Since we began our Route 66 experience at a diner, we figured we should end it at a diner, so we found ourselves flipping through our record-shaped menus at Mr. D’z before 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Today was the day we veered off Route 66 to make our own path, one that landed us in Palm Springs, CA.
At the suggestion of the hotel owner from my previous post, we decided to head south towards Lake Havasu. I was very much in love with this idea because (and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this) Vicki, from the Real Housewives of Orange County – THE original housewife on the show – used to have a vacation home there before she and her husband Don divorced. So naturally, I felt called to visit the lake where one of my favorite reality stars spent entirely too much time acting 1/3 her age.
Lake Havasu is odd, just like this entire chunk of the country, because you’re riding along in the desert and you think you’re 150 miles from the nearest civilization and all of a sudden, THERE’S A WALMART. OR A KAY JEWLERS. OR A HOME DEPOT. Towns just spring up out of nowhere out here and it’s weird. It’s so, so strange. I can’t stress enough how weird this part of our country is. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring our swimsuits and we didn’t see Vicki, or Don for that matter.
We made a VERY last minute decision to go see the Imperial Sand Dunes, which were several hours out of our way. For awhile now, I’ve been enthralled with the idea of sand dunes and we figured now was as good of time as ever. Best decision we’ve made on this trip. The sand dunes are indescribable. You drive into this isolated part of the country, 118 degrees outside, and no one in sight. All you see is sand. And border patrol. And more sand. It is probably the strangest feeling being so isolated out there.
The best way I can explain parts of this trip would be what the world looks like when I dream. Now, it may be legal out here, but I promised I haven’t smoked any pot, so just stay with me. You know how when you dream, things just look different and many times you’re alone and you feel weird and isolated but fascinated, too, all at the same time? No? Maybe that’s just me. The world that I dream in is wacky and these things Tom and I are discovering as we make our way West…they’re weird. And they don’t feel real. And it’s such a different world from what we’re used to that it’s hard for us to make sense of it. It’s hard for us to comprehend that this exists. Does that make sense? Again, these pictures don’t come close to showing the isolation you feel when you’re out there.
Our detour to the dunes routed us through hundreds of miles of farmland. Cotton, corn, alfalpha, oranges, dates, melons…so many different types of produce or row crops. Tom almost went comatose while driving through all that farmland and seeing how differently they have to do things down here with the lack of water.
Anyway, when we reached Palm Springs, I could have kicked myself for not recording Tom’s reaction to our multi-colored hotel. I’m pretty enamored with Palm Springs, but Tom sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s like a bull in a china shop here and it’s pretty funny to witness. One of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, recommended Birba for dinner, so of course we had to try it out. They only have patio seating and keep in mind it was 112 degrees last night at 7 p.m. So we’re basically trying to eat dinner in what feels like the pits of hell and Tom is dripping sweat and I’m literally wondering if he’s going to pass our or die right in front of me. He isn’t talking and his cheeks are flushed and he keeps rubbing his eyes, which have sunken to the back of his head. I’m pretty miserable myself, but when someone looks like they’re ill, I panic. So I decide to order a drink to lighten the mood…the girl who never drinks. I might have half a margarita every month or so, so my experience is limited here. Well, I order this (much to Tom’s dismay 15 dollar) fruity little drink that is tiny and tastes pretty good to me, which usually means it doesn’t have much alcohol in it. And in that 112 degree heat, dehydration hits ya quick, so I drink it. All of it. In less than like 3 minutes.
Lighten the mood it did. Whether it was the heat, the drink, or a combination of the two, Tom basically had to sling me across his shoulders and carry me out of the establishment. With me giggling. The entire time. Tom says I need to start drinking more because I’m more pleasant that way. I don’t know if that’s his version of a compliment…?
Anyway, he brings me a bottle of water and I chug it and start feeling less tipsy. We decide to go see Jurrasic World and I swear I have PTSD from it and had to walk out of the theater once because I can’t handle friendly dinosaurs in pain. It was too much. Not emotionally strong enough to see friendly animals die.
Overall, it was the perfect day. This is the trip of a lifetime. We are having so much fun. We don’t get very much time together between farming and photography, but it sure feels good to be out here spending time with Tom and seeing things that leave us speechless.