Lighting up the New Year!

Trip Start Jan 01, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, January 9, 2007

  On January 4th, we moved from Mission RV Park in Redlands to Indian Waters, one of our membership campgrounds in Indio, California, near Palm Springs.  As we learned when we were in this area in October, the winds can be wicked, and on our first couple of nights here, they were just that - with gusts probably in the 60 mph range.  Looking out the windows, it appeared that the palm trees were having a bad hair day,
which should have been an omen to Rose that it wasn't a good day to get her hair cut - but she ignored it, and has been whining ever since that she was scalped!  That's been one of the little adjustments necessary to this lifestyle - you just never know where your next haircut will be, nor do you know how well the stylist will listen to your description of what you want.  A small price to pay for a life of travel and fun, but an irritation, nonetheless!
  On Saturday (the 6th), we drove back to Riverside, having promised our friends Gary and Kathy that we'd help them with a household project they'd been working on for a while.  That evening, we went out to dinner with them to the Historic Mission Inn in Riverside, a fabulous historic building, which is one of Rose's favorite places during the holidays, as it is decorated with a gazillion (actually about 2 million) lights, plus animated carolers and characters on most of the outside balconies.  Duane's Steak House at the Mission Inn is one of the top-rated restaurants in the Inland Empire area, a reputation that it lives up to.  Needless to say, it was a wonderful evening - as are most of the days and evenings  spent with Gary and Kathy.  We decided it was a good opportunity to get pictures, of the four of us in dress-clothes rather than our usual race visors, shirts, and jackets!

  The next afternoon, we went to Fantasy Springs Casino, near our RV park in Indio, looking forward to enjoying a country music band and the Balloon Glow, the closing event of the Red, White and Blue Polo and Balloon Festival, which had been scheduled for the entire weekend.  Unfortunately, the wind had manged to force them to cancel each morning's mass ascension of the 50 balloons, and, as the time for the Balloon Glow drew near (where the balloons are "inflated" but tethered to the ground, lit by the propane torches that provide the hot air that makes them fly), it was determined that the winds were too strong even for that event.  Instead, they had what they called a "Candle Burn", where the propane torches are lit, without the inflated balloons above them.  One of the balloon pilots decided to take a chance, and he did raise his balloon, and we got up close and personal as we helped hold it to the ground as the wind attempted to help it take off!  It was still a fun event was a fund-raiser for the families of Marines at 29 Palms Marine Base near here, and one of the best parts (but of course, the only time my video and sound feature didn't work on my camera) was when they played a recording of the Marine Band's rendition of the Marine Hymn, and the torches lit in time to the music.    We're hoping to go over to the Polo Club to see a polo match sometime this week...the polo club was one of the main sponsors of the weekend event.
  Last night was one of the first nights in a month or more that was not cold enough to require our furnace and/or heater be running all night long.  It's actually supposed to be up around 80 degrees again tomorrow, so we might get to the swimming pool for the first time since Thanksgiving.  However, it is supposed to cool down again later this week, getting below freezing at night and only up to the 60's during the days.  Hard to believe it's actually been warmer in the NorthEast and MidWest many of the past weeks than it's been here in Southern California!
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