It was a challenge knowing what to pack. We brought our printer, our Keurig coffee maker, Christmas tree and decorations, clothes for all seasons, etc. We spent the first few hours learning about our new place - where everything is and what we don't have! We had to call the landlord the second day - the garburetor plugged and there were a few things we wanted to know - he drove the 2 hours from Huntington Beach where they live to help us out. The place is actually nicer than we remembered from the one and only time we saw it and the hot tub and pool area is amazing. The pool will be heated during November and January and cold in December and February - they alternate the 32 pools on site. We bought a few groceries for the first couple of days then on the third day Maureen went out and got the rest of the essentials - including a Yorkshire pan and ingredients. When she got back, a little lizard scooted in the house, paused and shook a bit, then ran back out. We have had several crickets inside as well. Larry exercised in the pool and then went and explored on his scooter. There is a lemon tree on one side of the house and an orange tree on the other side. Fresh citrus when it's ready!
Candis (she used to work for Larry) and Darryl (Aaron used to work with him at Pearl years ago) came down to visit on Sunday the 8th for three nights. It was a nice respite for them (they have three boys) and great to catch up with them. Darryl works at Fraserway RV so we have a lot in common. On Monday we left in the morning and showed them the Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain and some other parts of the Palm Springs area. It was quite a long day which included a stop at Costco for lobster tails. Darryl BBQ'd steaks and lobster and we ate outside. Each day included a dip in the pool and ended with a nice hot tub. Tuesday the guys golfed nine holes in a 60 mph wind at Desert Princess and the ladies went for a bit of shopping. In the afternoon we walked up and down Palm Canyon Drive looking in shops and ended at Fishermen's Market & Grill for an excellent dinner. Fun times! Their flight on Wednesday got them home before a big storm hit the coast.
On Friday the 13th we drove to Pomona to the drag races. It only took about an hour and a quarter to get there. Traffic was smooth and all the road construction seems to have been completed for now. This time we had tickets for the Top Eliminator Club. This gives you a nice covered seating area to eat, free beverages (non-alcohol), a gift pack including a hat and pin, continental breakfast and buffet lunch Saturday and Sunday, and bathrooms just for the TEC ticket holders (they were cleaned constantly - so nice). We had arranged for seating in the handicapped section, right at the starting line, thinking this would be handy for Larry with his scooter. However, we learned that while Larry has some limitations, he certainly is not handicapped!
On Saturday we had lunch with some people who knew we were from Canada by the time our first sentence was out of our mouths - one man had grown up in Michigan so had heard Canadian accents a lot, one lady grew up in North Bay so was still Canadian at heart. Who knew that we say "out" and "house" differently from anyone else!
We met some interesting people in our section. The man to Maureen's left had full use of his arms but was paralyzed the rest of the way down. The man to our far right had a very special wheelchair that could be raised so he was strapped into a standing position so he could see. He seemed to have use of his right hand to operate the controls but very little else. The chair gave him the opportunity to enjoy the races. We got to chatting with the woman right beside us who was with a man in a scooter. He had a large open wound on his leg that wept continually. After talking to her on Sunday, we learned his situation. His mother was an actress, his father a screenwriter in Hollywood. They got in with the wrong crowd and drugs so his upbringing was not great. He himself got mixed up with people who did a lot of robberies and he ended up in jail for 8 years also becoming an addict. When he got out he turned his life around quite a bit but was caught with a gram of speed and this became his "third strike" so he was sent to jail 25 to life. While there it was discovered he had cancer - by the time he was diagnosed he was in Stage 3 with the cancer progressing to many areas. He had several major surgeries, the third strike rules were amended and he was able to be released. He's had good care since but is not in good shape at all. The lady we were talking to - "M" - has known him for many, many years and has stood by him. He's in constant pain and the prognosis is not good. We shared our information and will keep in touch with M and hopefully see her at the track in the spring. Awesome people but a real eye-opener.
The races were good. We touched base with Skylar, who works on Clay Millican's car, again - he remembered us! We also had a nice visit with Kay and Buddy - the ear protection people of Racing Electronics. They are threatening to retire - they work so hard. They've sold their house in North Carolina and will be moving to Fairhope, Alabama where they are originally from. Sunday was a lot cooler. There was some rain so the races had to be delayed - huge black clouds and big wind. They were able to finish off successfully and rather than stay another night we headed back to Palm Springs. It only took just over an hour as traffic moved really well. We got home by 6:22 and were in the hot tub warming up by 6:30.
Snow on the mountains Monday morning so a lot cooler. The wind overnight had blown several lemons off the tree. It's still cooler as we hit the end of November. Still sunny and beautiful though! We've connected with our friends Larry and Diane from Swan Lake a few times. We're getting good use out of the pool and hot tub. We cooked a whole turkey for American Thanksgiving and enjoyed the leftovers.
Maureen put up the Christmas decorations on November 27 - a little early for Larry! Wishing all our Trip Journal friends a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. If anyone is in the Palm Springs area from now til the end of February, we are open to visitors!