Back home in Washington after a great month in Palm Springs. Zipped back across on Thursday afternoon and have been busy paying bills, opening mail, and getting the taxes ready for the accountant.
The Coachella Valley was spectacular in February. The only weather glitch we had was in the middle of this past week when there were very high straight line winds for two days. Perfectly sunny, and not especially cold, but wow, quite a breeze. The wonderful mountains that frame the valley really do create a very friendly microclimate that tends to keep the clouds and the rain away, even when it's nasty in LA. Most times, it even keeps the famous LA "marine layer" of clouds out. And of course you can pretty much count on temps at least 10 degrees warmer than LA this time of year. In any event, we had exactly no rain the entire month, and no clouds to speak of. Sunny every day. But then, it's the desert!
We had a four-bedroom house that we shared with one of Terry's cousins and his wife. Over the course of the month we had another cousin visit, plus some friends from here in Washington, then our younger kid for a week, then our older kid and his wife for almost a week. Lots of fun, lots of good cooks, plus lots of good restaurants. Made our annual trip to Joshua Tree Park, and another to Idyllwild in the San Bernardino Mountains, and visited other friends in the LA area. Very relaxing and enjoyable.
Younger son Kevin is in the ad business, so in between golf games while he was with us in Palm Springs he ran into LA to attend the rollout party for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. He came back with a photo of him and his new friend Beyonce (who, as most males now know, is on the cover). Then this past Wednesday, back in New York, he had to get a shot to prevent getting hepatitis A, because a worker on Wolfgang Puck's catering staff for the party apparently has the disease. Bottom line: you have dinner with Beyonce and you have to take the cure. This weekend he's skiing in Park City (tough life), but if I can get him to e-mail me the photo next week I'll post it here. It's very funny.
Finally, I was thinking about Kuki's article about how cheap it is to cruise vs. a land based vacation. Here's a thought: IF you can afford a month, you can rent a four-bedroom, three bath house in Palm Springs, complete with huge pool, hot tub, and all other amenities including wireless internet, firepit, deck misters, large-screen Tv's, you name it--for $200 a night. If you share the house with another couple, that's $100/night/couple. And you still have two bedrooms left for friends and relatives to visit as your guests. The house we were in is in a primo neighborhood, walking distance to downtown Palm Springs and a five minute drive to the airport. Yes, you need to rent a car and you need to eat, but on a per day basis we're still getting pretty close to cruise pricing here. And the nice part is that there's no timeshare involved, no long-term commitment. Just go online with the rental agent and pick your place. When you're done, just turn the key in the lock and go home. No worries.