Friday, December 21, 2007

Palm Desert

Some years ago we bought a second home out in the California desert. It took us a long, long time deciding if we wanted to buy a second home in Maine (although we'd never lived there, just had enjoyed visiting there a few times in the summer months) or Colorado, or up along the northern California coast, or half a dozen other places. Making lists helped - how often would we visit a place in Maine. Or Colorado. Really. So, we narrowed it down to places we could drive to within a few hours. Figuring we'd use it more often. And indeed we have. We love our house in the desert. It's on a golf course, and our house there looks out on a view similar to the above.

We went out to our house there this week. It was raining cats and dogs when we left home in Orange County, and it never ceases to amaze us, once we slip through the pass at Banning and Beaumont, the skies clear up, the air is clean and the weather turns to nice and comfortable. It takes us about 75 minutes to get there, door to door. We have complete sets of everything there, so all we have to take is our prescription drugs, the books we're reading and an ice chest with any food we think we'll use. Clothes do travel back and forth sometimes. As so many two-home families say, you go to your closet looking for something specific and realize, oh, it's at the other house. We feel very fortunate to be able to have this house. We bought it after DH's elderly aunt died. We didn't know that DH was named her heir. So we came into a bit of an inheritance we weren't expecting and decided to invest the money in real estate.

We zip back and forth, fitting in a few days at a time every week or so. To avoid the traffic we often drive later in the evening, after dinner. That way we avoid the crawling lanes of commuters. We went out there on a late evening, and returned at the same time. No traffic whatsoever.

After we'd had a nice lunch with friends, we were driving our golf cart back to our house and I spied this view. There are hundreds of similar views, but the sun's reflection on the water, the trees, etc. just offered a nice site for a photo. DH and I enjoy driving our golf cart around the golf paths just to look around. The development is a mile square, contains two 18-hole golf courses, and several miles of golf paths. We like grabbing a morning cup of coffee, bundling ourselves up in jackets and driving around for fun. Stopping to enjoy the multitude of lakes and streams, watching and listening to the birds, and pausing to listen to the loud whack of golf balls careening off the tees.

If you've never been to Palm Springs or Palm Desert in the wintertime, you're missing out. It's just gorgeous. The weather is usually very pleasant. People play golf there year around, but it's the best from about November 1st through April 30th. After that it gets too hot. At least it's too hot for me. The June day we took possession of the house it was 110. Schlepping stuff back and forth from the garage into the house was just outrageously uncomfortable. There are countless restaurants there, shopping galore, and new people to meet from all over the world. Thousands of people live there year around. It's just in those hot summer months that they live inside homes and offices. All the time. Every day. But the winter months are heavenly.

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