Desert Treasures

Well, I am back home finally. I must say it is a drastic change from La Quinta weather. When I arrived early evening the thermometer registered 94 degrees Fahrenheit and stayed that way through the night dropping maybe into the 80’s. Last night my thermometer here registered a mere 20 degrees in comparison! I wondered why everyone was asking me if I was cold as I was wearing shorts when I arrived back to Fawnskin around 4pm.

This trip to the desert involved doing a lot of nothing. I’ve been buried in projects related to the book launch and website reconstruction on three of my websites. I stayed at Laguna De La Pazagain with writing pal Robena Grant and her dog Nikki.

Robena has just finished a Gothic Romance that went out to an agent so she was ready to relax, too. Unless you are a published author it is hard to explain the endless work and long days and nights related to final submission of a manuscript. Next come the layers of editing, then promotional work, book design, cover copy, and little things you forget about.

Nikki is one of my canine nieces. A large Akita, she has a lovely pink princess collar and tons of pals who joined us on our walks around the small manmade lake. We always had a small parade along the lakeside path.

This time I was on the hunt for some new electronics. A few stops made us successful and then we headed to Old Town La Quinta for some browsing and of course we had to book a massage at the La Quinta Healing Arts Spa while we were there. My masseuse was Brenda, the owner. Originally from South Africa she has been in La Quinta for about 7 years. The place is a tiny hideaway and a great discovery. When I emerged, I found Robena taking advantage of the massive sale…it is of course her birthday week so she HAD to do it.

I like to travel to places off season. It allows me to browse and enjoy without the hassles of crowds. It often also gives you better opportunity to take advantage of sales on services, accommodations, and other products—something I forget about until I am in the area. Each and every business owner or staff member was super friendly and inquired as to whether we were visitors or residents in the area. I know a few places up here that should emulate the strategy.

A few years ago I drove down with another resident every week to enjoy the mineral pools. Soon, the locals adopted us and told us about the hidden treasures around the area. One of these tips gave me the wrong name but I finally found it this trip.

What I liked about Sam’s Family Spa is that the mineral pools do not use chlorine and since I was detoxing this was important. I also enjoyed that it was quiet…hardly anyone was there.

Sam’s motto is “They get everyone into hot water” meaning they allow families. It sits at the end of a long road and you wonder if you hit the right place as you drive by trailers and RV’s. However, once you exit the office you amble into a funky old oasis. They have waterfalls around the place and Sam must be a bird enthusiast as they have aviaries past the main pool and hot pool areas.

If you stroll further, you arrive at the Koi and fish pond also filled with waterfowl…which includes a few black swans. Everyone swims over to greet you because the office sells fish/duck food. On display during my visit were peacocks, wood ducks, and fancy pigeons. The parrots were not out (the toys are a dead giveaway) but I could hear conures having a party.

My only mistake was driving Highway 111 on the way back. (Lots of traffic even though it was early Friday…) However, I treated myself to a good lunch at Thai House and heard, “Well, look who is here.” When I gazed in the direction of the voice I saw Theresa (she held the Big Bear Beauty Pageant) and her husband. They were down in the desert for a motorcycle run. We had a quick chat—which included a Big Bear weather report–“It is really cold!”– and they ambled off to the restaurant next door.

The drive home was frustrating as there was a long stream of cars (twenty at the least). I should have come through the desert but I had some errands to run in Redlands/San Bernardino. The fastest we ever went was about 40 mph. People just don’t use the turnouts and why is it that there is never a CHP on the road to snag those violators?

Anyway, my neighbors lit their fireplace last night, and I hate to admit it but I turned on the heat! This is a stark contrast to the air conditioned accommodations I lived in for the past four days!

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