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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Palm Springs, California

Our next stop was Palm Springs, California.  We decided to stay at the Thousand Trails Park in Palm Desert and use it as a base for doctors’ appointments, dentist visits etc.  Since we don’t find the inside of medical offices very exciting we don’t have a lot to report for this visit.  Nevertheless, we did have a good opportunity to take a few fun pictures and we’ll share these later in the blog.

First, a discussion of the TT Palm Springs Park.  Like many Thousand Trails parks that are named for a locale, this park is not actually in Palm Springs, but about 15 miles away in Palm Desert.  It is close to numerous services, stores, and restaurants in La Quinta, and Palm Springs itself is close enough.  The park is located right off of Interstate 10 at the Washington Street Exit.  It is gated and fenced and offers a number of activities.  On the other hand, it used to be a date palm farm and the trees make the parking of big rigs challenging.  The park has two sides, one with 30-amp service and pull-through sites and the other with 50-amp service and back-in sites.  It sure would be nice if the park would install 50-amp service on the pull-through side!  On the positive side, the park does not charge an additional fee for 50-amp service.  All of the sites are narrow (we couldn’t put out our awning and barely got both slides out) and shallow (we backed all the way into the site and were barely off the road).  We have been following, with interest, the discussion of this park and the one in Las Vegas as being big parking lots in the city without that “camping feel” that some look for.  We accept that this park “is what it is” on that account.  It is close to the many activities available in Palm Springs, Riverside, and Los Angeles.  If you are looking to camp this is not the place for you.  On the Moore Scale we give this park an 8 out of 10 with a couple of points taken off for the difficulty in parking and poor wifi.  This was our second time in this park and we would stay again.

We arrived in time to spend Veterans’ Day weekend with our son, Shane, and his family.  Shane plays bagpipes for the University of California, Riverside, Highlanders Pipe Band.  The band has a few UCR students, but due to the difficulty of learning to play the bagpipe, most of the band members are professionals from the community.  This is the case with Shane who has both a Bachelors and Masters (MBA) degree and is in charge of the technology for an Orange County City.  The band was playing at a Veteran’s day event held at a local airport … Great Band and Great Air Show!  Here are a few pictures.

Kim & son, Shane

Shane Plays in the Parade

UCR Pipe Band

Grandchildren examine a WWII aircraft

The general's car (I never had one of these!)

Following the day’s festivities we returned to home to enjoy a great meal with Shane, his wife Dee, and their two children: Aedyn and Conner.  As it turned out Conner’s 4th birthday was just around the corner, so we enjoyed that event with the kids as well.

Grandson, Conner opens a present

Conner plays with new remote controlled monkey

While in La Quinta, we had the opportunity to eat at one of the 10 best steak houses in America: L G s Prime Steakhouse (Thanks to a gift from our son Jason and his wife Jen…  Thanks guys!).  The steaks are huge … but they are “melt in your mouth” delicious as well.  Here is a picture of Lynda’ half-eaten steak after we got home (the paper plate is ours … the restaurant provided lovely china).  Cody got to enjoy the bone from my Porterhouse.  It’s as big as he is.

Half of Lynda's steak was leftover

Cody enjoys a porterhouse bone

Even though we retired from California (a good place to be FROM), we had never been to Joshua Tree National Park.  If you love the desert then don’t miss this one.  Since we used to have a Joshua Tree in our back yard we were not as enthralled (funny how that happens).  Here are some pictures of the park.

Joshua Trees in the park

More Joshua Trees

Huge boulder formations are found throughout the National Park

Jumping Cholla cactus garden

Ocotillo Plant - Not in bloom

Thorns of the Ocotillo Plant ... and one lonely bloom

Until next time … Keep doing what you love!