Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Palm Springs

The quickest route from La Quinta to Palm Springs would be to jump on Interstate 10 and take it along to the Palm Springs exit. 

However, we had lots of time and a short journey to complete on this day so we took Highway 111 which meanders through the neighbouring cities.

Highway 111 is pretty much malls, offices, restaurants, condo developments and golf courses for the entire 26 miles between La Quinta and Palm Springs.  The quality of these services varies up and down depending on the affluence of the neighbourhood it serves.  The cities of Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells were of a similar ilk to La Quinta – plenty of second homes to wealthy LA residents here while Cathedral City definitely had a more working class feel – people living and working on ordinary salaries in this area.

Views along Highway 111.




The huge swathes of greenery throughout the Coachella Valley must take a lot of watering during the arid summer months.


Our RV spot in Palm Springs had the advantage of being walking distance to downtown, however the pad was a far cry from the space at Lake Cahuilla, or our own home and garden which Mojo was really missing by now.


We took advantage of the central location and walked into town.  We were surprised to discover that the downtown core appeared to have hit on hardtimes.  Perhaps there was already a migration towards the new nearby cities of Rancho Mirage or La Quinta, spurred on by the current recession.  Only a couple of blocks from the very centre of Palm Springs rows of shops sat empty, boarded up or advertised ‘for lease’.  Even large office blocks sat vacant.

This photo is about 3 blocks from the centre intersection in Palm Springs. The shops and offices in view are empty.


Built in 1885 this is the McCallum Adobe house, believed to be the first pioneer home built in the city.


The sidewalks are lined with stars.  We saw, amongst others, Frank Sinatra and here Elizabeth Taylor.


It was great to see colourful flowers blooming.



At the opposite end of the downtown core was this interesting water feature.


Stopping for a frappucino at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way – the centre of Palm Springs.

IMG_0674 An old aerial photo of La Plaza, a development built in the 1930’s and one of the first malls and motel facilities for the rich and famous in the city.


And as it is today.


Here are some of the rental cabins.


‘If I sit, do I get to lick out the frappucino cup ?’

IMG_0678 Then as the sun descends, we head back towards the RV park.


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