Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rancho Mirage

I visited Rancho Mirage yesterday for the first time. This Coachella Valley area includes a number of small cities that all flow together including Pam Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indio and Coachella. Its like this long swath of development in the middle of the desert. This area is only a short drive from our home in Pioneertown - about 30-40 miles.

What an odd place. Its this green oasis (just like a mirage I suppose) in the middle of the low desert. Streets are named after Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Dinah Shore and so on. It reminds me of the 70s - I guess because when I was a kid in the 70s those stars were still very much around. The place is full of beautifully manicured, and very green, streets,  massive gated communities, so many golf courses and country clubs (12 of them!), Indian casinos, and many, many, many doctors offices and hospitals. I saw endless dental and plastic surgery places and the Betty Ford Center. Its good to know that if I ever find myself with a substance abuse issue I can head on down to the BFC.

Lots of spas too, and you can get very good deals in the summer when its too hot for tourists. And the whole place is full of retirees. Its one big retirement party. Everywhere you go the place is full of people my parents' age. Yes of course there are young people in these areas, but you see a lot more elderly people than you in other places. Its just unusual.

As odd as this area is out here in the desert, I am grateful to have this area exist, and so close to our home. I wouldn't want to live down in there - too developed and too hot - but being able to easily access this area for shopping and restaurants and entertainment is a very nice perk to living out here.

Pioneertown has Pappy & Harriets, which is awesome, but sometimes you want some variety. Yucca Valley is a fairly big town, but it lacks a lot in the way of shopping. It is a very functional town. It has a decent grocery store (Vons), drug stores, a Home Depot, a Walmart, a movie theater, and a Starbucks. It has a number of fast food places and it has an Applebees (that apparently has a very active bar scene), but generally the eating out situation leaves a lot to be desired. We do have our favorite Mexican place, and there's always Ma Rouge (but not open for dinner), the Rib Co. has a decent italian place in the back, and there is a Subway, but it gets old fast. I like to cook and eat in so its ok, but sometimes you want to go to a nice restaurant or need to do more specialized shopping and the Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage area offers all of that. They have a Trader Joes! I was excited to learn that a Whole Foods is coming to Palm Desert in the Fall of 2013. That is a long way off, but it will be good to have that. Yes, WF is expensive, but I like to buy meat from there. Its nice to have options.

The Rancho Mirage area is not the best place to head to in the summer. Seriously it was 104 yesterday when we were there - which actually isn't bad given that I've heard about 118 degree temperatures down there of late. I listen to this classic rock station on the car radio that comes out of the Coachella Valley (one of the few radio stations I can get around here) and I love to hear the weather report. Its always talk about the temperatures down there in the valley being like 109 or something. It can be hot up here in the sun, but even here in the height of the summer heat its more like in the 90s. Our temperatures up here in the high desert are always 10-20+ degrees cooler than down in the valley.

Our trip there was a quick one to visit a bathroom and kitchen showroom - we have to decide on our bathroom plumbing valves for the house we are building - but we will be heading back there soon for some more home building and other shopping.

After the bathroom showroom visit, and full on jalape├▒o martinis and Hawaiian fusion food from a place called Roy's, followed by Ben & Jerry's milkshakes (which probably was an unnecessary and not so great idea), we headed back up to our home in the high desert, grateful for the drop in temperature as we climbed in elevation, and I caught this shot of the sun setting behind San Jacinto, the big mountain that sits over Palm Springs. Beautiful end to a nice little afternoon Byway adventure.

1 comment:

  1. Aw~you're in my territory now! Yes, it can get OVER 120 down here...way too hot for us as we get older :-( I love your high desert, though!