Over the weekend, we packed up the kids and drove down to Palm Springs. It’s only about ninety minutes from us (unless there’s bad traffic), so it’s a perfect and easy getaway, and it feels like we’re on vacation even though we’re pretty close to home.

We stayed at the gorgeous Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage, and it made for the best weekend. The hotel staff was absolutely amazing and paid such special attention to my boys (they brought out a wagon of stuffed animals right as we checked in and let my boys each choose one, and then led them over to the candy bar where they each filled a cup with treats — they were in heaven!)
After a dinner at Matchbox, where I would highly recommend the sopressata and mushroom pizza, we walked around downtown and found a little frozen yogurt shop (my boys fave!) and stopped for a cup.

When we got back to the hotel, it was still early (and of course warm) enough for an evening swim, so we headed down to the family pool. The entire pool is only four feet deep, so the boys felt comfortable enough to swim around (or in F’s case, scoot hand over hand around the entire pool on the ledge). Everyone must have been at dinner still, because we had the whole pool to ourselves, which we loved.

The next morning, after a jumping on the bed session, we headed outside again. We played lawn games for a little bit (corn hole, bocce ball, and ladder ball), and then were off to the pool.
Fos fell asleep at the pool after a few hours, so we headed back up to the room where he promptly decided nap time was over. So we played in the hotel room for a bit, and then went down to the Ritz Kids club where we introduced the boys to foosball, ping pong, and jenga.
You can pay to leave your kids there during the day, but if you go in with them it’s free. So while the weather was scorching outside, we stayed cool inside and played. Fos playing ping pong up on the table was killing me — he was trying so hard to hit the ball without running off the table.
That night, the hotel hosted us at their State Fare signature restaurant. I always like to take waiter’s recommendations, so when he recommended the avocado fries for an appetizer and the short rib for dinner, we chose both. And they were both amazing — especially the short rib. So flavorful and so tender.
We finished with two desserts to share — the funnel cake with berries and nutella, and the brownie with salted caramel ice cream, which I was thrilled to discover when it arrived at our table that it was more of a molten cake (my favorite dessert!) than a brownie. Both were heavenly.
That night, we walked around the property and let the kids run around on the grass for a long time to burn off all their energy before bed. As we headed back to the room, we stopped to look through the hotel telescope and were able to see the planet Saturn. You could even see its rings so clearly! It was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, and B was so excited.
For our final morning, we all slept in and lazed around in the room until it was time for brunch. The State Fare restaurant has a beautiful brunch with made-to-order omelets, tons of fresh fruit, breads, cheese, meat, amazing house-made granola, baked goods, and they even brought us special chocolate croissants from the kitchen since they ran out before we got there. Definitely a good way to end the trip.
Also, I’m trying to be better about documenting our travel with video since I love going back and watching old videos of my family. So I threw together a quick video of our weekend and put it up in my new YouTube channel. I’m brand new to the editing part (well, and the filming with my DSLR part), but it was a fun learning process and I’m excited to do more in the future!A huge thanks to the Ritz Carlton for a fun weekend!
OUTFIT DETAILS: my swimsuit available is right here and comes in a few different colors, my coverup is no longer available in yellow, but it’s in stock in black and white right here. My hat is under $25 and is definitely a favorite. And my bag is available right here, and although it’s a diaper bag, it’s perfect for the pool or the beach because it’s waterproof and has tons of pockets.


  1. Meghan Flinn says:

    How fun! And all the food looked delicious! I like making videos of our trips too! But so far just use the iPhone for it.

  2. Christy Brown says:

    Looks like so much fun!! What did you use to edit the videos? That is such a fun way to re-live the vacation!

  3. Lindsay says:

    Merrick, this is such a cute way to remember vacations! I have to do some movies like this. What is the name of the song you used in this video I love it!!

  4. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I LOVED that video! I want to start making little videos of our trips like that so we can remember them better!


    • Merrick says:

      You should! I’ve been wanting to for so long and finally just forced myself to do it. My 5 yo was bugged at first, “mom, why are you filming me SO MUCH?” but I reminded him of the videos we’d watched at home that he loooved watching over and over, and told him this was going to be one of those. And then he didn’t mind at all 😉

      Now I just have to teach my husband how to work the DSLR video so I can be in more of the video too! 🙂

  5. love palm springs! looks like you had a lot of fun too!<3

  6. Jonny Kay says:

    Great Video! And that food!!!

    Checkout my online store: Jonnykay.com

  7. Sarah Polk says:

    Well, I’m jealous. My husband and I wanna take a weekend trip, but aren’t sure where we should go with a very (very) active 20 month old. Open to suggestions!


    • Merrick says:

      Where do you live?? I always have lots of suggestions 😉

      • Sarah Polk says:

        I just moved to the Houston area! And ironically like the day after commenting, my husband’s work wanted him to travel to New England next week, so we’re leaving tomorrow and making a weekend vacation of it! So I’ve had like 2 days to prepare my 20 month old for a 4 hour flight…. Hopefully we’re not escorted off the plane by US Marshals. I’m going to share my experience/disaster on my blog after. 🙂


      • Merrick says:

        Perfect timing! Have fun 🙂

  8. Ris says:

    Wait, is this a sponsored post? I really can’t tell…

  9. emdee says:

    Did you just tie your straps together? The linked swimsuit has clip-in straps…

    • Merrick says:

      Mine came with both options — halter, and over the shoulder straps. But it would be easy to tie together too since the straps aren’t slippery.

  10. Christina Weiss says:

    Love the vacation recap video. How much video did you record over the weekend to end up with a 5 minute video? Trying to gauge how much I should be recording.

    • Merrick says:

      Um, I don’t know…maybe 30 mins of total footage from the whole weekend? I just tried to get a few different shots of all the things we did so I had about 3-5 minutes of each activity or place. Then I cropped from there. I didn’t have my camera with me or ready at every event, so I missed a lot of shots that I wished I’d gotten once I started putting the video together. But you live and learn!

      I’d just try to keep the camera with you at all times, and then shoot for a couple minutes (at different angles, and of different family members), take a couple still photos (which you’ll also want later!), and then put the camera away and enjoy time with your family. That’s what I tried to do (I just didn’t bring my camera every time, like I should have!) And remember, you don’t need EVERY moment recorded to capture good shots and remember the event. Those quick shots are enough to capture the memories!

      Hope that helps!

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