Two things I really bloody love? Weddings. And California. Oh, our friends are getting married in Palm Springs? Yes, I think I’ll probably go to that.
Not only is California one of my favourite places on earth, but I’d never been to Palm Springs. And obviously, travelling that far, I knew it would only be wise to make a big elaborate holiday road trip out of it. That’s just common sense.
Palm Springs is immaculate. Like a fictional toy town. The villa we stayed in and the neighbourhood in fact, was so pristine that there was a rather strict and possibly over zealous $500 fine for either; playing music too loud, talking too loud, farting, breathing etc. But it was all so very pretty that I was quite happy to sit mute, take lovely photos and use a white board to communicate with my friends. I felt oh so Hollywood.
As with most places you visit in America, everywhere to me feels like you’re on a film set. Just two to three hours from LA (don’t leave too late in the day-it took us four), but, always such a cool drive. I like to stop at petrol stations just to buy donuts and pretend I’m a cop. I do realise I could do this in the UK but we both know it’s not the same. Plus, the petrol station staff at BP never compliment my British accent.
After the most beautiful wedding, we headed back to L.A. and met up with my pal to embark on a Cali adventure. We were staying at The Kinney near Venice beach as wanted to be close to Santa Monica & the beach. But more importantly close to what is the coolest street in LA, Abbot Kinney Boulevard. It has the best shops (save up), restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours. All of which we consumed daily whilst on our electric scooters, which are THE MOST FUN IN THE WORLD. I have never enjoyed buzzing around the streets more. Many locals hate them, but much like a Boris Bike, you can just pick up and leave wherever just by checking in with the app. Genius. And I’m way too happy to care who hates me.
ME, AS HAPPY AS CAN BE. Weeee
Oh hey Hollywood
My friend then suggested a ‘wine tasting safari’. Seeing as this combined two of the most enjoyable things in my life, wine and animals, I was obviously on board. Nestled away in the incredible mountains surrounding Malibu, we headed to the Malibu Wine Safari. It was everything we hoped for and more. Family run and set amongst hundreds of acres of land, you wouldn’t believe you were just 30 minutes from the madness of L.A. The landscape was breath taking. We set off in our open top jeep to meet their furry friends and sample their Sauvi Blancs. It was awesome. Who doesn’t want to swig Chardonnay whilst stroking celebrity named animals like Kendrick LLama and Lllama Del Ray?
Zebras are just ridiculously beautiful aren’t they?
Then we met the most famous resident, Stanley the giraffe. How is a giraffe famous, you ask? Well how many giraffes do you know that have starred in the Hangover 3, had a selfie with P Diddy and flirted with the Kardashians? Stanley has. Such a magnificent creature. I can’t get my head around how prehistoric and stunning they are. Plus his tongue was the size of my arm.
A week after we visited, Stanley made the headlines after the devastating fires ravaged the Californian hills. Was heart breaking to see how much devastation was caused on such a stunning, friendly place. Most the animals were accounted for, Stanley included, but hopefully they’re getting back to normal. Sending lots of love!
After our fill of wine tasting, giraffes and electric scooters, it was back onto the road to head to Vegas to end our trip in style! But on the way, we wanted to stop somewhere I’d always wanted to visit, Joshua Tree. It needed to be done in style so we stayed in this 70’s airstream at Joshua Tree Acres. Look how pensive it made me.
Joshua Tree was the coolest, most relaxing and stunning place. I’ve never felt so content. We felt and pretty much were in the middle of nowhere and it was idyllic. I mean, that was until we got chatting to the girls in the airstream next to us and it turned out they were from Hackney, just half a mile from where I live. Brilliant.
The most unreal sunrise and sunsets.
Joshua tree by night. Things got weird.
It’s a big statement but I’m putting it out there. This is the best bath I’ve ever had. I’m not sure how I’ll ever top a Eucalyptus bath in the middle of the Joshua Tree desert. I have never felt more zen in my life. If I was ever to go through anything terrible in life, I would make a concentrated effort to return here. You see the earth and nature in it’s purest form. I mean, just look at how I’m talking now? At risk of going too spiritual on you, it’s one of the places that makes you realise how insignificant you are. You know, in a good way. I’m gonna stop this deep existential chat now, I’m even weirding myself out. Just trust me, it’s spectacular.
After a night of doing absolutely nothing other than eating, sleeping, bathing, yoga and chanting (no chanting took place), we got back on the road onto Las Vegas! Just a three-four hour drive through the Mojave desert. It’s the kind of drive everyone should do once in their life. Also, make sure you have petrol. As also the kind of place where, if you break down, it may take a few weeks to be rescued. Have supplies. And don’t talk to cowboys.
Just before our arrival in Vegas, we wanted to check out the art installation ‘Seven Magic Mountains’. It’s basically stone henge at a rave and it is magnificent. It’s only a two year exhibition by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, so get there quickly for your perfect instagram pic!
I had one drunken blurry picture from Vegas and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I love you California. We’ll be together one day. Maybe after an election or two.