After 30 days living in the Californian desert, we’re heading home. Me by van – the family by plane. As we leave and move on to the next chapter of our charmed life, there are a few things I will be missing as soon as I drive away from Palm Springs.
- The warmth of the air in the morning and the relaxed feeling that comes from not having to tighten up your body to resist the cold.
- The clear blue sky.
- The rugged and scenic San Jacinto mountains that are always to your immediate west.
- The breakfasts at Cheekys.
- The Australian grass fed beef burgers at Grind Burger Bar.
- Happy hour in a tourist town without enough tourists.
- Bottomless all day champagne at Pinochio’s.
- Strolling down Palm Canyon Drive during the Thursday night open air markets and getting henna tattoos for the kids.
- Riding my bike through the hot, flat desert along beautifully landscaped paths.
- Dinner at La Spiga in Palm Desert.
- Floating in a big salt water pool warmed to 86F in 100F heat.
- Doing yoga and working out poolside.
- Reading Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.
- Discovering the joy and usability of my new MacBook Pro.
- Paying $16 for 1.75 Litres of Smirnoff vodka.
- Rule number 4.
- The palm trees and the Bougainvillea.
- The sleek, mid-century modern architecture and style throughout this city.
- Having our own grapefruit tree in the backyard.
- Having a Passover seder outside next to the pool.
- Drinking Dead Guy Ale.
- Cappuccino at Cielo.
There are also some learnings/observations that we take away from this 30 day family vacation in the desert. And these are, in no order of relevance:
- The north end of Palm Springs (basically, anything north of Vista Chino) is a wind tunnel – hence the hundreds of wind turbines - and should be avoided at all costs if you are a wind-phobe like me.
- The city of Palm Springs, in fact much of the state of California, is in economic distress, as evidenced by the abundance of vacant retail space and glut of vacation rental stock on the market.
- And, finally, thirty days, though lovely, may be too many days to be away from home – even in this spring paradise of consumerism and good weather – leading to two possible options: either we need to visit more frequently for shorter stays or make the desert home one day.
Lots to ponder over the 28 hours of driving that lie ahead.
Palm Springs 2011, a set on Flickr.