Hapa Holiday

Lemon and Indigo

Kahana KalamaComment

It’s no secret… we love Palm Springs.  The mid century design, slow pace and warm weather has us constantly looking for an excuse to get out to the desert.  And now we have another reason to visit.

Lemon and Indigo is a private retreat bungalow centrally located in Palm Springs that has quickly become our home away from home.  As much as we love hotels it’s hard to beat the comfort and amenities that come with an actual house.  Lemon and Indigo’s 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, pool, spa, kitchen and modern conveniences make it extremely easy for our growing family to enjoy a quick Palm Springs getaway.


All photos courtesy of Suzi Jacobs

The Parker Hotel, Palm Springs

Kahana KalamaComment

The Parker, Palm Springs is a mid-century masterpiece with a contemporary design sensibility that's solidified it's namesake as the quintessential Palm Springs experience..  We’ve always heard of this Jonathan Adler designed estate as being toted as one of the best hotels in the desert, but we just anticipated that it wasn't the best place for kids.  However, we decided to take a last minute offer to visit and see just how this hotel ranked up against a few of our other Hapa favorites..

Upon arrival it became very apparent that the staff and grounds were extremely family friendly. The décor, design and service surpassed all of our expectations. The rooms were beautiful and spacious and we had a blast exploring the grounds.  The kids loved the lemon gardens, oversized chessboards, hammocks and dedicated family pool.

Even though the hotel boasts of 144 rooms the layout is such that it still feels relatively private.  it's very easy to find you own space whether it be a nook in the garden, or a relaxing couch to sprawl out on in the lobby.  If you’re looking to be social we’d still heavily recommend a stay at the ACE, but if you’re looking for a desert oasis where you can enjoy some quality (uninterrupted) time with your special ones you might want to consider the Parker for your next palm springs getaway.

Website: www.theparkerpalmsprings.com 

High Desert Nature Museum

Kahana KalamaComment

On our most resent trip to Joshua Tree we visited the High Desert Nature Museum.  As a child growing up in this area, Sarah has fond memories visiting this museum.  I was a little skeptical as I am of pretty much any small gift shop//nature centers.  However, once you get past the fluorescent lighting, low ceilings and dated museum branding it becomes pretty clear that this place is an endless source of fun and learning for the kids.  As a museum that has been in operation for over 40 years we would highly recommend this family friendly environment to anyone interested in learning about the rich cultural heritage and natural history of the area.

Address: 200 W Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Hours of Operation: 57116 Twentynine Palms Highway, Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Thursday - Saturday: 10AM–5PM

Sunday - Wednesday: Closed

Website: http://hidesertnaturemuseum.org/

29 Palms Inn

Kahana KalamaComment
hoodrat 29 palms inn-1.jpg

Although a lot of people know that Sarah is from the desert, very few would believe that the majority of her adolescence was actually spent an hour up highway 62 in a quaint little town called 29 palms.  At any rate, Sarah wanted to show the family what her childhood 4th of July experiences were like, so we packed up the van and made the trek out to the 29 Palms Inn.

Sitting at the base of Joshua Tree National Park, 29 Palms is home to a large Marine Base and boasts of a vibrant community of artists and outdoor desert enthusiasts.  I immediately fell in love the second we saw the hand painted signs directing us to the Inn and our time spent only got better from there. 

I could go on for days about how much we enjoyed our stay, but the bottom line is that the inn was exactly what we were looking for.   It’s a stripped down hotel inclusive of enough amenities to make you feel comfortable with a simplicity that encourages social interaction with other guests and the natural desert habitat.

A few of the highlights include:

  • Comfortable and clean rooms with options for small or large groups
  • Pool with patio servers and live music in the evenings
  • Excellent restaurant and bar that offers a complimentary continental breakfast every morning
  • On premise organic farm that provides the produce for the restaurant
  • Natural desert Oasis (The Oasis of Mara)
  • Friendly owner and staff
  • Easy access to Joshua Tree

Address: 73950 Inn Avenue, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

Website: http://www.29palmsinn.com/

Joshua Tree

Sarah JacobsComment
Photography by Tom Aiello

Photography by Tom Aiello

Joshua tree is one of America’s 58 national parks and despite it being such a large part of my childhood I had never brought Kahana here in the 15 years we’ve been together.  Most people avoid Joshua Tree during the summer, but I grew up loving the heat and figured that 4th of July weekend was as good a time to visit as any.

 Joshua Tree National Park is a surprisingly family friendly park. Known for its huge rock formations, natural oases, cactus gardens, desert wildlife, dark skies and bright stars. There are paved roads to most of the park’s attractions making it easy to visit with the kids.  There are multiple .5 - 1.5 mile hikes, and some are even stroller friendly.  If you feel like camping there are also 9 campgrounds throughout the park and most are equipped with water and public restrooms.

 There are lots of ways to experience Joshua Tree but with the two kids we decided to turn it into a half a day trip.  We woke up early to try to beat the heat.  We entered the park at the 29 palms entrance conveniently located near the 29 Palms Inn where we were staying.  We stopped at Jumbo Rocks and hiked around a bit.  Duke loved climbing the boulders and playing in the cave formations while Coco pretty much just slept in my ergo.  After an hour or so of that we jumped back in the car to cool down in the AC and roam throughout the park.  Every so often we’d pull over and get out to take in the vastness of the sea of Joshua Trees.  We drove up to Keys View that overlooks the Coachella Valley.  The air was pretty clear so we could see all the way from Palm Springs to the North Shore of the Salton Sea.  From there we loaded back in the car and followed the road to exit out of the west entrance of the park grabbed lunch at The Crossroads Cafe (which we highly recommend) and headed back to the inn.

 If you do plan to visit be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen and snacks for the kids.  If you are allergic to bees I’d highly recommend bringing your epi pen.  There can be a lot of bees in the park that are attracted to the moisture of your car once you park.

 Park hours: Open 24 hours a day.

Start planning your trip here:  http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/joshua-tree-national-park/

Pioneer Town + Pappy and Harriets

Kahana KalamaComment

Pioneer Town was founded in 1846 by a group of Hollywood investors.  They wanted to create a live in movie set that had the façade of an old western frontier town.  Over 50 films were filmed in Pioneer town throughout the 40’s and 50’s.

In 2006 a fire destroyed much of the surrounding habitat relegating it to what it is now.  It’s main drag is reminiscent of a ghost town although it’s still home to a few small businesses including a saddle maker and ceramics shop.  In any case we love visiting with the kids on our way out to Joshua Tree.  Pioneer Town’s eerie charm and empty streets create the perfect environment for an imaginative trip back to the 1800’s.

Pappy and Harriet’s is the crown jewel of this seemingly forgotten slice of Hollywood history.  This music venue has hosted shows for a slew of well-respected iconic indie musicians and is still a thriving restaurant and bar.  Their BBQ and childrens menu coupled with a quaint old timey atmosphere is great spot for families looking for a cultured and casual dining experience.

If you do plan on grabbing a bite, we recommend coming here during the early afternoon as it starts to get pretty packed for shows in the evening.  Our favorites include the pulled pork sandwich and chili bowl… Chicken tenders and fries for the kids per usual.

You may notice a few new faces in the below photos…We were fortunate to have my Mom along with Sarah’s sister, Mari and husband Tom accompany us on this most recent Hoodrat Holiday in the desert.   Tom is one half of Process Creative and his skills for telling stories came in handy while documenting our carrying-on.  Hopefully, you’ll be seeing more of all of these characters in our upcoming adventures.

Hours: Thursday-Sunday 11am - 2am, Mondays 5pm - 2am, Closed Tuesday + Wednesday

Address: 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268

Website: http://www.pappyandharriets.com/

Moorten Botanical Garden

Kahana KalamaComment
Sarah and Coco in the Cactarium at Moorten Botanical Garden

Sarah and Coco in the Cactarium at Moorten Botanical Garden

The first time I had ever been to the Moorten Botanical Garden was for Duke and Coco’s shoot with Jackie Wonders for Rylee and Cru and I had no idea that it was located only a couple of blocks from the Ace Hotel and Swim Club.

For an in depth explanation of this spot you can visit their page on PalmSprings.com.  Nonetheless, the annotated Kalama version goes a little like this...  It’s a rad little garden that was established in 1938 and is home to over 3,000 examples of desert plants.  There’s a good chance you’ve probably seen your favorite insta-celeb posing for a photo op in a dome shaped well lit room swarming with succlents..  This is the all to famous Cactarium and Duke and Coco loved it.  Other highlights include the pet turtles, doves, and little trails that make the groms feel like their going on some sort of treasure hunt.

If you think your kids can't resist the urge to pet the prickly green “yo gabba gabbas” as Duke calls them, I’d avoid the visit.  However, if they can it’s an excellent cheap and easy excursion to get acquainted with some real life desert flora.

Address: 1701 S. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, Ca. 92264


Adults + Seniors: $4.00

Kids Ages 5 – 15: $2.00

Kids under 5: Free

Website: http://moortenbotanicalgarden.com/

Ace Hotel and Swim Club

Sarah JacobsComment

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club has become somewhat of a second home to us, especially since Duke and Coco have come into our lives.  We first discovered the ACE in 2010 and our love for this place has continued to grow over the years.  The room prices have definitely increased since then but we’ve found that the people and culture here are much more aligned with our personal aesthetic than any other Hotel in Palm Springs.  The rooms are well designed and comfortable, the pool is refreshing, the food and drinks are tasty and above all it feels like you are actually in Palm Springs.

We’re naturally up with the kids before 7am which means that the only other people awake and on premise are other families on the early wake up regimen.  We love having breakfast at Kings Highway Diner. (so much so that we’ll be dedicating an entire post to the joint… coming soon).

Once the kids begin melting down we make our way out to the pool to try to lock down a nice and shady spot to retreat to once high noon hits.  We spend the day swimming, napping, snacking and people watching.  If you fancy an adult beverage we’d probably recommend the desert facial… nice, light and refreshing.  We try to get the kids to nap on the lawn chairs but if they’re having a difficult time going down we’ll head back to the room for a mid day siesta before enjoying golden hour back at the pool.

As the sun sets I like to call in a pizza at Giuseppe’s for pick up to bring back to the room or one of the many community fireplaces.  If you’re feeling like a post dinner night cap it’s always nice to load up the groms in the stroller to take a desert nights stroll and grab a drink on the pool patio before retiring for the night.

Address: 701 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Website: http://www.acehotel.com/palmsprings

Salvation Mountain

Kahana KalamaComment
hoodrat salvation-1.jpg

Salvation Mountain was built by Leonard Knight and was largley popularized by the book turned film Into The Wild… well that and selfie hungry Coachella-goers.  It’s located just east of the Salton Sea and about an hour and a half from Palm Springs.  Salvation Mountain is Leonard's tribute to God and his gift to the world with its simple yet powerful message: "God Is Love."  This 50 foot tall folk art masterpiece was completely constructed out of local adobe clay and donated paint, however after visiting one can attest to the fact that Leonard’s is much more than a bunch of painted dirt.  Although it can be a little slippery for the little ones I’d still say it’s worth the visit.

Hours: Open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

Address: Beal Rd, Niland, CA 92257

Website: http://www.salvationmountain.us/

Cabazon Dinosaurs

Kahana KalamaComment
Sarah as a 4 year old at the Cabazon Dinosaurs

Sarah as a 4 year old at the Cabazon Dinosaurs

If you’re a child of the 80’s there’s a good chance you’ve seen these guys in movies like Pee-wee’s Great Adventure or gaming cult classic; The Wizard.  Chances are you recognize these dinosaurs on the side of the road as an honorable memorial to our formative years.  However, if you were born after 1989 you probably have no idea what we’re talking about.

All 80’s references aside, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are exactly what they appear to be…  a couple of oversized dinosaurs on the side of the road.  Sarah and I spend up to a few weekends per month out in Palm Springs and these dino’s serve as a pit stop for our car-sick inclined children.  If you’re desperate to spend a little more time beyond just posing for a few photos you can check out the creationist gift shop/museum located on the inside of the Brontosaurus (yes we know that the real name for this debunked beast is the Apatosaurus).  It’s free to admire from the outside and costs $7.95 and up to go into the Robotic Dinosaur & Museum & Gift Shop, but we wouldn’t recommend it. 

Address: 50770 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230-2304

Website: www.cabazondinosaurs.com