I’m on holiday in Beautiful Palm Springs in the southern California desert this week so it’s only right that I should tell everyone how lovely it is here. This is my top ten not anyone else’s – I’m just getting that in now before people start giving out about the fact that golf or celeb spotting aren’t mentioned anywhere on this list!
1. It has to be the weather. OK – so it gets a bit hot in the middle of summer but the rest of the year you can’t fault it. It makes outdoor living a reality. Even Palm Springs airport is outdoors (it calls itself a resort-port instead of an airport – how cool is that!)
2. Our wildlife – especially the glorious variety of colourful garden birds & hummingbirds that you see everywhere. I also have a soft spot for the bats that appear at twilight and the roadrunners I see running across the lawn when I’m swimming early in the morning. You can also visit the Living Desert if you want to see the stuff that lives here but isn’t readily visible – owls, tortoises, big horn sheep – check it out at this link http://www.livingdesert.org/
3. Healthy, tasty, cheap vegetarian food – it’s everywhere. Without doubt the worst thing about living in Northern Ireland for me is the poor choice of restaurants to visit for people that don’t just want to eat steak or chicken (I know – market forces – small population – I accept it’s my fault…)
4. The people – most people who live here are blow-ins so there’s a rich tapestry of stories from pretty much everyone you meet
5. The ubiquitous palm trees – who would have thought there’d be so many different types – don’t knock em until you’ve tasted a date shake
6. Location, location, location – easy driving distance to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix & San Diego – just in case you ever get bored
7. The flowers – especially the spectacular cactus flowers that are blooming right now and this year’s flame red ocotillo flowers – absolutely spectacular
8. The mountains – changing colour all day long & allowing you to walk in snow at the top of the tram ride – even when it’s roasting hot down in the valley
9. Mid century architecture everywhere & giving Palm Springs it’s unique retro look – it’s what we’re famous for & you can’t see it anywhere else
10. The Ocotillo Lodge where we live – built in the mid 50s by the Alexander company & still exactly as it was the day it was built – just beautiful & with the best pool in town – that’s it pictured in the photo.
That’s my top 10 – would love to hear from you what I’ve missed.