Sunday, December 29, 2019

Palm Springs Postcard

"Having a good time. Wish you were here." 

Realized that these last few entries have not given any kind of picture of where we are. Between spending hours in the hot tub and swimming in the warm pool with the grandchildren, plus cooking, reading, games, a few hikes out in some surrounding parks, haven’t felt like I’ve gotten to know Palm Springs at all. But yesterday had the good sense to simply walk around the neighborhood and it is certainly a unique place. 

For starters, it’s out in the desert, so front lawns are not grass and bushes, but rocks, cacti and palm trees. All houses are one-story probably because of the heat-rises law and though each day here in December has chilled air amidst the sun, I’m told that the summers are brutal. Streets are wide and the surrounding, now snow-capped, mountains provide a lovely frame for the whole setting. Many streets are named for entertainers/ celebrities, many of whom (I believe) vacationed here to get away from Hollywood—Gene Autry, Dinah Shore, Bob Hope Way and the like, Sonny Bono Memorial Freeway. Like the Southwest, the sky is immense and larger yet as one drives in the outskirts. 

Last night, finally strolled on the downtown strip, Palm Canyon Way, which predictably was filled with restaurants, stores, hotels and was jam-packed with the holiday crowds. There were stars on the street naming a long, long list of yet more celebrities who had some kind of relationship with the place. I’ve heard that Palm Springs is a gay Mecca resort, though that sense didn’t dominate with the crowds we saw. Yesterday we hiked up a small mountain not too far out and saw a mountain goat framed against the sky, looked down on the sprawling city complete with its many golf courses. Something for everyone here.

Today the last day of our lovely week, a perfect place to be with the grandkids and yet more that we didn’t have time to explore. I came expecting little and am leaving impressed with the possibilities. The pools are just perfect for the kids—and I enjoyed them as well.

Not the most inspired travelogue here, but just a little taste of where we’ve been for getting up to pack and prepare our last breakfast together as an extended family of the decade. Grateful for it all and with a world-record time together with Zadie and Malik, Kerala and Ronnie, Karen and Talia—11 days—ready to return to a quieter and more solitary life in San Francisco. Reunite with the piano, my bike, my little routines and soon turn to my final six months at school. On we go!

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