It seems like it was last year when we arrived to Desert Hot Springs.
Oh wait. It was!
We pulled in as neighbors to our buddies Nina & Paul of WheelingIt in early December, and we set down the landing gear for at least a couple of weeks. Our return was to a favorite place – Sam’s Family Spa, where we had been a year before.
The nightly rates are a crazy $50/night (with included hot soaking), and the weekly $300. But the monthly is only $540 plus electric. Insane difference in pricing. So, when we approach a stay here, if we think we’ll stay at least 11 days or so, then we’ll spring for the monthly and give ourselves permission to leave early if so called (figuring we’re ahead of the price curve).
We knew we’d only have a precious week of cross over time with Nina & Paul before they needed to head on to their holiday plans – but we had also been coordinating with Peter & John of The RV Geeks and had set Sam’s as our rendezvous point. So, a monthly rate it would be.
There’s something about pulling in with the expectation to be still for a while. It changes everything for us. We settle in a little more. We get out the BBQ grill, the patio mat and chairs. We catch up on all the things we had been holding off on ordering for lack of a reliable shipping address. We knock out a few maintenance chores.
Basically, we do things not really blog worthy.
So, here’s roughly how we spent our time.
Time with Friends
We enjoyed many outings with dear friends while enjoying being temporary neighbors. We just love that day-to-day rhythm when a stay together is measured in weeks not nights. We can be casual, hang out when so called, explore events together, still have our individual flows and really enjoy our time together.
It was of course way too short with Nina & Paul (considering the year before we enjoyed a 6 month long caravan), but we cherished every moment we could with them. One of the highlights was going to the Indio Tamale Festival, along with Paul’s dad and stepmom, who we also enjoyed getting to know.
And once Peter & John arrived, they also settled in for the month and we were able to enjoy movie viewing (including catching a premier showing of the new Star Wars movie), hot tub soaking, sushi indulging, shared meals, hikes, drone flying and I’m sure there was other mischief too. I remember many evenings of non-stop laughter with these guys.
They did fly away to visit family over the holidays, so we weren’t together the entire time. But it was still a wonderful time being neighbors.
Our dear friend Helene, who met in the area back in 2009, was back home for the holidays. And we were able to indulge in a day together of soaking and hiking in an oasis at the Cochella Valley Nature Preserve. It was absolutely beautiful, and just a short 12 mile drive from Sam’s.
Aside from close friends, Sam’s has become a popular destination for many readers of Nina’s blog, as well as ours (us both having now been there multiple years). So it was not surprising that we had visits and meetups with a bunch of folks. I know I’m going to forget someone if I even attempt to share a list, so I’ll save myself the embarrassment and not even try.
But it was a nice steady flow of meetups, and I think we met at least 20 blog readers & fellow bloggers during our stay (usually in the hot tubs). Not exactly an incognito visit, and we’re thankful everyone was very respectful of our space and time.
We did consider breaking camp and heading out early to the big Anza Borrego New Years Eve convergence. But once we heard the expected attendance was pushing 40 rigs, we knew it was more social energy than we could muster.
Instead, we enjoyed a nice quiet holiday week at home, with just us and the cat. Since my dad’s passing, holidays can be a bit difficult for me so the time to ourselves without expectations was nice. But all and all, it was a smooth season with pleasant memories.
A reminder that grief isn’t something you ever get past, but time does help to make it part of you.
Mostly however, we didn’t get out too much. The town of Desert Hot Springs has just about anything we need – a couple good restaurants, a farmer’s market store for fresh produce, grocery stores, post office, etc.
We hiked in the nearby desert almost daily. We soaked a lot in the hot water. We got caught up on some household projects – including replacing our mattress (we’ll share more later), installing some new lights and continuing to insulate around the new hydronic plumbing to reduce our heat loss.
We got the new e-bikes out for a couple rides (the biking isn’t so great in the area, unfortunately.) We wrote a lot of our year end content and got out our massive cellular booster testing results. We binge watched a lot of content too.
Mostly, we indulged in what is best described as a regular every day life. And it’s just what we needed to end a hectic year, and start anew.
What’s Up Next?
We’ve moved on over to Quartzite, where we’ll join up with the Xscapers later this week.
If you’d like to meet up, that’s your best bet (as usual, we appreciate it if folks don’t come knocking on our closed door – find us at one of the public events, or write us in advance.. thanks!).
And please keep in mind, we are here personally… mostly to hang out with friends and make new ones.
In keeping with our intentions for the year ahead, we’re making no commitments to be anywhere else, but we may pop in a few other events as hear of them.
From here, we’ll likely spend a few weeks enjoying some Arizona boondocking as we start meandering our way east. Our general intention is to be in Florida by early April to see Chris’ folks before their snowbird season comes to an end.