Two Weeks Amongst The Palms – Desert Hot Springs, CA
As hard as it is to believe it’s been more than two weeks since we arrived in Desert Hot Springs. Even harder to believe that this is the 5th year in a row that we’ve been at this exact spot. Are we becoming predictable or what?!
Sometimes, even when you RV fulltime and live an ultra-mobile lifestyle you fall into certain routines. It’s a very human thing to do and there’s really nothing wrong with it. Every RVer has regular life-stuff they need to get done at one time or another (as I always say fulltime RVing is not a vacation, but a lifestyle) and there’s a comfort that comes with doing these things in a place you know.
When you return to the same place year after year you know where all the hikes are, where to score the best margaritas, where to buy the freshest veggies, where to snag the best RV site etc. Plus if you do any regular medical checkups you can create a network of doctors who see you every year. And of course if you’ve got family in a particular area there’s a “call” to come back, at least on a semi-regular basis. Many RVers, even the most adventurous ones do this to some extent.
But it does make for rather weak blogging material. You can only write about the same things in the same area so many times. I mean how many wardrobe malfunctions can you really have in the same place? Or how many times can you change those black tank valves? Some stories are only great for the one telling.
So, we’ve been hanging and vegging and jello-blobbing in the hot pools and generally staying VERY busy doing much at all. In the short two weeks we’ve been here Paul has been back to Miami to see his mother, the cats have had their yearly checkups and dentals (always a bit stressful, but it’s done now), we’ve ordered our yearly blood-tests online and the CR-V will get seen to for an oil-change and 6-mo checkup right before we go. All regular stuff that needs to get done and is easy to check off the list in a big(ish) city.
But even with all this mundane activity there have been a few developments worthy of a blog. So, here’s what else we’ve been up to…
Reconnecting With Friends
One of the many things we look forward to at Sam’s is reconnecting with friends.
Almost without fail at least one or two (or three or ten) of our good RV buddies will pass thro’ this hot spot every single year and given its fabulous location and near-ideal winter weather, it’s the perfect place to explore and catch up on a happy hour drink (or two).
This year we caught up with Sue & Dave (plus Sasha and Lewis) as well as Pam & John who spent the fall caravaning together down 395 (yes, I’ve had a few twinges of jealousy) and decided to spend a few weeks washing off the dust in the hot pools at Sam’s. We first met both these couples several years ago and, like many of the RV folks we’ve met, we’ve re-connected several times since then.
Sue & Dave are complete doggie-nutters (like us) and Lewis was Polly’s very first real doggie boyfriend which means lots of happy paws and doggie kisses whenever we see them. Plus Sue makes the meanest Gin & Tonic this side of the Atlantic, so it’s always a good time when we connect. Pam and John are a lovely rock-hiking-jeep-driving-Starbucks-chugging couple and always up for anything involving the outdoors, so they mesh perfectly with our active ways.
While we were together we managed several happy hours, a good meal and a great hike at one of my fav dog-friendly spots, Whitewater Preserve. The only thing we missed? I was having so much fun I forgot to take any pics of us together, so you’ll just have to mosey on over to their blogs for the low-down.
Hunting Down Margaritas & Food
One of the advantages of being in an area we know is that hunting down the best nosh is a breeze.
On the margarita side the strongest in the city is probably Blue Coyote, but the best all-round experience IMHO (head-thumping margaritas and good food) is undoubtedly El Mirasol. Go to the original location on E. Palm Canyon Drive, spring for the Cadillac margarita and, for something special, pair it with a Pollo en Pipián (pumpkin seed) or a classic Chili Verde. Yummy!
Other favorite nosh-spots for us are Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya (Japanese spot with tasty ramen, sushi and a great sake menu), and Pho 533 (very decent Vietnamese Pho). Plus, at least once or twice while we’re here we’ll hit street food at the weekly Thursday night Street Fest (6-10PM) in downtown Palm Springs. There’s an awesome selection and you’ll also get live music, street vendors, art and all the peeps-watching you could want. Extra bonus? The street-fest is dog-friendly.
We eat very well when we are here.
Repairs & Fixes
Yet another great thing with being in one place for a while is the ability to receive endless Amazon packages and make repairs. So, while we’ve been here we’ve taken advantage of this by re-doing our stair covers (our original Ruggids Step Covers lasted 5 years, so we ordered the same again), buying new Atwood Grates for our stovetop (these seem to die every few years) and picking up a handy 12-pack of Dicor Self Leveling Caulk and a decent quality Caulking Gun to re-seal some of our roof items.
For the latter Paul and his dad actually decided to go all-out by removing all the old caulk, thoroughly cleaning the surface and re-sealing from scratch. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s actually quite a bit of work. Much of the old caulk was disintegrating, so doing this every 5 years or so is good preventative maintenance.
We’ve got more packed events for our last two weeks here including more repairs (might warrant a separate post), more friends and definitely a few more hikes. Plus it’s December which means a Christmas lists (whoo hoo!), end of year round-ups and other juicy stuff. Now, if I could just squeeze another 10 or so hours into the day to write it all……Santa?
- RV Park Review – Sam’s Family Spa, Desert Hot Springs, CA
- The Inner Magic Of The Desert
- The Wild Desert West, Sis & I – Hangin’ At Salton Sea, San Jacinto Mountain & Joshua Tree
- Spa, Spa, Spa….And RV Buddies! Desert Hot Springs, CA
- Last Few Days At Sam’s Spa – Desert Hot Springs, CA
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
I would say you are busy doing the very best things. Looks like a way nice spot to be.
Gail Docter says
Thanks so much for any pics from the Palm Springs area! We spent two winters at Two Springs RV Resort, just a stone’s throw from where you are. It’s where we learned to love the desert. Who knew? Certainly not us two from flatland Central Illinois. That area is pure magic.
We’re in central Florida now. Very nice, it makes sense to be here, but nobody calls it magical… So keep that camera busy.
This is where I first learned to love the desert too. I thought the landscape was so terribly brown and (almost depressingly) bare when we first got here, but over the weeks and years it grew in me and I learned to see its beauty. The desert is such an interesting mistress 🙂
Sounds very familiar. We’re hanging in Phx catching up on repairs, family visits, and reconnecting with bloggers. Sometimes the down time is perfect even though it might cause writer’s block.
Yeah, when you go into “down time” it can get tough to write. Our daily mundane going-ons just don’t seem interesting enough to warrant a blog post. I’ve usually got other RV stuff knocking around in my head, but it does change what you wrote about.
I enjoy very much your engaging way of “speaking” while sharing your thoughts and adventures. Photos are amazing, and I learned about calking!
Very entertaining and informative. Thanks so much for all your hard work for us to read
Caulking is a good little skill to have in RV life. Glad I could give you something new to learn.
It’s good to have a break every so often in our full-time traveling lifestyles to get caught up! Although I never seem to get caught up….I think I’m going to ask Santa for some extra hours in the day, too. 🙂
Ahhh… DHS, so many amazing memories there. *cheers* to many more!
Totally 🙂 Nina
More hours in the day? You can ask for that? I haven’t written to Santa for many years but I think a letter to the old soul is now in order this holiday. Stay tuned to see if I get my wish.
I love to see new places, and I love to revisit favorites. I love to meet new friends and am so very happy to connect with “old” friends. So far this year we’ve done both. A mix is perfect I think.
It was super to see you and Paul (and sweet Polly) at Sam’s and I hope we’ll have a chance for a little longer visit later in the new year. I’m sorry we didn’t get to sample Blue Coyote’s margaritas this time, but its another reason (as if we need one….) to stop by next year!
Happy Holidays to you both,
It was really a treat to see you both. Polly still looks longingly at your old site whenever we walk by Definitely hope to reconnect again next year.
I hear you about finding things to write about. We winter in Tucson, and we have written about it all, repeatedly! This year we have a hummingbird feeder, so I am posting pictures of the amazing little birds. They are very entertaining. I may need a better camera to capture their charm. One of these days, we’ll have to break out of our rut and try Desert Hot Springs.
It’s hard to switch it up up when you get comfy in a spot. I sure know that! Next winter may look pretty radically different for us (if our current plans pan out), so we’re trying to make the most of it while we can.
Jim and Barb says
So true about getting into a routine and returning to the same placed. We have already discovered some of our “favorite places” that we have or want to return to. You are also right about it resulting in poor blogging material, in our first summer in Canada we had a lot to blog about as it was all new. However this year we did not have nearly as many posts as it was pretty much the same as the year before. We sometimes have to force ourselves to break those routines….there is so many other cool places out there!
Totally right. Part of what keeps our travels interesting is breaking up the routine every now she then. It’s very easy to go back to our favorite spots over and over (we’re perfect examples of that), but doing new stuff keeps it exciting. I think a balance is nice. We try to do at least *something* new each year even tho we do revisit many old favs too.
Pam Wright says
It’s always nice to return to a place you’ve visited and know exactly where you are going. New places are definitely exciting, but I do look forward to knowing where we are going occasionally:)
It was wonderful to get a chance to meet up again and spend a few days this time. it had been awhile:) You did pick an awesome margarita place with yummy food:) Great choice! So glad we got to hit the trail. Watching Lewis and Polly was such fun:)
It was a total treat to see you guys too. Have fun in Borrego!
Deb Spencer says
We miss seeing you guys in the tubs this year ( has it been a year already???). Sams sends Polly his love. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Polly has taken up with an old fling. Some things are better left unsaid!
I know what you mean…too many boyfriends in too many towns. We have to keep it on the low-down 🙂
Jeff T. says
Great to hear you back at Sam’s. For us, mechanical problems have had us sidelined for the last 2 months. Those have been resolved and will be on-the-road in a few days. Looks like Catalina SP for Christmas/New Years then Two Springs in North Palm Springs for January.
For the CRV I’d recommend Performance Automotive in Cathedral City. A couple of years ago the local Honda dealer diagnosed a problem that I KNEW wasn’t a problem and charged quite a bit. A fellow RV’er recommended Performance Automotive. They found the problem, fixed it, and fixed a couple of small things gratis. Also washed and detailed our CRV as part of the service.
Interesting…we’ve always taken our Honda to the local dealer (Honda of the Desert) and had good service so I’m kinda surprised to hear you had a bad experience. It’s always good to have a back-up tho’ so we’ll keep your guy in mind.
I for one would be more than happy to read about your mundane life. Even there I am sure I would learn a thing or two. And besides, you may remember what you wrote times before but a lot of folks don’t (sigh-at my bad memory) or are new to your blog if they just woke up. HA! Did I miss this “radically different winter” news? Or is that a teaser? If the latter, it worked.
It was a total teaser 🙂
Not sure if it runs this time of year, but if you have not been to the Farmers Market in Palm Springs on Saturday mornings you are missing a huge find! Great stuff, VERY fresh veggies, bagels – you name it.
Yup it’s running and yup, we’ve been. It’s a small market, but very nice. I try to hit it every week.
We waved as we passed by DHS yesterday on our way here to Lake Tamarisk 🙂 Hoping our paths may cross again later this winter! It is so great to mark things off that list 🙂 I feel somewhat vindicated that even you forget to take pics of friends while visiting – I’m the worst!! Hope the wind stays down and you three can enjoy more of this wonderful desert – while marking more off the list of course 🙂
So far we’ve only had 2 really windy days which is not bad for this area. The rest of the time has been pleasant and temps have been great. Enjoy your winter!
Mike H says
Thanks for the update on Sam’s. We are heading that way for our extended holiday in about 10 days. Like you, we pretty much always park at the same spot — #160.
You will probably be on your way by the time we arrive (on the 16th). Eventually, I hope our paths cross, because there is a nice bottle of wine (or two, or or three…) waiting for you — our way of saying thanks for 2+ years of advice and support before we made the jump from part-timing to full-timing in 18 months ago. Your tales of surviving on the road as 40-something early retirees are what convinced us we could do it, too!
Mike & Dee
Yeah we leave just less than a week before you arrive. Cheers for the wine offer…at some point we’ll get to take you up on it.
David Pitfield says
We love your campground reviews, and selected Sam’s based on your previous years’ reviews. It’s been a great place to chill before starting our winter boondocking. And it was fun to meet you, and Polly too!
David & Lisa
Excellent! Glad you enjoyed your stay here!
I should make soaking in hot water part of my regular winter routine. Sounds better than water leaks when it’s below freezing.
You’ve been busy in your mundane routine of RV life. Projects, exploring, entertainment, sounds good to me.
Nice post to catch up on your adventures again.
I’m still looking forward to the teaser being exposed about the different look to next winter. 🙂
That’s awesome, almost a “home base” so to speak. Thanks for the post. We keep crisscrossing and we always want to meet you. Maybe one day. Desert Hot Springs sounds like it’s the place to go.
Hi Nina, As my hubbie and I plan our 5th wheel purchase in early 2016 and launch into part year travels (mostly Spring and Fall) it has been a real pleasure to read your blog. I am amazed at the depth of information you have provided over the past 5 years and thank you. Being newbies at rving, we have been down the rv rabbit hole for months narrowing down our rv choices and determining how we want to live on the road. If it morphs into full time, I can see we won’t be the first by far to make that choice! We have been to all 50 states and many Canadian provinces over the years tent camping and staying in cabins and hotels. We are eager to do it pulling our home behind us. And the thing I look forward to most is meeting future friends who find this lifestyle to be as exciting as I do. Being 1/4 Magyar, the road is calling to me. Hope to cross paths somewhere in our travels. We have already put 13k miles on our new 3500 HD Diesel truck road tripping off and on the past 8 months. It’s broken in and ready to go!
Hello Nina and Paul! I was wondering why you seal the vents with caulk and not eternabond. On our TT the caulk cracked in a years time and let water in but the eternabond I replaced the caulk with many years ago is still in great shape.
I also agree with the above posters and love all the hints and reviews you write here. I check your blog every day and love finding each new post. I hope your hinted at plans have you going through Austin again. Maybe even becoming Texans????
We have Eternabond and use it for our caps (front and back), but find it a bit trickier to use for the vents (it’s just an awkward space to work around there). So, we opted for caulk instead. Totally agree Eternabond is great stuff!
Joel & rebecca says
Paul & Nina how are you guys? Still livin the dream . We are going on our 3rd year.we love this life and thanx for helping us jump. Hey guys are you too coming to san diego this yr? We haven’t seen you guys in 2yrs we have extra surfboards pb point has been good so is swamies see ya soon we miss you guys be safe joel & rebecca
Yup we’ll be heading your way soon! Paul will be getting his board out of storage and will be very keen to get out, so we’ll likely see ya there!
One of the first things we want to do we when hit the road again is to visit some places we have already seen. Hot Springs looks like somewhere we need to visit at least once.