Thursday, November 25, 2010

Field Trip - Palm Springs II

Just as we visited Palm Springs last year during the holidays, we took another field trip out to the desert with parental figures - this time my parents.
One big difference this time is that we hit the town just before Thanksgiving, whereas last year we arrived just before Christmas. Even though it was over a month earlier, the temps were still unseasonably cool.

We were greeted by the most intense double rainbow that we had ever seen:
(sorry, by the time that I took this shot, the other rainbow was barely visible)

What does it mean?

Like the last trip, we stayed at a cool, rehabbed boutique hotel. This time it was the quaint Colony Palms Hotel.
Nice and clean rooms - and, best of all, only $64/night on Hotwire. The Hotwire gamble paid off this time. The highlight for Celeste, of course, was the pool. We can't keep that girl dry if there's a place to swim. So she had to hit the hot tub the afternoon and evening of our arrival:
Walking to dinner Sunday night we found the perfect place to get your sushi massaged:
Monday morning saw another fantastic breakfast at the Kings Highway in the Ace Hotel...
...and having another round of photobooth phun...
...Monday was spent exploring nearby Joshua Tree National Park.

Super-cool cholla cacti...
...which look even cooler to me in black and white. To me at least:
The namesake Joshua trees were seen once we made the transition from the Sonora Desert to the Mojave Desert, about midway through the park.

But not until we stopped to scramble on some granite...
...and checked out Skull Rock:
Okay, on to the trees:
More stuff that looks cooler in black and white:
We eventually made our way to an interesting vista point with Mt. San Jacinto (tallest peak in SoCal) in the distance.
Since we spent many hours in the car, we were eager to get back to Palm Springs for a very late lunch and some pool time. One last shot (again, via the annoying-to-some Hipstamatic app):
More hot tubbing ensued after dinner, producing one of my all-time favorite shots of the grrrl:
I love waterproof camera housings.

Tuesday morning saw us taking the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway up to 8,500' so that the grrrl could experience snow for the first time in nearly three years.
It's a super-cool lift, taking fifteen minutes to climb just under 6,000' in elevation. The modern cars, installed in 2000, have a rotating floor to ensure that everyone can experience the magnificent views on the way up (and down).
At 32°, my mom quickly discovered that her sandals were not the appropriate footwear:

Celeste's Crocs were not much better... grandma, grandpa and Celeste hung out in the visitor's center while I ventured out in the snow for a quick hike/trail run at ≈8,500'.

All Star slip-ons are not the best choice either, but "run what ya brung"...
...and run I did, enjoying the Desert View trail while avoiding almost-certain disaster even though I was poorly-equipped in slick shoes and jeans.

I spent some time taking artsy-fartsy shots. Or, rather, attempting to take artsy-fartsy shots in the snow, which I will not bore you with here. Aside from this shot:
Having felt like I spent an hour or so in the Colorado mountains, we headed back down the hill...
...pulled back into the über-groovy mid-century modern tram station...
...and headed back to Carlsbad.

Thank you so much Mom and Dad for joining us on this trip.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down On The Street

Walking Juno a few weeks ago, I spotted this car just around the corner from the sharp Volvo P1800ES that was previously profiled.
From the front, no big deal, just a ten-plus year-old Mercedes SL-class roadster. But check it out in profile.
Clean, elegant and simple. I approve. Especially when outfitted with these AMG 5-spoke wheels and propelled by a sensationally-smooth V12 engine.
Quite the boulevard cruiser. And while it may not have as much character as the R-107 body style that preceded it (one of the ten cars I'll own before I'm dead), I still wouldn't kick it out of the garage...
...provided someone else is picking up the tab for repair and maintenance.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Favorite Songs of All Time: "Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver

With a handful of partially-written favorite song posts in my draft folder, I noticed that every one currently in the queue was a piece that is over fifteen years old.

To right that wrong is Bon Iver's Re: Stacks, from my favorite record of 2008. as well as one of my perfect Midwestern albums. Arguably the most beautiful and poignant song on an exceptional album, it's full of potent and obscure imagery. Re: Stacks also works as the perfect closing song to the album, ending it on a hopeful note.

Since there is no official video, I'll lean on this fan-produced slideshow put to the song.

I can (and do) play this song over and over again.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Calavera MTB: Dirt and Detritus

I'm pretty fortunate to have a nice trail network less than a mile from home. Carlsbad's Calavera Preserve has a decent network of flowy trails on decomposing trails. I've posted pix and words about the park in the past, but this time I went out to try to discover some new connectors and loops. While riding I came across an old weathered boot...
...which inspired me to take pix of some of the other interesting (to me anyway) old junk that is spread about the preserve. Since this was a ranch prior to the city obtaining it, and, until a few years ago populated with a few migrant camps it's no surprise that one comes across such items. So I dialed up the phone's Hipstamatic app and fired away on the subjects that captivated me.
charred fencepost
banana palms
John Deere disc harrow
steel w/holes
Corolla plate
British roadster
trail, Encina power station and the Pacific
handy ladder bridge
more trail
1970s Japanese pickup
a-arm, shock absorber
pickup bed
pickup dashboard
graders, for construction of Carlsbad's new high school
pale painted peeling plywood
tagged chair, describing my mood as of late
shack, view
junkman, watching the trails