Experiencing Palm Springs in a Chevy Malibu Hybrid

chevypalmspringsroadI drive on a lot of road trips and one of my favorite places to venture is Palm Springs. The beautiful, open desert landscape reminds me of home and the minute I see the windmills outside of town, I begin to feel good. The road trip I took earlier this mont with my friend Mary Kay* was especially epic thanks to the Chevy Malibu Hybrid. We test drove the car from Los Angeles to the Parker Hotel and back and had a great time along the way.

I want to say that my first stop was to pick up Mary Kay, but I couldn’t help but stop in Beverly Hills (not on the way to her house by the way) to see if I could get a cup of coffee at the Luke’s Diner Pop Up. I’m a huge fan of Gilmore Girls and to celebrate the new season coming to Netflix, the show set up pop up Luke’s Diners in a few cities. I was sure that because it was Beverly Hills that Scott Patterson, the actor who plays Luke, would be there. He was, but the line of cars to get to the closest parking lot was around the block and the line of people waiting to buy coffee was hundreds of people deep. But I did manage to get a couple of pictures from the car (while safely stopped, of course).

Luke's Diner Pop Up in Beverly HIlls

After I got that out of my system, our adventure really began. We packed way too much stuff for two nights away with no kids, but we were definitely prepared for anything. Mary Kay and I were impressed by how much we could fit in the Malibu trunk.

The trunk of the Chevy Malibu Hybrid

Our first stop was the Desert Hills Premium Outlets to shop and then see the Cabazon Dinosaurs. I’ve driven by a million times, but never stopped before. It was so worth seeing them up close.

The Cabazon Dinosaurs are a fun stop on the way to Palm Springs

There was hardly any traffic on our Wednesday afternoon drive.The Malibu handed really well on our long journey on the 10. It was comfortable and got incredible gas mileage. I know it’s a hybrid, but I couldn’t believe that when we got to The Parker in Palm Springs the gas gauge was still at full. We used less than half a tank of gas to get from West Los Angeles to Palm Springs and back (with a pit stop in Rancho Cucamonga).

Once we got to the Parker, the relaxing began. The Parker is one of my favorite hotels and has a special place in my heart because it was (if I remember correctly) the first place my husband and I went to on our own after having kids. We dropped off our boys at my in-laws and stayed at the Parker for a night. It was years ago, but I remember seeing Julie Newmar, who was Catwoman in the 1960s, in the lobby. The lobby, and the rest of the hotel, is still pretty fantastic.

The Parker Palm Springs Lobby

We had a patio room that could not have been more delightful. The patio had a table, couch and hammock so we sat outside in the perfect weather, drinking coffee, chatting and writing.

The Parker Palm Springs patio room

The first night we were treated to dinner outside in one of the gardens. It was followed by s’mores by the firepit so we could chat with all of the interesting writers and editors.

S'mores at the Parker in Palm Springs

We started the next day with a group yoga class followed by spa treatments at the PSYC spa (Palm Springs Yacht Club – I had to ask) and some time to lounge by the pool.

Pool and Spa at the Parker Palm Springs

I did not know how stressed out I was until I had some time to relax at the Parker. It was so lovely to get away for a couple of days and not have to worry about carpool pickup, school lunches and everything else that goes along with being a mom. Plus there’s nothing like a moms getaway to make you remember the person you were before kids. Mary Kay had time to swim, get dolled up, have cocktails, and chat about nothing – when does that ever happen!

Mary Kay Holmes and Yvonne Condes in the hallway mirror at the Parker Palm Sprngs

Our last evening we headed over to the Colony Palms for a fabulous meal and even better conversation. The next morning we headed back to Los Angeles. But first we drove around Palm Springs.

Palm Springs

We stopped to pick up my mom who was visiting Rancho Cucamonga from Tucson. The Malibu fit another big suitcase and a third passenger comfortably. The Malibu is a great family car with many safety features including a lane departure warning, blind zone alert, forward collision alert and front and back park assist. I used the park assist a couple of times when I drove around my neighborhood.

It would be a great car for teenager or young person. When I had my first journalism job in Illinois, I drove my old, beat up car across the country. It barely made it. A couple of my friends there were also working at their first jobs and two had Chevy Malibus. I said that someday I would have a Chevy Malibu. I don’t own one now, but I’m happy that I was able to drive one and experience the hybrid. I was sad to give it back when we got back to Los Angeles.

Here’s a little more information on what’s new with the 2016 Chevy Malibu Hybrid

  • All-new from the ground up, with a longer wheelbase for greater comfort
  • Nearly 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter than its predecessor
  • New Malibu Hybrid offering GM-estimated 48 mpg in city driving
  • Standard Ecotec 1.5L turbo engine with fuel-saving Stop/Start technology
  • Teen Driver feature offers driving statistics for parents
  • New Chevrolet MyLink with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility
  • MSRP of $22,500 (including destination)

Disclosure: I received a 2016 Chevy Malibu Hybrid to drive for 4 days, a hotel stay, meals and spa treatments for me and a guest. All opinions are my own. 

*She’s the genius behind the Daily Hot Guy app. You must check it out.



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