Despite going into Covid lockdown again just weeks after arriving, we had another great winter at the Outdoor Resort Palm Springs. No major lot improvements this year, instead we just enjoyed catching up with friends, relaxing on our outdoor patio and all the amenities of the resort. For most of the season, we stayed pretty tight with our small bubble of friends. With the warm weather and nice outdoor patio’s it wasn’t really hard to social distance and stay well.
Our god daughters parents and family were in the valley for the month of December which was a real treat. We had several fun nights with the whole gang. Christmas Day was a ball.. it was so much fun to spend the day together, cooking a huge meal, replete with Prime Rib Roast and plenty of red wine!!! We were responsible and spent the night in their guest casita.
California has had access to loads of vaccine and we were lucky to get our shots in Feb/March as were most of our friends. Even though we did not meet the age criteria at the time, we were able to get on a waiting list a for un-used vaccine at our local Rite-Aid. What they were doing was filling their no-show appointments with willing victims! It was a huge relief to be able to see people outside our small bubble socially again. Even with both shots onboard, we are still being careful and wearing our masks out in public.
The Outdoor Resort hosted many outdoor events this year… masked required of course. Pickleball, golf and tennis were all open as well. We had a ball with friends at SINGO, real live concerts, All Star and Comedy Night – our Activities Staff did an amazing job pulling all these outside events together.
One of my favorite events was our Pickleball Club End of the Season Pool Party. It was hotter than heck in April so floating in the pool, chatting with friends was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. The more hardy people actually played pickleball, or corn hole or ping pong. The club supplied tubs of cold water, beer, wine and boxes of hot pizza. Casual and fun!!!We also had some pretty epic card nights, birthday parties and a Sunny Cycle outing with our bubble. Of course, there were loads of patio happy hours and dinners alfresco.
I fooled around with sour dough bread making in my spare time and even made some Limoncello with our fresh Meyer Lemons. I haven’t mastered baking in our convection microwave oven and found our Traegar to be way better for baking bread. I do miss having a “real” oven sometimes but I honestly don’t need the calories from breads and desserts anyway! Boo-Hoo!!!
I also fooled around with a tiny garden… red leaf and romaine lettuce, tomatoes and a plethora of herbs. I was actually able to get basil going too. We had a bumper crop of lettuces, the cooler winter weather here is perfect for colder weather plants. The tomato’s of course really went into overdrive just days before we are rolling. No way those were traveling with us … wahhh. Good news for the tomato plants …our friends in Palm Springs adopted them.
We did get out and hike with friends in the area. The valley has endless opportunities for hiking and one of our favorite hikes was in Mecca – yeah, not that Mecca!!! The Ladders hike at Painted Canyon was spectacular… combine climbing ladders, slot canyons, boulder scrambling, ridge hiking and crazy geology for an amazing day exploring.
Another big highlight of the season was having other fellow RV friends come stay at our resort. I also got to met a fellow blogger pal, Laura Greene in person. We have enjoyed each others blogs and have been pen-pals of sorts. Our paths have never quite crossed but this year the stars aligned and we drove to Riverside to have lunch with them at the busiest brewpub in all of California. We were having so much fun chatting we didn’t even take any pictures – blogging failure! Despite the uber loud busy outdoor patio we were sitting on Wally and I had a great time with Laura and Kevin and yes, several pints were consumed.
One upside of living on a small par three golf course is all the birds and wildlife. I really enjoyed having my morning coffee and watching all the critters around the small lake behind us. We have a resident Costa’s hummingbird – Henry the III who keeps watch over the feeder in the lemon tree and sits with us on the patio. This is the third year he has been back to our feeder.. next year we won’t get to see Henry the IV as we are planning to spend the winter in the SE and Florida.
Turtles, Mallards with ducklings, Coots, Pelicans, Egrets, Roadrunners and a host of other birds visit or live around the lake. I also hung a bird feeder behind the coach by the bedroom window – for the cat to watch of course!
In February, we took a five day trip over to Mesa AZ to spend some time with my Mom and some AZ friends. We left the coach in Palm Springs and stayed with friends in at their “Placa in Mesa”. For Valentines Day we all co-opted a great meal. My friend Laurie and I pre-cooked loads of crepes for the main course. That was a blast and we had a great time in the kitchen together. I started the evening off with a cheese and wine pairing with products from Penny Royal Farms in Boonsville California. The farm and winery is in the beautiful Andersen Valley where they make all their cheeses from their sheep and goats.
While we were in Mesa, we took a day trip to Superior and hiked around the Boyce Arboretum. Masks were required at all times inside the property but on a Monday, there was hardly anyone there. This is a great place to bring a picnic lunch, explore the massive gardens and hike the property. Since it was winter, there wasn’t much blooming but it was still beautiful.
I was also able to visit my Mom… this was before the vaccines but with a negative Covid test I was allowed to actually be inside her small community. It was a bittersweet visit and while she has settled into her new memory care community, it is so difficult to see her mental decline. I am lucky that she knows who I am and we did have some silly fun, looking at picture of our pets and laughing about their antics. She is very child-like at times, which is not uncommon with dementia and I have come to accept that this is who she is now. I feel great relief and appreciation that she is safe, living in a lovely community and has companionship. She had isolated herself in her apartment at her other senior community, didn’t go out much and I think she also had forgotten how to manage the remote TV control. Dementia is such a sad journey….
That said, this journey with my Mom has reinforced to me how important it is to live more in the moment and it is all the more reason to get out and enjoy life RIGHT NOW.