When we decided to include a blog as part of our travel experience it seemed like a great way to share the trials (more funny now in hindsight) and tribulations (blood pressure begins to rise) of life on the road for almost a year. The Dude, being a professional writer and world class procrastinator, warned me, and warned me again. “Writing is hard work,” he said. “If you make a commitment, waiting for inspiration isn’t an option.”
Sigh… he was right. (Note from the Dude. You are my witnesses.)
After leaving the warmth of the Florida beaches for the honky-tonks of Memphis, the Dude became inspired and I was tired. His creative juices began flowing and the blogs have been a wonderful mix of travelogue and The Dude’s uniquely humorous view of the world. (You guys got that, right.)
But after his latest take-down of the Palm Springs area and it’s wizened….er… carefully preserved denizens, I felt a need to tell the real story of Palm Springs. The best thing it had to offer was friends from home, familiar faces that after a long time on the road were a godsend. I love the Dude and Dog to bits, but conversationalists they’re not, and it was good to have some girl talk with one of my besties from home.
We had dinner with friends, L & D, at their beautiful home in one of the gated communities the Dude took delight in putting down. The place was a throwback to the sixties, with perfectly maintained architecture surrounded by lawns with towering palms and ringed by orange and lemon trees. I want in!
Palm Springs is cultured decadence with a sprinkle of funkiness thrown in.
It’s creamy date shakes that must be tried to be believed.
It’s hour-long pedicures at ridiculously low prices with a leg massage thrown in.
It’s watching the sun rise and suffuse the massive wind towers with a silky orange glow.
It’s hikes in the desert with homies Bruce, Linda and their dog Oliver, through flowering cactus and bone dry river beds.
It’s happy hour with friends at trendy Palm Springs restaurants, where the food is good, the booze is better and the laughs are plentiful.
It’s quirky consignment stores filled with the detritus of former lives–oversized furniture, strange brick-a-brac and movie memorabilia like the fifteen-foot room divider with Frank Sinatra’s face silk screened on it.
It’s day trips driving through arid countryside, past massive ranches and tiny mobile homes squatting in the scrub off dirt roads with nary a tree in sight.
It’s the night and weekend markets throughout the valley, where vendors offer everything you don’t need but buy anyway.
It’s golfing in February in your shorts surrounded by Palm Trees with a cheap beer and burger at a roadside joint after.
It’s the road-side fruit vendors on a random country corner selling massive bags of fresh oranges for a fraction of the price at the supermarket. It’s all these things and did I mention the date shakes!