By Laura Medina
Truth be told, the true trip to Coachella started when The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard's Coachella Kick-Off party ended at 3am in a Friday morning.
Eight hours later, this scribe set off in a Coachella Carpool, zipping through the carpool lanes, embarking on another adventure.
But, what an hip and chic adventure...
Let's begin with this scribe's favorite Coachella gifting party, PopSugar at the Avalon, what used to be The Viceroy of Palm Springs.
PopSugar's sponsors had their own designated motor court cottages unto themselves.
People loved the DSW Shoes gladiator and Teva sandals cottage, very much desired.
NetFlix Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cottage was the official candy cottage, honoring Kimmy's love for candy, taffy and Gummi Bears galore, all for the grabbing.
Each day of the three-days PopSugar Gifting Party was a different gift bag.
First Friday, they were handing out Henri Bendel's cute and chic striped cloth striped mini tote clutches you can double wear for a preppier garden party.
The Second Saturday, PopSugar Gifting Party doled Ulta's sturdy orange canvas, loaded with desert-ready makeup and desert-recovery skincare. They were so desirable that the majority of folks were bummed when Ulta run-out. Not even, the free makeovers at the Ulta Makeover cottage can make up for low-amounts of Ulta goody bags. Bummer.
Second Saturday at PopSugar was major. First Friday, the Avalon passed trays and trays of bbq and prawn skewers.
It was a salmon buffet, washed down by popsicles and snowcones, drenched in fresh fruit purees, on Second Saturday.
However, the Kimmy Schmidt cottage made up for it by passing out white back packs and crafting tables to personalize your back pack.
PopSugar Gifting Party even hanged on for the Third and Last Sunday of the First Coachella Weekend, imagine what goody bags they had for Third Sunday...
Guess which Coachella gifting suite this scribe is coming for more, next year.
This scribe was pleasantly shocked to find Las Vegas, yes that Las Vegas, throwing a BBQ pool party, next door to PopSugar, in Coachella for Coachella. Guess they missed the boat the first time; and now, they're chasing after the Coachella money/economy like everyone else.
What Happened Here, didn't happen in Vegas. It happened next door to PopSugar. Las Vegas debut their own brand of beer, #WHHSH Beer, a light pilsner/ale that guest happily guzzled down in the burning Palm Springs sun.
The BBQ Buffet had the best meals, hands down. It was stuff that starving, penny-pinching people want to eat, after spending all their money on the real $1000 Coachella concert packet.
This scribe chowed on BBQ spareribs then nibbled on the bacon-wrapped scallops, all grill on the Q.
Of course, it ain't Coachella unless there's Millenial celebrities like Joe Jonas, Kellan Lutz, Ed Westwick, and Amber Rose.
Yes, fresh and free sneakers....
Naturally, Coachella parties are desirable because they give stuff you need, like brand new sneakers and hair braiding to release the heat from your neck.
But, the gift suite this scribe is most proud of, is by a fellow blogger who moved up the ranks, Kelsey Smith of StyleSmith's eco-minded gifting suite, #TheGreenHousePS @ConsciousCollective.
Housed in a classic Fifties Mod bungalow, outfitted with a water-saving astro-turf and a kidney pool, Kelsey knows exactly what desert-burnt Coachellians need.
The coffee tables were strewn with Pacifica serum, lotion, deodorant, and makeup remover wipes, efficient and travel-friendly and green. There were also mini-tubes of CC Cream, scrubs, and washes from Pacifica.
Sticking to the "green" ethos, StyleSmith offered a salad buffet and collagen chocolate-almond protein bars by Primal Kitchen for socializing sustenance.
Taking advantage of the desert heat, eco tees and tanks were tie-dyed and quickly cured under the desert sun.
Kelsey knows people needs refreshments. Her Califia Almond Milk Coffee Bar was a happy chug. People sipped on gourmet cocktails built on Glossop's bar syrups.
She even offered Amy's new candy bars as one for the road...with coupons.
This scribe and her Coachella Carpool buddies ended the day with a free concert at the exclusive #THEDIP16 at Saguaro Hotel. It was one of the few events, outside of the Coachella Music Festival itself, that offered live entertainment and live hip-hop singers...for free. Yes, hot young things grooved in the pool. You have to. It was a burning hot concert.
That's a wrap for now but expect more, expect better, later.