Nothing is sweeter than holding a round trip ticket to Palm springs…except holding a ONE WAY ticket I suppose. haha..
Pharmacy Chick abandoned the pharmacy for a week to bask in the golden soaked sands of the desert. Since this was a golf vacation, PC preferred to avoid the sand, instead hoping to find wide fairways and short putts. Occasionally she found both.
She also found more INsight, INsanity, and (probably) INcontinence than anyplace in the world.
As I grow older, the draw of PS grows stronger every day. I find I have more in common with the environment each and every time I go. And, every time I go, I find I leave a bit of myself behind….so I can come back and claim it later. I don’t think I will ever OWN property down there, but I will certainly rent for longer amounts of time as the years progress.
But before we settle back and wax nostalgic about my desert oasis, we do have to remember it IS a PC vacation, which means that calamity and fruitcakes must present itself with some regularity on the trip. It started at the airport:
After thinking we had scored a “first in line” at curbside check in at 0’dark thirty , we found ourselves at the end of a security line that was longer than some par-3 holes I have played. a TSA agent wandered the long line admonishing us to have all of our ducks in a row, or face dire consequences ( not the least of which would be castration by nail clippers by the person immediately behind you if you slow everybody down). I commented to Mr Chick that we should have a beer and popcorn vendor selling 3 ounce beers. Who cares if its 6 am. I was ready to start drinking as soon as I saw the 300 foot line of humanity. I remembered reading about some man who stripped to his ..um..shorthairs..the previous week after some TSA agent decided he was shifty looking when this man declined to have the peep-show scanner display his wares. I found out it was in Portland Oregon. Poor Oregonians, I guess all that rain is getting to them. Can’t blame him I guess. You notice they never show YOU what your scan looks like.
Since the flight left before I usually get up each day, once I found my seat I bundled my ears up in noise cancelling headphones, wrapped my neck in a brace and went to sleep before take off. I was grateful that the required “screaming child” on every flight was many rows back and was either suffocated by his parents or shoved into the cargo hold because after take off, his ear-splitting screams ceased. Never sleeping well on a plane, I wandered in and out of conscious awareness until I felt the plane heave a bit as it began its decent into the thermal inversion smog of LA . I didn’t even get my 50 calorie snack or my apple juice….sigh… Stepping onto the plane it was 39 degrees, Stepping off it was nearly 70…at 9 am. Nice. We made a superman type transformation in the nearest bathroom: walking in as freezing ” northerners” and walking out as California “flip flops”. My shoes never saw the light of day again.
Some random observations:
Ever people watch in a different city? In my home town, I must be immune to the colorful characters I live among. Each city has its own interesting folks and Palm Springs is no different.
There is also an entire industry of taking care of peoples possessions while they are not there. In fact, I propose to you that the richer a person is, the more likely they are to buy expensive stuff they never use. There is a particular house I admire covet that I have to drool over every time I play the course it is situated on. My buddy who plays there nearly every day said he has never seen a human inside that house in the 2 years he has played at this course. Big and Gaudy is the rule. Ive seen Bentley Golf carts, Hummer Golf carts, Jaguar “Jag-u-war” golf carts, some with complete air conditioning, and a sound system better than the one that powers my home theater. I would prefer to walk, but that is not an option. You Ride…or you Ride… ok?
One night we decided on a quick dinner at a buffet house. It was HomeTown buffet or something like that. They should re-name it LaCasa Buffet. We were the only non-hispanics in the place. Good food tho it was ai rconditioned into major discomfort. As is my custom, I grabbed a light fleece from the car before we entered, and I had it upon my body before we sat down!
I would hate to be a delivery guy in the desert. Not only is it hot and you are in a truck with no doors, but every place you go is gated and walled in. the list of codes you have to have on file must be endless. We helped out a UPS driver when his code didn’t work in our rented development. ( no comments please..he WAS a UPS driver and the code had just changed).
This is a day-town. It seems that many businesses close at 5-6 pm daily, which is rather uncommon in today’s 24-7 society. After dinner everybody retreats to their homes and aren’t seen again until the next day. Our friend, whose house we usually stay at, goes to bed by 9 pm daily. ” everybody does”. he says. Well, he cannot speak for everybody, but if you look at the traffic, etc after about 6 pm, it makes perfect sense. He bemoans a late softball game, ( 7pm) because he is tired.
For the first time in years, we went to a Costco. My host friend wanted pizza for dinner and he likes their pizza. We dont shop at there because with only Mr Chick and myself, we just dont need bulk stuff..and when we DID have a card for Costco, we always spent too much money on junk we really didnt’ need. So, good bye Costco card.
Its harder than you think to find a good Mexican restaurant. “Good” is defined differently for Mr Chick and myself.
We were told to bring our swimsuits. so we did. But we also learned our friend doesn’t heat his pool anymore. Too expensive. Even at 95 degrees outside, a cold pool is just too cold to jump into, but dangling my tired feet in the cold water felt good.
Speaking of expensive, we learned that buying a home can be cheap in the desert….but maintaining it is NOT. Our friend said that if he heats the pool and uses air conditioning as he wants to , his utility bill is $1500 per month. He said he is “lucky” when he can get away with $700 electric bill. He also has to pay for the gardener, and the pool guy, and the HOA fees. Believe it or not, he un-retired after “semi-retiring” from his home based business to keep up with the bills.
we had a nice time golfing for the week, the final day topped off the excitement when PC aced the 7th hole at the course we were playing. Lightning struck again! whoo hoo! After completing our final round, and obtaining the perfunctory congrats for the 1, we packed up and headed to the airport where more lightning would strike again..only this time with no celebration:
Since we were flying out of Ontario ( cheaper) we arrived early–you never know about the traffic. We settled nicely into the airport chairs 2+ hours early and prepared to read our books and mags, when we heard a garbled message over the P.A. We didn’t pay much attention to it until some guy came and sat down next to us and fired up his cell phone ” I see our flight is delayed and possibly cancelled to Home..I will try to get another flight”. We asked him about this and apparently ths garbled message was informing passengers of this crucial information. We dashed out of the gate and back to the flight desk, where others had congregated for the same reason: get another flight home. These lucky souls got flights from the same airport..we weren’t so lucky. ” We have one out of Orange county in 2 hours with a layover at X, and you can take a taxi at our expense, but your luggage will stay here until the flight makes its return to HERE and we will send it home”. It took him ( what seemed like) forever to re-book our two tickets as the people surrounding us zipped thru with their new tix. ( wtf?)
We took the flight, dashed to the cab, and prepared for the 50 mile trip to an airport in 5:00 pm LA traffic. We held little hope but prayer that we might make it on time. Both of us had to work the next day. Prayer paid off as we zipped thru an unusually light friday traffic. With no luggage, we managed to arrive at the gate with about 15 minutes to spare before boarding. Our 2 hour flight turned into a 5 hour (+ layover) adventure that finally got us home at midnight.
And Hell to pay at work the next morning…