Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 2 - Palm Springs CA

October 2015 - Palm Springs CA

Click here for week 1 recap.


After a breakfast of bacon and eggs John and I lazed around, walking around the resort and spending some time by the pool. It was another gorgeous day with no humidity.

Limes growing on the grounds. We picked some and they were delicious!

The view as you lie by the pool.

The condos.

Dinner - we had reservations at Cafe Italia in Indian Wells. It is not easy to find tucked away in the end of a strip mall.

They started off with a song I had just mentioned that day!!

Seasons of Love from Rent

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments, oh dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

Lighting is a little bright. Servers are charming and friendly. The highlight is the singing servers. They sang Broadway songs this night but I have read they also do opera.

Food is inexpensive. When we mentioned that the bruschetta was terrible, no garlic and piled high with ice cold tomatoes it was immediately removed from our bill.
Food was good, nothing outstanding.
For dessert we ordered the creme brulee with raspberries but it came with a strawberry!!

Still all in all a fun evening due to the entertaining singers.


John and I drove to La Quinta and explored Old Town and then the Sculpture Garden behind City Hall.

Just a sample of the sculptures. More to come.

Driving back to Palm Desert.

Some drive by art as we look for a place for lunch. Lots more street art to come.

This is El Paseo, a world class shopping and arts area.

Decided to find something to eat in The Garden, an outdoor shopping mall on El Paseo.
Lovely seating areas.

Now if only I could say something good about our lunch at La Pacifica. Location was nice. There, something nice.

 No draft beer on tap only bottles and not a very inspiring selection.

John's beer was $11 - yes, $11 US.

Choose any two   $14
Accompanied by salsa fresca, cabbage and fresh guacamole
Pacifica’s Original
grilled cod filet, corn tortilla, chipotle aioli
Baja Shrimp
corn tortilla, pepper-jack cheese, chili sauce
Pork Carnitas
flour tortilla, feta cheese, tomatillo salsa
New!   Garlic-herb Chicken
seasoned chicken, roasted bell pepper, flour tortilla

I ordered the pork and chicken tacos as I confirmed with the server that they came with flour tortillas. Two tacos came and I ate the pork, rather dry, no spices. I took one bite of the chicken (bland, boring no seasoning) and said that is a corn tortilla. Server came and agreed and said she would bring a flour tortilla. I would have expected a new chicken taco, no, she brought me a couple of flour tortillas and I was expected to move the chicken from the other tortilla. Didn't matter, it was tasteless.

John had the chicken sandwich, same chicken as mine. He said that it was also very bland.
Herbed Chicken Breast Sandwich    14
hickory smoked dijon mustard aioli,
apple-wood bacon, cheddar cheese, ciabatta

After lunch we strolled El Paseo. here's a couple of photos.

Dinner - we learned the hard way that the oven's temperature is much lower than it says. Cornish hens
with roast potatoes and vegetables.


Spent the day at the Desert Hot Springs Miracle Spa. Such a nice way to spend a Monday!!

Driving there.

A lovely lunch by the pool.

Fajitas - using the leftover steak and cornish hens.


The four of us headed to The Living Desert. We've been here several times over the years and have watched it grow and expand.


The Living Desert is a remarkable zoo and botanical garden representing the desert environments of North America and Africa. With over 1200 protected acres, 450 wild animals, live animal shows, kids’ play park, tranquil gardens, model train exhibit, hiking trails, tram rides and more,


This little guy was out for a stroll with a keeper. He is new to the zoo, his owner couldn't take care of him any longer. He is 25 years old.

Don't worry I'll be back with more super cute animal photos!!!

We picked up rotisserie chickens along with some potato salad and green salad.


John and I set out with no clear agenda other than the Palm Springs Sculpture Garden.
Just giving you a taste here.

John, being creative.

We went looking for the Holocaust Memorial in Palm Desert. We found it in the Civic Park after a few wrong turns.

When we entered the park I was sure this was a real guy fishing and wondered why he was dressed so warmly when the temperature was 87 F!!!

Before we reach the Memorial we stop for some photos of the park.

David Phelps’ sculpture of “The Dreamer” who seems to be very comfortable and providing an example for all to follow.

The weathered and crackled figure is nearly 14 feet long and 4 feet high.

Click on this panorama to view.

More in the park.

OOPS he fell back into the lake!

Covered parking with solar system on roof!

A rather handsome fellow!

Back of our fisherman.

A stop at Macy's and JC Penney's for new bathing suits. John score 2 Jackie 0.

A quick Philly steak at the food court and we are good to go.

Next stop - Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Why? There are a number of celebrities interred here. We are on the hunt for Guy Madison, Dinah Shore, Buddy Rodgers, and Jane Wyman.

 It was no easy feat to track these four down.

Jane Wyman (born Sarah Jane Mayfield; January 5, 1917 – September 10, 2007) was an American singer, dancer, and film/television actress. She began her film career in 1932 and her work in television lasted into 1993. She was a prolific performer for two decades. She received an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Johnny Belinda (1948), and later in life achieved a new level of success in the 1980s as the aging wine country matriarch Angela Channing, the lead role on Falcon Crest.

She was the first wife of Ronald Reagan; they married in 1940 and divorced in 1949.

John was looking at the right wall when an employee kindly pointed Dinah Shore out.
Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore; February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994) was an American singer, actress, television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She reached the height of her popularity as a recording artist during the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.

Shore was married to actor George Montgomery from 1943 to 1962. Shore gave birth to daughter Melissa Ann, now known as Melissa Montgomery, in January 1948. The author of Mr. S, Frank Sinatra's longtime valet George Jacobs, claimed Shore and Sinatra had a long-standing affair in the 1950s. After her divorce from Montgomery, she briefly married Maurice Smith. Romances of the later 1960s involved comedian Dick Martin, singer Eddie Fisher, and actor Rod Taylor.

In the early 1970s, Shore had a long and happy public romance with actor Burt Reynolds who was twenty years her junior. The relationship gave Shore an updated, sexy image, and took some of the pressure off Reynolds in maintaining his image as a ladies' man.

Driving back to the condo.

Time to head out for dinner at Las Casuelas Terraza where we had lunch a week ago.

But it isn't just an ordinary dinner. Everyone is given a cigar ($16 each retail) and two types of tequila. Sponsors were  Fame Wine & Cigar Lounge and Azuñia TequilaDinner was a carnitas bar containg salads, rice, refried beans, pulled pork and chicken. Delicious. Not a bad deal for $35!


The four of us set out for Joshua Tree National Park. We head out following the map but it seems wrong so we turn around and go by way of Yucca, a better drive!

First on our agenda is a stop at the Joshua Tree Inn.

The Joshua Tree Inn, built in 1950, is a Hacienda Style inn conveniently located just six miles from the grandeur of Joshua Tree National Park.

Why would we stop at a motel in the desert?? This sign in the window explains why.

It is a little funky and would be fun to stay in for a night. Love the chandelier.

The Inn is the site of the legendary Gram Parsons Room, where the beloved and respected musician/songwriter spent his last hours. 

In Room 8 of the Joshua Tree Inn on Sept. 19, 1973, Gram Parsons died of an overdose, a combination of morphine, pills and tequila.

The body of the 26-year-old singer — who, through work with The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and his brief solo output pioneered the genre of country rock — then was abducted by close friend and road manager Phil Kaufman. Along with another buddy, Kaufman (per an informal agreement between him and the singer) borrowed a hearse, stole Parsons' coffin from LAX, where it was waiting to be shipped to his stepfather in New Orleans, and drove out to Joshua Tree National Park. There, they doused it in five gallons of gasoline and set it aflame. (The caper was memorialized in the 2003 Johnny Knoxville film, Grand Theft Parsons.)

Outside Room 8 is an ever-changing memorial as fans bring tributes.

The only piece of furniture dating back to Parsons' death is a round mirror at the foot of the bed.

 We stop at the visitors' centre for a map (and bathroom and water). We met Abigail.

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain.



By the mid-19th century, Mormon immigrants had made their way across the Colorado River. Legend has it that these pioneers named the tree after the biblical figure, Joshua, seeing the limbs of the tree as outstretched in supplication, guiding the travelers westward. Concurrent with Mormon settlers, ranchers and miners arrived in the high desert with high hopes of raising cattle and digging for gold. These homesteaders used the Joshua tree’s limbs and trunks for fencing and corrals. Miners found a source of fuel for the steam engines used in processing ore.

Lots of rocks!

We head up to Keys View.
Hard to believe that Palm Springs is in front of us.

Skull Rock - pretty evident, don't you think?


While Room 8 is where Parsons left this earth, and New Orleans is where his remains were buried, it's at Cap Rock — a landmark deep in Joshua Tree National Park, where a boulder rests atop a rock formation surrounded by the park's namesake trees — that fans pay him respect.

Cap Rock

By now we are hungry and want some lunch. We leave the park and enter 29 Palms.

We're hoping to find the Joshua Tree Saloon.

Dinner was burgers and salad.


Everyone had some last minute items to take care of before we go home tomorrow.

John and I headed out to get some photos I wanted downtown and pick up postcards and stamps.

And a stop here for a mural.

Then to La Quinta to visit the museum that was closed on Sunday when we were there.

I'll do a detailed post on the museum another time.

For lunch we decided on The Yard House in Rancho Mirage, a favourite of ours having been to the one in Honolulu several times and the Las Vegas location.

chicken, chili cream cheese, carrots, green onions, cilantro, spinach

boneless short ribs, spinach, daikon radish, green onions

I had googled the Forest Lawn cemetery and discovered we missed a bunch of famous graves. 

Like...George Montgomery, mentioned above. 

It is really hot out now so we head back to jump into the pool.

Dinner was steak and potatoes.


We are flying home today, direct flight, unlike on the way down when we had to connect in Calgary.
Our flight is at 12:30 PM.

Palm Springs airport is tiny and lovely, most of it outside once you clear security.

Snow covered mountains over Colorado. Palm Springs to Toronto is 3,360 kilometers


  1. Beautiful shots! Joshua Tree particularly... I'd love to get to that park.

  2. Wow you certainly made the most of your time in Palm Springs... I've always wanted to go. Those tacos look amazing although $11 for a beer is pricey but usual here in London!

  3. makes me want to go somewhere. have you ever explored the murals in 29 palms?

  4. Gosh you saw heaps more than I did when I was there. Maybe because we had little grandchildren with us and the temperatures were over 100.


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