Ranch & Coast Magazine

February 2023

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Page 73 of 91

After dinner, we're fired up by a unique Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage bonding experience: Pívat Cigar Lounge. None of us are stogie aficionados. Regular guests come to this luxurious den to nosh, order a smoky or single- malt scotch, or just while away time burning some ash. We slip down into a circle of brown leather chairs and reach a state of familial Zen as if we are scions of Winston Churchill. e on-property Sunstone Spa is highly ranked both in California and North America. e fam can't wait to get into robes for a half-day spa experience. We fill up the chaise loungers at Sunstone's private pool and take advantage of the co-ed whirlpool. My wife and daughter enjoy the eucalyptus steam room — even before they figure out how to turn it on. e young guys are infatuated with the vibrating massage chairs in the men's lounge. We then report to separate treatment rooms for a Desert Rain Massage. Heated stones and desert botanicals (sage and lavender) relax our muscles and settle nerves. I'm probably not the only one laying on a massage table wondering why we don't do family travel more than once a year. e spa is a perfect amenity counterbalance to the bumpy morning tour we'd taken alongside the Indio mountains. We rode with Red Jeep Tours on the company's San Andreas Fault "Bones of the Earth" experience. Our guide, Cal, drove us in an open-air Jeep for three hours. He stopped and we disembarked to be fascinated by his explanations of how the native Cahuilla Indians interacted with the local plants, animals, and ever-shifting landscape. Fun fact: Seismologists can trace the location of the San Andreas Fault because shifting tectonic plates force water up to the surface, allowing a telltale row of palms to grow in the desert. That night's dinner, at colorful and popular Tropicale back in downtown Palm Springs, is another combo of good food and tasty table topics. Family style, we mix Holey Moley Nachos, Thai Lime & Chile Steak Salad, roasted tomato pizza, and other apps with fond recollections of Cal's seemingly utter devotion to the natural wonders of the Coachella Valley. Red Jeep Cal is now part of family lore. And, we're already weighing our options on where the trail will take us for our next set of shared travel memories. detour destinations Pívat Cigar Lounge The Red Jeep Tour << PÍVAT CIGAR LOUNGE: PHOTO COURTESY OF AGUA CALIENTE CASINOS THE RED JEPP TOUR: PHOTO BY RON DONOHO ranchandcoast.com 74 FEBRUARY 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

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