Joshua tree

Arriving at Joshua Tree National Park. It’s about an hour and half from La Quinta. Such a desert landscape.
We left home at around 10am and we scrabbling over the rocks by midday in a completely different landscape 

Thank you Tom  for  driving us to the National park. 

What a great day. It was such a terrific experience .  

Markets, houses, burgers and music

Today I started with a swim at the country club house pool , breakfast and a trip to Old Town La Quinta for the Art under the Umbrella markets. 
All very nice : white washed buildings, white umbrella, lots of stalls with arty things: paintings, pottery, beads, cards, dog accessories, ( yes they love their dogs so much some people wheel them around like babies in carriages) . We wandered the streets but didn’t buy anything, had a coffee and headed home for lunch.. 
After a recharge Tom took  Jim, Audrey and myself house hunting. He is so funny. Knows the agents from his years of checking out the property market in the area. 
We saw a collection of houses starting with the 3.2 mil one which was in a very select gated community and was one of the lower end properties! It was so Italian in feel I thought I was in Italy . I could have moved right in. Four bedrooms and a casita ( a separate bedroom apartment at the entrance to the house) it all opened up at the back and had views across the pool to the golf course. The next one was 1.8 and again I could have moved right in . 3 bedrooms and a casito. Not as grand as the last one but so comfortable. Next one 2.8mil a BIG disappointment . Very tacky and over done. True to the  – Money doesn’t buy taste. 
Home via the food market for the makings for dinner. We are having home made burgers compliments of Jim and Audrey.
Lynne made us the usual margarita and we sipped out the back of the house after all preparing the burgers and salads. Lovely night THEN we decided to break with tradition and went to the fish market ( not for fish) for the live music in the bar area outside. 
It was terrific fun. A really good band  with 3 old timers from apparently famous bands of the past. Then a young girl guitar player who was very good . All together a great few hours jigging along to some favorite old songs and a few new ones

Dinner out

Tonight we went to the home of another school friend of Tom and Jim. David is a doctor and now has Parkinson’s. his wife Madeline is a lovely lady who had prepared an Indian feast.
They own a house at Lake Mirage in Rancho Mirage about 1/2 hr drive away. It’s set around a lake and has a pool out the front of the house. All very swish .
There were other people there – all very friendly though a certain gentleman nearly bored the socks off me! Lynne was very naughty and kept asking questions to change the direction of the conversation but that just set him off on another long story.
 The Calgarians head to the Palm Valley area like we head to the coast. They play tennis, golf , shop , ride bikes and generally hang out like we do at the coast- though probably a little more active and energetic.
So home and to bed! 

Friends and outlets

Last night friends of Tom and Lynne’s arrived for a couple of days. We had a lovely dinner with lots of chat and got to bed around 11pm. We needed some energy for the next day trip to Cabazon the outlet centre.
We had a good breakfast and armed with water bottles and credit cards headed off to the center about 1/2 hr away. It was the biggest center I have seen …. All painted desert colours. And wow the selection of shops was amazing.
We in Australia just don’t know what outlet shopping is like. It’s set up so well. It’s cheap, it’s clean and it’s not full of rubbish . I could have done even more damage than I did.
Just a few shoes- but medical ones for my poor feet! That’s what I call Ecco shoes and some lovely Cole Hann loafer type and some pewter wedges. I found a new linen jacket for Steve! Glasses for Rob and Brendan, two pants ( Anne Taylor)  red jeans and linen  ones from DKNY. A 

New dress success

 Met a friend of Lynne’s for lunch before a little Palm  Desert rambling and shopping. Found some lovely white casual pants and two tank tops. The clothes here are so much cheaper than home. 
It’s not fair!

Another lovely day in the desert area.
Went to the gym at the golf club before heading of to meet Lynne’s friend Trisha .

Then visited a few galleries and lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s new restaurant. Delicious Kale salad. we then hit the shops again Macy’s and lucky me  found a dress to wear to my niece’s  wedding. A Calvin Klein black and yellow number. I tried on about 8 dresses and finally the last one was a winner. It’s straight through with black panels on the side and black yellow and white.
Big success.
We got home and met Lynne and Toms friends Audrey and Jim.  Jim Tom and Audrey were all at Primary school together. Jim is even taller than Tom!
Went to bed and tried to sleep the whole night through!

Bike riding

Lynne Lesley and I went for a bike ride into  La Quinta village . It was a lovely flat ride along bike paths down streets lined with bougainvillea in the richest red, past the entrances to lovely gold resorts and into the quaint streets of the old town. . It’s quite Mexican looking with white building tile roofs and a great coffee shop. Had my first bagel YUM. And a lovely coffee before browsing the streets. Lycra clad bike riders are in the coffee shops here as well as home and though we were bike riders we certainly weren’t wearing Lycra.

Rode home and rested by plunging in the pool and reclining on deck chairs. 
After lunch we headed  out to the biggest Costco . For those who don’t know Costco is huge and has everything you might want to buy from electrical things to food and even a toilet. A sort of cross between Woolies,  Target, Bunnings , BWS, at the cheapest prices imaginable. We bought food for dinner, bra  and knickers, wine, a book but passed on the car and the glasses. 
Had a beautiful margarita before dinner which we all cooked. Caprese salad followed by Delicious chicken with mushrooms, asparagus yum!

Watched a little tv and so to bed. 

La Quinta California.

Hello readers . Welcome back

Yes get your maps out! I’m on the move again this time in America. I’m visiting Lynne and Tom my favorite Canadian friends.
La Quinta is a golf resort in the desert area about two hours south and inland from LA.
More to come……. I’m a bit jet lagged. 

I left Brisbane at 10am sitting in Premium Economy next to the man who had pushed in front of me in the line up outside. Funny how that works out. I caught up on my movie viewing watching Perfect Pitch, Save your legs ( the oz movie about the cricket team) and ? Something else but I think I fell asleep . That must have been the only time I slept though! It was a long 14 hr flight. 
We arrived at 5.40 in the morning, and were herded into a large “holding area” and released a few a time to pass through customs. There were 3 groups: US citizens, those with connecting flights and then the others. I saw our friends Pauline and Brian Jordan son Michael, who  was connecting to Vegas.  Well  it took until 8.30 to get through to the baggage claim then a huge queue to exit the customs! Unbelievable. They said – complain to the govt . With all the cuts there is a staff shortage. 
Welcome to America. 
I took the shuttle to Palm Springs- La Quinta and arrived at 12. 30 to be greeted by Tom and Lynne and Lynne’s sister Lesley. Great house. Lovely pool set  in golf club estate. All so beautiful and manicured. Like being on a movie set. 
We enjoyed lunch at the club house about a 15 min walk from the house and so beautiful. Then a short drive across the wrong side of the tracks to a new estate set around a man made lake. Funniest owner , looked like he was under going rehab sitting on his 4 post iron bed in this massive house all in brown! 
Home for a short sleep , swim ( did I mention the weather is beautiful – warm and dry) and Prosecco before dinner and an early night. 
Photos tomorrow.