The Living Desert

On our second day in Palm Springs, we were all set to go hot air ballooning. But, when that dreadful call came at 5:00 a.m., telling us the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, we were a little disappointed to say the least.

Luckily, I don’t think either of us was opposed to sleeping in, and we awoke later that morning to the sun shining. After breakfast at the hotel, we looked at the list of our other potential itinerary ideas.

Setting ourselves on a visit to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens.

Now, a zoo is a zoo, but I’m always down to see a few animals. But, what really got me there this time, was the fact that you can feed the giraffes. Yes, you read that correctly.

As feeding time wasn’t quite open yet, we took the liberty of meandering our way around.

Checking out the storks.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

Admiring the zebras’ stripes.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

Watching the hyena’s play.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

Getting a little too close for comfort with a leopard.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

IMG_7877And watching the wart hogs laze in the afternoon sun.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

Because Palm Springs is really a desert, all of the animals were those that would actually live in the climate – making their enclosures and set ups a little truer to form. In many cases, a glass wall was all that separated you from the wildlife – meaning that you could get epically close up.

And then of course, came the shining moment.

For the low price of $5, you get a handful of chopped carrot sticks and stand on a platform.

the living desert palm springs

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Hold one out and the giraffe will move its head close to you, sticking out its long leathery tongue and wrapping it around your hand, snatching the carrot in its grasp.

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I’ll admit, it’s not the greatest feeling as it slobbers all over you, but hey, it’s once in a lifetime.

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the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

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There was even a baby, which would peak its little tongue through the fence and demand its fair share of attention.

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We each took turns feeding the giraffes before applying an overdose of hand sanitizer on the way out.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

There wasn’t a ton to look at, so after the giraffes we were pretty much done our tour.

We took a little time to walk through the gardens and then decided it was time to make our way back to the hotel.

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

the living desert palm springs

When we got back, we decided to head out for a date shake at the one and only Shields Date Garden before some much-needed relaxing time by the pool.

Palm Springs used to be one of the world’s largest date producers, and Shields still maintains a healthy dose of date farms for your tasting experience. There were way more date flavours and stuffed dates then I had expected – or knew even existed – and we enjoyed walking through the shop, picking out bits and pieces to try.

shields date gardens palm springs

shields date gardens palm springs

The shake though, beat all of our expectations, with its cool and creamy caramel flavour. It’s quite filling though, so be sure not to eat beforehand (or even afterwards!).

shields date gardens palm springs

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They were quite large, so we took turns sipping our way through one.

shields date gardens palm springs

shields date gardens palm springs

After that, we headed to the Nest for dinner & dancing (a palm springs staple), but realized it really wasn’t our scene and called it an early night!

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