Palm Desert, California Travel

I have decided that this is my year of saying why not? First off, to travel! A part from this trip to California to end 2017, I am packing for Europe in a few months and just added Kansas City to my list! Why not? We all have to start somewhere, but lets focus on what’s happening right now.

After a week of being sick and finishing up finals, I was very thankful to have an opportunity to get away. It all started with a 5:00am flight last week. I had to wake up at 2:30am, ate breakfast at 4:30am, and napped every other hour. Needless to say, my schedule was way off.

Traveling often throws so much off mentally and physically, but instead of getting hostile, annoyed and agitated, like I do at times, we have to learn to role with the punches and trust that our bodies will take care of themselves if we do what we can to help it feel its best.

My digestion track was way off, I got cranky with no sleep, but still wanted to do some physical activity and eat full meals that entire day.

A part from my body freaking a little on the time change, I personally love airports and traveling in the middle of the night. There is a sense of adventure when leaving to go somewhere before the sun even rises.

My airport experience was lovely with a full breakfast at O’Charley’s, yes my first time and it was lovely. I ate an english muffin with a veggie, egg scramble.  I also ate oatmeal on the airplane. This was my first time riding first class on a plane and wow it will be hard to go back. What an awesome experience! I was sold with just the coffee and blanket.

Our first stop in California was at Trader Joes, shocker. We stocked up on fresh fruit, snacks and kombuchas! I tried a new flavor of Health Ade and have decided this one is my favorite so far. It is made from pink lady apples. You could taste them!

We stayed in Palm Desert, California at the JW Marriot Resort. My family goes here every year, but this was my first time since my freshman year of college.

The weather was in the 70s and I was a happy camper. It got really cold at night and since this is their slow season, it was not crowded at all.

My sister and I had our own room and were in bed at 9:30pm every night. It was lovely. We watched movies, always got up to have our coffee and blueberry muffins from Starbucks. I decided to try something new for breakfast in addition to those amazing muffins, smoked salmon with capers. I absolutely loved it. I always strive to eat as much fish as I can when I’m in areas with fresh fish because I always feel SO good when eating fish.

The weather was so beautiful, we wanted to do physical activity every day. Hiking, walking and working out is so enjoyable when you do it to enjoy rather than to treat it as a chore.

When new opportunities present themselves, take them. Rachel and I had a time block with nothing to do so we drove over 45 minutes through the wind mills that I’ve only seen on television screens. It’s crazy that energy comes from those! We blasted oldies music and said goodbye to the past and hello to the future.

My next favorite experience and something I got to cross off my bucket list was a hike with two Palm Desert locals through the mountains. We were in the middle of the desert with nothing by cacti, dusty dirt and large rocks but it took my breath away.

We made it to the top and in awe I looked, prayed, smiled and still couldn’t believe what I saw. The stories of injuries through the mountains are serious so I would always plan on having a hiking buddy. We got to see an old car that had fallen off the side of a cliff and it had been buried under dirt for years. I was not expecting to see that antique vehicle!

If I were going to go hiking again, I would wear more appropriate hiking shoes and have a fanny pack to hold my water and personal belongings.

We needed to fuel ourselves, so afterwards we found a juice bar called Juice Bar like in Nashville. We got the largest most wonderful Acai Bowl with added spinach. In addition, I taste tested their seasonal egg nog made with whey protein, chia, almond milk and more! I would love to have that again.

I ate something different for every meal. We went to a restaurant on property called Fisherman’s Landing and I had their specialty fish tacos that were featured on Rachel Rae’s Show! I ate everything from salads with shrimp, tuna and turkey sandwiches, chicken marsala at at Italian restaurant, and we can’t forget about the all you can eat sushi…

My dad’s favorite sushi bar in Palm Desert is called Okura. They have all you an eat sushi where you can taste test as many different sushi rolls as you would like. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tasted jalapeño poppers and eel. Everything was so good. I personally do not like creme cheese or anything heavy with cream, so I always stick to my rolls with avocado, salmon, shrimp, and the basics.

Being in the sun and doing physical activity in the heat requires fueling yourself and I felt amazing the more I ate.

Next, I had the opportunity to have my very first spa day. I had never spent a day at a spa and I loved it. There was no use of phones which made the experience even better on this girls day.

There were multiple steam rooms with essential oils including eucalyptus and lavender. I wore that large white robe all day and was so upset when I had to actually put on regular clothes.

My first massage was amazing. You know me and stories, so as I got to know the man doing my massage, he told me that after a surfing accident, he lost some mobility. Massage therapy helped his healing process so for 19 years he has done massages for other people. Amazing.

He worked on areas where I had my neck spasm and carpal tunnel in my wrists. I was sore, which is a good thing! Those massages release lactic acid from our muscles, so I had to drink lots of water to flush that all out. I would highly recommend.

That day ended in a private room where we talked for hours. From stories on our faith, personal dreams, hardships, and funny memories, we talked until closing time. Getting lost in conversation with new and old friends is something we all should work towards no matter where we go.

Patiently waiting was a common theme in our discussion. Everyone is waiting on something, but God is asking us just to wait patiently and what we imagine will not even come close to what He will provide for us.

On my last day, I spent a day with my mom at the pool and reenacted a photo I took my Freshman year when I was going through my eating disorder to now. Same background, new person. I am happier, stronger, have more color, and more curves. After I looked at that photo below, I kept eating because why should I stop a journey that has been so amazing? I wouldn’t be able to travel if I wasn’t treating my body the way God wants me to.

Our final evening was a Prime Source Entertainment work event. It was a show with multiple artists, including Don Felder, Gin Blossoms, John Elefante, Gretchen Wilson, Six Wire, and Skunk Baxter.

I was in charge of photography and assisting backstage. It was as successful evening that ended with me in bed after having a slice of shrimp pizza. Yum.

This was a very blessed trip that taught me to learn to be okay not doing something all the time. This is a common lesson I keep trying to teach myself. I tried to look up more and listen intently in conversations.

I will miss the mountains, the greenery and the peacefulness, but I’m happy to be back with the hustle and bustle of Nashville at Christmas time.

From conversations on this trip, I’ve learned that every conversation is not a mistake. So many opprotunities are ahead. Why not take them? 

Until next time Cali!




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