Our very first road trip together didn’t happen until the first week of March, 2015, to visit some of Ruth’s relatives. We left Sun City, Arizona on Thursday after lunch and headed out on the I-10 towards Palm Springs, California.
To tell you the truth, there’s not a lot to look at along this particular Interstate — especially in Arizona, where all you see is sand, flat rocks and, occasionally, a smattering of small bushes scattered in the desert. But before we knew it, we were at the California border and, yes, they still have a check stop to see if you are carrying any fruit with you.
With the change of state also came a change of scenery. Now there were at least a few mountains to break up the desert monotony!
Destination La Quinta
We had no trouble finding our destination. Ruth’s relatives were renting a home in the gated community at the La Quinta Country Club, about 40 minutes outside of Palm Springs. Turns out, they found it through Vacation Rental By Owners – a website that puts renters together with homeowners. I’ve also used their services, and know others who have too, and I’ve never heard any complaints.
It was a very large, southwestern -style home with an attached casita (and, lucky me! I won the draw to have it for the duration of our stay!) The house was quite high up from the fairway, facing north and had a patio leading to the swimming pool and hot tub. It was so beautiful to have breakfast outside watching the goings on of the maintenance crews and golfers below. Hummingbirds were everywhere (to the feeder and away, again) and one evening we had a Great Blue Heron come wandering close to the house – I managed to get a picture of it with my iPad and I’ve included it here on the left. I know it was a Great Blue Heron because the folks at WhatBird.com helped me identify it. Thanks, JimBob, PaintedBunting and Liam for the confirms!
Friday morning ,we had an early tee time at the South course at the Golf Course at Terra Lago. I’ve golfed the North course many times, but had never golfed the South one before. Anyone I’d ever asked about Tara Lago always recommended the North course and we soon knew why! The South course criss-crosses back and forth and back and forth — with a lot of water — and sand! We even got mixed up as to where we should go several times — boo! Truth was, it was a bit too difficult for some of the people in our foursome.
Saturday morning, we were off to the La Quinta Art Festival – which is one of the most famous art festivals in the entire USA. There was jewelry and paintings – paintings of every size – large, larger and largest – and some of the artists were taking orders for reprints or custom works. In addition to the art, there was entertainment – quintets, soloists – it was a beautiful setting. But man, oh, man, was it hot!
Ruth and I were looking for something cold to drink when we came across a stand selling Icelandic Glacier water. Both of us fell in love with that bottle at first sight – it’s square, not round like most of the bottled water that you find, and we thought it was sort of cool that there, in the desert-like existence of the Coachella Valley, we found water that comes all the way from Iceland! I kept the bottle, I love it so much.
Indian Springs – Great Golf!
Sunday was another golf day. We played the Indian Springs Golf Club in Indio. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm and — bonus — there was absolutely NO WIND! The course is very well laid out, without surprises: what you see is what you get! Lunch is always included with your green fee and the food is excellent — I’ve played this course several times and the food has been great every time! Soup, sandwich and a beverage is my idea of a great way to relax after golf.
I also had family in Palm Desert that weekend – my daughter, Lisa, and her family. They’d come for a weekend getaway and were staying at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa. Gord came to pick me up to have a visit and dinner with them and, to my surprise, one of my daughter’s close friends was also there. We had a wonderful evening together — and lots of laughs!
My son-in-law took me back to my “casita” around midnight and Ruth and I were back on I-10 around 9:00 the next morning. Before we knew it, we were back in Sun City. All in all, it was a great weekend. Even if our first road trip ever gave us a mixed bag when it came to the golf, we had good food, good company — and a lot of good fun.