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Back in the desert

     You left me—or I left you?—standing in the parking lot of Idyllwild's Ice Cream and Jerky Shoppe with an empty sugar cone, its double decadent ice cream melting on the dirty black pavement at my feet. Well, things didn't get better. . .

     After a long curvy drive back down to Palm Desert and hanging out in my room for a bit, I checked the Saturday evening Mass times at Blessed Sacrament Church, where my husband and I had gone when in Palm Desert years ago. I had driven by the day before, to make sure I knew where it was. It was still there. The grove of date palms across the street had morphed into a gated community of expensive homes, but still—it was a large church on a corner. How hard could it be to find?

     Too hard. Services were at five and five-thirty. I left early for five o'clock Mass. I could use a little extra praying time, so for the second time in two days I drove down the divided roadway, eyes focused to the right for the church on the corner.

     No church. Every corner was otherwise occupied. It can't have moved?!! I drove back to the intersection of Deep Canyon and Highway 111, driving back down Deep Canyon more slowly this time, checking out every corner to my right. No church. The road was now heading out of civilization toward the freeway.

     I made a right turn, planning to go round the block and get back to Deep Canyon, but of course there was nowhere to make a right turn. Five o'clock Mass was looking a lot less likely; Five-thirty would have to do.

     Next thing I knew I was well on my way to the next town, Indian Wells. When I finally made it back to Highway 111, forty minutes into my trek, I had an inspiration—I checked my GPS. Duh! The church would've been a cinch to find—if I'd looked at the right side of the divided roadway—or in this case, the left side. With GPS's help, I made it to the five-thirty Mass on time—almost.

     After Mass I decided to follow my son's recommendation, "You gotta go to The Nest. It's the happening place in Palm Springs." I'm not into "happening places," but what th' heck? Craig said since I was on vacation I should "get out of my box." It's always good to please your son—right? So I drove over to the happening place. Found it right away, by the way.

     It was happening alright. So happening that if you didn't have a reservation, it wasn't happening. I retreated to my car, drove back to El Paseo, the main drag of Palm Desert, and enjoyed a dinner of crab cakes and spinach salad at a nice French restaurant—without reservation and not much happening going on.  

     The next day was a good day—a quick stint at Starbucks; a little shopping at Albertson's for travel necessities and a drive to Palm Springs; which by the way, I found with no trouble. I walked in ninety-five degree heat, shopping for souvenirs and stopped for lunch at Consuelo's, where I enjoyed a cool lunch of taquitos and guacamole, accompanied by a refreshing Pina Colada. On the way back to Palm Desert I stopped at the Palm Springs Desert Museum in Palm Desert where I did some more walking and admired exhibits of man's effects on the desert landscape.

     It was a good vacation in spite of things not getting better. I'd do it again sometime. Next week sounds good. . .

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