Monday, January 19, 2009

Southern California Birthday

We chose not to stay at the motel shown above, even though the rates were quite good.
Instead, we opted for the place below, where Pat relaxed by playing the dulcimer as the sun set on the golf course behind her.

Palm Desert, CA -- My bride and I are celebrating her birthday today with a road trip, and the first full day has turned out quite well.
We started the day at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace Hotel (and Spa) coffee shop in Bakersfield, the home of West Coast Country Music. Merle Haggard Drive is not far away.

We mostly avoided freeways and drove through the desert till we arrived here, in rich folk territory.

For a quick break we had chile verde burritos for lunch at a roadside Mexican place named the Kool Kactus, just outside San Bernadino. The cafe was part of a 1940s era motel that looks like a movie set, only real. Think the Bates Motel in adobe. That's the motel pictured at the top, and the cafe below.

We then arrived at the Mariott Resort Villas in Palm Desert, and are safely ensconced in our luxury condo for the week. One look around and we feel like candidates for the Rich and Famous TV series, except our Toyota Van is the only dirty vehicle in the (securely gated) area, probably for miles around.

The view outside the windows and off the patio is of a pond, waterfall and the lushest fairways I have seen since I was a caddy in West Virginia one summer and was allowed on the country club greens - as a worker bee. I can't really afford to play golf here, but it is a great place to watch the inaugural ceremonies tomorrow.

We have the mountains, currently aglow with sunset, and the desert surrounds this area. The temperature is in the high 70s, a heat wave for us, and the sun is shining.

We are only pretending to belong, of course, but it is fun while it last.
And Pat deserves the attention and happy day.

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