A Dessert Oasis in the Desert

by swellsbennett

Today, Nikki and I took a road trip to Palm Springs, California, where we met my publisher for lunch. As it turns out, that desert oasis is just about halfway between Phoenix and Temecula, California, where the Inknbeans Press office is located.

Nikki showed up right at seven this morning, and we were on the road by ten after. The traffic was light and we enjoyed the company and the scenery as we made the 265-mile trek. As it turned out, neither of us knew much about Palm Springs. Our fleeting impressions of it were bleak, since the highway off-ramps don’t offer much promise. However, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the city itself is quite lovely and more than lives up to its promise as a resort destination and game-show vacation prize. Did you know that there’s a Knott’s Berry Farm Soak City there? Nikki and I wished we’d brought our bathing suits!

We arrived at the Manhattan in the Desert deli restaurant about fifteen minutes before noon. Unfortunately, the Boss Bean ran into some traffic delays, so she was about half an hour late. This is apparently a popular luncheon spot; the place was completely full by twelve-fifteen. And who could blame the locals? The menu is extensive and varied, and the bakery case at the entrance offers a wide array of mouth-watering treats. Nikki and I enjoyed fried dill-pickle spears while we waited for Jo to join us. When she arrived, we ordered our meals and enjoyed a long afternoon chatting about books. By the time we left, the restaurant was nearly empty.

By the way, the sandwiches are huge! I came home with two-thirds of mine, and I know Jo took home at least half of hers. I also ended up with Jo’s leftover cheesecake, which is amazingly wonderful.

We headed back toward Phoenix at a little past three this afternoon. I wish we had more time to check out the city today, but Nikki and I have already decided we will need to make another daytrip over to try out the water park. Why be embarrassed to wear our swimsuits in a city where no one knows us?

Palm Springs -- more beautiful than I thought.

Palm Springs — more beautiful than I thought.