The La Quinta Resort & Spa is a legendary
at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Credit: Courtesy of La Quinta Resort
A Trek to La Quinta -
Gem of the Desert by Ringo Boitano
brother Ed in Seattle likes to tease me by saying that Southern California
has just two seasons-the smog season and the fire season. Sure, it's
worth a chuckle. But those of us that do live here know that SoCal does
have seasons; it's just that they are very subtle. The early days of
autumn can be hot, but soon the faintest of fall colors appear and the
landscape cools down into almost a perfect 'sweater weather.' We're
fortunate in SoCal-there's much to see and do in our own backyard. Even
a short car drive can feel like a trek into an unknown place and new
PALM SPRINGS DESERT RESORTS
With over 129 18-hole golf course, 600 tennis courts and more than 40,000
swimming pools, the Palm Springs Desert Resorts has long marketed itself
as a recreational oasis in the middle of the Coachella Valley desert.
Spread over eight cities-Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indian
Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage-it
became a perfect getaway for Hollywood stars back in the contract system
days with the "Two-Hour Rule," where actors had to be available
within two-hours of the studio. With its secluded bungalows and tranquil
atmosphere, it also provided the ideal location where celebrities could
blend into the desert landscape, away from the jarring glare of adoring
fans. Palm Springs soon became just as famous for its celebrity patrons
with single digit names-Elvis, Frank, Bob, Liberace-as its enchanting
Even Shirley Temple was a visitor
to The La Quinta Resort & Spa. Credit: Courtesy of La Quinta Resort &
LA QUINTA-GEM OF THE DESERT
Some celebrities opted for the extra 20 mile drive to the La Quinta
Hotel, a legendary hideaway with the reputation for being the most secretive
of all the resorts. Garbo-perhaps the most reclusive of all Hollywood
stars-slept here. So did Frank Capra. He also wrote on the premise 'It's
A Wonderful Life,' 'It Happened One Night' and 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'
Later he called La Quinta home.
Today the Spanish hacienda-style hotel is spread over
45 manicured acres at the foot of the magical Santa Rosa Mountains.
It is quite literally a city within a city, complete with 796 suites
and casitas, 41 swimming pools, four restaurants, 90 holes of golf,
and the worldclass Spa La Quinta, which features PGA WEST Golf Massage,
open-air Celestial Showers, Sacred Stone Massage and more. ('more' would
include my first mud bath).
The main swimming pool at La Quinta Resort &
Spa Credit: Courtesy of La Quinta Resort &
The city of La Quinta-incorporated in 1984 and named after the resort-has
done much to maintain its exclusivity and heritage, while still making
it tourist---friendly with an infrastructure for room to grow. Water
marks on the Santa Rosa Mountains-La Quinta was once under the waters
of ancient Lake Cahuilla-can still be seen, with the city planners making
sure that no views are obstructed. They have even designated over 600
acres of the mountain for the Coachella's Valley's first archeological
For a celebrity fix there is dining at Arnold Palmer's
Restaurant-also a part-time city resident-which is a virtual museum
of golf, with photos and mementos from his career. There's a putting
green just off the courtyard patio, with views of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
The menu features Arnie's own favorite comfort foods like steaks and
Just down the road there is also the Arnold Palmer Classic
Golf Course at SilverRock Resort, home to the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
Clint-another one digit celebrity-can occasionally be
spotted in Old Town La Quinta, the home of his second Hog's Breath Inn.
Dubbed by locals as the 'Desert Hog,' it is like the original in Carmel,
decorated with posters from his career. In the spirit of the Eastwood
legacy, I opted for the "Dirty Harry Chopped Steak Dinner,"
only to read later that Clint is now a vegan. No wonder he looks so
good at 78.
My Irish roots understand terrible beauty. So do my
human roots. The concept has such a ring of truth to it, doesn't it?
Great article, Ringo. I hope to get to Ireland eventually, and thanks
for blazing the trail!
Sandeee Bleu, Seattle, WA
* * * *
No wonder I've been hearing all these wonderful stories
about Ireland. I used to think that it was just for Irish Americans
seeking their ancestral roots but your article seems to call out to
the non-Irish like me. Fascinating and intriguing.
Peter Paul, Pasadena, CA
Thanks for this great post wow... it's very wonderful.
Key Logger, New York
* * * *
Lets not forget that the Marriot Harbor Beach is within
walking distance to the world famous Elbo Room - Fort Lauderdale's oldest
Jeff, Fort Lauderdale, FL
* * * *
Thanks for taking the time
for the message and reminder. Indeed, I had a quick drink at the Elbo
Room. My trip to Ft. Lauderdale would not have been complete without
a visit to this historic institution.I have been reading about it for
years, and was not disappointed. It felt like a real local's hangout.
thoroughly enjoyed your article about Dick and Liz. I remember seeing
that article back in the heyday of Life Magazine.
To remember the "behind-the-scenes" stories
like that makes you genuine fan of the 60's. The famous couple's turbulent
relationship was just a precursor of today's headline-grabbing media
stars like Britney Spears and her colleagues. Life was simpler then.
The paparazzis still had some sense of decency. You "coulda"
been a good paparazzi. I say "coulda" because you kept this
to yourself all these many years.
Looking forward to other media trivia you can remember.
Peter Paul, South Pasadena, CA
Enjoyed your article on Antarctica --- cool photos,
too. One thing, you mentioned that Ushuaia in Argentina is considered
the most southern city in the world. I read that Chile lays claim to
that distinction, with Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world.
Mick, Greenbay, WI
* * * *
Now that football season is
over --- Ive often wondered what you Packer fans did in the off
season ---- its great that you took the time to visit TravelingBoy.
Great question, unlike my older brother, I adore all lamb products,
and Patagonian Lamb --- cooked in a restricted area at the restaurant
in an opened wood-fueled fire pit --- is amazing. The chef actually
uses an ax to carve it. Frankly, I found it superior to Norwegian fjord
lamb, Irish Burren lamb and even those much esteemed creatures down
in New Zealand. The crab in Ushuaia is the other thing to eat. Wait
a sec, you asked about Punta Arenas vs. Ushuaia as the furthermost city
in the world. Well, they both have little disclaimers re populations
--- you know, whats a city, which one is a town, ect so
better let Chile and Argentina brass it out. They seem to be able to
argue about any subject.
Journey to the Bottom of the Globe: Exploring the
White Continent of Antarctica
As a travel journalist I am constantly asked what are
some of my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless. But there is
one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows. That destination
is a cruise to Antarctica. Sadly, that cruise line I was on is no more,
but today there is a plethora of cruise lines that offer similar packages.
Here's a look back at my Antarctica cruise.
Treasures of Ireland: Food, Fun and Falconry at
Ashford Castle (Dispatch #18)
The Palladian Traveler soars above the crowd with
a gal named Lima, cruises across a lake dotted with hundreds of islands,
and feasts like a king in a regal dining room.
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!)
As she came around the corner we could not believe
how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful almost elegant
in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic
example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us
was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power
she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as
quiet as a church mouse or "as quiet as dreaming trees."
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's
In the 1840s, the population of California was only
14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived
from all over the world and they came for one reason: gold. James
Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutters Mill in El
Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.
Lake Charles Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles,
the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their
childrens eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very
much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from
last years Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little
ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already
fed and are rubbing their stomachs.
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing
as the Man who Lived There
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from
the president during Black History Month Frederick Douglass has done
an amazing job... it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's
legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC
surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself
would be a good place to start.
Hanging Out in Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach is legendary around the world as one
of the best surfing spots. Its waves and beaches are so great, it is also
officially known as "Surf City." But as I learned on a recent
getaway, the town is more than just tasty swells and beautiful white sand;
it also boasts gourmet restaurants, luxury, ocean-front hotels, great
shopping, and tons of California coastal charm.
Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar Discuss "The Moderate
Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer"
Richard Gere is one of America's acting treasures. He
has an uncanny knack for selecting scripts with the most interesting characters.
Included in some of his vast body of films are "American Gigolo,
"An Officer and a Gentleman," "The Cotton Club," "Internal
Affairs," "Pretty Woman," "Primal Fear," "Unfaithful,"
and "Chicago." Joseph Cedar, writer and director of the critically
acclaimed "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,"
was born in New York City but when he was five, his family moved to Israel
where he was raised.
Tahiti and Her Islands
Just their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic
images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea, Taha'a. Her
people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed. Warm lagoons, majestic peaks,
tropical fruits from the land and bounty from the sea all tantalize the
senses. Paradise! As near as can be found on planet earth. And, in my
experience, the finest way to explore her is on a ship designed for that
Leviticus 20:13 Sent by Tom of Pasadena,
It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana
was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've
been interpreting it wrong all these years!