california · honeymoon · travel · trips · vacations · wedding

palm springs, disneyland, lulu california cafe + other desert adventures

whew! it’s been more than a month since i’ve posted {sorry!} but i feel like the whole ‘getting married’ thing is a pretty decent excuse! we’ve been married for exactly two weeks and one day, and we’ve loved every second of it. being married is so great. i’ll spare you the pg-13 details, but it’s way, way better than dating or being engaged. but actually, this post isn’t about being married. it’s about our trip to california!

i’ll post about the wedding when the pictures come in, so i’m starting a little backwards by posting about the honeymoon first.

when we were budgeting for the wedding, we basically figured out we couldn’t afford a honeymoon. ugh. we thought about spending 1-2 nights in park city, or just putting it on credit cards, but we were determined to make it out of the wedding debt free {life update: we did}. i’m not really sure how it happened, but matt ended up mentioning this to his long-time bestie trevor, who very graciously gave us his timeshare credit and we could use it wherever we wanted! we chose palm springs because we could get to it in just a few hours {well, 10} and it was close to some of the beauties of southern california, like the desert, disneyland and palm trees. plus, i will take any excuse to get back to my beloved golden state. and, most importantly, it’s where hollywood’s most elite escape when they need to ‘get away from it all’ {like their money, fame, general amazing lives in los angeles}.

we headed out after the reception and spent the night in park city. we decided to splurge a little and stay in one of the nicest five-star hotels in utah, the stein erickson lodge. it was definitely the most beautiful hotel i’ve ever stayed in, and they upgraded us to a room with a hot tub because it was our wedding night! they also had chocolates and a sweet card waiting for us in the room when we arrived.

Stein 1

{not the best lighting, but check out that fireplace!}

we had a really wonderful night {wink,wink} and spent the morning on the deck drinking hot chocolate and taking in the beautiful view. utah is very, very beautiful in the fall.

Park City

then we were on the road to california! the drive was long, which is not always our favorite, but we had a great time reliving the day before and opening our cards from the reception.

we arrived in palm springs tired but happy, and the next morning we set out for a late brunch. while on our honeymoon, i realized i haven’t taken a week-long vacation since i started working four years ago. sure, i’ve had time off at christmas, but it’s not the same as a week {not holiday-related} where you just get up late, go to brunch, and have no where to be! it was so nice.

our first brunch was at this amazing place on the main street of downtown palm springs called lulu california bistro. it was fabulous! i had eggs, turkey sausage with cinnamon and the most amazing toast. we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the 70-degree weather while the palm trees lining palm canyon drive swayed lightly in the warm breeze.

after our late and lazy brunch, we headed to the living desert zoo, which features desert animals and wildlife from drier climates all over the world. my favorite is always africa, as i am a huge giraffe fan. we got the feed these tall and elegant creatures {i consider the giraffe my spirit animal} carrots, it was such fun!


we also saw some real-life warthogs, and matt sat atop this statued one. what a cute man i married!


it was such fun and a wonderful day of just strolling around enjoying the sunshine!

tuesday we went to a little sales presentation for the time share we were staying in {for the record, by the end i was almost in} in order to get a few nights free and tickets to take the palm springs aerial tramway up into san jacinto state park and the chino canyon. the tram was about an 11 minute ride up to the ‘mountain station’ at the top of the mountains, where it was easily 30 degrees cooler than down in the valley {whoops.} we did some light hiking {nature walking, really} at the top, had some hot chocolate and then headed down.

aerial tramway

{selfie at the top!}

later in the trip, we threw caution to the wind and drove to orange county. we got up about 6 am to make the journey to disneyland, and we were not disappointed! i’ve always wanted to go there during halloween {fall is basically my favorite season} and so this was quite a treat. we rode all our favorite rides, including space mountain, the matterhorn, splash mountain, buzz lightyear {rode that gal twice}, haunted mansion, indiana jones, pirates of the carribean {a long-time wallace family favorite} and climbed all around tarzan’s treehouse {formerly the swiss family robinson treehouse, which i was devastated that they changed.} we did the fast-pass thing {the only way to do disneyland folks} and were basically done by 3 p.m. disneyland as a childless, young adult doesn’t have quite the magic, but it was still a really wonderful day!

disneyland 2

{matt really, really wanted a giant turkey leg. so we splurged and got it. it was $10.50, which is basically highway robbery. ANYWAY.}

disneyland 1

the last day of our honeymoon we just laid around. i wasn’t feeling great {berenstain bears and too much disneyland, maybe} but it was actually really nice! we napped, rented pitch perfect {that movie never gets old} and enjoyed each other {take that as you will}. vacations can be so relaxing if you let them!

all in all, it was a joyous honeymoon and we couldn’t have asked for a better week together. after the stress of the wedding, and just when you feel like you can’t even deal anymore, you whisk off on an amazing vacation that is forever treasured! we also want to say a huge thanks to matt’s friend trevor and his wife mindi for making our honeymoon possible.

i’ve said it once and i’ll say it again: being married is great stuff.




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