Spent an amazingly relaxing weekend in Palm Springs, where they have truly mastered the fine art of sloth. Sunbathing by the pool was as close to high impact activity as we came. The weather was sunny and clear, warm but not hot, and the general atmosphere so relaxed and uncrowded that we didn't want to leave.
I've long said I would live there as soon as I figured out how to keep the bills paid. My stylist Ed admonished me not to, because everyone he knows who moved there have become alcoholics and sit out every evening and drink. As if that was supposed to dissuade...
But I digress. We lingered on Sunday evening and had dinner on an upper terrace of a cafe downtown, watching the sun set on the little town and amusing ourselves watching the tourists on the sidewalk. As my friend Will owns a condo there, we do not consider ourselves as being among them.
On the way out of town, we stopped off to refuel. It was a warm night just after sunset, and I had a flashback to 1973. I had taken my first trip to California that summer and travelled across country with my family in a ginormous Motor Home RV. As our timing happened to coincide with the first energy crisis of the seventies, refueling that giant barge became an adventure, especially considering the fact that most stations limited private cars (and RV's) to just ten gallons per visit. Ten gallons in a 27 foot Motor Home would be like trying to sail the Queen Mary on a quart of oil.
Dad came up with a plan he called the "dive bomb". He would choose an interstate exit with four truck stops, and simply visit all of them. By the time we were through, our 38 gallon tank was filled and we were back on the road. Necessity being a mother and all.
Our last westbound stop before reaching Los Angeles was just outside of Riverside, California, where we pulled the Motor Home into a Chevron just past sundown on a warn summer night. It was there I first set foot into Southern California. And it felt exactly the same last Sunday. The temperature? The sky? The position of the moon? I can't say, but for a moment it was the summer of 1973.
I wonder what it meant.