Desert Doings



We traveled to Palm Desert with 6 friends to play golf, eat, drink and be merry.  The games began on Friday as soon as we all arrived.  Pat and Richard were our hosts at the Marriott Shadows Ridge timeshare condos.  We had a great place to stay and a table big enough to handle all us chow hounds.

The first night we had  Mexican food.  Muy Bueno!!  Chili verde and enchiladas.  What’s not to like!!!  Ray made margaritas and they got slurped right up!!  Such fun.  So much fun that I forgot to take but one picture.

The next day we went golfing at 11 ish.  But before we teed off, we attended a Taylor Made golf club demo event.  For doing so, we got a free lunch, entered into a contest that none of us won, and the opportunity to try out clubs.  Richard bought a new set to clubs and then set off to the course to shoot a shattering 72.  OMG.

Things didn’t go quite as swimmingly for the rest of us.  However, we had a great time.  Ruthie bought a new driver at the end of the round.  And we had a choice of a hamburger or hotdog.  Tom asked for two dogs and he was accommodated.  Tom also asked for two hats since Ruthie was buying a club.  He was accommodated.  You go Tom.  Richard, who bought a set, only received one hat.  Much moaning and groaning ensued!!

Did I mention that Ruth had a cold?  She was quite sick but she never complained.  I felt so sorry for her.  If it were me, I might have stayed in bed the whole time.  Ruthie is a great party animal…no matter what!!

We played Shadow Ridge and it was beautiful.  All I could see was sand.  There were what seemed like hundreds of bunkers.  And I found most of them…just kidding.  But I did take about 8 or 9 swings in the sand.  As most golfers can attest, that does not enhance your score.

After we finished golf, we headed back to the condo and jumped in the pool/hot tub.  The highlight of that adventure was the hawk that sat on the fence hawking.    He was a cool cucumber.  Didn’t seem to mind all the commotion at the pool.  It was focused on finding dinner.  And after a while, so were we.  We left to get ready for happy hour which started at 5 for everyone except us.  Ray and I split a gin and tonic at the pool!!  Yum.

Dinner was salmon done on the grill with all the trimmings including a homemade apple cake.  What a treat!!!

After dinner we played Apples to Apples.  What a hoot!!  Wine was spilled, carpets and walls were cleaned. (genesis of the opening picture).  And there were many expletives deleteds.  We were sure the neighbors were astonished.  And I’m glad we were not the neighbors.

The next day was an “off day”.  No golf.  So we went shopping.  Nothing more than going broke saving money!!  Got a new pair of black golf pantss, a new pair of black shoes, a blouse and some socks…all at Pete Carlson’s.  Then some of us went to the factory outlet stores.  That a was bad idea because it was Sunday and everyone in the southland was there.  Wall to wall people shopping.  Parking was hard to find but the bargains were there.  Managed to find a Cabi jacket and white blouse ($53)!!  Ray bought a LaCoste shirt.  Pat bought two belts at Brighton.  Productive and fun!!!

Returned to the condo just in time for happy hour!!!  And while we were drinking we found out that one of our couples was oversexed.  That led to much hilarity and general incredulous reactions.  And, of course, sympathy for his woman!!

We had pork ribs, rum barbecued beans, apple pie, wine, homemade apple pie, more wine, salad, wine, bread and wine.  A religious experience so we decided to talk of religion(s).  Uhmmmmm.  Was it a come to Jesus meeting?  Not even!!  It must have been boring…I clicked this picture.

The next day we were up and at ‘em and hit the links.  Desert Springs to be precise.  Another beautiful course.  The Palms course.  Water, sand.  Water, sand.  Quite an adventure.  After the game, we headed by to the Ridge and soaked our weary bones.  Some of us.  So, dinner followed as the dark follows the sunset.  We had rib eyes steaks with garlic mashed potatoes, haricot verts, Caesar’s salad with toast points.  Yummy.  Tom cooked the meat perfectly which was an act of amazing agility because he singed his arm hairs and burned his hands because someone put the pan inside the barbecue (brilliant).  It was almost as brilliant as the unknown person who put muscat wine in the freezer.  No one owned up to it but the wine froze nevertheless.  Who was that?  I have my suspicions.

Today was our “just say no” seminar.  That is where you go to the sales pitch for the time share business.  Before the seminar we lunched at Tommy Bahama’s.  And Capt. King gave us the lowdown on the boat trip we have planned.  Rule number one, don’t talk when the Capt. speaks.  You can imagine how that went over with our crowd.  We all laughed and tried to act like we weren’t ignoring him completely!!!    We eventually had to resort to a “talking knife”!!  I was a bit concerned about going out in public with the group as we are not shy and retiring…any of us.  It was with great relief that we were not given the boot.  We all attended a just say no seminar and came away with our finances in tact.  Where we didn’t say no was in the eating and drinking department…lasagna, asparagus, salad, bread, ice cream.  Yummy to the last bite.  Did I mention the wine?

The toothpicks were a big hit…as you can see!!!

The guys were a big hit too around the “pit”.  They cooked the meat, fish and chicken on the grills.  And it did not happen without incident.  There was the missing fork caper.  OMG.  Someone stole the fork out at the barbecue…only they didn’t.  And then there was the tongs dilemma.  No tongs to flip the food with.  OMG.  All week we had to resort to primitive flipping…then we found tongs on the last day!!  Then there was the story of the quarter brain men.  With all four of them huddled around the fire, a neighbor referred to one of them as a quarter brainer.  Too funny.  Perhaps it was the rivoting conversations emminating from the condos…at high Db levels.  Opinions expressed forcefully, you might say.  We were pretty sure everyone in our wing heard our musings.

But I digress.  On Wednesday we played our least favorite course, Cathedral Canyons.  It had two sides.  The lakes side and the mountain side.  Only the mountain side had almost as many lakes as the lakes side.  And many of us landed in water and gravelly sand.  But we played and had a great time anyway.  Then it was like horses back to the barn.  We landed back the the Ridge and cooking began.  There was chicken to barbecue, salad to toss, veggies to cook, and did I mention…wine to drink?

Our host in repose.  He should have been the least tired as he took about half as many swings as the rest of us.  But there he was, resting or collapsing.  Not sure which!!

In the meantime, Tom was getting sicker and Ruth was feeling better…they were really troopers.  I would have stayed in bed and slept or rested.  Not them.  They are made of sterner stuff.

Some of us watched Bush  (43) hawking his book with Matt Lauer (my opinion).  OH, I guess this whole thing is my opinion.  Well, there you go.  But I digress.

Then the party died and everyone hit the hay, sort of.

The last full day was comprised of golf at Rancho Mirage.  We loved this course.  It was in beautiful shape and a good layout.  And the homes around it each had it’s own pool.  We decided we could live there…all of us.  This day the game pitted the men against the women and the women kicked the men’s butts by 3 strokes!!!  Yippee and OMG.  The men were gracious in defeat.

Then it was back to the Ridge to have lamb chops, haricots vert, Greek salad, bean gratin, lasagna and wine.  Did I mention wine?  Oh, and the conversation.  Michel entranced the crowd with her, uhm, stories.   She was, well, forthcoming!!

Of course all this would have been fabulous enough…but we were also wowed by Pat two mornings when she served up chili verde /scrambled eggs burritos with coffee, orange juice, mimosas, bloody Mary’s etc.  What can you say.  MUY BUENO!!  We felt like we were luckiest people in the world.

There were a few hiccups.  Wine glasses were broken.  Ray spilled wine on Dianna’s pants that were hanging up to dry because she had washed them to wear the last day.  That went over big.  Two plates were broken when they fell out of the cupboard and hit Michel on the nose.   And tongs were found.

And then there were the conversations.  Politics, religion, boating, blue pills, over-sexed over-the-hillers, golf, the economy, the stock market.  All expressed with great enthusiasm and little knowledge (in some cases)!!!  I found it funny as heck when Bush confirmed to all that TARP was under his leadership…this followed our earlier conversation where several argued that it was done under Obama.  Of course, being left and right always feels good!!  But I digress.

Alas, it was time to depart on Friday morning.  Bummer with the exception of the Donnollys.  I’m sure they were happy to head home and get well.  So, we all packed up and left.  Here’s some pictures of our lunch at La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara…possibly the best Mexican food in the entire world!!!

And this is the little itty bitty kitchen that knocks out this food.  Notice the woman hand making tortillas!!!  And finally, a picture of the line outside waiting to get in.

A fabulous ending to a fabulous week!!!  Thank you all and thanks especially to Pat and Richard!!!

Next up?  Mexico!!!

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