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The majority of the US is gearing up to dive head first into fall as the temps start drop, dew blankets the morning grass, and turtlenecks and scarves come out of drawers. While some of us might be looking forward to pumpkin-spice flavored anything and the certain grand feast of Thanksgiving, there are destinations that don't even shudder at the turning of the calendar from September to October...and November and December.
If you just can't let go off your flip-flop tan-lines, here are some hot-spots that bask in the sun and heat all year round:
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Imagine having flown everywhere, but never actually anywhere. It's confusing, but it's the case for our editor, Cynthia, who recently headed out on her first private plane flight after years of commercial plane travel. Here's her story:
"It's just like driving a car," he said. "You won't ever look at flying the same way again."
Sid passed his hand down the wing, pausing here and there to look over and under, squinting with the sun's glare on what was a sparkling clear day in southern California. We were in a kind of parking lot, after all, except one that had us surrounded by private jets on the tarmac at Van Nuys Airport. And we were double-checking that all was well before setting off for a weekend trip, except that trip would be over mountains and cities in a teeny-tiny, seafoam green 1962 Beechcraft Bonanza V-Tail.
This would be my first flight in a private plane.
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1. This is the airport.
Yes, it's partly open-air. Yes, one concourse is named for Sonny Bono. [Photo taken at PSP]
2. Sometimes the clouds look like UFOs
If there are clouds at all. These peculiar puffs are known as "lenticular clouds." [Photo taken at The Ace Hotel & Swim Club]
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Mood lighting? Check. Flight attendants with apple-red lips? Check. Complimentary round of champagne for all onboard? Check! Waitwhat?!
Virgin America Flight 55 from New York-JFK to Palm Springs, CA on Saturday, December, 22 may have begun just like any other flight on the five-year-old airline, but that boozy toast meant there was something special. It was, in fact, the first ever commercial non-stop flight from the NYC area to Palm Springs, a route Virgin America will fly every Saturday through the winter to get all us city folk suffering from dark, slushy days into the sun and 70+ degrees of desert oasis paradise.
The non-stop flights begin at $145 one-way, so it was no surprise that VX 55 on the Saturday before Christmas was full up, even with a few pets along for the ride. And anywhere that touts $3.95 bottomless champagne with brunch, a Modernism Week, and the world's largest statue of Marilyn Monroe is definitely somewhere we too want to be.
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This time of the year is simply the best time of the year. Why? Because of seasonal routes, that's why! Airlines take advantage of the dreary winter weather to open up some exotic, fun-in-the-sun destinations for a limited time. There's always the Caribbean or Mexico, but the last couple years we've been kinda in love with the idea of the heading into the US desert for that needed dose of Vitamin Sunshine.
And, for the second year, Virgin America will the answer the prayers of SFers and NYers by jetting directly into Palm Springs Airport (PSP). Well, actually they already started the flights from San Francisco back in October. The big news right now is that they'll be launching the first non-stop flight from the New York area to Palm Springs this Saturday.