Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rotary and the Oscars

Oscar ballots
February 24
Palm Springs

     Al and Gene having been going to the Tuesday, 7 a.m. meeting of the Palm Springs SunUp Rotary. 
Good Looking Rotarians

At the last meeting they were invited to join the Oscar party they were having at The Falls Restaurant.  It started at 3:30 p.m.  Love this California time.

    Becki and I had signed up for a water color art class here at the Sands.  We were assured that "anyone" could do this.  Luckily, we just trace the object, then paint in the colors.  The subject today was lemons.  Can't say that we are artists, but it was fun learning the water color process.  I came home and hung my picture on the refrigerator.
I do not understand shading, so my lemon was in full sun!
We rushed back from the lesson and put our "glam" clothes on, which meant our good jeans.
  The group had decorated the private dining room with lots of Oscar items.

Of course, we had to have our pictures taken on the Red Carpet.

Next, we had to fill out our ballots.  There was also a trivia question sheet to fill in, and a trivia trophy to award.

Helping Al with his picks.

We got to look at but did not win the trivia Oscar.   
      We tried to stay to the end, but everyone seemed to have the same idea we did.  "Let's go home and watch the end in our jammies".   We decided that anyone who stayed was probably going to win one of the prizes, as there would only be about 3 people left. 
     From our little group, Al had the most correct picks!  He got 5 right.  Considering we only saw one of the movies, he did really well.
    As we were leaving, they gave us a spare trophy.  We decided it was a trophy for coming the farthest. 
We were s humble,


and surprised!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guys Go Hiking Again

February 18, 2013
Guys Hike

     On Monday, the guys had signed up for a longer hike with the group.   It was also about a 45 mile trip to get to the trail head, and 45 miles back, so Becki and I figured we had lots of scrapping time.  They were scheduled to come back around 2 pm, le'aving here at 8 am.  By 8:30, we were in Becki's oHome ( we have the iHome, they named their trailer the oHome as their last name is O'Rear) and scrapping.
Becki even brought her Cricut image cutting machine.

Just some of our supplies
Hard at work
Now for the hike.  They drove to around Mecca and had a great hiking day.  Will share just a few of the pictures.

Going up and down ladders and crevices seemed to be involved.

Also had to have a flashlight for cave like areas.

     The hike took longer than they expected and the guys did not get back til about 3pm.  Becki and I could not believe how fast the time went by.  We had quite a day scrapping.

   We let them rest a bit and shower, as we had a trip to Clint Eastwood's Hog's Breath Restaurant planned.  They have a happy hour special and a dinner speccial.  We started off in the bar with happy hour, which starts at 3:00, our kind of place!

I am really not that pale!  It's the flash!

 We had a nice spot on the terrace for dinner in front of one of the fireplaces.
 Our view of the mountains.  Unfortunately, the sunset was not that great.
Hmmmm, maybe I am that pale.

Go ahead, Clint,  and make our day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Visitors and Return to Shields

February 17

    On Sunday, Becki's sister and BIL came for a visit.  They live about an hour away, depending on traffic!  Becki and I spruced up our little homes so they would look cozy and inviting.

    They arrived about 9:30 and we had mimosa's on Becki's patio.  There was also a lot of gift exchanging going on, as they were doing Christmas and birthdays.
Beautifully wrapped gifts!
Waiting for Mimosas!

Becki made a birthday cookie cake.
    After a Mimosa, we decided that going back to Shield's Date Farm for brunch sounded like a good idea.  Becki offered to make pancakes, but we all decided that was too much work.    Calling ahead, we walked right in and  got a great table on the patio.  As I was determined to get a date shake, I just ordered the butternut squash soup.  Al had a hamburger garnished with dates. 

Me and my date!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sheild's Date Garden

February 16

     The Sheilds Date Garden was on our list of "must do" while we were in this area.  I have been reading about the date shakes for a year on different blogs of people who have wintered here.  Our friends also told us there was a nice patio restaurant and was a great place to have breakfast.  We also wanted to go to one of the open air markets, so we left the houses at 8.  We think Becki was awake.  Her eyes were open and she was walking.
    It was about a 30 minute drive to Sheilds.  The patio dining was really nice and I guess we were up earlier than most people, as there was no trouble getting a table.  I had to go with the House Special, and had the date pancakes.  They were delicious.
Ready to go shopping!

Date pancakes. 
We should have taken the pictures before we ate all the food. Dirty Dishes!

    After breakfast we did a little shopping at the garden shop connected to the cafe, and then went to watch the movie, The Romance and Sex Life of the Date.  We were prepared for anything, but were happy/disappointed(?) there were no bare bodies involved.
  It was too early and I was too full for a date shake, so we decided we would come back another day.  We did manage to sample several of the different kinds of dates.  Well, most of us did, anyway! 

  We drove back to the Sands and let the dogs go potty and picked up our car.
The afternoon before, one of our low tire warnings went off in the Subaru.  Al aired it up and on Saturday morning it was down quite a bit, so we figured there was a nail in it.
I found a tire repair shop not far from us, so we dropped it off.  They were busy, and said it would be 5:30 pm or so before it would be done.  They would call.  Ha!   Gene drove us to the outdoor market.  It was much smaller than the one in Mesa, and all we bought were some leashes and a collar for Beau.  The leashes are guaranteed not to tangle when both dogs are on them.  They both clip onto one handle.  It can be used with one leash or both.  Beau got a martingale collar, as he backs out of his collar and harness.  So far, they have worked great.   I also bought a loaf of organic date bread.  We are still eating on it. 
  The bike shop was our next stop,  where we looked at and bought my new bike.  

     Becki suggested we take our happy hour food and drink down to the pool area for a little change of scenery.  Great idea. 
The moon above the palm.

Young love!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bike Bit the Dust

     On my way home from the pool the other day,  I was making the last small hill to the iHome and needed to shift down to number one gear.  I have been having trouble with it since we got here and this time I managed to blow it completely up, if that is possible in derailleur language.   Luckily, I was only going about 0.0001 mph, as it seized up and I saved myself from being thrown over the handle bars.  When you are barely moving, the drama of stopping suddenly is pretty mild.  I had to push it the last few sites, while picking up the back tire, as it would not move.  I made it to Gene and Becki's and parked it there.  That is one heavy bike!   So much for $100 K-Mart bikes.
My pretty pink and black bike.
      I was so proud of it when I got it.  Who knew it would turn on me and try to buck me off one day?

  Al went to a bike store in Palm Springs and bought a derailleur or $30, brought it home and decided he really didn't want to put that much money in that bike.  He had looked at some really nice Townie bikes that he thought we should investigate.
     On Saturday we went to the market on Saturday morning after a breakfast at Sheilds Date Farm.  More on that in another blog.   We drove to  Palm Springs and visited the bike store and bought an Electra Townie.  We will pick it up on Tuesday.
It is a "step through bike", there is a little utube that shows a little about it.  Al likes it for me as it is safer for someone who is not real co-ordinated and physically fit, though he would never say that!  When you sit on it, your feet touch the ground when you come to a stop and put your feet down.  Also, great ratios for someone like me to get up small inclines, I consider a hill.  Electra Townie Bike

   This bike store also works with the city's homeless and we will bring my old bike and they will fix it up and donate it for us, so we don't have to mess with it.   A "win win".

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coachilla Valley Preserve Hike

February 14
Hike  February 12, Tuesday

     We found a great place to take a little hike.  The Coachella Valley Preserve is a wonderful place to take a very easy hike to the Thousand Palms Oasis.  We were enthralled as we have never seen palm trees in their natural state.  They are amazing.  I think they look like wooly mammoth legs!  Click on the link above to read the history of this place.  Very interesting.
     The hike out to the oasis is only 1 mile, but we decided to pack a lunch so we could have a picnic.

Peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  Our favorite for hikes.

        I am going to include a bunch of pictures of the palms and oasis, as we have never seen anything like this.  It was like going into a redwood forest, but with palm trees.  All you Californians will have to put up with the pics. 
Gene and Becki at the start of the trail.

Sandy part of the trail.

There were many different aspects to the trail.


     Just had to include the sign that was in the bathroom!
     We went back to the Sands, had a little nap and then went to the laundry.  It is right by the pool and hot tubs, so we sat in the sun and read and I spent some time in the hot tub helping my hip.  This retirement life is the life.