I’m back from a week in Palm Desert. For those of you who don’t know, Palm Desert is about 5 miles due east of Palm Springs, which is about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. If you like the hot dry desert weather, then you would love it. If you’re like me who likes it hot outside but not too hot that you can’t even lay out in the shade without sweating like a pig then you would have been frustrating.
We left on the 1st of August for 8 days. I was so looking forward to this trip, as Larry and I had just got back from the Bloggers conference (which was hard work drinking all that wine – another blog to follow about that weekend). Larry didn’t even go home, he went from one conference to another, back to back. We were going to unwind, to have no obligations (except to see my grandmother and family), eat, drink, and get reacquainted with each other; all on a low budget.
We left Dublin about an hour later than planned as Larry’s back decided to spasm just as we were about to pack up the car. So, guess who had to lift up the ice chest, the suitcases etc. and pack it all in? Yep, ME!!! I was so nervous that my back was going to go out doing this. [Two and a half years ago when Larry, our son Jacob and I went to Palm Springs to have a nice relaxing week there in January, I had a bad back the whole time we were there and Larry had a back spasm while we were there the day before we were to leave to drive home. Jacob had to load the car for us, as we were invalids! We have such bad memories of that trip, it was so cold all week, we couldn’t go to the pool once and all the citrus trees were literally freezing each night.] Larry was in good pain the whole drive there, but with this kind of spasm he is better off sitting than standing. I drove 5 ½ out of the 7 hours it took to get there. I forgot to go to the library to rent a book on tape so we just had music and each other. The Giants had the nerve to be playing a night game so we couldn’t even listen to that!
We got to Palm Desert, checked into our 1 bedroom villa. This was part of the Marriott Desert Springs Vacation club. Our unit was beautiful. It had a separate bedroom with a Jacuzzi tub, shower, a full kitchen with dining room and living room.
The view from our porch
There were two TV’s a DVD player and a really nice porch area that faced out to the golf course and lake by the 2nd tee. Around 8:00 we were off to the local “City Wok”, Chinese restaurant for dinner and a beer. We ordered their catfish two ways special, which we had in a black bean sauce, Kung Pao combo, freshly steamed edamame and brown rice. The beer went down real smooth and we were extremely impressed with the quality of the food.
Every morning we had breakfast outside on our patio, read the paper, did a sudoko, watched the world go buy (or the ducks). It was very relaxing. Most lunches we had outdoors too but sometimes the sweating got out of control and we had to go back into the air-conditioned unit. We went to the pool at least once each day and even went to the Marriott pool one day to see if that was something we would want to do more often. We walked through the beautiful hotel and spent about 2 ½ hours in the 116 degree heat. Their pools there were very nice, and we found a great spot in the shade under an umbrella, but it was very crowded and noisy. (What were all these people doing in the desert in August?) We took advantage of the flag that you put up on the back of your chair to call over the cute little cocktail waitress. Larry ordered a margarita and I ordered a strawberry daiquiri plus a plate of fresh fruit. That came to over $40.00! We ate about half of the fruit there and brought the rest back to the unit and a couple days later made a nice fruit smoothie out of it. In the end we decided that our local pool by our unit was just fine for the rest of the week.
We only cooked one dinner in. We made soft tacos, which actually gave us three additional lunches. One night we brought in Chinese Food, again from the City Wok.
Larry in the living room with Chinese food and wine
This time we ordered and spicy chili string beans with chicken and peppercorn chicken with brown rice. We ordered in pizza one night, and went out to dinner at the Yard House one night. We went there after we had seen the movie Funny People with Adam Sandler. Very good movie. For dinner Larry had an Ahi Crunchy Salad and I had their BBQ Chicken Salad. Larry had one of their many beers they have on tap, and I ordered a cosmopolitan martini.
We had dinner at my Aunt Frankie and Uncle Ray’s house one night. My 94-year-old grandmother and cousin Danny live there too. My 85-year-old great-aunt Beatrice also joined us. Aunt Frankie made delicious lamb chops, a cheesy potato casserole and green beans to go with the meal. We had brought a Merlot from Murietta’s Well Winery in Livermore to share with everyone. After dinner we sat and talked and enjoyed a piece of peach pie with banana nut ice cream. Another night we met Aunt Frankie, Danny and Grandma at Applebee’s and had a nice early dinner (5:00). After dinner Larry and I went to the movies and saw the most recent Harry Potter movie. We then went to the Cheesecake Factory and enjoyed dessert. I had their lemon cheesecake and Larry had their carrot cake. I haven’t gone out for dessert in years! ☺
As the week went on Larry’s back got better and better. We never did any exercise except in the pool. We met very nice people at the pool each day. We got a lot of work done that we had brought to do. We also did a lot of reading, knitting, watching DVD’s and visiting. Toward the end of the week the weather got a little bit cooler and I was able to layout in the sun the last two days.
I was wondering why did I choose to go to the desert in August! Then I figured it out. One, it is a quieter time there. Two, it will for sure be warm! Three, we can stop on the way home in the San Fernando Valley and visit a lot of our family.
Lori and Grandma Millie
Four, and most importantly, I wanted to see my almost 95-year-old grandmother. She has been a very large part of my life and it is challenging to get to see her but once a year. This trip makes it twice this year, and that makes it all worthwhile. Family is very important to me; you just can’t take them for granted. I don’t know how much longer she will be around but for me to see her smile and hear her laugh and to be comforted that she is happy was all I needed to make my vacation complete.