Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Enjoying the Playground of the Rich!

Monday, April 1, 2013

OLA: Enjoying the Playground of the Rich!

our campground in the Playground of the Rich...Thousand Trails Palm Springs RV Resort
M'A having her spring cleaning
Although we are not rich (except in experience and spirit), we were able to enjoy the Coachella Valley! We stayed at the Thousand Trails Resort named Palm Springs, actually in Palm Desert. Each campsite has a towering date tree. It is a  very nice campground except for 2 things: wifi access is not good at every campsite and I lost $5 in the Texas Hold’em tournament! Other than that, there were concert and movie nights where I had lots of free popcorn! Bill enjoyed the daily walk around (and to the nearby strip mall) and the dip in the spa! And M'A finally had spring cleaning!

Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway in Palm Springs
We loved the weather the best! Winter temperatures hovered around the 70s (although summer can go to 100s). This is precisely why so many of the rich have built homes there to soak in the warmth of the sun. In fact, the Elvis Presley Honeymoon Hideaway is in Palm Springs as well as many million-dollar homes on the valley and on the hillsides. Palm Springs is where most attractions of the Valley are, like Marilyn Monroe, Palm Follies and Village Fest, which I featured in my last post.
hillside millionaires' homes

 Coachella Valley extends for approximately 45 miles southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains to the saltwater Salton Sea, California’s largest lake. It is approximately 15 miles wide bounded on the west by the San Jacinto Mountains and the Santa Rosa Mountains and on the north and east by the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Thus it enjoys excellent weather all year-round. 

at the Visitor Center
Populated by nearly 600,000 people, 11 cities make up the valley: the famous desert resort cities of Palm Springs and Palm Desert plus Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Thousand Palms, Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella.  Seasonal residents peak to 100,000 in the winter months with another 3.5 million conventioneers and tourists.

Frank Sinatra Boulevard
Sonny Bono was a long-time mayor of Palm Springs and a statue in his honor stands at Plaza Theater District.  Even his celebrity star is right in front of his statue. Other celebrity imprints, much like in Hollywood, are all around sidewalks. As you come into Cathedral City you will drive through Frank Sinatra Boulevard or the Bob Hope Drive.  I was so upset that I didn’t even know that Rafael Nadal won the BNP Paribas Open Championship at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden the day before we arrived! 

Shopping and dining are also excellent in Palm Springs. In fact, I was able to find stylish my Silhouette eyewear at Vision Professionals. They even had a very modern (iPad) optician’s way of measuring for fitness. Bill also found his very own Pizza Parlor! I had a favorite yoghurt place and Red Robin served us some great burgers (Bill's free birthday burger)! On Villagefest nights, horses are synonymous with Starbucks!
My new Silhouette Eyewear!

We actually went back to the Villagefest on the next Thursday and again bought anther pound of dates. We learned that dates, native to the area, are varied. The Medjool dates that I love are on the sweet side while at the opposite end are Barbi dates that taste like caramel. In between are honey and Detgel Noor (nutty) dates. Manilla (sic) mangoes were a dollar each! And we took another loaf of dense 9-grain bread home.

big rocks at Andreas Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon Falls
It was also surprising to know that the valley boasts of several Indian canyons that are terrific hikes. Tahquitz Canyon and its waterfalls are supposedly the best but it was 2 miles roundtrip where some parts have oversize steps. We decided it is probably not good for me to venture it so Bill went by himself on Good Friday and took  some wonderful photos for us!

We loved the Valley but we are not considering settling there. Although the population is large enough, the cities are spread over a large area. The big city feel just is not there. There are no big hospitals, big malls, or a busy airport, no hustle and bustle. I always feel like I will probably not get bored in a big city. The options are always plenty and varied because a big city is a microcosm of the world. And alas, as I said, we’re not rich!
the stream at Andreas Canyon