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A Winter Getaway to Palm Springs

In February, 2019, Shelly and I escaped to Palm Springs, CA for a National Association of Realtors conference.  We stayed at the La Quinta Hotel and Resort in La Quinta, CA.  It is very spread out with one and two floor casitas and villas, and central buildings housing the lobby, stores, restaurants, and meeting rooms.  We were in a nice casita on the second floor, with a partial view of the mountains.  We had a long walk to the meeting rooms, but we had nice weather and enjoyed the sites.

There were a number of speakers at the conference, and we saw Kal Penn from the TV show Designated Survivor, David Gergen, CNN political consultant and former aid to a number of presidents, and Condolezza Rice, former Secretary of State.  We also had a very nice dinner with friends, and caught up on all the latest news and gossip.  Also, our bellman who shuttled us to our casita, picked 9 grapefruits from the tree outside our casita.  So we had fresh grapefruit and juice! 

We traveled to Joshua Tree Village, about one hour northeast of Palm Springs, and had lunch at the Joshua Tree Saloon.  We then spent about 90 minutes driving through Joshua Tree National Park.  We did not have any preconceived notions about the park so it was a unique experience.  Lots of Joshua Trees of course, and some really interesting rock, hill, and mountain formations.  There were quite a few other visitors who were hiking and climbing rocks.  We parked along the road and caught some nice pictures from various viewpoints.  

The next day, we visited the Oasis in Thousand Palms, CA.  It is a pond fed by an underground aquifer.  It involves a 2 mile walk through the desert, so bring some water with you if you go.  If you're into hiking in the desert, then it's worth the trip, otherwise skip it.  We posted a few pictures.  

We then went to the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert, CA.  It has a variety of animals found in Africa, such as leopards, giraffes, camels, and meerkats, as well as those from North America, including bob cats, and lynx.  Seeing the animals enclosed was a bit concerning as we saw many of them in the wild during our visit to South Africa, but the enclosures were large and natural.  Definitely worth a visit.

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