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Floating in the Desert

Managing editor Jackie Bryant heads to warmer ground for a babymoon at Palm Springs’ Azure Sky Hotel
Courtesy of: Azure Sky Hotel
Azure Sky Hotel

Azure Sky Hotel

Courtesy of Azure Sky Hotel

Toward the middle of my pregnancy, I had a sneaky suspicion that mine would get difficult (spoiler alert: it did), so I wanted to log as much movement as possible while I still could. Midwinter, I decided we needed to skip town for a couple of days, but it had to be cushy, so my husband and I found ourselves hoofing it over the San Jacinto Mountains to Palm Springs.

Our destination, the recently overhauled Azure Sky, a mid-century modern desert outpost, was exactly what I had in mind. Chic but not overbearing. Boutique but spread out enough that you weren’t on top of other guests. Vintage in concept but obviously updated. Things were so new, in fact, that it had just gotten its liquor license the day we arrived.

“Would you like a mezcal cocktail from our new bar?” the bartender-slash-front-desk-manager asked. I declined, but my husband accepted; within minutes, we were installed in our suite-like room, he with a spicy, mezcal-spiked tepache in hand.

Azure Sky Hotel, room

Azure Sky Hotel, room

Courtesy of Azure Sky Hotel

Lurking just outside our room was the communal pool area. By this point, it was about 8 p.m., and the sun was long gone. We donned our branded hotel robes and sauntered through the gates, checking out the patio with its cute striped umbrellas and long outdoor gas fire pit that sits next to the pool and jacuzzi.

One of the great tragedies of pregnancy is that the person with child is not allowed to use a hot tub. I know. It’s ridiculous! I can’t think of another time in life when one would want to use a hot tub more, save for after running a marathon or something equally physically strenuous. That’s not one of the things “they” tell you before you get knocked up, at least not in my experience, and after sharing that fact with a lot of other people, it seems to be, at best, variably known.

Nonetheless, I was out of luck as far as luxuriating in an ultra-hot bath with jets was concerned. Too bad, because Azure Sky’s jacuzzi is really nice, and Palm Springs, with a much more visible starscape than we have in San Diego and cooler nighttime temperatures, is the perfect place to marinate in a bubbly human broth.

Azure Sky Palm Springs Pool Night

The pool at the Azure Sky Hotel in Palm Springs

Courtesy of: Azure Sky Hotel

Not one to make others around me suffer needlessly, I told my husband it was fine for him to use it; I’d just stick my feet in. And then I remembered something we were told as we were checking in: The pool is heated. Which, whatever, so is every hotel pool. But to what temperature? I glanced 10 feet to the right, watching steam rise off the pool’s glowing surface, and decided to test the water with my hand. Piss-warm. I squealed. “VICTORY!” I shouted in the general direction of my husband, who looked at me as if I was insane. I felt it. I was deliriously happy.

I fired off a quick DM to the hotel’s marketing manager, who confirmed, yes, it’s kept in the mid-90s range so that people can go in all year long. A Google search assured me that the danger zone for fetuses is above 102 degrees, sealing my fate. I disrobed and jumped in, letting the bath-like-but-not-TOO-bath-like(!) water ensconce my swollen, lumpy, and tired body.

Desert mission: accomplished.

By Jackie Bryant

Jackie is San Diego Magazine's content strategist. Prior to that, she was its managing editor. Before her SDM career, she was a long-time freelance journalist covering cannabis, food/restaurants, travel, labor, wine, spirits, arts & culture, design, and other topics. Her work has been selected twice for Best American Travel Writing, and she has won a variety of national and local awards for her writing and reporting.

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