Friday, January 30, 2015

A SPA TOUR



While many people do know Palm Springs as the resort to be in when visiting the Coachella valley, not many have heard of Desert Hot Springs across  the I 10 freeway.
Desperate Hot Springs, as it is know to the locals, has one horrible perception. The place on the wrong side of the tracks. The place statistically tied with Cleveland for highest crime per capita, the place with the most paroles released from the California prison system, the list goes on and on and most likely that's why visitors and citizens alike shy away from this place .


While some facts are true and the town is not nearly as Stepford as Rancho Mirage, they do have one thing that no other community in the whole valley has, hot mineral water. The aquifer sits about 700 feet below ground and very near the San Andreas fault and it is through these cracks that America's finest mineral water comes to surface at temperatures around 140 Fahrenheit or 60 Celsius.
As a matter of positive fact, this very water has won prices as being the best municipal water in North America. And with that, since the early 60's small resorts started to crop up around town taking advantage of this healing water, offering all sorts of relaxing treatments to visitors from around the world. 

Once a year for charity and self promotion, the hotel association of DHS arranges a Spa tour where one can get a look at a dozen or so participating Spas without having to book a room. There are VIP options with after parties and a ride on the bus, as well as self guided tours where you  walk  and drive from resort to resort around town. 
As you can imagine, most resorts date back to the 1960's and all have been renovated many times over with a varying degree of success. 
You'll find themed spas, such as the El Morocco, a place with the obvious Sultan's tent feel to it, there are resorts that were very recently updated and show great signs of success, hitting today's pulse of  healthy vacations with offers of all sorts of treatments ranging from a simple massage all the way to some not so exciting colon cleansing machines.....
Add to that clothing optional resorts, places that have actual medical equipment, same sex resorts and so on. 

Young cadets volunteered to greet visitors at the hotels, owners gave speeches as to why their resort is the sexiest in town, while I just ate all the free food they offered. Mineral spas are a huge thing in Europe, as a matter of fact I went to school for three years in Bad Ischl, a resort town dating back to the glorious Habsburger days. And you know what? I never sat in one of their famous bath', nor did I ever drink the very very healthy water either. Chalk one up to the ignorance of youth. 
While other cultures, such as Korea or Japan, have equally high esteem of the healing power offered by the minerals in hot springs around the world, I believe that Americans have never latched on to it in the same dimension at all. 

After returning from the tour, I did read up a bit on it all and one of the dominating minerals in this local water is Lithium. Well, holy smokes. There is a huge market for that one, half the country being on some sort of mood regulating pill?  Stop going to the doc, just soak in the water for an hour.  Your will be balanced again. No side effects.

I'll tell you what. let me go back next week or so for a visit in sit in one of the public pools for an hour and I shall report back how it felt. Which one should I choose though. Clothing optional, Sultan's decadence or something more moderate?



ON THE WAY TO DHS

V TALKING TO A SPA MANAGER

IN THE ZONE

ONE OF THE BIGGER PROPERTIES

VISTA VENTANA


EL MOROCCO

THE SPRING

SAGEWATER



THE FUTURE OF OUR FORCES


VISTA VENTANA

SAGEWATER


CLOTHING OPTIONAL PLACE

EL MOROCCO BEDROOM......

THE SPRING

TWO BUNCH PALMS

A CROWD FAVORITE

DEBAUCHERY?

GIANT HANDS OR TINY MARTINIS?

AMBIANCE

AH, OK

VISTAS




DARK BY SIX PM



NATURALLY HEATED TO 86 F






A CLASSIC DINER IN DHS

 THE LOUNGER IN OUR HOME SPA

A WHALE IN OUR  HOME SPA



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GOOD FOOD



If you can't beat them, join them. I heard that one somewhere. That's how I feel around the house and food since arriving in California. Not total resignation, since I go on road trips and such where I can eat at In-N-Out Burger and other favorite food joints of mine. But at home, it;s good food now. 
Not that bad really once you get used to it. 

I say good on purpose and not healthy, since today's dinner for example were bacon wrapped dates. It`s all about the ingredients more so than calorie counting.

Today I found some bacon without nitrates, one of Victoria's no go ingredients. And Coachella Valley, where we are supplies 95% of dates for the US market. While we normally buy them at the Farmers` Market here in town, we found some pitted organic dates at COSTCO this week.

We first had them at a Spanish Tapas place in Las Vegas and made them at home frequently. Victoria roasted some purple sweet potatoes and dinner was complete. As I said, good food. See? I can compromise.  I can go without nitrates.

For dessert we had a gluten free chocolate jelly roll with butter cream and raspberry jam.  All made from scratch, no pre mixes.  When are you coming over for dinner?


EVEN TODAY'S PAPER WAS TALKING ABOUT GOOD FOOD

VERY VERY EASY TO MAKE

VERY FEW INGREDIENTS AND YOU RECOGNIZE ALL OF THEM



GREAT DATES FROM THIS AREA

BAKE UNTIL BACON IS CRISPY

MORE COLORFUL FOOD


THE JELLY ROLL

Saturday, January 17, 2015

THE WELLNESS CENTER



Ever an active community, La Quinta celebrated the grand opening of a new wellness center today.
Located inside the civic park, next to the library, it's a multi functional place with meeting rooms, a computer room, yoga, dance rooms and of course a fitness facility.

That newly elected mayor was on hand for a speech and the official ribbon cutting along with other local dignitary. There was a crowd for sure. Free food and gifts bring us out it seems. 
While this is not going to be a Gold's Gym sort of place, as a community owned and managed facility it's really impressive. The machines are all connected to the net, which enables you to keep track of your workouts. Each of the cardio machines have their own TV screen attached, might as well watch "The Days of our Lives" while you walk on the treadmill. 

The best news about it? Membership is only fifty dollars a year. Can you believe it?