Last summer I decided to visit Palm Springs for a real estate scouting expedition. I was greeted by beautiful clear blue skies and a temperature of 110 F (does our celsius scale in Canada even go that high?) As I stepped out the gate into the open-air interior plaza of Sonny Bono Airport I was dazzled by that brilliant desert white light and smothered in a hot air blanket. Perfect!
I made a booking from home to stay in a 5th wheel in a park east of Desert Hot Springs on Dillon Road. I also reserved a rental car with Budget.
I had never been in the Palm Springs area so this was all new to me. Karin, of course had absolutely no interest to be anywhere near this desert location in the summer (as can be said for the majority of the residents in the Coachella Valley) so I was on a solo journey.
During the flight, I was sitting beside two passengers who lived in Rancho Mirage, one community over from Palm Springs. They were happy to share their knowledge of the area and some tips on real estate.
First and foremost I was advised to stay away from anywhere near Desert Hot Springs, for two reasons. It had a higher crime rate and it was really windy. Better yet, they recommended that I should limit my search to the communities south of interstate highway #10 or I10 as it’s called there. As I was looking for a +55 age restricted mobile home community or RV park, there were a number of communities that were suggested, including Cathedral City, Palm Desert and Indian Wells.
Once at the airport, I went over to the Budget car rental counter to claim my reservation. When I got there I was informed that the Budget location that I had booked with was not at the airport at all, but off-site. So off to the airport’s arrivals curb for a taxi. I was surprised to see that the agency address was on Eugene Street. Coincidence? I mean, after all my name is not that common so this made me hopeful that I would find what I was looking for here in the desert.
When I arrived at the off-site office, there was a customer ahead of me at the counter. The customer was irate because she had made an on-line reservation earlier that same day and her car was not ready yet. The counter gal was doing everything possible to find a vehicle for her. The only thing that was ready immediately was a full-sized extended cab pick-up. The customer was more than happy to take the rig and out she went. “Oh boy!” I thought, “Is this what’s in store for me too?”. The last thing I wanted was a rig to drive around a city I knew nothing about.
I stepped up to the counter and handed over my reservation, with some concern. The gal reviewed my documents and told me that my vehicle was not only ready but I had an upgrade at no charge as well. It was a perfect new mid-side car. White.
As this was mid-afternoon, I decided to drive directly to the rental accomodations, so I asked for directions. The Budget gal told me it was very easy to get there from their location. All I had to do was exit the lot, turn onto Ramon, then at the next intersection, to turn north onto Gene Autry Drive. “Gene!” I snapped up at the reference to my name. Unbelievable. I have gone for years and never met another person with my name and here I was in the California desert and twice in one hour, I was driving on streets with my name on it!
Driving in the Palm Springs area is a breeze. The streets are wide, wide, wide and the traffic is light at the height of summer. I got to my destination within half an hour.
I met Jessie at the park where I was to going to stay, the property owner, who showed me how to operate all the features in the 5th wheel. As a Canadian who does not have AC, I was somewhat surprised by the two AC’s running full-out in the 5th wheel. But not wanting to look like a hick from the north, I said nothing. After Jessie passed on the keys and left me to get settled-in, I turned one of the AC’s off. I confess that I could not have survived inside the unit without at least one AC running.
As I needed to stock up on some supplies, I drove over to Desert Hot Springs to pick up a case of Bud Lite and a crate of bottled water. I was pleasantly surprised that I was not mugged on site or that my car was exactly where I had left it in the supermarket (Von’s) parking lot. Upon closer inspection this looked like any community and not at all as shabby as my airplane row passengers had described. However to be fair, the city had declared bankruptcy in the past and it was really windy on one day. Actually you can see hundreds of wind turbines in this area and I think it has the highest density of wind generators in the country. In addition there are a fair number of solar farms too!
Later that evening, when I returned to the park, I sat down to enjoy my beverage of choice in the patio behind the 5th wheel. I sat down, pulled the tab on a cold can and lifted it too my lips. As I tilted my head back to enjoy the sensation of bubbly fizz on my parched tongue, my eyes fixed on the 5th wheel’s license plate cover.
“What’s this I see?!!!!!!!!!” It had the dealer’s address on it… get ready for it...Eugene, Oregon.
A hat trick. Three times in one day. My name was being hailed again. This was a sign. I was meant to be here. Call it karma. Call it destiny. The universe was calling out to me and I just had to respond.
In that one week, I found that perfect RV lot in Desert Edge, east of Desert Hot Springs and north of I10. In addition, I also found the perfect pre-owned 5th wheel in Joshua Tree which I had delivered to the site.
On the flight home, I sat in the same seat and beside the same two passengers that I had flown out with a week earlier. They were both impressed by how much I had accomplished in the course of a week. We had a good chuckle over the fact that I had purchased in the very location that they had cautioned me to avoid. Go figure! But when the universe wants you to be somewhere, then everything aligns to make getting to “yes” easy.