Finally, civilization. I wrote up a review of The Fountain of Youth for a site called rvparkreviews.com and though I gave it a decent review, I took off two stars (out of five), one for distance from civilization, one for the tiny site, door to door with our neighbor. The owner of the park called me to ask me if I’d reconsider and add a star. When I read the review again, it was very positive, except for the stars. Can I blame them for the pain in the ass drive back to the world? I guess not, it was our choice to stay there. So, I changed it to a four.
The site? Yes. That’s on them. However, in hindsight, I’d take an extra half star off the site, despite the view of the sunsets. Our slide almost touched the guy on our driver side, so close we heard his wife laugh at Stephen Colbert shows she recorded (they were in bed by 9), and it sucked to share such a tiny space with our other neighbor. They were in their site first and spread out – their outdoor carpet went under our awning. Then, another half star because it wasn’t worth five otherwise. And the entertainment was terrible and loud, disturbing peaceful nights. So, three stars at best. I might go back and change my review again. You should see the one I just gave the park we’re in now (Santa Cruz Ranch and RV Resort though they are in Scott’s Valley, and Resort is not a word that comes to mind). One more night here. Hope they don’t throw us out. I’ll include portions when I catch up. Did I digress?
We’ve spent a lot of time in Desert Hot Springs. Kind of in the boonies but only 7 miles from food shopping, a good Chinese restaurant, and a Walgreen’s. To me, the best part of our stay this year was the second day there. They brought in outside entertainment. We were trepidatious – the “Best Beach Boys tribute band in the world” at the Fountain of Youth sucked. This night we walked into a room that reminded me of a grammar school lunch room. Uh-oh. Just as we seated ourselves among the fifteen or twenty people there – another uh-oh – the band opened up with the first, very recognizable chords of Cream’s ‘White Room’. Really? And then they cranked it. Following up with ‘All Along The Watchtower’, ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps’, ‘Little Wing’, and on and on.
The guitar player tore through Hendrix, Clapton, Harrison, Santana, Duane Allman, Jimmy Page and just about every good guitar player you ever heard of – in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – EXCEPT THE BEST, DAVID GILMOUR! I was blown away. The group’s name was Ghosts of Kelso. Several years back, Andrea and I saw Neil Young and Crazyhorse in Denver and seemingly every song ended in one of those guitar and drum crescendos. Neil was rockin’. The guitar guy in Ghosts of Leon reminded me of that concert and at one point I leaned over to Andrea and said so. Their finale? ‘Rockin in the USA’, complete with behind the head, behind the head, and teeth guitar picking. He blew the roof off. As everyone flowed out of the room – and the crowd had more than tripled during the evening after they heard the music in the farthest parts of the RV park – I had to go up to the stage and shake the hand of the guitar guy. He was great. The bassist drove them well and the drummer kicked some ass. The leader of the band, singer and sometimes guitarist? Perhaps he should find a keyboard player with a good voice.
If you’re going to be in Palm Springs or nearby, these guys do regular gigs at some of the bars. You gotta like classic rock that rocks. They throw in some older stuff too, like ‘Wipeout’ for the drummer to show off, Chuck Berry (again, Kirk, the guitarist knocked it out of the park), one Jimmy Buffet, as well as some U2 (90’s?), but most of it is mid-baby-boomer boomers. Knock your socks off. The 55+++ audience loved it. As I said, if you’re going to be there and like classic rock, check them out – ghostsofkelso.com.
And, yes, I digress.
So, pictures? Not so many. If you recall, last year we stayed at a place and a site that had great views of the snow-capped San Gorgonio Mountain to our right and Mt San Jacinto to our left with a desert full of cacti and palm trees directly in front of us. Sunrises and sunsets were equally beautiful. That was Caliente Springs Resort. This year we decided to change up and try Catalina Spa and RV Resort for February. It’s less than a mile away. The sites are much smaller and the sights are fewer.
We need to go back to Colorado Springs every few months to get a grandkids fix. You know, that expression, getting a fix, is kind of out of the lexicon now, isn’t it? Used to mean injecting heroin for the addiction. Then we started applying it to anything that we need to do over in our lives that makes us feel better, like that Twinkies fix, or your morning coffee.
Well, when I looked up flights from Palm Springs I found really cheap deals and scooped one up for the second week of February. Next, hotel. Usually, Trivago first shows me The Broadmoor, at a price of $565 a night, and then the realistically priced ones. This time it came up as $175 a night. That’s still about $$$ a night more than we usually spend, but…it’s The Broadmoor! Book it, bozo! For some people, it’s a bucket lister. Count us in. Great deal? Well, there’s also the fine print – resort fee and parking, but they’re extra even at $565. Anyway, getting treated like royalty is nice. The service is deserving of the five stars. Room too. Oh, I have a story about the Broadmoor from my days at Acclaim Entertainment. I stayed in one of the biggest suites in the hotel in 1994. Kind of like the Pick-6 story. I got a lot of stories. I guess that happens if you hang out here long enough.
We stayed in the West Wing on the first floor and walked about a quarter mile to our room (and to the half dozen and more dudes opening doors, and the valets – valet service might as well be mandatory on the west side, no parking within a half mile, ca-ching! $26 a night! JFC, I coulda stayed at a Motel 6!, is this addendum to a sentence over yet?). Anyway, we walked through several hallways, a couple of which were lined with photos of celebrities who’ve stayed there before.
Didn’t you love Jonathan Winters? If you’ve never seen a It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, you’ve lived a life without ‘the Big W’. Roll an esmerelda and find that movie. You will laugh for hours – even after the intermission. Really
During our stay the Olympics started. Late at night I got to watch a lot of my favorite sport. You think I’m kidding? Ten years ago I bought this t-shirt at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center:
No more smirks at the supermarket. We are Gold medal winners!
The weeklong visit was great. We saw the kids just about every day. Same with doctors. I guess that happens if you hang out here long enough.
Back in Desert Hot Springs, we spent most of the time picking up packages Amazon sent us. The rest of the time we repackaged half of them and sent them back. Just before we moved on, we visited the Palm Springs World War II Aviation Museum. As a teen, I had models of just about every one of these hanging from the ceiling in my room:
Later, after experiencing the world on a different plane, a four foot black light appeared in the room and they all got psychedelic day-glow paint jobs.
The museum also has a Korean War wing:
A few days before we left Desert Hot Springs, I attempted to become an Elks Club member in the local chapter. I didn’t realize how long that process takes. A month later they are letting me know I need to physically be there. Maybe I’ll try again in Colorado Springs. The Elks have RV hookups in many of their lodges.
On March 5th, we left Desert Hot Springs for San Diego. The coast!