Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Heading for Californy!

When my alarm went off at 05:20 I was loathe to respond. Thinking of the drive ahead of us though, I rose and readied myself for the day.  The breakfast on order today was Jimmy Dean Sausage Croissants. Of course we had our french press coffee to bolster our nerve for the drive ahead.

We drove for about 45 minutes before the sun started to come up, so I pulled off the freeway at Red Rock exit to get a picture. Since my phone doesn't take panoramic pictures, I took several and you will have to use your imagination to stitch them together. Yeah, good luck with that.

This is looking north,

This one is looking east down #10

This one southeastish, yes that's right I used ish as a pronoun modifier....

This one is almost due south. The mountains are in Mexico.

Now we look west in our general direction of travel. In the background is Picacho Peak.

Although I am used to mountains, being from the NorthWest, they are not mountains like these. Stark, rocky and forbidding with Saguaro and other types of cactus to poke the unwary.

Starkly beautiful though, especially with the sun coming up and the open road ahead. Strong wind blowing across the desert though and temperatures in the 40's. I am glad we weren't on the scooters.

We stopped at a rest area about 30-40 miles farther on. The sun was farther up now and it was starting to warm up a little. You can see the Saguaro in the hills across the way.

All the Arizona rest areas we have stopped at so far are built on the same pattern.
Restrooms to the left, info. and vending to the right. 

There are neatly manicured grounds and xeriscaping to keep water usage low.

More mountain pictures, these ones looking north.

Looking eastward toward the rising sun. The grounds are neatly raked.

The last one of this series, looking towards the south. Again not the mountains I am used to seeing.

We entered Phoenix with the morning rush hour. It is nothing like rush hour in Vancouver or Seattle. We slowed down from 75 mph, to about 45 for several miles, then it was back to 75 again.

Many of my readers already know of my predilection for the poetic sweep and engineering beauty of overpasses. I am equally sure that you will either forgive me for showing off a few more, or shake your heads piteously at my foibles.



Oh yeah Baby!!!

We stopped briefly in Buckeye to get gas and check e-mails, get a closer up view of a Saguaro then it's back on the freeway. If you think that we are not seeing much other than super slab, you're right. That's okay though, we're planning on stopping for a couple days in San Francisco to recharge and sightsee.

More stark mountainous territory. It's either flat and dry or rockily vertical.

You see my point. The light seems somehow different here, or maybe it's the makeup of the rock. everything seems to be focused in muted  tones of blue, green or brown.

One last AZ rest stop, here is my Scooterchick at the car.

Here is a warning sign that they have posted in all the rest areas. It is sufficient to keep me on the pathways. Although I know intellectually that a scorpion sting or a rattlesnake bite are very rarely fatal, I am unwilling to put that knowledge to practical use.


Here we have yet another example of Pat busting my flow, or is that jocking my style? No sooner have I  taken a picture of the warning sign, than she is taking one for her blog as well. Party crasher!!!

A few short miles later we were crossing the Colorado River and entering California. Just into CA there was a truck weigh scale where all traffic was diverted off the highway and passenger cars were scanned for anyone who looked illegal.

Although there were 125 mi. to our destination, we bored on and slightly less than 2 hrs. later arrived at a Comfort Inn where we were expected.

We turned in to the driveway, off Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and checked in.

There was a lovely little water feature in the portico. I love the sound of running water.

The architecture was atypical southwestern, and we got checked in with no delay.

It was early, about 2:30 when we got the car unloaded, and we decided to go for a bit of a walkabout as neither Pat nor I had spent time in Palm Springs before. Her she is sporting a new hat. What do you think. A little unwieldy for travel usage perhaps.

It is so unusual to see lots of color in the plantings even at the end of January. I have absolutely, positively no idea what type of bush this is, but I like it!!!

We decided to walk up Palm Canyon Drive. This is the old Palm Springs main drag. It was time for some picture taking and a bite to eat.

Again with the flowers at the end of January. How cool is that? I have experienced the same thing in the Angeleno basin which we will be circumventing before 10 a.m. tomorrow. It is freeway the whole way so I anticipate no problems. Since the Los Angeles basin has a population of over 13.7 million people, a wide berth is indicated at least on this trip.

Yeah, I'm digging the floral excess.

Here is a passageway between 2 buildings, that I also felt was uberkewl. Don't ask me why, I have no explanation.

Here is a shady courtyard. Nice and inviting, but we kept walking.

There seem to be a plethora of fountains in this area. I love em; Give me more!!

Here is a statue outside a gallery of art. He looks like he feels the way I feel sometimes when I am presenting flowers to my beloved Scooterchick.

There were a lot of eateries along Palm Canyon. There are at least three in this picture. I tried to make sure I got the upstairs balcony and Maracas restaurant in the background.

 Here is another fountain. This one is a bit more rustic in design, and there is eatery number three in the background.

Another fountain with a well known local sitting on the edge. Why it's none other than ex-mayor Sonny Bono, reproduced in bronze.

Another view of Maracas restaurant. We didn't fancy Mexican food this evening.

Here is a view up Palm Canyon with a local theater in the background.

Here is an enormous statue of Marilyn Monroe. What connection she had with Palm Springs I do not know, but she is certainly connected to Palm Springs permanently now. I tried to get a shot with no people pollution, but was unsuccessful.

This is the theater I referred to a few pictures back. They had a pitchman out front, who tried to lure us in for a performance. He also showed us a glossy brochure full of scantily clad burlesque performers. I informed him that we could not be less interested.

We finally made a decision on where to eat, and stopped in to Zin American Bistro. here is Scooterchick perusing the menu. What to order?............hmmmmmm.

I thought I would start with Oysters. I am an unabashed fan of oysters, either Rockefeller, fried or any other way. They were served with a Louisiana caviar sauce and lemon.........scrumptious!

Pat started out with Carpaccio. It was Beef tenderloin sliced thin enough to read a newspaper through. it was served with a white truffle aioli. It was melt in the mouth tender.

I had a burger of Kobe beef on a ciabatta with fries. The fries were crisp, and the burger delicious.

After that repast, we had to walk around to settle our stomachs. We stopped in an art gallery to browse and carried on towards our hotel.
This is the back of a large eatery. I like the Spanish accent architecture.

As you can see it's a fairly large establishment.You can see the far end as a low rise halfway down the block. They have been serving comidas frescas since 1958.

Here is another hotel. This one is a Holiday Inn. I like the style and the landscaping.

And finally we have a glamour shot of us in front of the fountain at said hotel. We walked to the end of the block and we were home. We are a good looking young couple aren't we? I am almost sure I have said that before....... 

Thanks for following along. I'll check in with you tomorrow...........further along the road.

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