Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wintering in Palm Springs


View of the Coachella Valley from the top of the tram
Well, well where to start?  After 6 years of wintering in the tip of Texas, wintering in the Palm Springs area  was quite a change.   Instead of Pickups and Border patrol vehicles, there were Benz's, Bmer's and Jag's. I have seen more high end vehicles than I had seen in my entire life during the last 5 months.  Gas prices from TX to CA made the 'Pick-up to Mercedes' kind of leap as well!  Other than gas, food and other cost here really weren't outrageous.  Like the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, Palm Springs sits in a valley that is a series of smaller cities.  It is hard to know where one city ends and the other starts. Palm Springs is in the Coachella Valley. Many a movie star, politician and millionaire have visited or lived in the Coachella Valley  ... and then there is me & Dog, none of those just yet! :-)   After not being allowed to stay at a park in Indio at the east end of the Valley, I found the Sands RV & Golf Resort in Desert Hot Springs .. nice park on the 'wrong side of the tracks'.  Wrong side meaning the windy, north side of I-10.   The good thing about being on the windy side of I-10 is that the RV Park prices are actually reasonable enough for non-millionaires to stay in and when the roads aren't closed from blowing sand, you can go to Palm Springs and enjoy a fabulous day out of the wind.

LaQuinta, CA Arts Festival Grounds
I found lots to do in the area and despite spending almost 5 months here, didn't get to do it all.  One of the things that I enjoyed was the Palm Springs Tram which goes up to 8500' to the San Jacinto State park.   There was snow up there the entire winter and you could snow shoe, sled or cross country ski all while looking out over the desert.  I had a great time enjoying the snow up there on Christmas Eve morning, then came back down and enjoyed my shorts and 70 degrees the rest of the day.

Downtown Palm Springs has many restaurants, sidewalk cafe's, shops, galleries and such to enjoy.   Every Thursday evening there is a street fair called the Villagefest with many different kinds of venders and entertainment.  The venders that let you taste their bakery and food items were my favorites to visit!  The Coachella has all kinds of fests and entertainment that come through.  The local casino's host all the big name concerts.   The Southwest Arts Festival was my favorite of the fests.  The Palm Springs Follies, where all of the entertainers are over 55 made for a wonderful evening out as well.

I could go on and on and on about the events, hiking areas, mountain towns, the Salton Sea and golf courses but just don't have enough space for that.   I will suffice to say that in spite of the windy day here and there, that this is a great place to spend the winter.

While I truly missed my friends back in Texas, I met some great folks here, made some new friends and enjoyed having new adventures.  

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