Tag Archives: desert

Shop Local: Nurseries

4 Apr


Last Friday we stopped by the nursery in town to pick up a few plants for the “sand box” we call a yard. I don’t know much about desert plants, but I do know that the plants I have in my yard wouldn’t survive out here. When you don’t know what to do, ask the experts!


The local nursery is awesome! These people really know what they are talking about. I’ve shopped MANY times at the big box stores and you’re lucky if you get help from someone who really knows what they are talking about. Let’s be honest, you’ll be lucky if you find someone to talk to at all! Anyways, local nurseries know about the types of plants that grow well in your area. They will also know what types of soil you have and they really feel your pain when you tell them you have issues with soil drainage.


I also found that local nurseries have a large selection and the plants seem to be treated with TLC.


During this specific trip, we were in search of a purple flowering plant that we already have growing out here. I’m no plant expert, so purple flowering plant was the only description we had, and a photo I took on the iPad. We described the plant and showed the photo, the nursery owner knew exactly which plant it was and informed us that they won’t get those in until the summer. I guess we’ll be going back again soon!


I love that the nursery clearly labels the plants. I always found it important to read the labels on plants so I know what to expect and what the plant needs. Sometimes, I feel like the label is so generic that it can be on any plant in the store. At this nursery, they give so much information! It is so helpful!


The kids enjoy exploring the nursery and smelling the flowers. We had a very productive day at the nursery!

Crater Curious

6 Mar


I still can’t believe that this past holiday weekend was the first time we went out to the Amboy Crater! The crater site is only a short drive and the sites are amazing!


Once we parked, we took the trail to the crater. The trail is about 3 miles, round trip, and I was amazed that the kids made it! It is also very important to wear good sneakers or hiking boots and you should bring lots of water!


While on the trail, we spotted some lizards and lots of lava rock! Some where even put into shapes for everyone to enjoy!


On Holiday

5 Mar

We were lucky to have an extended holiday weekend, a total of 4 days off! Of course our first choice is to always go out to the desert!


We had a relaxing, fun-filled weekend. The kids made dirt soup, visited a neighbor’s chicken coop, sat in another neighbor’s airplane, rode on a quad, hiked to the inside of a crater and more!


Our four legged kids also enjoy the extra room to run and play!


Can you remember the last time you had this much fun on a carousel?


Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend as well! Check back tomorrow for our Crater adventure hike!

Desert Love

16 Jan

Happy New Year! It feels like we have been away FOREVER! As you all know, my family and I travel to the desert a couple of times a year. It’s one of our favorite getaway spots and for good reason, it’s so beautiful and QUIET!

We spent New Year’s weekend in the desert again this year. The kids enjoy it so much, every trip is a wonderful adventure! I hope your 2012 is a wonderful adventure too!

A Ride Off Into The Sunset

10 Aug

Our family took a little road trip to lovely Scottsdale, AZ recently.  It was HOT.  I’m not gonna lie it was like super crazy hot!  The thing I found most amazing was that it didn’t cool down in the evening.  It was 100° plus all day long.

I was a little worried about the little guys in that heat, since they aren’t used to such extreme weather having spent their lives to date in the fabulously moderate weather of sunny San Diego.  But I thought back to my own childhood summers spent poolside in Palm Springs, CA, and remembered that it wasn’t that bad.  One of my favorite things about Palm Springs was the cool down in the evenings.  It was still warm enough for a summer dress, but without the beat down that the desert sun can give at the height of the day.

Of course we spent a lot of time in the water.  We spent time at our friend’s pool and we also sought out more water fun at a local city sponsored aquatic center.  I would definitely recommend it.  The kids had a blast and it was only $5/person.   There is a water slide for the bigger kids (aka my husband), a zero-depth entry pool for the really little kids, interactive spray pad and water features, and (my favorite part) a 600-foot lazy river.

The aquatic center was on the small side and tame (right up my alley), but we also wanted to go BIG before heading home.  We spent our last day at Phoenix’s biggest water park, Wet ‘n’ Wild. The water park naturally costs significantly more than the city park.  It’s about $34/person for a day pass.  And don’t be fooled.  It’s basically a theme park so they get you with the churros (I’m a sucker for churros) and other theme park food.  As we arrived, I told my husband that I didn’t think I was going to make it outside in the 110º heat all day.  But it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  In fact once you’re soaked, if you find yourself in the shade you might even get a little chill.  And there is plenty of shade.  There are stretched canvas shades all over the park as well as cabanas.  The bigger kids did the water slides and tube rides and we all got to hang in the wave pool and float down the lazy river.

I got a few strange looks when Scottsdale merchants realized that I left San Diego to head to Arizona in the middle of August, but we got to visit with great friends, have a ton of water fun, and spend some “quality” time in the car together.

Oh, the drive…it took us about 6 hours from San Diego.  I preferred going the way of Indio and taking the 10, which we did on the way out there.  My husband liked the ride home on the 8 better.  Note: there are plenty of Border Patrol check points on the 8 as you near the Mexican border that will slow you down just slightly.  We watched movies and marveled at the sand dunes and rock formations.  We even made up silly stories about the giant cacti and what terrible dancing partners they’d made, despite their tall and slender frames.   What do you do on long road trips to keep the kids (and some adults) busy?

It was nice to see a different landscape and get away from our weekend routine.  Arizona didn’t hurt my tan either!

Big thanks to the Stepenosky’s for being such wonderful hosts!

An Oasis of Murals…

30 May

I’ve been to Twentynine Palms more times than I can count. I remember the first time I experienced this off-beat town. You drive into town and before you know it, you’ve driven out of town. It’s a small place that is home to a big Marine base. It also has hidden jem restaurants, quaint shops, antique stores and small art galleries. My favorite part are the murals painted along side many of the buildings… these are a few… ENJOY!

Desert Flowers

A Welcome Home

The Desert Trail

Marines in Combat

A Flash Flood

A desert landscape


Twenty Nine Bistro

29 May

This weekend, my hubby and I managed to squeeze in a Date Night! We left the kiddies with the grandparents and set out to Twenty nine Bistro in Twentynine Palms! The little bistro is in town and has been open for a little over a year. We’ve been here a couple of times. It’s delicious!

Twenty nine Bistro is such great little date night spot. It’s small, cozy and the ambiance is fantastic! They sometimes have a guitarist playing softly, the lighting is semi-low. My favorite part is the wine storage cabinet! It’s huge, full of wine, made of walnut wood and seeded rain glass! I think it’s gorgeous! The huge wine cabinet also has a secondary role: the divider between the bar and the main dining room! Very clever!
I had a Stella and my husband had some wine. We ordered Spicy Crabcakes as an appetizer that was served on top of a small spring salad. For entrees, we had a glazed pork chop and grilled salmon. Everything we were served tasted so good! I can’t wait until we make another trip out here so we can try more from the menu!

Get Away from the Everyday

28 May

Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day Weekend! We are spending ours in the desert. We thought about making a trip to Joshua Tree, but we couldn’t get the kids away from the pool! I went into town with my in-laws and we drove past some Joshua Trees… does that count?

Since being here, we have been for a walk, been in the pool, had a BBQ, saw a jack rabbit, saw some lizards…it’s been an eventful day!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Back to the grind for me on Monday!

Weekend Retreat

19 Apr


I don’t know about you, but sometimes you need to break away from the day-to-day routine for some much needed R&R. I know for us, right now, our schedules don’t allow for long vacations to Hawaii, Mexican Resorts, cruises, etc. We tend to opt for short weekend getaways. Our favorite place to go is our family’s desert retreat. It’s a great escape and extremely quiet! It’s so nice to just sit outside and hear nothing but the desert breeze blowing by.

Our favorite pastimes while in the desert are long walks, reading, exploring, star gazing and resting. I’d say that the best part is watching how much fun the kids have. We collect rocks, look at the stars in the night sky, watch for lizards and jack rabbits…it’s an adventure for them every time we go!

While most people would avoid the desert because of the weather, we enjoy the different seasons. In the Winter, we get the fire going in the wood burning stove. In the Spring, we check out the flowering cacti. In the Summer, we enjoy splashing in the pool and in the Fall, we enjoy the early sunsets and BBQing.

What are your favorite weekend get away trips? Any place you went as a child that you remember most?

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