Joan and Eric left in the morning on the 1st. When we woke up on Monday, January 4 there was more snow on the mountains - this is the most we've ever seen since we've been coming here. Maureen met Diane and a couple of others for a nice hike. Then it was to the airport to pick up Aaron! He was coming to stay with us on his way to his winter trip - starting in Cabo San Lucas and ending in Cancun in April. We were expecting a rain storm on Tuesday and it delivered as promised. We took Aaron on a bit of a drive to show him some of the area. By they time we arrived back at Desert Princess, the curbside lanes of all the streets were filled to the top of the curb. There was a ton more snow on the mountains.
On the 6th we drove down to Yuma. We met Larry's brother Glenn and his wife Marlene in the Algodones parking lot and walked across into Mexico. We had a nice lunch at El Paraiso. Then we had to pick up some medications and get our hair cut - Aaron even got a 1/4" cut off. When we were done we went back across the border to our hotel (Best Western) to check-in. They offered two drinks a day for happy hour so we just had to have one. It was chilly and a little windy but we sat around the pool to drink it. Then we drove to Glenn and Marlene's for a wonderful dinner. The next day we had time to fit in the Yuma Territorial Prison before we met Ken and Mavis for coffee then went to Lutes Casino for a combo burger lunch. Aaron was impressed! On the way back up the east side of the Salton Sea we stopped at Salvation Mountain, drove through Slab City and Bombay Beach. We stopped at the Visitor Centre for the State Park and watched the video. We saw lots of dead Tilapia and the very unique barnacle beach. Neither the tilapia or the barnacles are native to this area. There's supposed to be 400 million fish in the Sea and as they run out of oxygen each year there is a huge die-off. It's also on the Western Flyway and there are always lots of interesting birds, although this day there were no white pelicans.
On Friday the 8th Larry R. dropped Diane off at our place and we headed up towards Joshua Tree National Park. We took a little detour to Pioneertown and had lunch at Pappy and Harriet's. There was quite a bit of evidence of the recent heavy rains here with a backdrop of the beautiful snowy mountains. We made numerous stops in the Park including the highlight of Keys View where you can actually see part of the San Andreas Fault as well as Palm Springs. There was snow at the top! One of the stops was a campground that was nearly full of tenters containing climbers of the many rock faces in the area. Aaron thought he might like to do that one day. We got back into Thousand Palms at 4 pm in time to meet Larry R. at The Classic for Happy Hour. They have good food there and cheap drinks.
On the 9th we golfed 9 holes at The Vineyards. It was a lovely day and the course had dried out quite well. After that we ended up at Shields Date Farm Cafe for lunch. Excellent salads! On the 10th Maureen and Aaron made the rounds of some thrift shops and then ended up at the College of the Desert Street Fair. They went right to lunch then did a little shopping. Maureen picked up some dates and Brussel sprouts. Aaron got some socks and a nice hat.
On the 11th we were able to get away just before 8 am for the drive to San Diego. We wanted to cut over to the coast and show Aaron how beautiful it is. It would take longer but it was worth it. We cut over at Oceanside. We stopped at La Jolla Cove to see the pelicans and seals and at the Children's Pool to see more seals. At the cove, there were some who were right up by the fence because of the high tide. Smelly but interesting. We stopped at our favourite PB Sushi for lunch. Then we took Aaron to Mission Bay to show him the RV Park and Fiesta Island. Then we went and checked in to the Best Western Plus Bayside. It was very centrally located. Larry and Maureen went to Henry's Pub to cash in on Happy Hour prices and Aaron joined them there for dinner about 7 pm. He stayed downtown because he seen some music pubs he wanted to hear. He had great success and was back about 12:30 to the hotel.
The next morning we got up at a decent time in order to have the included breakfast. Then we drove Aaron over to Coronado and down to Imperial Beach. Then we wandered around Old Town for a while, looking at a lot of the shops and the museum areas. We had to take Aaron to In-N-Out just once while he was here - he enjoyed it! Then we went down to Seaport Village and walked around that. Maureen and Aaron walked back to the hotel, seeing all the sights along the way. Then we walked down to Anthony's Fish Grotto for dinner. Larry and Maureen just wanted something lighter - we'd been eating like crazy all week - we had amazing clam chowder (Maureen - red, Larry - white) and salads (Maureen - Wedge, Larry - Caesar). Excellent. Larry asked if he could have some shrimp on his salad. He was told it would be $1.75 an ounce so he had two ounces - certainly enough. Aaron had a salmon penne in a pesto sauce. There were also some lovely warm buns and butter with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes.
On the 13th we took Aaron to the airport - only 10 minutes away. Larry and Maureen were actually back in Palm Springs with a load of laundry going before Aaron's flight actually left!
On the 15th George and Shelly arrived from Victoria. It was very windy as their plane was landing. We went for a little drive to get them oriented - they'd never been here before. We stopped at The Yardhouse for Happy Hour, which translates to drinks and dinner. Four appies in huge proportion filled us up. It was very busy and lined up when we left. On Saturday we drove down to the Visitor Centre at the Salton Sea. It's always so interesting. It was Pelican Day but unfortunately there were no pelicans. Still lots of dead fish and other interesting birds as well as the video. On the way back we stopped at Inn-N-Out. George and Shelly had never been before and they were pleasantly surprised at how good it is. On Sunday we took them to the College of the Desert Street Fair to look at all the stuff and to have lunch. Then we drove back through Palm Springs and an area called The Movie Colony where there are some very interesting examples of the architecture from the 30s and 40s. Then back to the pool and the sun. On Monday we went up over the mountain - the curvy road of Hwy 74 and the ranch country at the top. Then we went on to Hwy 243 through Idyllwild where we had not been before. Quite a bit of snow but a bustling little village with the inevitable restaurants. We had brought our lunch and some wine with us and when we went down the curvy road to the other side we found a park in Banning. It was quite windy but nice and warm. We drove along I-10 through the wind turbines and up to Desert Hot Springs to Glossy - a great women's bathing suit store. Then we parked along Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and walked up and down each side. We came back for a swim then to Fisherman's Market for an excellent seafood dinner. Tuesday morning was a day of rest - a little reading, a little swimming, and a little walk. Then we took them to the airport for their flight. A great visit!
The weather continued colder than usual with a couple more storms that put more snow on the mountains. We were still able to use the pool and hot tub though so that was very nice. We went to a few more happy hours. On the 3rd we met Peter and Diane from Estevan for happy hour at the Village Pub in downtown Palm Springs. Pretty quiet! At one of the happy hours at the Classic we ran into some people that we knew years ago (Randy & Janet) in South Surrey. We arranged to play 9 holes of golf with them at Hidden Springs in Desert Hot Springs where they are staying. They had us back to their place for BBQ burgers for lunch. The same day (Feb 4) we were meeting some other old friends (Ken & Bonnie) at Woody's Burgers for dinner. Great live music (a little loud), an interesting place.
On the 6th we had the last of our lobster tails. They have been so amazing - baked with a marinade in the oven. The 7th was Superbowl. It was a quiet one - we picked up food from Panda Express and ate half of the tempura shrimp from the freezer as well. On the 8th Brady and Linda stopped by for morning coffee. We had met them at Grand Codroy RV Park in Newfoundland and rode the ferry back from the rock with them. It was great to see them again. Just before they arrived we had a knock on the door - the water was off and would be off for several hours. There was a leaky valve. On the 9th Fred, Angie and Lucky stopped by in the afternoon. They used to live in Pacific Border RV Park. The night of the 9th we had dinner at Shogun with Brad and Cheryl from Nanaimo. We had met them in 2013 in the hot tub at Outdoor Resorts Cathedral City.
On the 11th we packed up the car and went for one last Happy Hour at Stuft Pizza with Larry R. The weather has become incredibly hot all of a sudden. The pool comes in handy.
We're winding down our visit here. The house has been great. We did find the resort a bit lacking - we probably never saw anymore than a dozen people at our pool the whole four months. Quite a difference from an RV resort - no clubhouse, no events - none that we, as renters, heard about anyway. So we're leaving a little early. The NHRA Winternationals Drag Races races start in Pomona on February 12. We'll see you there!