Sunday, May 6, 2012

Who knew that Palm Springs was such a charmer

It has been dreary this week, weather-wise.  This is how May goes.  Overcast in the morning and then hazy the rest of the day.  Which is how I found myself spending an hour on Thursday night looking at pictures of sun-drenched island resorts.  And pricing flights to the Maldives.  And writing mental notes for the Wealthy Benefactor (Private villa and not one of those over the water bungalows because I like sitting on a chair with my feet in the sand.  Also, there should be a hot tub and an infinity pool.  I think those come standard with Wealthy Benefactors.  I mean, even if we're at his Swiss chalet there will be a hot tub and infinity pool, right?)

So when Camille called me at 11am Friday and said, "I think we need to be spontaneous.  Let's go to Palm Springs," I was on board.  Like something that is really, really on board.  SO on board. 
Four hours later we were pool-side.


Note:  that is the family pool.  The adults only pool was filled with really tan and mostly skeevy old people.  Several of them were making out.

Let's talk about this phenomenon for a sec.  Why do the elderly flock to the desert?  The place was swarming with them. You couldn't toss your support hose ten feet without hitting one.  Is it the dry heat?  Do they just really love sage brush?  Are they looking for a place to wear their extensive muumuu/desert Hawaiian shirt collection?  There were people at the pool who looked like they had done nothing with their lives but roast in the desert sun.  We watched a man spend at least 4 straight hours flipping from back to front every 20 minutes.  His skin was the color and texture of burnt carrot cake.  It's a mystery.
Back to the pool!  We stayed there all afternoon.  And all of the next morning.  And it was glorious.  The sun!  The breeze rustling through the palm trees!  The water that was the perfect temperature! Sweet land of liberty, I love a pool. It was hours of swimming and reading and napping and re-applying sunscreen because I refuse to be that dumb girl anymore, the one who thinks she could tan.  You can't tan, Rachel!!!  Do you see how pasty I am in the above picture?  I am still that pasty. Years of blistered, seeping (once even bleeding) sun burns have taught me well.
I would have been thrilled if that had been it, just sitting by the pool.  But we got a bonus treat at dinner.  We went across the street to this place called Billy Reed's and it was The Best Restaurant In the Entire World if Food Wasn't Factored In.  You guys, you have to promise me that if you're ever in Palm Springs you will go there and think fondly of me.  I actually bet that you won't be able to not think of me because it's as if everything in my brain spilled out and landed in this place - minus Tyra Banks.  The only way I can describe it is how Mrs. Olsen (on Little House on the Prairie) would have decorated Nellie's restaurant if Nells has been a wealthy banker instead of just a local mercantile proprietor.  It was very, very 1880s Mankato.  There were colored glass lamps and an enormous wooden bar and red velvet chairs and waiters with enormous facial hair, and it was kind of dark and musty.  Which all sounds dated and a little tragic until you throw in dozens of elderly folks in their best desert casual dining wear and suddenly it is kitsch paradise.  I could have stayed there all night.  Except that aside from lounging by the pool we had additional plans of lounging in our hotel room.  But on the way out I very nearly vowed to track Billy Reed down and ask if he would adopt me so I could be part of this empire because what do they have every Friday night?  Ballroom dancing. There were about 10 mature women of elegant leisure sitting at tables lining a small dance floor just waiting for a gentleman to come and ask them for a dance. I couldn't stand it!  It was possibly the best thing I had ever seen in my life.

Mystery solved.  When I'm 65 and the Muumuu Years commence, I am moving to Palm Springs because apparantly all I need is a pool and a room full of old people to make me happy.

3 comments:

Valerie said...

This sounds like a dream. Le sigh.

What was the food like?

Rach said...

I'm dying to hop in a car and drive to Palm Springs with you. It sounds like just what the doctor ordered. I love sitting by pools and reading and basking in sunshine. When the baby starts sleeping through the night (which should have happened 5 months ago), I am going to meet up with you somewhere warm and sunny. Deal?

April Aleman said...

Ok... I will agree to go here, only if the next time you are in Palm Springs you will go to Shame on The Moon. A bit pricey, but the atmosphere, the old lady greeters, the patrons and especially their customer service won't let you regret it!