Location: Palm Desert, CA
On Tuesday we flew down to Ontario airport, stopped for a couple of hours in Costa Mesa, then continued our drive down to the Coachella Valley to join my grandfather at his timeshare in Palm Desert. We’ve been down here many times before; we’ve been coming down to Palm Desert for the Desert Classic Dance Championships for the past 10 years or so, not missing many years. We’ve also come down in the springtime for many years to visit my grandparents when they make use of their timeshare at the Desert Springs Resort. But strangely, for as many times as we’ve come here, we’ve never taken the tram up the mountain. We decided to do it this time, so it just came down to finding the time.
On Wednesday, Simeon and my grandfather went out golfing, while I took my time getting ready and headed to the mall. I really didn’t have any idea what I was looking for at the mall, which makes it hard for me because I never go shopping just for the sake of going shopping. Anyway, managed to find a really cool pair of steampunkish boots that I will soon turn into a really awesome pair of steampunk boots!
Anyway, today we took the tram up San Jacinto Mountain to the peak. The rotating tram goes up the Chino Canyon, and it offered some pretty cool views all around.
The view of the Coachella Valley was really incredible. At the top was an alpine forest, and snow was still on the ground. The size of the pinecones were enormous, and everywhere we looked we could see the granite boulders that made up the bulk of the mountain.
Back at the tram station, we paused for a snack and a beer. I had to get a beer. At 8,500 feet, this was by far the highest I had ever enjoyed a beer. So Simeon got a picture of me drinking Arrogant Bastard Ale, which is a really really good beer if I do say so myself. Hey! It’s my highest drink!
On the way back down, there were two Indian men on the tram that seemed so excited about the ride. They were taking so many pictures of the view and the mountain. Then they wanted pictures with me! 🙂
As it turned out, one of the men was a member of the Indian Parliament and he was here on vacation travelling around America. I’m not sure why they wanted my picture in particular, but it was cool anyway.
We rounded up the day with dinner at Arnold Palmer’s restaurant, called (appropriately) Arnold Palmer. We were recommended this restaurant by a friend of our who went to it a week and a half ago. We sat down to eat and our waitress leaned in to whisper into our ear, “Don’t look quickly, but see that man sitting over there? That’s Mr. Palmer himself!”
I don’t follow golf, so if the waitress hadn’t pointed him out, I wouldn’t have recognized him. But wow, he looks great! He sat literally two tables away from us, and on the way out, he came over to our table to ask how his restaurant was. He was so nice and charismatic, it was great! What a nice man.
But now it’s time for bed. I have a tough day ahead of me… laying out by the pool!