On our Christmas vacation, after spending the four days in L.A., we headed to Palm Springs to meet Alex’s mom and sister. We all stayed together at this rental house. The house was totally tricked out–with a huge pool, a waterfall, a hammock, a fireplace, and toilet seats that automatically opened when you walked into the bathroom (seriously, they had sensors!). Bonus: Crazily enough, it was actually cheaper per person than a budget motel.

We took Toby swimming for the first time. He sort of loved it for a few minutes…and then decided he hated it. :)

One morning, I took a quick shower and came outside to find Toby and Alex playing “helicopter.”
I have to say, it made my heart swell a little bit :)

Here’s the Toby-eye-view!

Toby loved chilling with his grandma. And check out the mountain views! The desert is so gorgeous. (We heard a freaky story about a now-infamous tourist couple who took the tram up the mountain and then decided to stroll back into town. “It’s just a short walk,” they figured. “Doesn’t our hotel look close from up here?” All they had was a pack of chewing gum, and no maps or hiking gear. Five days later, they were rescued.)

Right before Christmas, we thought it would be cool to take a family photo, inspired by these old shadow shots. It didn’t really work, but we tried!

Another morning, we went to Ruby’s Diner, and Toby tried mashed banana for the first time.
Despite a valiant attempt…
…he was not impressed. (His expression cracks me up.)

Another afternoon, Alex, Toby and I snuck off for a couple hours and went to the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, which has a rad pool and is amazingly family- and dog-friendly.
Alex immediately got a beer and parked himself by the hot tub.

Toby and I hung out on deck chairs…
…and dipped our feet into the gorgeous pool. Everyone there was really friendly and chatty; it felt like being at a party. :)

And on the walk home, Toby fell asleep in the stroller…

…and since he’d wake up if we stopped moving, we had to keep going…

…so we walked in circles around a cul-de-sac…

…over and over…

…for a half hour…

…ahhh, vacations with a baby! :) It was a wonderful, restorative trip and made us much more confident about family travel and, honestly, parenting in general. Sometimes it takes a break in your routine to show you what you can do. Thanks so much for reading! Have you been to Palm Springs?

A couple other favorite things: Renting fat-tired bikes, everything on the lunch menu at Cheeky’s, and the local speciality: delicious date milkshakes. Any other tips, my lovelies?