Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Feeling Warm in Palm Springs!

Monday, March 25, 2013

OLA: Feeling Warm in Palm Springs!

Bill finally got his shot at Marilyn Monroe in Palm Springs!

It is amazing! We drove down to Acton, California from Seattle, Washington on March 15 and watched the browns and whites turn into greens and yellow, the low 50s into the high 60s, and winter into spring. We had stored the RV in Acton and after a day of rest we proceeded to Palm Springs. Before reaching the area we saw the heavy smog hovering over the San Bernardino area. Glad we’re not staying there.

It cleared when we reached Coachella Valley,  sheltered by the San Bernardinos to the north, the Santa Rosas to the south, and the San Jacintos to the west and the Little San Bernardinos to the east.  It has 354 days of sunshine with the coolest days in winter in the lower 70s °F! Now it is in the high 80s! So out came our summer clothes and away went our winter apparel.

Thousand Trails Palm Springs Resort
 Several cities make up the Valley; Palm Springs and Palm Desert are the biggest. We are parked in the TT Palm Springs Resort in Palm Desert. Towering date palm trees mark every camp site! Bill enjoyed the spa while I took to the fitness center. A strip mall with a Stater Bros. grocery is just about a mile from the campground and Bill walks it (and beyond) every day to either pick up stuff or return a Redbox movie!

First order of the day was my prescription glasses! I had cataract surgery done on both eyes in Missouri last October. When I had my eyes checked in Seattle in February, the ophthalmologist said I needed a yag laser procedure done because a film had developed between my plastic lens and the optic nerve on each eye, a common recurrence of cataract surgery. And I had to wait after it was done. Finally, I found The Vision Professionals in Palm Springs and my Silhouette pair will be delivered by March 29!

and at night, Bill was still there!
That’s when we found out that Marilyn Monroe had been transferred from Chicago, Illinois where we first saw her, to downtown Palm Springs on the corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon Drive. It turns out that the 36-foot statue is moved to a different location every year. Bill finally had his dream photo taken: under Marilyn Monroe’s pants, morning and night time!  Actually the city of Palm Springs is trying to buy the permanent rights to her. Good move for an area of 55+ retirees!

I found my yellow van at the Villagefest!
Villagefest at night
Every Thursday night a Villagefest is held around this Marilyn Monroe corner on Palm Canyon Drive. We had many choices for dinner; finally we bought Meditteranean grilled chicken and sat at the only space left on the sidewalk. Lots of good singers serenaded the thousands, hoping to sell their cds. Since the RV cannot take any more additional weight, we have learned just to buy food. This time around we found awesome local dates, blueberry banana bread, and dark, heavy, multi-grain bread.

Bill and Carol in Plaza Theatre for the Fabulous Palm Spring Follies
Amazing Hula Hoop Artst
At the famous Plaza Theater on Palm Canyon Drive, very near Marilyn, a unique show is staged 9 times a week when in season (when snow birders flock to Coachella Valley). On its 22nd season, The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies is the great show featuring a 55+ cast. As a matter of fact, its oldest male singer/dancer is 84 and female is 77! I just knew I could be a star too! And the variety act of an amazing hula hoop artist and the hit songs, It’s My Party’, ‘Judy’s Turn to Cry’, and ‘You Don’t Own Me’ by the singer Leslie Gore made the night more special!

Bill with Leslie Gore
Just six miles from our Resort is Old Town La Quinta, the historic district of one of the cities in the Coachella Valley. On Saturdays a small strip features ‘Art under the Umbrellas’, with about 70 artists, under umbrellas, who sell their art pieces: paintings, glass fusion, unique jewelry pieces, sculpture, unique apparel designs, etc. Unfortunately, they were very pricey (definitely for the rich of the Palm Springs area) so Bill and I just had pasta Bolognese and drinks and beat the heat inside a bar!

Art under the Umbrella at Old La Quinta
Charlie Ferris 
After a jam-packed Palm Sunday mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church also in La Quinta, we headed back to camp for the ‘Charlie Ferris Show’. It was an entertaining night of music from the late fifties to the late sixties carefully selected by Charlie. He had exactly the audience he wanted and we could not help but clap our hands, stomp our feet, and sing with him, at signature songs of Bobby Darren, Roy Orbison, Neil Sedaka, Bobby Vee, Elvis Presley,  even Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra!

a very relevant throw pillow we found at Villagefest!
We truly felt warm, so warm in fact that my hives flared up again! Come to think of it, my first hives appeared in Florida! Could it be that I am no longer accustomed to the kind of warm-hot weather that I grew up in for 54 years?  I hope not or our settlement plans for Phoenix, Arizona will fizzle out. But, in the meantime, more about Palm Springs, Palm Desert and nearby areas next week!