Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, through Monday, December 20, 2010: At Palm Springs:
This stay at Palm Springs was designed to give us a rest after the last few weeks of short stays at each location followed by traveling to a new location. So, I rested. Becky didn't. She plays pickle ball every day for several hours with some very good players. (That's one of the reasons I'm not playing.) She also takes the dogs for long walks several times a day. (Ramsey has a lot of energy.)

Naturally, we hit the Costco several times, and loaded up. We also went to a Chinese buffet that had been highly recommended. What a disappointment. Even though I love Chinese food, this place was well below expectations. The food was good but there were very few choices.

Friday night, we had dinner with Karen (Tolson) Sloat and her husband, Stephen. He is the pastor of the Coachella Valley Christian Church. Karen is a former secretary of mine---from many moons ago, naturally---who went on to law school and has been practicing law for several years. Coincidentally, she was set to open her own office the following Monday. As nearly as we could recall, we last saw them while we were on a ski trip in Snowmass, Colorado, in the '90s. It was great seeing them again. We actually attended their church service Sunday morning.

The following Wednesday (12/15) we had a terrific lunch with Chuck Conway (his treat, thank you Chuck) at one of the two Leon's restaurants at the Indian Canyon Country Club. The restaurants are across the street from each other. Strange. Chuck lives in Palm Springs, but we last saw him in Williamsburg several months ago. It was fun catching up.

Lunch was followed by a visit to the dentist to have our teeth cleaned. We had never been to this dentist before, and were not prepared for his odd procedure. First, they take a zillion x-rays, then make you wait a half hour, then the dentist examines your mouth and recommends a number of corrective procedures, including what type of cleaning you need (which seems to invariably mean a type requiring several more visits), then they make another appointment for the actual basic cleaning we went there for in the first place. (In my case, the dentist recommended removing two of my wisdom teeth which have never come in and have never given me the slightest trouble, because they might someday become a problem.) Becky, in her not-so-subtle way, suggested that we weren't going to play their game, and they suddenly had time to do what we wanted that same day.

Thursday was a day set aside to visit Joshua Tree National Park (it was only a national monument until 1994), a 75 mile round trip.

Ho, hum. We entered the park at the south entrance, which is at the lowest elevation---while the joshua trees are at the higher elevation near the north entrance. While there are many plant-types at each elevation, we got bored quickly. We explored for about fifteen minutes, then headed back. At least, Becky got her national park passport stamped.

On Friday, we went to a terrific and huge restaurant called Jackalope Ranch that has several dining rooms spread over six acres. Very nice.

For some time, I've been looking for a way to improve the appearance of the somewhat beat-up wooden top of our dining area table. I finally settled on having a Corian top made to cover it. It took some effort to find someone to do it, but it finally happened. Yea! Merry Christmas, Becky.

And, of course, we did our Christmas shopping and mailed our Christmas cards (which we send only every two years). We selected a picture from our Italian trip for the cards. The photo was taken at the Piazza Michelangelo in Florence.

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