let me drive into the desert after a close Bears game
lets stop off at Trader Joes for everything that’ll fit in a mini fridge.
it’s almost 5pm? maybe we can get into a 5pm mass after we check in.
because amber works where she does and its connected to this resort, we only have to pay a fraction of the downright reasonable $400 a night stay in whats called a Starlight Castilla.
it’s called that because it’s everything a regular room gets you, plus you have your own staircase that leads to a private outdoor deck that includes a cool couch and even cooler outdoor fireplace.
inside the room is plush, a second fireplace is next to the tv. french windows, carpet, flat screen tv, tile bathroom with a separate shower and bath tub.
outside there are 41 pools and 41 hot tubs. some bigger than others. each just a little stroll away, so lets say a beautiful young woman with tattoos and a frosty margarita slides into your late night dip, you can escape to a nearby empty hot tub because it’s Sunday, not Sinday, Becky.
there are many magical things about the desert. the heat is calming, the wind plays with the fronds of the palm trees, the sky is unblemished blue and then black at night. the stars come out one after another to say happy birthday.
even the lobby of the La Quina Resort smells otherworldly yet somehow familiar. we heard bad things about the mexican restaurant and since neither of us were interested in $20 drinks, we drove and drove towards Palm Springs proper looking for dinner.
thai? maybe, but we live in Thai Town, Chinese? maybe. italian? sure. and as we were at one of the super long stop lights i turned to amber and said, i could go for anything, even a Red Lobster.
we laughed. she put Red Lobster into Waze and it was a block away. so we went for it. endless shrimp? endless yes!
amber is like me, down for pretty much whatever. especially if it is cheesy and probably not the things you “should” do on you 199th birthday. we ate four different kinds of shrimp (regular was the best), devoured those biscuits, ordered sides of broccoli and mashed potatoes, drank pop like kids and ducked out before they could surprise me with a desert and a song.
amber: but but
me: xbi can’t have his spot blown up like that
drove home, the hotel had delivered a nice box of chocolate covered pretzels. the hot tubs were used. the deck was used. the fireplace was turned on and janes addiction’s three days oozed from my wireless speaker. we fell asleep to the grateful dead. gratefully.
in the morning we packed and said hi to Coachella, which was surprisingly open, so amber rolled around in the grass and told me the sad tale of when she was last there.
we drove down the freeway back to LA but were starving and i saw these billboards for a vegas style buffet at a nearby casino.
almost went to in n out but amber loves salad and the good thing about buffets are their salad bars.
first we stopped off at the dinosaurs from Pee Wees Big Adventure and went into the brontosaurus gift shop and got some gifts.
then at the casino we met a woman with a tiara that said “it’s my birthday!” i approached her and her daughters (?) and said it’s MY birthday! they said, “she’s 90 today!” i said but IM 90 today!
we took a picture. she was so tiny it was awesome and she did not look 90 at all. so full of life. such a good sign. proof that one should hang out more in casinos. i mean in the desert. i mean with loved ones.
and people who understand the value of subtleties
and down to earth strangers.
i think that resort is my new favorite.