What the heck do you say about a place and lifestyle that’s got everything? Movie stars live there. But don’t hold that against this oasis. For one’s mental and physical fitness, this is heaven. The desert is caressed by snow-capped craggy mountains and the Coachella Valley floor is rampant with flowers, and rife with male golfers wearing the oddest colored slacks.
Outside of heinous sartorial sins of hues, major crime can happen. A few years ago I was staying at a gated community where tennis rules the waves. They had a weight/cardio/stretching room where fitness buffs who wanted to tone for singles or doubles could do so. A rocker-crunch-sit-up thingy went missing. For the 104% of us who hated doing sit-ups and crunches...well, we were absolutely and abdominally grateful.
And thankfully, the weather is sublime when not splendid. Sure, there isn't the idyllic and restful sound of the ocean waves to waft one to sleep but the heat is dry, the sun is omnipresent - with over 350 days yearly - and the sound of zephyrs, or silence, only broken by the reassuring whirring of hummingbird wings, is a more than an adequate substitute. You can hear yourself think.
Even the animal life is classier and cuter there. Take the bunny rabbit. In Alberta, Canada, for example, the bunny rabbit is always changing colors. It ages, turns completely white in the winter, due to the merciless, bitterly cold “snaps” that can last a year and a half. This coloring alteration freaks out the citizenry, yes, but not as much as does the size of these varmints. They are longer than a coyote and can seemingly, not so cleverly, bound in front of your car from a football field away. Especially in the dark of winter when you’re still trying to wake up whilst driving to work.
But in southern California, if you are just getting up, not to work, but to play, and you go outside your condo unit in the morning for a wake up stretch at six when the temperature is the invariably temperate 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) range and you quietly bend down to touch and count your toes, and peer in the neatly, daily, trimmed bushes - you can see it. The cuddliest, cutest bunny in the world. The desert cottontail rabbit. Compared to the Jack rabbit, the ones I've seen look so small you could put ‘em in your pocket.
Speaking of wildlife, for those snowbirds from Canada that fly down every year to their winter lodgings (and it should be noted - down there in paradise Canadians and Americans get along better with each other than they do with 100% of their own) WestJet airlines is the preferred choice of travel. Unlike the Air Canada staff that is ordained to be indifferent at all times and rude when the chips are really down, the WestJet staff is friendly and helpful. As an added bonus they won’t drop your luggage like a B-52 bomber drops its load. It’s almost like the WestJet crews like their jobs
Where were we?
Pshaw you say. Who wants to relax, or exercise, with a whole bunch of old fogie fuddy-duddy fussbudgets? These men and women in their golden years aren't relegated to playing finger hockey on TV tray tables with their pills, nor are they blowing gaskets trying to play shuffleboard, moving at the speed of evolution. And obesity is practically non-existent. (And I've yet to run into a fathead either.)
Let me tell you, these folks in their seventies and eighties can wipe the floor with your remains should you try to tangle with them in any sport. Like tennis. Or picklebalI for that matter. A mere man in my late fifties, I keep my distance from the courts. I’ll walk loops within the community, aspiring to be as fit and vigorous as these men and women are, when I grow up. And when you compare their level of fitness in strength and stamina to kids in Canada and the States, there’s no comparison. Sure, the kids can take them in computer games and in texting speed but the older folks can speak, comprehend, and communicate - using real sentences and everything.
BTW 2B@ the Palm Springs airport, is, if not fantastic, more than pleasant. (Spend just 10 minutes outside, with no sun screen on, and have your body make Vitamin D while you admire the scenery.)
And the shopping...everybody talks about Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, but have you seen the shops, and art galleries, and restaurants along El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert? If you are tired of window shopping, or people watching, or just watching yourself have a grand time, they have folks driving what look to be motorized golf courts - courtesy carts - to take you from A to B. How pluterperfect is that?
So life, with its tennis, and swimming, and walking and hiking, and golf, is a big-ten-four-pork-pie-A-OK-all-systems-go, way to live, way to be. Even the world renowned and adored Road Runner can get California laid back when it so chooses. It can also dash like the dickens but not because it has errands to run, or people to see, or things to do, but because, like our much maligned chicken of jokes (and chicken on our tables), it just wants to get to the other side of the road. For no ostensible purpose.
But if you must have purpose, and you wish to get some perspective on the whole Palm Springs area, you can do no better than take a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Don’t worry, you workout fans, there are other rocky mounts - 1,900+ kilometers worth - where seniors, the middle aged, and even young adults, can clamber up. And sure, you’ll hear the occasional rattle snake, but they’re polite. They’ll stay away from you if you don’t pester them with a stick. Everybody respects everybody’s personal or reptilian space. Perhaps the best space is occupied by the Desert Lavender plant, when used in tea, for example, it aids in cellular protection and regenerative healing: wonderful for us non-vegetative types.
Indeed the environs and environment are healthily clean and pristine, prim and proper. But even if a person were a bit rough around the edges, you’d never know it. They’re tasteful. And chock full of tact. In fact, though this isn't my line, here’s how you could be told to take a hike: “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” Or as somebody or other once asserted, and I paraphrase here, “Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it.”
We haven’t said it all about rejuvenating one’s body and soul in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, not by a long shot. But the short stroke of the gist