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.
Eugene Chaplin Introduces Chaplin's World Museum
in Vevey, Switzerland
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism
recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin.
A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir
Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright
Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model
Treasures of Ireland: The Burren (Dispatch
The Palladian Traveler ventures back to the days
of fearless Celtic warriors to search for some "stones to take you
home" as he files his latest dispatch from the monochromatic moonscape
known as The Burren.
Buckingham Palace It's THE Most Popular Tour
in Great Britain (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)
Is it more momentous for a Brit to do the Buckingham
Palace tour than say an American or indeed any other nationality? Yes, I
know that's an odd question, but if you grow up as I did in
London back in the 1950s, getting inside Buckingham Palace was the stuff
of dreams. Hence my surprise at touring BP in 2005.
Paradise on Earth: The Romance of
Tahiti and Her Islands
The first thing you notice is the fragrance. The intoxicating
perfume of the tiare flower announces to your senses that you are in a magical
place, overflowing with tropical vegetation and soothing trade winds. It
is the same fragrance that the English seamen on the HMS Bounty also first
encountered; but they came, not for flowers, but for breadfruit, intended
as a new food staple for their slaves in the West Indies.
Provence: As Much a Mood, a Spirit as a Destination
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" goes
the song. Robert Goulet sang it and Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis,
too, and it surely comes to mind when you stand on a bluff in the Luberon
of Provence and stare across at the little hill village of Gordes. The view
is the best part; the village's interior itself is not dramatic and stands
as a warning of what contemporary popularity can do to the simple homes
of 12th century working people.
Exploring Venice: Lost and Found. And Special Finds.
Walking home to our apartment in Venice, we share a
wave through the window with the owner of Baba, our local osteria. Leaving
for a day of sightseeing, a cup of my favorite pistachio gelato awaits me
despite the early hour. At the Bar Dugole, we relax after a day of sightseeing
and order the regular: vodka for my husband and Amaretto for me.
Traveling with Beautiful Boots and a Bison Backpack
People often asked about my favorite travel apparel and
gear. This happened to me at the airport recently. One question came as
I was putting back on my clothes after going through the TSA checkpoint
striptease. Before leaving the area, I heard a soft voice say, "hey,
I really like your boots. Where did you get them?" Looking up, I
found a uniformed employee staring at my feet.
Film Review: "My Hero Brother" A Tribute
to the Human Spirit
I just spent five days attending the Santa Barbara Film
Festival and for the most part, the features, animated shorts, and documentaries
were quite professional and compelling. That said, "My Hero Brother,"
a documentary that was particularly outstanding, told the remarkable and
inspiring story about a group of Down syndrome young men and women who
go on a two-week trek through the Himalayas with their non-Down syndrome
La Paz, Baja California Sur
Photographer Deb Roskamp focuses her camera on La Paz,
Baja California Sur. The resort property is CostaBaja, and the boat tours,
which include snorkeling at the UNESCO protected site, Isla Espiritu Santo,
were conducted by Fun Baja. The photographs are intended to speak for
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!