Take a walking tour of inns in Palm Springs

Last year at this time, I was huddled in a borrowed winter coat, making the rounds at the annual Palm Springs “Walk of the Inns.” It was particularly cold all week, breaking low temperature records both day and night. But the frigid, dry air didn’t stop anyone from coming out of their warm homes for this holiday celebration.
The free event takes participants on a self-guided walking tour of Palm Springs’ unique boutique hotels and historic inns. We began our walk at the Palm Springs Art Museum, where volunteers distributed free flashlights, then followed the map to the various hotels in the neighborhoods between Ramon Road and Tahquitz Canyon Way. Many of the establishments welcomed visitors with hot libations and cookies in between all the holiday chatter.
I stayed at the historic Casa Cody, the city’s oldest operating hotel and a Class I Historic Site. It was founded in 1920 by Harriet Cody, cousin by marriage of Buffalo Bill Cody, and the hotel’s warm and inviting Southwest décor couldn’t be more perfect for a chilly desert night. The owners of the 28-room hotel focus on details and aesthetics; the pool and patio are a quiet retreat cocooned in well tended landscaping, and beautifully accented rooms are meticulously maintained. The downtown attractions are just a few blocks away. Rooms start at $99. Visit www.casacody.com for details.
Palm Springs also has the country’s largest collection of mid-century modern architecture, which you can see throughout the neighborhoods and everywhere downtown. If you want your accommodations to take you back about 50 years, you must not miss the Orbit In. Visit www.orbitin.com for details.
Staying in one of its retro rooms will have you saying, “Oh, my gosh, remember this?” as you discover lava lamps, boomerang furniture, starburst wall clocks and Elvis and Pat Boone vinyl albums you can play on the record players.
You won’t have to leave the ‘50s and ‘60s when you step outside, either. If you are of a certain age, you’ll recognize the plastic pool furniture that rings the pool. Spread your towel and enjoy a
spectacular view of the nearby mountains that look close enough to touch.
The Orbit In provides contemporary amenities where they are most important. Rooms include flat screen TVs and pillow-top beds with high-thread-count linens. After all, the good ol’ days can be taken only so far.
For information on this year’s “Walk of the Inns” Dec. 9, visit www.walkingtouroftheinns.com. To see a list of the many events in Palm Springs happening in the next few months, see www.visitpalmsprings.com.
Much-needed cell solution (SUBHEAD)
A cell phone is a wondrous tool, but it’s only as good as the life of its battery.
I’ve discovered this on a few occasions when traveling and found my cell has no more juice just when I needed it most.
An Orange County-based company called mophie has come up with a solution — a cell phone case with a rechargeable external battery. Called the “juice pack air,” the case is both protective and provides additional battery power. The juice pack will fit iPhones 3G, 3GS and 4G. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of these, so I asked my friend, Laurie, to give the device a test drive. Here’s some of what she said:
“Having a reserve power supply is REALLY nice. I let my phone run completely down and then turned on the juice pack. It charged the phone up right away. I showed the juice pack to (a co-worker) who always has the newest tech toys. He hadn’t seen it and really liked its slim profile and cool (purple) color. He had seen a similar device, but it was a lot bulkier.”
Laurie noted that the case is a bit slippery, but she gives the juice pack a thumbs up. The device retails for $50 to $65.

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