Rancho Mirage

We’re over in Rancho Mirage now, which is just the fancy edge of plain old Cathedral City. But we are staying at the Ritz Carlton, (5 nights , 160k Marriott points), a very nice property with great views across the valley, two beautiful pools, and the kind of customer service you don’t see much anymore in the US. Friendly and fawning is an attractive combination.

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Poor Hector has been traveling so much that he just manages to adjust his time zone when it’s time to take off again. At least this time he had a full week after Saudi Arabia before leaving for Dominican Republic, so we decided to just go someplace within driving distance.

We used to come here a lot, when we used our time-share in Palm Desert. It’s nice to sleep in those comfy beds the size of an aircraft carrier, have good meals, go to the movies, casino, pool. I can’t imagine living here full time but there’s plenty of retirees who do. The movie theaters are always full of chattering, coughing old people, like in Santa Fe. The mens room is like a scene from a zombie movie, with all the shuffling and moaning to get to the urinal.

A lot has changed here in the 5 years since we left, but it’s good to see some old familiars, like Grill-A-Burger, our favorite burger in the whole world. But, sadly, some things are gone. This area can’t quite sustain their occasional growth squirts. The new shopping center, The River, is now only about half full. All the little shops are boarded up, with just the chain restaurants still running. In Palm Springs, the hipster section of Palm Canyon has moved a few blocks north without actually expanding much. We didn’t make it to the gay bars this time but Arenas St looks pretty much the same.

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