I pulled on the bling. I jumped into my borrowed black Mercedes. My back sat a little taller, my shoulders took rightful position away from my ears. I was on my way. Driving has always been a bit of a thrill for me… Not steering wheel thumping, no bloody reason for them type traffic jams you get in the UK, or motorways…..no, I’m talking open roads and switchbacks………back in the day I received a signed certificate for spending a sunny afternoon doing hand brake turns and sliding around on black oil at Goodwood race track.
A mile out of town and the Vista Point came up towards me on my left. A thrill chased up from my toes and I let out a few whoops. ‘Palm Springs, baby’. I shouted to the pines, the Stellar jays and any breathing thing that might be listening. My friend Cathy had given me use of her car for the day. A day off from walking, running, talking….
As the pines got shorter the vista increased. Tantalising glimpses of the world below clicked in my view like slides dropping into a projector. ‘I’m in America’, I declared to the empty passenger seat. The skyscraping Jeffries pines I’d been keeping company with the last three weeks had given me narrow vision. ‘I’M IN AMERICA! Wow. My face lit up. The breeze through the broken back window lost its bite and my bones orchestrated a sigh.
I’d raced through Palm Springs numerous times before, en route to some adventure. The Grand Canyon. My mecca…Monument Valley…think life on Mars, Goblin valley, think huge rocks formed into cloaked ‘ickle folk, Sedona, Joshua tree…you get the idea. I’d always poopooed it. ‘Yah, yah, flat boring sprawl’. I guess it’s timing but I was pleasantly rewarded.
Firstly, it had pavements (Idyllwild has ONE short one), boutiques with bang on trend garments for the girl about town, a green grassy courtyard I took far too long to realise was for coiffed gay men and their pocket pooches. Modernist architecture was strewn like a pack of cards over the City. There was a three-hour tour of famous houses of the era of Modernism I could have booked on…but I didn’t have time, and I questioned my flighty attention span despite my obession for Le Corbusier, Alvar Alto and Lautner. I compromised…purchased a postcard of Bob Hope’s home and sent a snap of the place where Elvis lived to a friend. Several streets were named after the big movie stars. Frank Sinatra Drive took me on a trip to Trader Joes (bargain super market) and the pavements Downtown were decorated with the names of Hollywood movie legends I’m sure I should probably recognise..but none rang a bell.
My time was short but I did get to enjoy the extra hour of daylight (the clocks sprung forward) and the warm breeze on my bare, mountain parched pins. I also got to play my role as ‘internet blogger of vegan restaurants’. I laughed at myself as I acted like a pompous ass with a thin vein of self-importance. Studiously taking macro shots of pecan caramel oozing over a vegan ‘cheese’cake and getting a tour of the kitchens. Oh how I loved it! Ha Ha.
No sundowners or decorated cocktails for me, but a hearty cup of yerba mate in a poorly chosen cafe. The cheepo white plastic seats, did not dull the sheen of the day. I’d had adventures. My tummy well fed. My inner ‘babe of bling’ got an airing. My back seat was full of my food gatherings and the car radio dolled out an hour and a half of current tunes for me to sing along to and fill in the gaps on my homeward ascent, when the boulders won out over the radio waves.
Maybe I’ll get to go and explore some more before I leave…..Oh, that word…leave. No, I cannot even bring myself to consider its reality. ~Right now…it’s back for more Idyllwild.