Paris, France: La Quinta, California: Since we have been in possession of this beautiful home - on the 13th green of a country club - and we have been paying dues to the golf club (Mountain View Country Club) since June 26th... maybe we should go golfing? Who buys a house on a golf course, and joins a country club golf course, without ever testing/playing the course?
We bought in the middle of the pandemic. There were no welcome tours. (The entire restaurant/bar in this club is closed all summer for a remodel anyway.) No sales pitches. Our house came with the option to buy a golf membership at a deeply-discounted price, so we bit. We have only heard wonderful things about the course, so were not buying completely blind.
Dave biked this morning and I walked/jogged. He zoomed past me several times. We met back at the house and had a nice swim in our pool to cool-off after our exercise. After a light lunch/brunch (yoghurt and fruit parfaits), we headed out in our golf cart to explore our new home course.
Dave brought his clubs; I drove. Sad thing: our golf cart, with seating for four, has a long shade cover over the back (to cover all the seats). Our golf cart was not designed for golf. Our cart was designed to load-up the family and cruise around the Motorcoach Country Club. Going to dinner. Dragging pool floaties to the Yacht Club. Booze Cruising, visiting friends, or fetching the mail. There is no place for a set of golf clubs on our golf cart. Even if we bungee-cord the golf clubs to the back-seat portion of the cart, it is impossible to remove clubs from the golf bags - due to the long over-hanging top on our golf cart. We are trying to find a solution. There are golf bag holders that slip-over a 7-inch grab bar on the back of a 4-seater golf cart... but we have a 12-inch grab bar. #firstworldproblems
The course is so pretty, with amazing views around every corner. Everything is so green (it is August in the desert!). The fairways are so wide, there is a lot of water, and it is fun to figure out which-street-is-where from the back of the houses.
We had a fun afternoon. Dave played about 10 holes (two birdies), but mostly we were just exploring the course. It was 108°, so we were completely soaked and exhausted when we returned from our 2-hour round. I can't wait for our family and friends to enjoy this beautiful course with us.
So, remember when I wrote a few days ago that we would have been just returning to Indio from summering in our RV, and then driving in our car to Los Angeles to celebrate Lucy and Lisa's birthdays? Well, that wasn't the only thing happening. Our car was going to wait for us in Lisa's driveway for a quite a while, because today, at 6:20p, Dave and I were to board Air France 69, non-stop, to Paris.
For over a year we had been planning this Epic Trip to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary (12 July 1980). 40 Days in Europe for 40 Years of Marriage. 40 FOR 40. Beginning in Paris, looping through Europe, a cruise in the Mediterranean, then back to Paris to see - wait for it - Jimmy Buffett in concert. Then, we would return to Indio (early October) and start looking for a house to buy in the Coachella Valley.
COVID-19 changed everything.
We didn't have to cancel even one dang thing. Air France cancelled the flight. The cruise was cancelled. All monies were refunded. Even our travel insurance premiums were returned. Jimmy postponed his Paris concert until 2021. We didn't even need to cancel hotel reservations. Every hotel I had reserved sent notice we were no longer welcome. We only lost $15 for an odd reservation fee for a train. I'm fine with that - cheapest vacation we have ever not taken.
So, we are bit nostalgic today, sitting in our pretty new house, thinking about what could have been. Might have been. Maybe will be again someday? I am not going to try and recreate our trip in food, because if I did, we would both gain 20 pounds (without all the walking that usually accompanies an European vacation), but I will maybe try to capture a few moments from our planned itinerary that I especially want to savor. Or pretend to savor?
Lisa thinks this is sad.
We can't even join the Mile High Club, because our new house is only 36 feet above sea level.
When we board an European flight (especially Air France), we are usually served a flute of champagne, or a French 75, so tonight, I recreated this one little aspect. Certainly quite a bit less expensive than an overseas flight - and Air France Business Class does not serve champagne in Irish crystal flutes.
Though typically Italian, a Caprese Salad is served all over France, and (really) all over the world. Because it is delicious. We had a few perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes, and were lucky enough to score a particularly runny burrata from our Instacart shopper this week. Touché!
From our Air France Business Class flight menu, we both chose the Sole Meunière. (Oddly enough.) The fish was served with steamed asparagus, with whipped cream. (Oui! Just cream that is whipped. Think 15 seconds before it becomes butter - no sugar.) Garnished with black sea salt. Pourquoi pas?
The dinner service is over. When we wake, we will not be in Paris, but it was fun to pretend for one night.
Until my next update, I remain, your grounded correspondent.
Listen to Jimmy Buffett sing
He Went to Paris