The Great Wide Open

I spent last week in Palm Springs.

Brittany fun fact, I actually lived there as an infant, but have absolutely no recollection of the event save for some story about how we used to live near Jackie Coogan, who was Uncle Fester in the Addams Family television show, and that he held me one time.

Honestly, I’m pissed there are no photos of him cradling me with with a light bulb in his mouth, but I assume my parents were afraid to ask, much like the way I’m always nervous about asking Mary Kate to let me record her saying “how rude” for my outgoing voicemail message.

Anyways, it was an amazing five days at The Ace Hotel, a place you should absolutely, positively visit some day. It’s like part commune, part hipster hang-out, but less Ashton Kutcher and more James Franco and Shia LeBeouf. The food was ridiculous, the booze plentiful, and the people amazing.

We gathered there for a retreat that focused on the achievement of life goals, meeting up with our good friends Amber, James, Mary Lauren and Matt. We spent our days amongst the inspiring and social media elite, but our nights drinking like we were in college and eating pizza at 2am like we still had metabolisms.

Every morning, as we shlepped our aching, woozy bodies to the greasy bacon and runny egg temple of our reprieve, we passed this.

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we rented scooters and drove around the desert?

Hilarious? More like awesomest thing ever, we should totally do it.

*awkward giggles that melted into silence*

And then we sat there at our table; each of us quietly daydreaming about taking to the open road, buzzing through the mountains at sunset, exploring local restaurants, murdering transients and leaving them in the welcome center restrooms.

I can only speculate what everyone else was thinking about.

As we waited for the rental folks to show up, I began to get nervous. Sure, I can muck around the woods on a four wheeler no problem, but this was a shiny new scooter that goes a whole 35mph on the road, like, where the cars are.

After much debate, in an act of pure female submission, it was agreed that the boys would drive, and the girls would ride on the back. Ok, it was actually less about submission and more about me asking questions like…

Can I still ride one if I’ve never listened to Bon Iver?

What if I wear giant 80s headphones, not because I find them ironic, but because my ear holes are weirdly shaped and don’t accept earbuds?

How many tampons can I fit in the under seat compartment?

Can you get a DUI on a scooter?

I don’t know how to make left turns, will that be an issue?

Is this more fun or less fun than Justin Bieber has on his Segway?

We looked pretty bad-ass, and it was super invigorating having that much raw power between your legs. It was like a way pussier version of Wild Hogs, only with less hair plugs and homo-erotic undertones. No wait, the homo-erotic undertones were totally there, thank God.

We visited the homes of dead celebrities. Andy pretended to not know who Liberace was. I peed in a Pawn Shop. We ate roadside Korean food.

We rode for hours feeling a sense of freedom and happiness we’d never experienced before. At each stop light we looked at each other all, THIS IS THE GREATEST DAY OF OUR LIVES! WE MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS OUT OF EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD! LET’S NEVER STOP DOING THIS!

Eventually, my vagina cried uncle, so we pulled off the road into the mountains to explore and let things air out.

You know how when you go to the doctor’s office and you wait forever, and when you are finally seen and done, you go to get off the paper and there’s a wet spot, so you dump an entire travel size bottle of Victoria Secret Love Spell over the whole things so it will either look like your purse leaked or your crotch sweat smells awesome? Getting off a scooter after two hours is exactly like that.

Four hours later, as the sun started to set and I was numb from the waist down, we decided to head back. I can’t explain what happened in the desert that day. Perhaps that streak of wild that lies dormant in our over-scheduled, millennial hearts beat for the very first time, forever bonding each of us by our adventure into the wild, swearing to come back the same time next year, maybe even hitting up Joshua Tree with bags of peyote and Cool Ranch Doritos.

As we sat at the final stop light before our hotel, each of us lost in our own thoughts of the day, a car full of teenagers pulled up beside us in a navy rusted covered Grand Am, rolled down the window, and shouted “faggots!” at us before diving away.

‘Til next year, Palm Springs.



Facebook Comments



  1. mav76 says

    As always, picking up some amazing tips. Ordering LoveSpell immediately. Korean food gives me a panic attack. Fried eggs are not garnish nor should they be treated as such. Put that shit between two slices of bread, white as the pure driven snow,slathered with Miracle Whip as God and my mother intended.

  2. says

    Yeah, that wet spot is akin to “travel vagina”. Only kinda different. But totally kinda the same.

    I’m so glad you had the awesomest time ever, girl… good for you. And yes, you looked totally badass. (But you always do. I mean, I GUESS.) xox

  3. says

    Whereas those little scooters did 35, I have a 250cc scooter (lovingly called “The Coot Scoot”) that does around 70 (more in a pack of traffic where I can draft behind cars doing 80), get 65-75 miles per gallon (depends on how much Interstate riding I do) and is more fun to ride than a mechanical bull at a hillbilly bar.

    I heartily recommend riding scooters – they’re economical, high mileage little beasts that get you connected to where you are – open road and freedom are words that come to mind easily.

    I bought a Chinese scooter from an online retailer. It cost me 2 grand – delivered to the end of my driveway. A little minor assembly (windscreen and mirrors) and she was ready to ride. I ride her back and forth to work as often as weather permits (It doesn’t pay to get stupid and ride in the rain) – and I work 43 miles from home. It’s a Jonway YY250T – and it’s a world of fun to ride.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    • Brittany says

      Oh I have been online window shopping them LIKE CRAZY since I got home. We could only rent the little ones there because we didn’t have a motorcycle license.

  4. kathy says

    Murdering transients and leaving them in the welcome center!! So THATS how they get there?!!!
    You all are like the Sons of Anarchy for The Disney Channel! I love it!!!

  5. Mark says

    Wow you made scooter riding seem like a badass sport and not just for Shia Lebouf. Your imagery astounds me- as always- and keeps me laughing until I can’t breath.

  6. says

    The last part had me laugh out loud. I think some teenagers need to explore life beyond Palm Springs.

    Next year I can bring the Cool Ranch Doritos for some Joshua Tree time. It’s been years since I have been out there and in my mind it will totally be like it was in high school or on TV. The two get blurred sometimes.

  7. Sara says

    Love the pic of you and Andy where he has one arm draped around you all tough and Grease-lightning-esque and the other hand holding a helmet. It’s like hipster bad-assery all around.

  8. says

    AWESOME!! If you come back to Dallas i’ll give you a ride on my Harley. Oh that might look funny so i ‘ll let my boyfriend give you a ride on my Harley. Then you can have the full on real effect of a numb vagina. I’ll even let you wear my leather vest. :)
    My aunt lives in Palm Springs and i had the best visit last year. We rode that cool tram up the mountain and hang drinks up at the top. Its so weird that its all hot desert below but take the tram and you’re on top of a snowy moutain where people are using their ski boards.
    Those are great pics you took!

  9. TJ says

    We rented scooters in Key West one time. I thought it sounded like such fun and it was cheap! My husband loved it. We were up with the chickens as he drove all over that island at least a hundred times. Said he never felt so good, so free. Two months later he bought a Harley. One year after that he bought a bigger Harley. One little scooter rental has morphed into spending THOUSANDS. So glad we made that trip…

  10. Miss Jeeves says

    Ohhhh, you make me miss all the wonderful things of my sweet desert home on this grey and dreary New Hampshire day. Sunshine, warmth, the sunsets, random nights at the Ace pool (with my pup, of course), off-roading and my precious mountains.

  11. erica says

    Beautiful pictures! I just love the Palm Springs area. Our good friends used to live there and visited all the time but then they moved the dude to Arkansas. Yes, Arkansas. We miss them. I had the funnest drunk golfing experience of my life there. I even drunk dialed my Dad and didn’t even remember speaking to him. It was 4th of July and about 200 degrees as well so maybe I had some heatstroke. :)

  12. says

    “Eventually, my vagina cried uncle, so we pulled off the road into the mountains to explore and let things air out.”

    Holyshit, I laughed so hard. I’m so glad someone at Camp had the courage to ride the Vespas, and I’m even more glad someone with your humor told the story. LOVE.

  13. says

    Wow. Now I feel the need to stop making excuses as to why I can’t visit my friend in L.A. Weekend in Palm Springs? I think yes.

    Except I know my boyfriend will not accompany me, which leaves me driving my own scooter, which gives me traumatic flashbacks to that time my aunt tried to teach me how to ride a dirt bike, and I ended up crashing into her eucalyptus plant and tearing the thing up by the roots. She was actually pretty happy. She’d been trying to kill that thing for years, to no avail, and I managed to take it out in one tiring burning swoop.

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