Monday, February 27, 2012


FEBRUARY 7, 2012:  We arrived in Palm Desert, California.  I looked at renting a house here but they were all in gated communities; you had to  drive everywhere.  Consequently, we settled at the Embassy Suites for our 3 week stay.  It was ideal.  We had a 2 room suite overlooking the pool and could walk to the famed El Paseo Drive – the Worth Avenue of the California Deserts. Embassy Suites offers a wonderful breakfast with plenty of fresh fruit and cooked to order eggs.  In the evening, they have a complimentary happy hour but we preferred the many upscale Happy Hours in the area since we like to eat light at night. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, for example, offers reduced price drinks and a bar menu that includes salads, crab cakes, sliders etc.  
Alan, Geri, Marc, Ron at Mission Inn

We enjoyed visiting local art shows and the weekly College of the Desert street fair.  Of course, we can’t buy anything as our car is overfull already but it is always fun to look.   We were delighted to see Marc, a friend from the 2011 Voyager World Cruise.  He invited us to a wonderful dinner at his Indian Wells Country Club.   Alan, another friend from the World Cruise, was in Los Angeles briefly and came out to spend a few days with us.  The four of us drove to Riverside where Marc gave us the grand tour of the historic Mission Inn.  

We don’t have to travel far to our next stop: Palm Springs.

SEABOURN LECTURE ENGAGEMENT:  I will be lecturing on the Seabourn Quest transatlantic crossing Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, November 24 – December 7, 2012.    Would love to see you on it!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Ventana Canyon, Tucson AZ
We celebrated Ron's 75th birthday in Tucson at the beautiful Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort.  This was a marvelous deal from  It included 5 nights lodging with a full breakfast each morning, one 3 course dinner for two, and two massages each. We enjoyed every minute there.  

Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort
Next stop: Scottsdale, Arizona.  As so often happens, what started out as a problem turned into a blessing. We had rented an apartment for a week but it was a far cry from the picture in the ad.  Fortunately, we were able to get our money back but drove around anxiously looking for a place to stay.  We found a great hotel in an ideal location -- walking distance to Old Town and Fashion Square Mall. 

Celebrating Ron's birthday
Microsoft recently opened stores to rival Apple and there was one in the Mall.  I've been looking for a new ultraportable laptop for travel.  I was impressed with the Asus which is ranked at the top and we bought it.  It came with Windows 7 and the 2010 version of Office.  I've been frustrated at times but for the most part, I've enjoyed getting used to the changes, updates and additions.  

We were fortunate to have a friend in Scottsdale.  Marlene spent a day giving us the grand tour of Phoenix and Scottsdale.  

On February 7, we drove out of Arizona into California and our next destination: Palm Desert.