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On the Road Again

Vicky's got a good friend she usually only sees at Anime Expo, since she lives in Arizona. Said friend being in Palm Springs for a week, Vicky talked me into driving her there Wednesday. I'm still not sure how... :) Anyway, we got a complicated set of instructions from Yahoo and despite the fact that they included a long stretch on the 91 freeway, where bad traffic jams go when they die, we set off.

That'll teach me to trust Yahoo - we spent about 1/3 of the trip in a traffic jam west of Riverside. But the rest of the trip was pretty straightforward. Interesting sights included several windmill farms - I never realized just how annoying they were to drive past. All that flickering keeps telling the eye Look Here! Important! while of course I had to keep my eye on the road, thank you. What looked like an Art Deco grain elevator in the distance, surrounded by small houses, turned out to be Casino Morongo as advertised on the TV all too often. What ARE they teaching in architecture class these days...

As might've been suspected, Palm Springs was HOT. I know enclosed malls are supposed to be passe, but in the case of PS you'd think they'd retain the custom out of a sense of survival. But no, the one we met Vicky's friend at was open air, with a fake river out front (after which it was named). Other interesting features included an elevator housing that looked most amazingly like a giant doobie, and a nice big Borders into which I promptly disappeared. And had dinner at their munchie counter - a nice big turkey sandwich and a hand-mixed soda (sugar-free raspberry with a dash of vanilla) for rather less than the restaurants all around would've charged. Later, I ducked into the movies and saw "March of the Penguins" with suitably high air conditioning.

The narration of "March" is the sort of thing you've heard in almost ever National Geographic special ever aired, but the photography is spectacular, and well worth seeing on the biggest screen available (even if I did have to pay evening rates... $9.50 ..ouch. Oh well, I didn't buy popcorn, being still full from that sandwich.) I remain seriously impressed by Emperor Penguins. You get to see the guys who actually filmed this in the ending credits - I'm impressed by them too. There was a cute sequence where a camera was set up and a couple of penguins came over to investigate.

Came back late, noticed that on the other side, after dark, Casino Morongo looks like an unbelievably outsized juke box, with lots of light patterns rippling over it - almost as bad as the windmills as distractions from the road go. Leastwise it was dark when we passed the windmills, so there was no problem there.

I considered reversing the route we took out but decided that was too much bother (and besides, did I mention I hate the 91?) so just took the I 10 all the way back to the 405, then a couple of miles south home to Marina del Rey. Where it actually gets *cool* at night. Which is of course one big reason I live here. :)

Comments

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dennisthetiger
Aug. 22nd, 2005 07:12 am (UTC)
We saw this when we came from a road trip back in may. See my entry around 22May regarding this. I didn't talk about it.

From the side we came in from (the dinosaurs), I could only describe it as gaudy. In the light of the moon, it just looked so far out of place that it made me a bit ill just looking at it.
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