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One word to sum up Vancouver in January: RAIN.
One word to sum up Vancouver in January: RAIN.
So when my good friends Sue and Gar (who have been like a 2nd set of parents ever since I met them/dated their son 18 years ago), invited me to Palm Springs, I leapt at the chance! Flights out of Bellingham are extremely economical (even if one has to go on the milk run both ways), so I could COMPLETELY rationalize going.
And it was totally worth it! The house they rented had its own backyard pool...a definite highlight! I swam EVERY morning whilst a hummingbird watched me from the tree overlooking the pool:) And you all know how significant hummingbirds have been for me. It even flew over to me when I came out onto the patio to show Sue a fancy dress I brought. Mom still trying to approve my wardrobe!?
The first day I was there, we went downtown to check out the 'Forever Marilyn' statue. Apparently, Palm Springs is where she was discovered and they seemed very proud to have her back there. It is quite something to see: 26 ft tall and looks so strikingly identical to her. But to see it with the backdrop of the mountains, palm trees and desert is rather surreal.
We had heard that if the fruit overhangs the fence, it is free for the pickings! The tree branches in front were super prickly and trying to balance on Sue's hands whilst picking the fruit and not dropping it was no easy task! She hoisted me up not one, not two but THREE times before I noticed a full gaggle of senior citizens enjoying the debauchery from the other side in the comfort of their patio recliners...poolside. Always obliged to be the source of someone else's entertainment...it just happens:)
Our next adventure was Joshua TreeNational Park. I have to say that it was so exciting to be traveling and taking pictures again. Sue and Gar were just as amped about all the potential photo opps and so we had many a stop throughout the park. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the sun set over the cactus garden like the guide had told us we would if we arrived by 5:15. So we vowed to come back the next day...
And was I glad we did. The colour of the sky and the golden light in itself was stunning..add in the funky cacti, made me a very content little photog!
I had a chance to join the Mile High Club after a twisty trip up the San Jacinta Mountains to Cafe Aroma Bistro. They have modeled their restroom to resemble an airplane lavatory. Their is a flying cow outside one of the windows, a t-shirt that says 'Join the Mile High Club' and a life size photo of a flight attendant on the door. My favourite part is the hate mail they had framed from an ex-patron extremely up in arms over the 'encouraging' of customers to have sex in their bathroom. Some people really just need to relax. Alas, I am still not a member.
About sunset that night, we went to one of the nearby wind farms to photograph the turbines up close. Again. Another exhilarating experience. The warm winds blowing me every which way and the sound of the turbines and the light at dusk...I had a hard time tearing myself away. I felt an amazing energy there and left invigorated and so grateful to get to be there.
The eve of my last night there, we planned to head to a local nightclub, but instead we just stopped at The Riviera to take a gander at where the brat pack lolly gagged (you know you are getting older when). The chandeliers are sure to be future pieces of jewelry.
I was so sad to leave Sue and Gar but SO happy that I went. Every bit of it was food for the soul and the best part was all the belly laughs we had. I don't know two people that are happier or more in love than them and it's completely contagious. It was so nice to awake to the sound of laughter and splashing in the pool...and so lovely just to wake up to other people around period, as I am normally waking up to hungry kitties at my bedside (good, but human contact is pretty sweet!).
Where does the road lead to next? HINT: Volcanologists, surfers and photogs flock there:)
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."
- Elizabeth Gilbert, author