03. February 2010
I like to travel, but have to admit, going by air is not as much fun as it used to be. Planes are packed full. Security checks are beyond annoying and you can’t even carry a decent-sized bottle of shampoo on board. These days I’d rather take a “road trip!” And there’s no better place to travel on a tank of gas than Southern California.
Early last year, when I accepted an invitation to be guest speaker for a women’s group in Indio I had no idea a vacation get-away was in store… just a couple of hours down the road. The “East Valley Women’s Connection” meets monthly at a beautiful country club in the heart of the Coachella Valley. Tom and I decided to hit the road together and make a long weekend of it.
We were pooped from an unusually busy holiday schedule. So we booked a few nights at the Marriott Desert Springs… gassed up the car and headed north on 1-15 on a Thursday afternoon in January.
Avoiding rush hour traffic, we arrived at the hotel in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Talk about stress-free! We travelled light... grabbed an early supper at a local eatery and woke up refreshed… in the same time zone! Tom got in a round of golf while I hit the gym.
The next day… a 10-minute drive brought us to Indio, the oldest and largest city in the Valley. My brunch speaking engagement left Tom and I with much of the day to explore. The desert sun turned the chilly morning into a spectacular afternoon of sightseeing. The Valley boasts beautiful vistas, distant foothills and miles of blue sky. We were not disappointed.
But the desert floor is also bustling with activity… shops, art galleries and boutiques. We took a stroll down El Paseo in Palm Desert and discovered a casual eatery called the “Back Street Bistro.” What a find! (Is it just me or does a tuna melt taste better while sitting on a pleasant patio with filtered sun!) When it comes to food, there’s something for everyone here, especially along Highway 111 where we found a virtual buffet of restaurants… from favorite chains such as “Panera” and “Islands,” to hearty steakhouses and family-owned Italian cucinas.
The Coachella Desert Valley has so much to offer, from the great outdoors to arts and entertainment. On this trip, we barely scratched the surface. But we did rest, read and got reacquainted watching God’s handiwork in the form of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve ever seen. And after three days, our batteries re-charged… we left our desert hideaway for a leisurely drive home.
But we’ll be back. The Valley of the sun is just down the road. It’s just so easy.
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.