How we ended up celebrating Thanksgiving in Palm Springs

It all turned out so different than we thought. Initially, we had plans to spend the most important holiday in the US (Thanksgiving Day) with our American friends. We anticipated learning more about the American culture, indulging in the tradition, and eating Turkey and Pumpkin Pie.

But then Covid made us a dash through the bill… and with that, we were approaching a four-days-holiday-weekend with no plans, no furniture, and no family in a foreign country. That’s why on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we spontaneously decided to make a fun road trip down south. Destination? Unknown. We anticipated warmer temperatures (as San Francisco had gotten quite chilly in November), and since everything was supposed to be closed on the holiday, we had the loose idea to spend it in nature, likely in a National Park. We didn’t really have any other option.  

After driving for about eight hours this Wednesday, we ended up in a roadside motel somewhere North of LA. The following day, we decided to go to Palm Springs – an ideal point of departure to explore Joshua Tree National Park. That’s how we ended booking a night in the popular Ace Hotel & Swim Club that we had actually visited in 2015 on our first trip through the Californian desert. Ever since then, I have always wanted to come back. 

That’s how after quite a short drive from Pasadena to Palm Springs, we spent a relaxing afternoon with beautiful scenery and loungy music by the pool (and I probably drank the best cocktail ever!??). 

For the evening of Thanksgiving Day, we spontaneously booked a three-course dinner in another hotel’s restaurant nearby. That’s how we ended up eating turkey, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberries, and pumpkin pie and having more of a Thanksgiving Day than we had anticipated when we had hit the road only 24 hours earlier.

The little stopover in Palm Springs did us good, and after a relaxing afternoon, we were fresh and rested for our next leg of the journey: Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave Reserve, and Vegas, baby.


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