Hello Again

I was gone, but now I’m back…

As you may have noticed, Desert Wanderlust has been on a bit of a hiatus the first half of this year. Things got busy, life happened (again), excuses, and more excuses. Some of my excuses you may find interesting, and perhaps beneficial to your life, so this post may not be about an amazing Palm Springs adventure, desert oddity, or hot new eatery, but instead a bit of shameless self-promotion. I don’t intend to make a habit of it, BUT just thought I’d share a few of the reasons there have been a lack of desert adventures.

Things that have been occupying my time, and things that have been occupying my partner in crime’s time, resulting in a lack of overall free time include:

The launch of our small line of goods under the moniker Peaks and Valleys.

Peaks + Valleys

‘Inspired by the coveted “free” time we all work so hard to obtain, to explore what’s around us and what’s afar.

Founded by a couple who grew up in very different areas of the world, yet found themselves surrounded by peaks and in valleys that would nurture a love for nature and travel.’

The start of a new business venture for my husband, Windmill City Screen Printing.


Having owned and operated a local retail store for over ten years in the valley Glen noticed a lack of reliable and quality printers. To fill this void he started his own boutique studio servicing the needs of the Palm Springs area and beyond. Interested in having something printed? Email him for a quote!

Lastly, about 8 months ago I obtained my Real Estate licence.
Ashley Coy Real Estate ACRE Palm Springs

There’s a lot more to it than what they taught us in school! Luckily I’ve had some amazingly patient clients who’ve helped me learn a lot thus far. If you or anyone you know are interested, or just plain curious about residential real estate in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, feel free to contact me (Ashley Coy). No questions are bad questions!

It hasn’t all been work …we’ve managed to get in some play. However, in the few spurts of time we’ve managed to spare in the past 6 months we’ve packed our bags and boarded planes elsewhere. View our travels at sundaysfundays.com!



Salton Sea | International Banana Museum

Within the perimeters of our desert are numerous oddities and gems that contribute to the overall experience, making the area a truly unique destination. The International Banana Museum just happens to be one of those things you’re not going to find anywhere else in the world, and may be worth the 15 minute stop if you find yourself passing by.

international banana museum 01

international banana museum 02

international banana museum 03

Located in North Shore, just past Mecca and north east of the Salton Sea, the museum plays host to over 20,000 pieces of banana paraphernalia and has been awarded by Guinness World Records for having the largest collection devoted to any one fruit. Plush toys, sculptures, carvings, lotions, candles, toys, harmonicas, planters, cookie jars, statues, ash trays, pipes, dolls, squirt guns, matches, cards, blow ups, glasses, mugs, socks, shirts, hats, pencil sharpeners, earrings, necklaces, key chains, records, videos, books …you name it, they’ve got it. In addition they have an array of edible banana products including banana Twinkies (apparently the original Twinkie flavour), banana soda (which was a little strong in flavour for our liking), banana toffee, banana cake, and fresh-in-house made banana shakes!

international banana museum 04

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Fall in the Desert

No surprises about the weather around these parts. The temperatures have started to dip (to some extent!), but it’s still “shorts weather” and blue skies in Palm Springs (an average of 28°C/ 82°F in the day and 12°C/54°F at night).

Sometimes I miss the changing of the leaves and splashing around in puddles, but am just thankful that the summer has passed and that I no longer have to endure the endless 45°C /113°F heat and that every day is a good day to get out there and explore.

Stay tuned for some local Coachella Valley hikes in the next few weeks! It’s that time of year.

View from Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs

View from Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs

Eat + Sightsee

Indio | Shield’s Date Garden

Just over a hundred years ago dates were introduced to the Coachella Valley. Today, we’re still a major agricultural producer of them, with over ninety percent of American crops grown right here. Drive out to the eastern side of the valley and you’ll see acres upon acres of fields still maintained the old fashioned way – by hand.

One producer that has stood the test of time and capitalized on this sweet, little fruit has been Shields Date Garden, founded in 1924. As was practice from the very beginning, Shield’s grows their dates without chemical fertilizers or pesticides and retails them preservative free.

Shields Date Garden Palm Springs

Shields Date Garden Indio

The storefront is hard to miss with a thirty foot knight guiding you to the entrance. Most likely untouched for the past few decades, walking into Shields is somewhat like walking into a time warp. Vintage signage and decor are complimented and played up with the wide selection of tourist ephemera at the entrance. In addition to the tourist kitsch, you’ll find a huge selection of dates, date products, …and dried fruit and nuts.



Shields Date Garden Indio

Pony on up to the bar – that’s where you’ll want to be. Order a date shake for a true taste of the Coachella Valley. I’ve had my fair share of shakes from Palm Springs to Coachella, and Shields’ are still at the top of my list.

shields date shake indio

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High Desert Test Sites | Taking the Waters

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. Pardon the lack of updates throughout the month of September, life just got REALLY busy for a minute. We’ve been adventuring around Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley whenever possible, but mainly working.

Highlights over the past 6 weeks included seeing Modest Mouse up at Pappy & Harriet’s, attending the season opener of Cathedral City’s Farmer’s Market, and checking out Bar‘s new backyard playground/ event space, inclusive of croquet, bocce, and corn hole).


While we try to recover, play catchup, and master the art of time management, we thought it important to make known that we’re still around and still intend to cover what this desert has to offer. Although it is not our focus to cover current events, this one in particular caught our eye.

We are huge fans of High Desert Test Sites and had the great opportunity to attend last year’s outdoor, interactive series of art instillations. This year the managing director, Aurora Tang, is hosting a two day road trip through the desert called Taking the Waters.

Hight Desert Test Sites Lucid Stead

Lucid Stead, High Desert Test Sites 2013

High Desert Test Sites 2013

High Desert Test Sites 2013

Jumbo Rock High Desert Test Sites 2013

Jumbo Rock, High Desert Test Sites 2013

Secret Restaurant, High Desert Test Sites 2013

Secret Restaurant, High Desert Test Sites 2013

A bit about the event c/o HDTS: “[The tour] Taking the Waters is a two-day search for water in the desert. We will drive to and through some of the Mojave’s finest oases, natural pools, hot springs, rivers, reservoirs, and retreat centre and water park remains, and consider the cultural significance of water in the desert through a program of site-specific installations, performances, films, tours, and presentations.”

Zzyzx, 2012 (photo: Aurora Tang) photo c/o: highdeserttestsites.com

Zzyzx, 2012 (photo: Aurora Tang) photo c/o: highdeserttestsites.com

If you’re itching to get away, we strongly encourage you to check out this unique event, it’s sure to be informative, inspiring and at the very least, a bit of fun!

Things to know: