February 28, 2017 Hot, Sunny California (the cool, wet version)
It was a cool, clear day last Friday, a perfect day to be in Joshua Tree National Park. I entered from the south and after driving about 8 miles and gaining some elevation I began seeing the beautiful trees, which are actually overachieving yuccas. I was on the hunt for some blooms but they were few and far between as they are just starting. I was disappointed until I spotted an unmarked trail in a picnic area and decided to take a walk. Pay dirt! I even found one tree with two open flowers. I took way too many pictures but they really are beautiful.
Friday and Saturday night I stayed at a very nice RV park in Desert Hot Springs, northeast of Palm Springs. Great hot tub, decent parking space, and a good discount, but I was once again disappointed, this time in myself. I just could not make myself stay up late enough to see the Elvis Impersonator Saturday night. But I talked to him and his wife while they were walking around the park. His long, black sideburns and the “Elvis Has Left the Parking Lot” painted on the back of his trailer gave him away. I know it would have been the show of a lifetime, sigh.
Sunday morning I packed up and drove to Palm Springs to meet my sister Alison for breakfast. We had not seen each other since 2011 when I went to Alaska, and when she said she was going to be in CA for a mover's convention, we were able to coordinate a get together. Cool huh? (If you are wondering: Yes, I did go grow up as an only child. When I was a young married woman and Alison was a little kid her mother and my father got married . I also have two more sisters, Karen and Barb and two brothers, Steve and Jimmy.) Alison started her own moving company in Anchorage several years ago and has been very successful. It cannot be easy to be a young, attractive woman in such a male-dominated profession. I am really proud of her!
On Monday she cleared her calendar so we could spend the whole day together and we had all kinds of outdoor fun planned. Someone forgot to let Mother Nature know because it started raining early Monday morning and never stopped until the wee hours today. Palm Springs set a record for the most rainfall (ever!) in 24 hours, 1.17”. Average annual rainfall is only 2.26” so you can imagine how thrilled people here are. However, roads were closed due to flooding and there was a water rescue in the bordering town of Cathedral City.
We started out being tough girls, walking to Farm for breakfast where we were seated next to the burning fireplace. Heaven. Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, French Press coffee, mushroom goat cheese omelet for me and Bacon, Chicken and Waffles for Alison. We both loved it. We walked back to get Wanda and drove to Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. It was very interesting but by then the rain was getting more intense so we were definitely done doing outside stuff. We spent the rest of the day shopping and sampling at Shields Date Garden and Trader Joe, hanging out in my little AirBnB casita, having a light dinner at the Hilton and talking, talking, talking. It was a perfect day.
Today the clouds departed and it got up to 68. Alison had to work (that IS why she's here, after all!) I walked downtown to the Palm Springs Art Museum where a Women of Abstract Expressionism is showing. I enjoyed a late lunch at the vegan restaurant Native Foods Cafe and my BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich with lemon potato salad was outstanding. Oh, and the Watermelon Fresca to drink, it is amazing, and they even let me choose a free dessert. Can you tell how much I loved it?
Tomorrow Al and I will have to say good-bye after breakfast but I hope we will plan our next get together soon, because now that we have gotten to know each other, I am not waiting another six years.