Spending time with Heather McDonald Greene

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, February 10, 2014

Day 286 - Today Nick and I drove to see my college roommate from way back when at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.  Heather and I were roommates for a year and then she moved on to bigger and better things in life.  In fact, our daughter was named after my friend.
We met her husband, Doug and stayed with them for the night.  They both took us on a great tour of Palm Springs and Palm Desert, after a wonderful lunch in their back yard over looking the Mission Hills Country Club and their wonderful fruit trees (lemons the size of soft balls, and tangerines and grapefruit). (Which we are still enjoying by the way).  Heather and Doug were great tour guides, pointing out Bob Hope's home, Liberace, Marilyn Monroe's bungle and lots of other properties.  Heather even got a glimpse of Robert Redford - unfortunately I was looking in the other direction.  Darn!!

 We wandered through some amazing "thrift" (ya right, nothing thrifty about these wonderful pieces we saw from some rich and famous residents of Palm Springs - wouldn't it be fun to say you were sitting on the couch that Bob Hope had in his home). Actually, high-end consignment stores would be more to the point.  If all that furniture and trinkets could just talk, wouldn't it have a story to tell!!  We also went through some fabulous art galleries along the main drag. Nick kept holding onto his wallet like he thought he was going to be robbed (probably by ME)!

We stood under the Marilyn statue that stands about three stories high and had our picture taken, and walked down the Palm Springs streets with the stars names in the sidewalk, just like in Hollywood.  They had a bronze statue of Sony Bono (former Mayor) sitting on a fountain, but it was definitely in HIS younger days.

It's kind of fun to see where the "elite meet to eat" as my mother used to say.

After our tour, we came back to the house and had a lovely dinner and lots of talking and catching up.  Heather was one of the featured models in the local Palm Springs Magazine - which was quite an honor. She was in great company with Beverly Johnson, and Barbara Sinatra, too, and one other who escapes me.  

Day 287 - Today we went to the Palm Springs Air Museum.  What an amazing museum that was!  Both Heather's and my dad were fighter pilots during WWII, so we had a great interest in the airplanes they were featuring.  There were 31 aircraft on display and each and every one has been restored to its former glory.  And, each one is capable of flying, though most of them no longer do.  These planes represented the RAF, Navy, AAC, Royal Navy and Civilian planes.

We were allowed to go inside the Flying Fortress and although this one was finished too late to participate in the war, it was equipped with guns on the sides and a place for a gunner to sit below the belly of the plane and use a weapon.  The controls up front were mind boggling.  The spaces were rather small and cold and the walkway from the front to the back was this narrow little piece of metal with nothing but netting to catch you if your footing wasn't so good.  Imagine doing that when the thing was flying?  No, not really.  This plane was used however, in the fighting of fires - so where the bombs would have been dropped, they dropped the chemicals to douse the fires.

The displays were amazing and covered the European Theater, Pacific Theater, weapons, Tuskagee Mural, Women at War, Flying Tigers, WW!! Medals, Pearl Harbor, and so much more.

On the second floor they have an extensive library with lots of books on aviation, and all the wars, and lots and lots of documents that you could pour through.  But the fun part for us is that they had several flight simulators and you could sit and fly a small plane, or a DC3 which I actually landed safely on the ground, but not before taking a couple of signs out along the runway - hey it's been 15 years since I got my pilot's license, and it was for a much small plane than that!  It was fun, but I have to say I was so tense you would think I really WAS flying that plane.  I could have used a massage after that ordeal.

This museum also has an artist in residence - Chris Demarest - an he is keeping aline the memory of those who fought in the wars and is doing a fantastic job of it.  You will see some of his paintings in this blog.  Heather and I spoke with him for over an hour I think.  What a treasure to have someone like this who had a talent and an interest in this sort of endeavor.  I'm going to start looking for a picture of my dad and maybe send it to him for a commissioned piece of his artwork. 

After spending more time that we expected (and we could have spent much more) we headed out for a nice lunch and then we were on our way to visit the wife of Nick's mentor from his first job out in Los Angeles.

 Thanks Heather and Doug for the most wonderful time in your spectacular home and surrounding area.

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Pamela on

What a wonderful photo log. Did you ride up the rotating tram to the mountain top? That is a great ride with an amazing view.

Heather MacDonald Greene on

Beautifully done, Sandy! We so enjoyed having you and Nick visit...simply NOT enough time! Would there ever be? ( :
Again soon, I hope.
Xo Heather

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