuana, National Parks and Crestline, we never left the state let alone the country. Later, it would be revealed that my mother suffered from agoraphobia. My father had a taste for motorcycles.
My brother, bless him, did stray off to Alaska to live for a bit. Thats it.
At an early age, I did visit San Francisco frequently, Palm Springs often and after high school, trips to New York City were occasional. But it wasn’t until that first flight to Hawaii that the notion that travel could make you feel different happened. Maybe it was jet lag, but waking the next morning, I found myself in the ocean swimming about at 5 am.

It was only with the advent of the camera phone that travel photography became easy—prior, if you carried a camera, you carried a bag with film. The film was expensive and even more expsensive to deveope and you didn;t get to see until you were home.

The camera phone changed all that.

Travel History

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud

Countries

Cities

Continents

blog posts

Recent Travels

There are none. Since March 2020, life as we knew it changed.

Inside Hyatt Regency Irvine’s $55M Transformation

Inside Hyatt Regency Irvine’s $55M Transformation

Cowritten by Anthony C. Stafford The Hyatt Regency Irvine may be known by many for what it was previously, and that old image is also a great way to remember hotels of yesteryear. But a three-year closure has birthed what can only be described as a new hotel standard...

Grocery Shopping is More Expensive

Grocery Shopping is More Expensive

For most of the last three years, American consumers have been grappling with greater financial pressure from increased prices throughout the economy. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has fallen since its June 2022 peak of 9.1%, but current...

A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family

Sam Rubin,  a notable figure in the world of entertainment journalism, particularly recognized for his long-standing role as an entertainment reporter for KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles has died. His career, which spanned several decades, made him a familiar face to...

Jenny's 15 Tips & Tricks For Traveling Cheap

Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi. Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi. Pellentesque in ipsum id orci porta dapibus. Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui. Proin eget tortor risus.

My Upcoming Trips

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud

Switzerland
Zermatt
Austria
Salzburg
United States
Yosemite, CA

My Highlights

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam.

Jenny’s Top 10 Sites to See

1. Lorem Ipsum Dolor

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis

2. Vestibulum ante ipsum

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis

3. Amet Sit Consecteture

Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis

Travel Gallery

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud

Facebooktwitterlinkedininstagramflickrfoursquaremail