After our brief stay in Quartzsite (with our new, yet light weight, treasures on board) we headed west to the Golden State where we will spend the next few months. First up….Palm Desert. I get the impression California thinks it is its own country as we were stopped by the stoic Border Patrol. They asked if everyone on board was a U.S. citizen at which point Spirit sat up and said “no, I am from Indiana.” She's not very good with geography.
Next up, the citrus gestapo. Do not try to take citrus picked fresh from a tree in Arizona into California. It must be grown in Mexico, sprayed with chemicals, ripened with ethylene gas, and bought in a grocery store in order for you to bring it into the state. We were busted! So much for orange peel shrimp for dinner.
Palm Desert (and the neighboring towns of Palm Springs, Indio, Cathedral City, and Rancho Mirage) is a snow birders hub. Our friend Valerie (who we met in Tucson at the dog park, of course) sung the praises of Emerald Desert RV Resort so we booked a week. The park is definitely a “RV resort” with loads of amenities that can keep anyone busy all day…there are the pools, tennis courts, on-site golf…and plenty of activities…the walking club, quilting workshops, book clubs…and happy hours, muffins and mimosas, and bark and wine. Mimosas and muffins caught our attention so one morning we wandered over and enjoyed the good spread of fresh pastries, breads, fruit, and cheese.
Our first couple of days in the Golden State had turned an ugly shade of gray. Now I am skeptical about the ad that claims Palm Springs has 350 days of sunshine a year. When the clouds finally parted we hitched up Spirit and headed out to see what the weekend markets were all about. First up was the Palm Springs Open Air Market at the Spa Casino. This was a nice outdoor market with a mix of prepared foods, fresh produce, jewelry, crafts, and more and we enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine. I could not resist buying some dried fruit.
Next, we hit the famed downtown strip – Palm Canyon Drive – to find Marilyn Monroe. The 26-foot tall “Forever Marilyn” sculpture takes a prominent position among the chic boutiques and restaurants downtown. The statue represents one of the most famous movie images of Marilyn taken from the film “The Seven Year Itch.” The statue was constructed by Seward Johnson (heir to the Johnson and Johnson Company) and first debuted on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It is only fitting that she is on display in Palm Springs as it was here that she was "discovered" at the age of 22 at Charlie Farrell's Racquet Club. Many famous photos of her were taken in Palm Springs and she was a regular visitor.
The next day, we went to the College of the Desert Street Fair. This fair is much larger with over 300 vendors that run the gamut of everything you need and don’t need. We opted for lunch and that was it....enough shopping for a while.