This was my big weekend to take Mom to the spa and get girly things like facials and stay at a hotel and soak in a hot tub. Originally I was going to take her to Glen Ivy so we could soak in the mud pools and then in the sulfur pools and treat her to a massage, then stay someplace nice down Temecula way and drive through the hills on Sunday. But then she read an article on how nice Encintas was, so instead I planned to take her to Burke Williams Spa and then we'd go spend the weekend in Encinitas. But then Saturday dawned cold and gray and she didn't want to be freezing on the coast, so we came up with the brilliant idea that we would go to fabulous Palm Springs.
We stopped at the Cabazon outlet mall, window shopped and laughed at $300 purses, bought shoes and a questionable Japanese lunch. The people-watching was fun - trying to guess if people were American or Asian or European or whatever. Sometimes it was obvious and sometimes we were stumped. I thought we'd get a cheap room at Morongo (a reservation casino) and then have a fun evening in Palm Springs, but as soon as we stepped inside Mom smelled cigarrette smoke and that was the end of it.
So we cruised Palm Canyon Drive and started asking about hotel rooms. No vacancy. No vacancy. Vacancy for $149! We decided we'd walk, have dinner, then drive west toward home and find a non-scary hotel with a hot tub (that was our only real requirement). Alas, the spas were closed for the day. We ate at Zin, but we were too late for the Prix Fixe dinner (which sounded awesome and I could have had rabbit!) but we still stuffed ourselves with salad, a charcuterie platter, a veggie entree (which was very hit and miss) and chicken schnitzel. Yes, I ate some meat! Sometimes I can't resist, and I feel no guilt about occasionally indulging. Oy, we got stuffed.
We waddled back to the car and hit the highway, but all we found in Banning were scary-looking dive hotels or nice places with NO HOT TUB. In Beaumont we found out that there was a tennis tournament in Palm Springs and that was why every cheap room in town was booked. Then they wanted to charge us $170 for a smoking king room! Nuh-uh. I have bad luck like this when I travel. Once we were driving home from Montana and wanted to get a hotel room in Ogden, UT. Turned out there was a hunting convention in Salt Lake and there wasn't a room to be had in almost all of Utah. Dan ended up driving dangerously tired and finally we passed out at a rest stop outside St. George. Lesson: DO NOT TRAVEL ON THE FLY. Make reservations and stick to your plans. Sigh.
We ended up staying at a hotel in Ontario that I had been to before. It had a hot tub and two beds in the room and waffles for breakfast, and we weren't in a house full of yowling children (Mom now has 5 grandchildren living with her) and we watched stupid TV and had a lovely time. We drove up through Running Springs and Crestline and pretended we were going to buy a family retreat and of course we blabbed and blabbed and blabbed and never once had to say "Get down off of that! Get out of the street! Don't lick that! Would you please get in the car?" So I count it all as a raging success, despite the minor setbacks. We'll be doing something like this again in late April or early May, but probably with hotel reservations this time.