Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Life In Twentynine Palms Part I

Living in Twentynine Palms, CA is definitely an experience.
You really have to make an effort to learn about the area in order
to appreciate it and feel ok about making it your home.

I remember moving here and being so curious. I kept asking
people "What do they have there?" and they would say "What
do you mean?" and I would say "What do they HAVE? What is
there to do?" I just pictured a ghost town with tumbleweeds.

The first time I drove in to 29, I pretty much accepted my fate.
"Yep, it's a ghost town and there are tumbleweeds." and I
proceeded to spend almost every day holed up in my house.

It wasn't until I met some friends who had lived here for a while
that I started to see what this town had to offer. Once I started
to discover these hidden gems, I grew to like it.

Here are some things I recommend around here:

Eating Out

There are a few fast-food places here that we're all familiar with.
McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Del Taco, Subway, Quiznos, Burger
King. KFC, all the popular pizza delivery places. On base there is Carls Jr,
Taco Bell and Five Guys. The PX also has a Jamba Juice and Starbucks
as well as a food court with a couple different options.

There is a popular taco shop in town called Santana's. I grew up in
Southern California though and was raised on greasy taco shops. We
really like the food there and they are famous for their California Burrito.
The best part is they have a drive-thru! (This was a hot spot for me
while hubby was deployed!)

For Chinese food I have only tried two local places. Top 100 (they deliver!)
and TK Donuts & Chinese Express which is similar to Panda Express and its
easy to take the kids there for a quick meal. I like the food at both of those
places or I wouldn't be posting about them here!

Some other local restaurants I recommend are the 29 Palms Inn, Palm Kabob,
and Bistro 29. These are tried and true, people! There are still a few places I
need to try around here and I will add them into a Pt 2 post :)

For cold treats we really like Splash and Foster's Freeze. We also occasionally
pick up ice cream at the counter inside Rite-Aid. There is a frozen yogurt
place on base but between me and you, I'm not a huge fan.

For Fun

People like to pretend that there is "nothing to doooo" around here.
It's not San Diego, but there is a lot available if you look around.

One big favorite past-time around here is Joshua Tree National Park.
They are actually offering a free annual pass to military members right now.
I highly recommend taking advantage of this deal! When we first moved
here, we purchased the annual pass for $30. It more than paid for itself by
the amount of times we visited the park. If you don't have a pass, you have
to pay $15 to enter and your pass is only valid for 7 days. Entrance to JTNP
is easily accessible through 29 and its a really beautiful place to visit, hike or picnic.
My kids love to just climb all over the huge boulders and explore the caves.

Watching movies around here is low-cost fun. Being in a real city, going to
the movies can cost an arm and a leg. I can't stand paying that much for a movie!
We have the Sunset Cinema on base which is $2 a person. Yep... TWO dollars!
The concession stand is pretty affordable too! The theater occasionally offers
3D movies and even a free kids movie on Saturdays!

Our other movie option is the Smith's Drive-In off base. I, right?!
We looove going to the drive-in. Kids 3 and under are free and everyone else
is $5! They also have a concession stand available but accept cash only.

We really enjoy going to the library. There is one on base and out it town. We
tend to go to the one on base more often since its closer but they are both good
libraries! The story times at the base library are so fun and interactive. They also
host free kids craft days all the time, mostly around the holidays. I'm not sure
about story time off base.

During the summer, some of our other favorite activities are going to the pool
or the splash park. Base has a free splash pad which is really fun for younger ones.
There are also multiple pools available for our use. The family pool and the training
tank are free and open to everyone. Lincoln Housing has 3 additional pools available
to base housing residents. Off base there is Luckie Park pool. Swim lessons are
available at both Luckie Park and base pools.

The kids stay active through dance and sports on base and off. Willow Tree Dance
Studio is off base and is very popular for dance lessons toddler-adult. My daughter
was enrolled in ballet through the City of Twentynine Palms. We do most of our
activities through MCCS on base. They always have really fun stuff for kids to sign
up for but spaces fill up FAST so sign up as soon as registration opens to ensure a spot.

One last place I highly recommend for affordable family fun is the bowling alley on
base. My friends and I often take the kids around lunch time and let them bowl while
we chat. They recently changed up their snack bar and I'm a little disappointed with
the changes. It used to be a lot more affordable to feed everyone lunch there. Since
they made the changes, we haven't gone as much, but it is still fun every now and then!
 They do serve pizza and beer so it would make for a good date night too!


 These are just some of things available around town. I hope to get out more myself
and discover new places to post about. I will do a part 2 post in the near future.

If you know anyone moving to 29 Palms, please refer them to my post! I wish
I would've had this information before we moved out here!
And if anyone moving here has any questions, feel free to ask!

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