Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Drove Eight Hours and All I Got Were Inappropriate Rocks. Then I Touched Them.

The drive to Palm Springs wasn't too bad. I am a far better driver than passenger, and Mr. iPod was happy enough to serve as the children's personal travel attendant, so I ended up driving the whole eight hours. Other than two short-lived but memorable slow-downs, we made fast tracks on 'The Five' to LA, then did the usual SoCal crawl through the Los Angeplexadena area out 'The Ten' towards the desert. The first slowdown was about 6 miles from our house, when the princess that inhabited my daughter's body started complaining that there was a 'pea' in her carseat. Actually, not a pea, but a giant, rough boulder. Actually, not a boulder, but a fierce, angry, tiger chasing a porcupine. Actually, not a tiger, get the idea. There were threats of 'turning this car around right now' as visions of the next eight hours danced in my head. She pulled herself together and was then rewarded with spending the next eight hours in the car.

The next slowdown was about six hours later, somewhere outside San Bernardino, when I drove past a truck that was WAY HUGELY IMPRESSIVELY ON FIRE and my husband was not quick enough to pull out the camera, even though I implored him to do so when the first plumes of black smoke were begging me to look. So things slowed down a bit while I lectured him on the proper etiquette and reponsibilities of being the navigator.

Our first night we checked in to a hotel in Palm Springs that appeared to be in teletubby land. The lawns were freakishly manicured and there were bunnies hopping about all over the place.

Once we were moved to a room on the first floor (dude, a child could climb right up and over their poorly designed climbing walls balcony railings), we found it to be pretty nice...until we slept in the bed. What kind of (non-Hawaiian) resort charges $250 (on weekends), plus a $20 resort fee (?!), plus the $10 Wi-fi charge, plus the mysterious fees for inhaling their vapor and touching their preshus bottled water, and then gives you a king-sized plastic-covered horrific mattress? We played in the six pools, and the kids had a great time swimming and chasing bunnies, but the bed? Seriously. The hell?
(The bath products were nice...)
The next day, after more swimming and yet more bunny chasing, we headed over to Palm Springs' poor cousin, Desert Hot Springs. But not before we stocked up at T Joe's in PS, because from what we had read about this town, we would not want to be leaving the resort. Driving into town was a clear reminder that Palm Springs was on the other side of the tracks highway.
Windy, hot; a town with abandonment issues...and a billboard that almost made me hurl...but we ignored the dustdevils of whirling garbage and drove steadfastly up the hill towards the oasis of palms, eschewing the chlorinated protection of Palm Springs for The Cure: the natural mineral springs in the form of eight lovely pools.

The billboard? For two days the mirage nagged at me, its glaring product burning into my eyes and my stomach acid, until I was able to confirm its actual existence at a real grocery store. And when I did, I was camera-ready!
(WARNING: What you are about to see is not suitable for the weak-stomached, faint-hearted, or for pregnant women.)

Yeah, that's what it says. Budweiser and Clamato. Together. In a can. You were amply warned.

Oh my, I thought I was over it. But really, typing that? The gag reflex is still very much there.

::Deep Breath::

Moving right along....(no good segue for the chelada)...the place turned out to be great. With the wind and the heat and the abundance of chilled alcoholic beverages water, we started calling it 'Fauxwaii'. There was one large pool for playing and swimming, then five other good-sized warmer pools (hot springs), and two more hot tubs. The best part? The pools are open 24 hours! Being a desert, and being a hot spring...this is a very considerate policy. Our room opened directly onto the pool courtyard, so after the babes fell asleep, we were actually able to slip out and soak in the pool right in front of our room.On mother's day, the place cleared out and we had it to ourselves. The management slipped a special offer under our door to extend our stay at 40% off the regular rate, and it was an offer too good to refuse. So I cancelled our intended return/ last night at teletubby land and we stayed at the mineral springs. For another night. And then just one more. It was that awesome.

All you see is Dada, Supergirl, and Bubbles' butt. Our private resort.

We went to a sweet little zoo in Palm Springs which turned out to be the perfect attraction for our children. Bubbles went absolutely mental over the one acre train display.
He finally even got the fact that we meant it when we said that he could not ride it or climb in there.

It was all fine, because just around the bend we saw giraffes!

and zebras!

Zebra front.

Some fabulous zebra ass.

and giant ostriches (is that a redundant use of an adjective?) which scared the crap out of inspired awe within both of my kids!

I got a nervous laugh out of a few zoo guests when I yelled, "Where is the cheetah? OHGOD HAS ANYONE SEEN THE CHEETAH?" and then prattled on about how one could never be Too Careful around Big Cats. And then, just in case the three people who dared to remain standing within crazy-distance of me were still listening, I had to say it.
Because I just don't know when to quit. "Well, let's not forget Christmas Day at the San Francisco Zoo!!!"

Let that be a lesson to all of you, and no, I never did see the damn cheetah. Which, frankly, made me nervous for the rest of the visit.

But we did see these crazy birds. One of them just walked around picking up rocks and then dropping the rock when she found a 'better' rock. It was inordinately funny.

Even better than the zebra butts and gargantuan attack snakes,

was...the freakishly phallic Joshua Tree National Park!

Dude. Seriously. The place was so XXX, and in plain view of the children!

We drove up in the late afternoon, but it was still about a million degrees in the sun, so we romped around for about thirty minutes and then the babes were ready for A Snack. While they were eating their snack, I took a little pee walk.

I was surprised to see this:

But then I saw this:

AND THEN? I noticed these. You couldn't really help but notice those.

But just when you thought nature could not possibly get any! more! happy!

When I walked back from my little pee sojourn, one of my children was having a complete freak-out, no-doubt certain I had been eaten by cheetahs:

So I walked both of the pathetic wimps little desert rats back to the car, handing off the camera to the dada.
When we got home and reviewed the pictures? He had taken the exact same inappropriate rock pictures as I had!
(I will spare you the photo-redundancy details)

Those rocks were STILL up to whatever it is they do; even after we left the scene.

They really should put something on.


Aunt Jennie/Dee-Dee said...

Thanks for the travel log! It was priceless!!! The pooooools!!!! Ahhhhh! And did you play the color game correctly???? The giraffe!!!! My FAVE! The snake! My UNFAVE! And your little wimp? I love the placement of his little hands! Oh so distressed!!

But the rocks??? Definitely priceless!!!

Thanks for sharing!!!

Aunt Jennie/Dee-Dee said...

A title for the last shot of Bubbles:

"Woa is me...where's my Budweiser & Clamato!"

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on, you have been BFF's with a girl from Souther Colorado for several years. I though for sure that you knew of beer and Clamato in a can. That, with Menudo, (cow pig stomache lining soup) is the breakfast of Champions!!

Kristen said...

Ok, the Chelada is gross.

But I do love the fabulous zebra ass....

CP said...

Is it bad that I laughed out loud at the cheetah story? Too funny!

Denise said...

Love the rocks!

Tricia said...

How weird is it when you have never heard of something and then suddenly it's everywhere??

Chelada billboard right down the street...what the hell??? And then I just saw mention of it over at CityMama. Uck, sounds disgusting, blech!