Around this time last month, with an end to COVID nowhere in sight and our normal European summer cancelled, our family decided it was time to get out of our house. The desert was the natural choice, since we all love it there. We carefully weighed the risks, especially since I am at a higher risk of contracting COVID and having potential complications (due to lupus). We looked at rental houses on Airbnb, since that just seemed…well, safer. Apparently, everyone had the same idea. So we began researching hotels. Our favorite Palm Springs hotel, the Parker, is closed until August. We looked at other area hotels, and I was very serious about looking into their sanitation and disinfection procedures. The Saguaro seemed like a winner. It was newly reopened, and their COVID protocol looked legit. We booked. Our friends decided to join us, which made our escape even more exciting.

Arriving in Palm Springs felt like touching down on an exotic island. It felt so good to be in a different environment! Lily couldn’t wait to hit the pool. A note on pool procedure: masks stay on when walking around (basically when not swimming or sitting in socially distanced lounge chairs). Her favorite doll, Allison, was swim ready.

It took me a little longer to really get comfortable. The desert heat made swimming a necessity, and the mix of cool water and colder wine slowly relaxed me into vacation mode.

The other thing I worried about was dining. Other than occasional takeout, we’d eaten every meal at home. Except for one empty Thai restaurant, we stuck to outdoor dining. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the system worked. Masks on for the servers at all times, tables far apart, paper menus, the whole deal…

By far, the best meal we had was at Eight4Nine. Brandon and I love that restaurant, and I’m so glad my friend Shelby thought of it when we were looking for a place to have dinner on our last night. Their outdoor courtyard was stunning. My dinner was beyond delicious. I had crab and corn chowder and an ahi tuna poke bowl, and nothing disappointed me.

Palm Springs was the perfect three day getaway. Things are still terrible here in Los Angeles, but a few days away restored my peace and sanity amidst the chaos.