We do enjoy certain aspects of a resort area, but rarely will we spend the dollars required to fully immerse ourselves in the culture. One thing we enjoy is a good massage. I've discovered that a resort area as expansive as the Coachella Valley will also have at least one massage school, and some massage schools will offer student massage clinics at greatly reduced prices.
Now, a massage school is not your typical massage experience. You may not get to choose the gender of your therapist, Swedish Massage may be the only style offered, the setting may be a large, darkened room with several massage tables separated by curtains and soft music in the background. In this type of setting it's nice if all participants are quiet and respectful of the others in the room.
One day this past week we treated ourselves to 1.5 hour massages for $40/each at Somatherapy Institute. The conditions described above were what we experienced, though we were asked what gender therapist we preferred upon arrival. Our therapists had been practicing massage for about a year and we each felt we got a good solid massage for the time and money spent. We were even offered a return visit for $35 for 1.5 hours if we paid for the future visit that day. I'd happily repeat this experience the next time I visit the area.
We actually dressed up and went out for Halloween this year, unusual for us! The Tonga Hut in Palm Springs had a surf band, The Dynotones, playing and Hans cannot resist a surf band!
The weather cooled down dramatically this past weekend allowing us to do some hiking in comfort right from our RV park, Sam's Family Spa. The RV park is bordered on the East by Bennett Rd and you can walk about a mile South on Bennett to where the road ends at open desert, then walk for miles as long as you avoid any private property.
|Walk over the small hills at the end of Bennett Road and find the hidden canyon!|
|From the hills off of Bennett Rd we watched cloud shadows flow across the Little San Bernardino Mountains.|
Sam's Family Spa is in the treed valley at bottom right.
|Looking West towards the cloud covered San Jacinto Mountains.|
|Looking North East from the Museum Trail, green Palm Springs gives way to |
dry sandy valley studded with windmills, bordered by the San Bernardino Mountains.
|Slabs of rock on the San Jacinto Mountains catch the sun as we traverse the North Lykken Trail.|
Palm Springs is renowned for its mid-century modern architecture so we've spent some time driving and biking around town to check out the clean, spare lines of this style of architecture.
|A Krisel butterfly-roof house in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood.|
|A Dubois Swiss-Miss A-frame house in Vista Las Palmas.|
|Fascinating home on a hillside in The Mesa neighborhood.|
|We stumbled upon this Futuristic Sculpture Garden in the Movie Colony neighborhood.|
Four estate-sized lots are covered with Kenny Irwin Jr's amazing robotic sculptures.
We've really enjoyed watching the wildlife at our RV parks lagoon. You can purchase small bags of food to feed the ducks, swan, tilapia and koi in the lagoon, and be entertained by the great egrets and black crowned night herons that like to fish the boiling cauldron of fish we stir up with the food pellets.
|This black swan is a crack up...he begs for food with a funny little croak!|
|This one pair of ducks have puff balls on their heads!|
|Great egret getting slapped in the face by a fish!|
|Parent and child observe the lagoon from the safety of the waterfall.|