Palm Springs, San Diego & Halloween – October 2017

I’ve already written about the beginning of October where we saw Coldplay and the Foo Fighters in one weekend but the rest of the month was so busy I thought I would do a bit of a round up in one post. The husband spent most of the month back in the UK, and I had one of my closest friends come out to visit for 10 days.

I love having visitors, it really means a lot that people are willing to make the journey from the UK to come over to California. I always try to make sure they get a lot out of it and have an amazing trip. It was so nice to have one of my girlfriends visiting, it felt like a proper girls holiday! Here is what we got up to:

Universal Studios

I’ve been to Universal a couple of times before, but it is always such a fun day out. It isn’t jam packed with rollercoasters like Six Flags, but it has lots of varied rides with movie and TV themes, from Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and The Mummy to The Simpsons and The Walking Dead. We went with another of my friends and her sister and we managed to spend the whole day there, even going on some of the big rides twice (helped by the fact we were given lots of front of line passes after getting stuck on the Transformers ride for 20 minutes!)

Palm Springs

It’s only about 6 weeks since I last went to Palm Springs (you can read about it here). I knew my friend would like it and as it’s only a 2 hour drive away I booked a night there. As it was midweek we got a great deal at the Marquis Villas Resort. We got a whole apartment for about $100 for the night. We set off in the morning and when we arrived we just spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool.

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After enjoying a bottle of prosecco on our balcony in the evening we headed to the downtown area and stopped at the Tonga Hut Tiki Bar for cocktails. 2 of the cocktails on the menu were served in a fresh pineapple and a coconut, so of course we had to order those!

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We ended up staying for a couple more cocktails and the barman showed us the secret room at the Tonga Hut, hidden through a phone booth! If you are ever in Palm Springs I highly recommend checking this bar out. We went from there to another bar where we got some food, and didn’t end up getting back to out hotel until about 2am!

San Diego

After a late night in Palm Springs, we slowly made our way to San Diego the next morning, taking the coast road and stopping for lunch along the way. We had booked the Ramada Hotel in Downtown San Diego, and it was perfectly located for the Gaslamp Quarter. The hotel was fine, a little old but it was all we needed for the 2 nights.

After dropping our stuff off and freshening up we headed out for a wander and stopped for some Happy Hour mimosas before tacos. I had read about a Prohibition Bar nearby which we wanted to check out, so we headed that way after dinner. I love a bar with some character which is why I like to find Prohibition Bars, in fact we found a couple when we went to San Francisco for New Year.

This was called Prohibition Lounge and the entrance is right on 5th Street in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s a sneaky doorway for Eddie O’Hare’s Law Office that you go through and down the stairs to a 1920s lounge. They had a band playing too so we had a couple of cocktails and spent a couple of hours in there.

The next day we had the biggest portion of pancakes at the very popular Richard Walkers Pancake House (we shared pecan pancakes and could barely finish between the 2 of us!) before heading to San Diego Old Town on the trolley. There is a huge Mexican influence in San Diego (the border with Mexico is practically 10 minutes out of the city) and the Old Town State Park really gives you a feel for that. As it was nearing the beginning of November the whole area was decked out for Day of The Dead Celebrations which was interesting to see.

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We made our way to Mission Beach and had a little walk along the beach before stopping for at a bar with a view of the ocean for the sunset and a bottle of prosecco. Unfortunately the cloud came in so we didn’t get to see the sunset!

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We headed back to downtown and found another couple of cool bars in the Gaslamp Quarter. The first was called Trailer Park After Dark and it had a few replica ‘trailers’ or caravans to sit and have your drinks. It was good fun! We also stopped off at The Donut Bar, a shop selling HUGE donuts but it also has a bar so we shared a delicious lemon and pistachio donut while enjoying some pineapple cider!

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Halloween Party

After a great few days exploring some of Southern California we headed home as my friend was having a Halloween party on the Saturday night. I’m rubbish at fancy dress and never have a clue what to dress up as. As a kid I always cut some holes in a bin bag and got a plastic hat with that crazy curly green hair, and went trick or treating as a ‘bin bag witch’. I’m sure most people have memories of that as a kid?! So I decided this year I would go retro and dress as a bin bag witch! The party was great fun and we spent the next day feeling a little worse for wear, so after a trip to Trader Joes for some tasty hangover food we spent the rest of the day on the sofa watching films.

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The Kill Bill Church

About 30 minutes from where we live, in the middle of nowhere, is the filming location from the church scene in Kill Bill. I’ve never been so on my friends last day we drove out into to desert to see it. Unfortunately there were a lot of signs up warning off trespassers, so we took a few photos from the car without getting out. It’s so strange to think how someone would find this location for a movie, it’s very isolated and you wouldn’t be just driving past one day.

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That’s about it for October and my friends visit. I hope you still find these round up posts interesting. I’ve stopped posting them every week as I thought they were getting a bit boring, but I’ll do one of these every now and again when I have a few things to say that don’t need a whole post. We’ve been on a few trips recently so I’ve got lots more posts to write!

 

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