Making Christmas away from family and friends something special.
When planning our route earlier in 2018, I knew we’d end up being away from family and friends for Christmas. Just in case, we reserved Christmas week at a place where people could stay in a lodge room if they flew down. As it was, no one was able (or willing) to fly around Christmas. (I can’t imagine why not. 😉 ) The place we stayed was the Palm Canyon Hotel and RV Resort in Borrego Springs. It was perfect!
The resort had good-sized spaces that weren’t too close together. It was on the outside of town, but groceries, restaurants and shopping were just a few minutes away. The resort itself had a great restaurant/bar that was often full (so get there right at 5pm.) The food wasn’t extraordinary, but it was good, as were the drinks and the service was great! It was really nice – probably too nice – to have that on the property. The visitor center for Anza-Borrego State Park was within walking distance. It’s a certified Dark Sky Park and they have all kinds of interpretive events going on year round from night sky viewing to archaeological and native plant tours. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the time to do these; but they’re on my list for next time!
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we toured Galleta Meadows. These are “Sky Art” metal sculptures spread around the desert. They originally started because a local landowner (and heir to the Avery label company) wanted to add something to his desert property and had seen the work of artist/welder, Ricardo Breceda. There are now over 130 sculptures in what is called Galleta Meadows. It’s far to spread out to walk, so I recommend parking in an area and exploring on foot, then driving to another area, and so on. Note: You’ll be off-roading a bit but most cars should be able to handle it if you’re careful. We saw a Prius out there! Oh and bring water! It was warm and dry even in December.
I took so many photos that it would bog down this post, so here’s one plus a link to the online album including a couple of short videos.
I wanted to have a nice Christmas dinner, so I looked around online back in October and found the Coyote Steakhouse, which is located in the Palms Hotel at Indian Head. The food looked amazing, so I made a reservation and confirmed it a couple of weeks before we arrived. We drove out to the hotel earlier in the day just to see where it was. We were a little nervous because it looked like something out of a thriller – dusty, no one around, and architecturally from the 1950s. But…when we went inside, we found it was well-kept and obviously intentionally keeping the look of the 1950s and 1960s. They’re proud of the fact that people like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and many others used to stay there. Walking into the lounge and dining area, I felt as though I had stepped back in time. Not in an over-the-top way, but the space held that nostalgic ambiance. Our meal was excellent and the service exemplary. I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas dinner!
We came into Borrego Springs from San Diego and chose the route with the lowest of the steep grades. We have a diesel pusher, but exhaust brakes can’t do it all on those really steep downhills. It also doesn’t save your cat from being motion sick while going 55 mph through miles of dips and curves. Poor Coyote. Check out our “Downhill into Borrego” and “Dips and Curves” videos to see what it’s like getting into and out of Borrego Springs!
Borrego Springs was a fun place to spend Christmas week. Besides the above, there’s a decent grocery store and we found other good restaurants. There’s tons of hiking and, if it’s your thing, off-roading in the surrounding area. You can also go back up the hill a few miles to a turnout with a view of the whole valley. I’d be happy to go back to Borrego Springs and explore more any time!
Thanks for reading, friends, and remember to live the journey…