Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Break Part One - The Ace Palm Springs, etc

Spring Break at the Ace Palm Springs
I think one of the very worst parts of being a grownup is the absence of breaks.  As a kid and all the way into college (or grad school) you come to rely on things like winter break, spring break and summer to well... break things up.  Every fall is a fresh start, and every winter and spring you get a little time to take care of business, go on a trip, or just be for a little while.   Having a job has it's advantages, but I really miss those little refreshers - so this year I decided to take a spring break of my own.  It grew out of a trip to New Orleans (we leave tomorrow) and the fact that my nieces had last week off from school.  I'd told them I'd try to take them out to the Ace in Palm Springs for a quick overnighter in March - but the weekends don't really work (too debauched) and they can't miss school.   Hence, last week was the perfect time.   We drove out on Monday morning and didn't leave the property until noon the next day. 
Caelan & Emma
Jora came too and brought little Baby E.  The girls were fantastic with her, and she had a blast making friends with everyone.  (I think she was the only girl at the pool with rolls on her thighs and a belly.)
Sun Bunny Emilia - Instagram
I really do love the Ace. At least during the week it's a mellow scene.  There were a bunch of kids there since it was spring break for the public schools - but I'm sure that's not normally the case, and it wasn't really a bother anyway - they just played in the pool.  We had two good meals at the Kings Highway - I especially recommend the ALT sandwich - and the version where they add an egg and bacon at breakfast.  The coconut french toast was pretty decadent too.  They have great cocktails (I like the one with bourbon, ginger beer and blackberries) the service isn't pretentious, the rooms aren't expensive.  Jora got one with a little patio and a record player.  The record player was fun and it was nice to have a little room to spread out - especially with the baby.
Alice, Caelan and Emma at the Ace Palm Springs
Of course, we had to take this picture.  Alice, Caelan and Emma...
Jora at the Ace
and the lovely Jora with Emilia...
Wednesday morning coffee cake
When we got back, the girls spent another night, and I made a blackberry streusel coffee cake the next morning. There's nothing more indulgent than a lazy Wednesday morning with homemade coffee cake.  Then Emma hauled out the chess set and asked me to play.  We also played Battleship the day before - which they LOVED. (James and I couldn't stop saying "You sank my Battleship!" to each other, which of course meant nothing to them.)   
Playing chess with Emma
Their one request was to go to the tidepools in La Jolla.  We had to wait until late in the day for the tide to go out, so I took them to the mall to kill some time, and look at the new stuff for spring.  It was the first time they've shown any interest in shopping or clothes.  They were holding things up to each other at Anthropologie and trying on shoes at Nordstrom.  At home, Caelan picked up one of my issues of Vogue and said "I like to look at fashion magazines, they look cool."  Uh oh...
At Anthropologie
I'd forgotten that the tidepools at the south end of the beach are totally submerged at this point - those were the tidepools I used to go to as a kid, but that was, err... a long time ago.   We hopped back in the car and drove up to the north end of the beach by the pier, and they got to poke around for a while...  
Caelan & Emma at the Tidepools
Then we headed further north, and met their mom at Blue Ribbon Pizzeria.  I was coming down with a cold, we were wet and sandy from the beach, and their baby brother was fussy - so we decided to just get takeout and head our separate ways.  I ordered two pizzas and two salads and brought them all the way to  La Mesa from Encinitas - and I think the food was better than it was when we ate in the last time - believe it or not. Both of the pizzas - the signature and the father's special (or something like that) had their ricotta on them.  Do not miss that.  The salad with bacon and breadcrumbs and the tuna with avocado and grapefruit were similarly divine.  I definitely see inspiration from Pizzeria Mozza in their menu, and it's hard to go wrong with that.

Speaking of Pizzeria Mozza - I also went up to LA with a friend for a little shopping trip last weekend.   More on that is coming soon -  but now I have to pack for New Orleans.  Laissez le bon temps rouler!!   xxoo 


  1. would love the coffee cake recipe! I have a spring brunch this weekend and it looks so much more interesting than the muffins I had planned :)

    And good to know the Ace is sometimes kid friendly. I haven't taken mine to Palm Springs yet but I hate to stay at one of the big resorts.

  2. You are such a wonderful aunt! They are very lucky girls. :) Kids are so much fun around that age too. Looking forward to reading about New Orleans!

  3. Looks like you had fun. Love your blog.


  4. My son's spring break is coming up and we're headed your way for the week. The Ace sounds fun though...maybe next time!

  5. looks like such a fun trip. that sweet baby in the tiny skirt and necklace is just darling. lovely blog!