I love PS in the springtime, I love PS in the fall, I love PS in the winter when it drizzles, I love PS in the summer when it sizzles - and in PS, it sizzles often.

It's October (already), and for the rest of the country that means coats, boots, full length pants and socks, all of which I have not worn in many moons. It's still 90 degrees on the daily here in beautiful Southern California, and that means 100+ for the Inland Empire. So what better way to spend a fall getaway from the hot city than a mini-vacation in the sweltering desert!

I love going to Palm Springs - the pool, the relaxation vibes all around, central A/C, did I mention the pool? I could spend hours baking in the sun; if I wasn't prone to horrible burning, that is. When the sun is too much for my gentle, vampiric complexion I retreat inside where there's sure to be a chardonnay or summer ale with my name on it.

No makeup, no blow-out, no problem.

When I'm over lounging (I'm never really over lounging) I love exploring the more retro side of PS. For our daytime excursions this weekend, we chose to visit two desert classics: Sunnylands and Shields Date Garden.

Sunnylands, the former Annenberg Estate, is known for its gorgeous architecture and grounds - and for its celebrity clientele. They offer tours of the house, but we opted for a free walk around the visitor center a midst the succulents.

The Annenberg name is everywhere in LA, as wealthy philanthropic family names tend to be. Their huge, 200 acre Rancho Mirage estate was imagined as a "Camp David of the West," and many presidents have stayed there or held official events on the grounds.

Their personal impressionist art collection (name any big impressionist ever, and they had at least one - no joke) was held there until Mr. Annenberg's death in 2002, when it was donated to the Metropolitan Museum in NY. The rest of their collection, including works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Wyeth and Rodin, remains on the property.

There's a nine hole private golf course, numerous man-made lakes, and to top it off the concrete wall surrounding the whole dang thing is a bright, perfectly PS pink.

p/c Randy Heinitz

After our stroll, our blood sugar was getting dangerously low - time for a date shake at Shields Date Garden.

There are lots of date farms in the desert, but Shields is known for being the most...provocative. Their roadside signage begging visitors to "EXPERIENCE THE ROMANCE AND SEX LIFE OF THE DATE" began as a ploy to distinguish Shields from the other farms that sprung up in the 1940's and 50's, and now are welcome reminders of PS's history. There's a video and everything, narrated by Mr. Shields himself.

Obviously, we had to watch it.

After we listened to Mr. Shields explain the down and dirty of date farming, we strolled along the date palms themselves and perused the gift shop.

You are what you eat, I guess.

The weekend positively flew by - until next time, PS, I love you.

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