Friday, January 27, 2012

Wednesday, January 11 through Wednesday, January 25, 2012: At Palm Springs:
We started the uneventful 150-mile trip early again, arriving at the Palm Springs Thousand Trails preserve before 8:30 AM, and finding a nice pull-through space.

We came to Palm Springs without any specific plans because we intended to relax. But Becky immediately got into playing Pickle Ball every morning, anyway.

Late Wednesday night, there was a fire in the refrigerator of a motor home two rows away from us. The RV was totaled as a result. Fortunately, the owners got out in time. The firefighters said the fire jumped to the palm tree next door and it was harder to put out than the RV fire.

On Monday, the 16th, we met Chuck Conway for lunch at the Elephant Bar in Palm Desert. Chuck had selected the restaurant. It has a very interesting menu, and the food was wonderful. It’s one of a chain of 37 restaurants by the same name in several states across the country.

And, naturally, it was fun seeing Chuck again.

Shortly after arriving at Palm Springs, our electric fireplace went on the fritz.  I contacted the distributor, who agreed with very little prompting to simply send us a new one.  It arrived on Wednesday, and I installed it immediately. 

We decided we had to return to the Elephant Bar for another meal before we left the desert. It turned out that we did. John and Nancy McCrady called from their home in Durham, California, to find out where we were, hoping that we might be somewhere near the desert, since they had planned to visit there with Nancy’s brother and his wife. They ended up coming without the brother and his wife, who had changed their minds. I picked them up at the airport Thursday morning, the 19th, and we went to the Elephant Bar for dinner that night.

They are staying at the brother’s second home way out in the far reaches of La Quinta, about 15 miles from the TT preserve where we are. We spent most of the next five days playing with them.

On Saturday, we went to the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert. We had been talking about doing that for more than 20 years, and finally did it. Wow! It’s a marvelous place.

A ferocious wind came up in the early afternoon, causing the cancellation of the 2:00PM animal show at the museum (we had seen the 11:00 AM show, so we didn't miss anything) and causing substantial damage in the greater Palm Springs area. On the way back to our RV park, there were places where the sandstorm was so strong that we could barely see the other side of the intersection.

Saturday night, we had dinner at the Jackalope Ranch in Indio. It is a spectacular place, and the food was better than good. The big surprise was that we ran into Becky’s sister Wendy

and Wendy’s husband Kai while we were waiting for our table.

We knew they were going to spend the weekend in the desert with some other people we knew, but we had no idea what their plans were. It turned out that they were all together at the restaurant, and their table was right next to ours. What fun.

Sunday, the 22nd, was a football day for me. (Becky made her weekly pilgrimage to Pasadena to spend the day with her dad, and returned in the late afternoon.)

I suffered through the losses by Baltimore and San Francisco. (I have no particular love for the Ravens, but I can’t stand the Patriots; and I have always had a soft spot for the 49ers.) At least they were exciting games. We watched the games at the McCradys, with some friends of theirs, Suzy and Jere Willcoxon, and Marilyn and Pete Richards. Marilyn was a sorority sister (Pi Phi) of Nancy’s at Oregon State a “few” years ago. We had a good time with all of them. The next day, we met the McCradys and the Richardses for lunch, then spent the afternoon visiting our home and Marilyn and Pete’s beautiful vacation home in the Sun City complex just a few blocks from the Thousand Trails park. (Their principal home is near Portland.)

While in Palm Springs, we rented four movies at the nearby Red Box: Moneyball, The Debt, and The Ides Of March, all of which were very good, and Friends With Benefits, which was awful.

I took the McCradys back to the airport Wednesday morning, the 25th, and spent the rest of the day preparing to leave on Thursday.

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