My wife and I headed off to Palm Springs the weekend before Thanksgiving. Leaving San Diego and motoring up the 15, we enjoyed the transition of city into foothills into small-town into high desert. Our journey was serene except for an exciting pit-stop at Morongo Casino which yielded me fifty-buck from the slots—not bad for a ten minute pee stop! We hit town just after sundown and began searching for Desert Rose Avenue. We drove past the Desert Sun Inn next door to Dry Desert Liquor just down the street from Bright Desert Beauty Supplies... street names, man, concentrate on street names… Ok, Rolling Desert Road crosses Desert Gully Drive which hooks into Royal Desert Estates, ahh, here we are, Desert Rose Avenue. We finally came to the Desert Princess Resort (did I forget to mention that one?) and took Desert Princess Drive to our destination. My aunt and uncle (our hosts) treated us like…like…well, like desert princesses (actually, the tiara kind of grows on ya!) with a delectable feast during which, I’m proud to say, the word “desert” was never spoken. As the evening wound down my wife and I decided to walk over for a drink at the clubhouse. The walk itself was innocent enough—a quarter mile on the cart paths of a beautiful golf course. The evil element was the sprinkler system. These sprinklers obviously had sensors to alert them whenever we entered their “impact” zone. These sinister spigots wouldn’t turn on gradually, giving us time to giggle and hop-skip-and–jump out of their way, no! They went from zero-to-sixty in a split second. If I hadn’t used my wife as a human shield on more than one occasion, I would have been soaked. On the bright side, the steady night breeze cut through our wet clothes very efficiently and motivated us to keep a brisk clip. When we arrived at the club bar, we were informed that it was closed to the public due to Cowboy Bob “King of the Desert” Smithersons seventy-eighth birthday. We peeked in and saw Cowboy Bob himself in the middle of the room, in a peach polyester suit and a purple velveteen hat, shaking his groove thing to the Commodore’s “Brick House.” We realized then that he needed no uninvited guest at this septuagenarian soiree. After negotiating the catacomb hallways of the attached hotel, (you guessed it) The Desert Place to Stay if You Can’t Afford One of the Condos on the Golf Course, we found a bar! Tending the bar was Michael and Michael had exactly, counting us, two customers. Between Michael’s fear of being left alone and his need to discharge about finding himself living in Palm Springs, I’m afraid my wife and I were over-served in the next thirty or forty minutes. Finally, last call, and we faced the night alone, together, with each other. With my new found chemical courage I plotted against our sprinkling enemies. Unfortunately, by the time Aqua’zilla attacked, my plan materialized with both my wife and I flailing our arms and squealing like farm animals as we puddle-jumped for cover. We ended the night with a relaxing Jacuzzi session. Ahh…the warm water, the tiny bubbles, the beautiful star-filled sky, and the bone-chilling wind that reeked havoc on any body part that didn’t remain submerged. Other than the fact that my wife may or may not have run back to the wrong condo to use the bathroom (what’s the stature of limitation on something like that?) it was a peaceful ending to a wonderful day. After a great visit and meeting some very nice people, having a load of fun out in the desert, one of my favorite parts was still the next day when we packed up and headed home…to San Diego!

                                                                                            Daniel J McAuliffe
                                                                                            Scripps Ranch

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