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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Hermit Crab goes to Palm Springs

 

Have you ever had one of those moments in life when nothing is working all around, including work and your personal life. Do you keep doing the same thing hoping that things will change or do you step back to get a better perspective? I’ve been in a funk lately, keeping a low profile, trying to figure things out. I don’t know. Maybe this is the personality of a writer; we sometimes go into a cave to find ourselves. Or maybe I’m like a hermit crab, and hide in my shell when things are off. I normally love to socialize and it is in socializing that I get ideas for a scene in my book or for posts on my blog.
I went for a long walk today to clear my head. And I must have looked utterly unhappy because this lady passing me by said: If you don’t smile, I’m going to have to tickle you. That made me laugh because it was so out of order. We wished each other a happy Friday and walked away. So, this hermit crab is going to try hard to crawl out of its shell for a minute or two to post about hanging out with her nieces and one of her excursions to Palm Springs awhile back.
 

It was my niece’s birthday yesterday, the one in the white hoodie. The third photo is of my two nieces and one of their besties. She’s more like a sister to them than a friend. I have taken them to many outings since their childhood, and we have shared many fun memories together.

Okay. On to Palm Springs…Many people go there to chillax and use the spas. I don’t think I have ever done that. I’ve been to spas before, just not in Palm Springs. My friend and I opted to ride the aerial tram.


There is a bus that takes you from the parking lot to the tram. This tram is a bit weird because it rotates, and if you have motion sickness, are afraid of heights, or are not a people person, you will not like this. Try to get there as early as possible or the ride will be a ride from hell because it’s overcrowded.

There was this guy standing next to me by the window, with his back turned, holding a child. He kept leaning back into me and I had nowhere to move to. I said: “Excuse me sir, could you please not lean back into me?” He said, “What are you talking about? I haven’t moved.” And I was like, “Oh, okay, maybe I’m just hallucinating.” 

I’m just sayin’…get there early. And get your ticket online or you’ll be waiting for hours in a long line.

Is it worth it? It’s worth doing it once because of the views and the serenity you feel when you’re up there. But, I will not do this again. In Switzerland yes, in Palm Springs, no way. Some people took the tram, got off and left to use one of the trails.


 

On the way back, I stood in the center instead of by the windows, which was a better experience. I know what you’re thinking. What about the views? No view is worth having a rude stranger invading my space.

Apple tart and an Americano at L'Atelier Café. Yum! They also have excellent salads and sandwiches.

Art is big in Palm Springs, and just for that, I may be going back for a visit. This show was enjoyable and unexpected. I ended up purchasing two collage arts from an artist named Richard Curtner, his works are currently hanging on my walls. One of them is posted here. I think this show was just a onetime thing. But there are other ones coming up like La Quinta Art Celebration.
If you’re able to, go visit on a Thursday for Palm Springs Village Fest, a fun street fair. There are clothing, crafts, and food booths, and places stay open until late. As you walk, you hear music coming from nearby bars, and it’s chatty, bubbly, and cheerful.
I don’t go to Starbucks much these days unless there are no other choices in the area. But this Starbucks is unusual because the décor is different. So, if you happen to be in Palm Springs, check it out.

We ended the night at Sammy G's Tuscan Grill before heading back to L.A. I don’t eat meat, but my friend who had the filet mignon said that it was good. They gave us complimentary Amaretto digestive and biscotti. Two thumbs up for the service and the food.

 

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Hong Kong (part 2/3)

St. John’s cathedral – After the Japanese attacked Hong Kong in 1941, they stripped this oldest historical building, including the stained-glass windows, and turned it into a Japanese club house.

This church is situated on the only freehold land in Hong Kong, meaning the owner of the property owns the premises completely, has no further payments to make, and has the right to use it for any purpose.

During this tour with Danny, I met Dominika and we became friends right away. Danny recommended a restaurant, and a museum, and we decided to try them out after the tour. The history Museum was just okay. It was too dark in there, probably because the lights would have damaged the artifacts, and the paintings.

On to the restaurant… Just in case you didn’t know, Dim Sum belongs to Hong Kong. So it’s a must try when you’re there. Pretty much, it’s good at most places. Dominika had never had it before, I wanted her to try it, and I also wanted to show it to my Cantonese friend in the U.S who started me on my Dim Sum journey. At the above restaurant, we basically used sign language to communicate because everyone was Cantonese.
Queen's Street Rest Garden in Sheung Wan. Danny talked about the history of Hong Kong, how Hong Kong came about, the British takeover, and later, the handover to China. There was a statue of Shennong, the father of Chinese medicine, and plants, used to make naturopathic medicine.
From there, we moved on to central midlevel escalator, world’s longest outdoor covered network of escalators, about 2624 foot long (800 meters). It starts in the central district and takes you uphill through residential neighborhoods, cafes, restaurants, liquor market, antique stores, art galleries, and other businesses. You also have the option of taking the stairs, specially if you want to stop by some of the shops and cafés.
Danny stopped by a popular Beer shop where Dominika and others got drinks. It was too early in the day for me to drink alcohol, so I opted for a latte. After Dominika finished her drink, we landed at a café. Danny gave us a 20-minute break after I complained to him that I needed my morning caffeine.
We looked through some of the art galleries. They had beautiful pieces.
Talk about crime, justice, and punishment where, there was no justice, but plenty of punishment to go around. In 2006, the police station, the Magistracy (courthouse) and the Victoria Gaol (prison) were converted to a public space – The police dormitory was changed into creative spaces, and the Magistracy was transformed into a group of restaurants. The police station buildings were remade into museums and used for art exhibits, and the prison courtyard is now a plaza with shops and cafés.


This dance was a complete surprise to everyone. No one knew that this couple was going to take the stage. But I was so glad that they did because my brain needed a break from information overload about history and culture.