For the holidays, we went to visit friends and family in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. We were psyched and lucky to be there for a full ten days, since next year—with the new baby—we’ll probably be more homebound. Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…

Vacation Photos: LA and Palm Springs

First, we flew to Palm Springs to visit our families. We rented this rad house as a home base. The great thing about Palm Springs is that there are tons of design-y rental homes that are actually cheaper per person than a budget hotel. This year, our house came with a pool, hot tub and fire pit looking up at the mountains. We were pinching ourselves!

Like everyone who visits Palm Springs, we spent lots of time at the Ace Hotel. My twin sister Lucy came down from San Francisco, which was a real treat, and she and Toby quickly became inseparable.

We love eating at Cheeky’s for lunch, but this year it was a mob scene every time we stopped by. Luckily, my sister discovered the Sandwich Spot, which, while lacking in ambiance, has mouthwateringly delicious sandwiches. My favorite was the veggie sandwich on sourdough, but the meatball sandwich on dutch crunch bread was a close runner-up.

The day after Christmas, we said goodbye to our families and went to LA for a few days. We were lucky enough to stay at our good friends’ house in Santa Monica, and we stopped by the Santa Monica Pier to play Skeeball, watch the rollercoaster and eat French fries.

One morning, Toby and I got up early and went on a breakfast date to Thyme Cafe for their killer breakfast burrito.

Another day, we went to Forage in Silver Lake for lunch. We had a solid plan to share a burger, until it arrived…and Toby realized it didn’t come with fries. Heartbreak!

Our final afternoon, we went to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA. Shockingly, the security guard let Toby press the keys of Jack Nicholson’s typewriter from The Shining!

My favorite part was getting a behind-the-scenes peek at movie poster drafts, covered with scribbled critiques and edits. It reminds you how hard the process is.

While less impressed with the Kubrick exhibit, Toby did love this outdoor interactive sculpture with more than 2,000 yellow tubes that felt like cooked spaghetti.

Finally, we drove back to Palm Springs to meet friends for New Year’s Eve. We stayed together in this awesome house (seriously, the rental houses in Palm Springs are nuts), and spent lots of time relaxing at home, eating chips and olives, and playing Chinese Checkers.

At night, we’d hire a sitter and go to dinner: once to Norma’s and once to Melvyn’s, which felt straight out of Frank Sinatra’s 1960s. The waiters even sauteed the Steak Diane tableside!

The final morning of our trip, Toby and I made one last dash to the Ace Hotel. Crazily enough, we ran into my friend and photographer Anna Wolf, who busted out her camera. What a fun surprise to have an impromptu photo shoot! (The top two photos of this post, clearly, are hers:)

Overall, it was a wonderful trip. (Not pictured: early mornings, random tantrums, road-trip freak-outs, haha.) We miss you already, California!

(Top two photos by Anna Wolf; and rest by our family and friends.)