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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Coachella Valley Days 2 & 3

We had a pretty chill day on Tuesday. Sophia made crafts at the resort rec center while I did an exercise class in the pool. We went to lunch at Native Foods Cafe in Palm Springs and absolutely fell in love with the place! Yes, everything on the menu is vegan, scratch made, and organic when possible, but besides that, it was some if the tastiest food we've ever had! I had African Peanut Soup and Ensalada Azteca with a watermelon drink. Sophia had "chicken" nuggets & fries with lavender lemonade. We shared a ginger pie and an oatmeal creme pie, and it was too much to finish.

From there, we drove to Shields Date Gardens in Indio so I could stock up on a variety of dates. We picked up a few other specialty items to try there as well. Sophia is looking forward to trying the date syrup on her morning waffles. We stopped at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on the way back to our condo and relaxed with some seasonal coffee drinks, made with almond milk, of course.

We were at the resort only long enough to change into some warmer clothes before heading back to The Living Desert for their Wild Lights display. There were zillions of lights and the park looked beautiful, but we discovered that we are weather wussies. It was 56 degrees and we were freezing! We are official Cali Girls. 

We got to meet an opossum, an African hedgehog and a tarantula.  I passed on petting the spider, but my animal-loving darling daughter did it. 

When we couldn't stop our teeth from chattering any more, we headed to Yardhouse in Rancho Mirage. Sophia loves their Gardein buffalo wings and I love their spicy roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce. We also shared some chilled edamame, roasted Brussels sprouts and hummus. We took the leftovers with us and ate them for breakfast. 

We ended the evening playing the longest game of Crazy Eights ever. I was so tired that I'm not even sure who won. 

Wednesday morning, after finishing off the Yardhouse leftovers, we checked out. I had promised Sophia one game of pool at the red center, and the. We were on our way to the Indian Canyons. 

We timed our arrival to catch the ranger talk at the Trading Post. He was a handsome Apache with a Mohawk and long salt and pepper braided ponytail. He taught us about the Agua Caliente Indians, the canyons and history, and answered questions. He also told us this riddle:  when an Indian lights up a cigarette, what is he about to do? (Answer at the end)

We slathered on some coconut oil, grabbed our binoculars & water, and headed down the path to the Palm Canyon trail.  I shared my knowledge of the desert plants and their specialized adaptations and pointed out some geological highlights. Ha! There are always homeschool opportunities with us!

We were in the canyon for almost two hours and ready for lunch when we returned to our car. I had picked out another vegan restaurant to try, but we both just wanted to return to Native Foods. This time I had blackened tempeh tacos--the best tacos I ever had--and super slaw. Sophia had a bacon cheeseburger (seitan) and we shared a peanut butter parfait. I bought one of their cookbooks and we WILL travel to Encinitas soon to enjoy anotheR Native Foods meal. 

We spent the next two hours walking along Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and browsing the shops. We picked up a few small gifts for Christmas and enjoyed another coffee treat at The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf before heading back up the Pines to Palms Highway. 

It was a short trip, but we enjoyed ourselves. We hope to find time to return before Spring and ride horses in one of the canyons. We love the Coachella Valley!

 Answer to the riddle:  He is about to text.   DO YOU GET IT?

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