I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Monday, December 20, 2010


After a fun last week of work, where the story centered around a school fair with giant food, I was very thankful to go home to a weekend of getting ready for Palm Springs - FINALLY! It feels like I have waited for this trip for ever.

Saturday was all about getting the hair and nails looking worthy of the company I would be keeping in that sunny playground. I met a friend after for a drink at the swank new Fairmont Pacific Rim and then a marvelous dinner after at a cozy trendy spot called Burgoo Main Street. I had the French Onion Soup and it was divine; finished of with sharing their Toffee Pudding. Yum!!

Sunday was all about packing and buying trip insurance and a last minute Christmas present for someone at home. It was hard to know what to pack because the weather in Palm Springs is rain until Wednesday. So sad to hear that. And I always stress out about having overweight luggage and having to pay the ridiculous fees that incurs. It doesn't matter where I am going, sunny or cold, winter or summer, I can't seem to pack less than 50+lbs and I don't know why that is. It's frustrating and I have put it down to hair products. A can of hairspray and a can of mousse plus a jar of crude clay and then the blowdryer and two brushes... it all adds up. I don't ever pack clothes I don't need. I am careful to pack only one outfit per day, and sometimes not even that much. So I can't figure it out but it is what it is.

I couldn't sleep Sunday night. I went to bed at 10 because I was setting the alarm for 3:45 to be out of the door by 4:30. I tossed and turned until way after midnight and finally gave up and watched Survivor which I had downloaded earlier to watch on the plane. I lost battery power half way through the after show and so laid back down and dozed until the alarm went off.

On the drive to the border, snow flurries started and that freaked me out a bit because the highway down to Bellingham can get more wind and snow than the rest of the area and I didn't want it to be an issue. But I needn't have worried because it died off by the time I got to the border. The guard was a bit surly and wanted to know why I was going to Palm Springs at Christmas - didn't I like being home with my family at that time of year? How presumptuous of him to assume I even had any family - lots of people don't. I told him my kids were grown and scattered and I'd rather be in the sun than the cold. He handed my passport back and waved me through.

I finally understand why Ron Oliver complains about children on airplanes. The worst I have encountered in my travels is a kid kicking my seat, and don't mistake me - it drives me crazy when that happens - but it's easy to rectify. You just ask the parent to keep the kid from doing it and they usually do. But this time, there was a 19 month old girl with a temper sitting in the seat in front of me, and she had the sort of cry that is preceded by an ear-splitting scream. She cried almost the whole trip. I found myself too tired to read so gave up and tried to sleep and every time I would just nod off, she would start up. It was honestly so painful on the ear drums, I had to plug my ears. I won't ever fly without ear plugs again.

As we descended into PS airport, we flew through a huge bank of clouds and the turbulence was frightening. I don't mind turbulence as a rule, but this was the first time I had experienced it so close to the ground and so violent. I was truly afraid that we might bounce right off the tarmac. But we got through it right before landing. I could see that the rain had been heavy as there was a road blocked off by fire trucks and there was a washed out portion just beyond them. And all the roads were very wet. It's interesting to observe that they really aren't used to this much rain here as none of the houses have gutters and the sidewalks and pathways aren't angled for drainage so there's huge puddles and rivulets of water gathering everywhere.

Ron was busy with a conference call about post on his latest film so Eric picked me up at the airport and drove me to his parents house where Ron pulled up just as we arrived. Eric was worried Ron would berate him for being late for me when, in fact, the flight landed 20 minutes behind schedule due to strong winds on our nose. He ran over to Ron's car saying, "I wasn't late, I wasn't late!" So cute! I unpacked a few things and hung them to get rid of wrinkles and then Ron, Nelson and I piled into the car and drove out to Palm Desert to have lunch at Tommy Bahama's. We had lunch there last year and so I was excited to go there again. This time I had the fish tacos and they were delicious! We walked around a few of the shops there and I got the coolest gift for Shonah, my daughter. She is a Star Wars nut and a kitchen shop had a pancake flipper with Darth Vader's head as the flipper part. I got the last one. She'll love it. We stopped in at Trader Joe's for a few things and I was really looking forward to buying their Wasabi Almonds but it turns out they don't have them any more. I was so disappointed. We then headed to Ron's to hang out for a bit and Nelson had a nap, and then we went to meet Ada and Bob, my hosts, for BINGO at Alibi's. We munched on appetizers and played the cards and twice I came within one number of winning. It was a lot of fun and I basked in the deep pleasure of being back in Palm Springs with some of the best people I have ever known in my life. I feel very blessed.

Now if the rain would just stop and the sun would come out. I am seriously needing the warmth of some sunshine in my life.

Oh my goodness. A frog just started croaking somewhere outside my bedroom window. It really does need to stop raining!!

All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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