Got up at 6 and took Max to the living room. We had a lovely time together during the early morning. After breakfast Alex and Sue went grocery shopping. Then Sue took Alex to the hairdresser. I worked on a website and visited with Tim and Max. I went to fill up gas and check on Alex — then returned home without her and Tim and I had lunch. Alex called and I picked her up. Tim and I went golfing at the Cathedral Canyon course — slow going, lots of golfers, but Tim shot a great front nine. We skipped a few holes on the back nine and finished up just as it was getting dark. We drove back to the house. Sue and Alex and Max had gone for a long walk and then spent another hour or so at the pool. For supper we all went out to the Outback Steak House — Tim and Alex’s treat for us. Max was a real darling again. He’d just fallen asleep before we headed out, but didn’t fuss at all at the restaurant. In fact, we were the envy of other grandparents at the restaurant — some of whom stopped to tell us how lucky we are. When we got back home Alex put Max to bed. Then we watched our movie rental, “Robot & Frank”. Not bad. Alex skipped it and went to bed. Sue and I both drifted off for part of it. After the movie Tim went to bed and Sue and I looked through a bunch of listings for options for our March home rental here in Palm Desert. Sue jotted down some addresses for us to scout out tomorrow. Tim’s grandmother passed away early this morning, and the funeral is scheduled for Friday — so that is weighing heavy on the kids’ minds tonight. Okay, it’s 1 o’clock. I’d better get myself into bed.
After some quality time with Max early in the morning, it was time for breakfast. But today we had a special breakfast. The girls went out to Sherman’s Bakery for sticky buns and coffee. Tim got busy in the kitchen and made bacon and eggs for the boys. Max could only sit and watch. After breakfast the girls went to the pool and the boys stayed home. By the time it was lunch the sun was high in the sky and it had turned into probably the nicest day we’ve had here since the kids came a week ago. So we had lunch on the patio (Sue’s idea). After lunch Sue and Alex went downtown to go shopping. Tim and I stayed home and played with Max. I got our ‘map’ ready for the drive Sue and I took when the girls got home — scouting out potential places for us to rent for March. And when we got home it was time for supper. Sue made twice-baked potatoes and Tim barbecued steaks. Great supper. Watched a bit of ‘garbage’ TV for about an hour and then everyone was tired and we all went off to bed early.
Got up early because I heard Max was awake in the next room. It was still dark outside when I picked him up and took him to the kitchen to watch the sunrise. All was well. We were singing quietly. I was trying to give Alex an extra hour of sleep. Then when I put Max into his little bouncer chair he kicked his legs and kicked himself right out of the chair. He landed on his stomach on the carpet — more alarmed than injured — and let out a terrific scream. That brought Mom and Grandma out in a big hurry. So much for the extra hour of sleep. Max calmed down almost right away but acted a little strange to me after that.
By 10:00 the lady-niners were out in full force on the golf course. Red balloon valentines taped to their fancy golf carts. All wearing sparkly red Valentine’s tops. Red shorts. White shorts with red tops. All decked out. Their golf was still shitty, but at least they looked good. Our fancy breakfast was ‘the usual’ — toast and cereal. After breakfast Tim and Alex went shopping and Sue and Max and I watched the golfers. When the kids got back we barbecued whistle dogs on the barbecue. Then Tim and I went to the Palm Desert course for golf while the girls took turns sitting at the pool and snoozing inside with Max. The weather was perfect. Hot and calm and sunny. The golf course was busy, so although we were there almost an hour before our tee time, we didn’t get on any earlier. And we were partnered with another twosome. An older couple from Tennessee, ‘CC’ and ‘DD’ were great golf partners. ‘CC’ was a good golfer, and ‘DD’ had taken it up a few years ago. ‘CC’ reminded me of Jimmy Carter; same accent, looked a bit like him, very gentle and friendly. So, although we had to wait at nearly every hole, we really enjoyed our time. And both Tim and I shot pretty good games to boot. We managed to finish 16 holes before we called it a day at 5:30. Back at our house, Tim and Alex made supper for us. They’d bought all the supplies in the morning, pasta with Italian sausage, salad, and fancy pastries from Sherman’s Bakery for dessert. It was very warm in our house, maybe too warm for Max to go to sleep nicely. (I finally turned on the A/C.) So we all took a turn rocking him while we watched “The Five Year Engagement” (good Valentine’s Day choice for the ladies) on HBO. Max finally drifted off at 9:30. Alex and Sue went to sleep at 10:00. Tim and I started watching “The Bourne Legacy” (Redbox rental) but I couldn’t stay awake and went to bed at 11:00.
Crepe Suzie made crepes and bacon for breakfast. And it’s not even the weekend yet!
After breakfast the girls went for a long bike ride and the boys hung out at the house. Tim discovered a flaw in his new iphone’s camera and took it to the local Apple Store to see if it could be fixed. They offered to replace the phone once Tim had performed a full backup, so Tim came back home to do that.We had lunch out on the patio again. The weather was perfect again. The girls headed out to the pool again. The boys stayed home again. At around 4:00 the girls came back. We got ready to go out. At around 5:00 we were out on El Paseo with Max in his stroller. We’d parked our car near the California Pizza Kitchen and then walked the nearly half a mile to the Apple Store, all the while watching the parade of amazingly restored cars cruising the street. Cruiser night is every second Friday from 4:00 to 6:00, and there are lots of sightseers and photographers out on the sidewalks when the weather is as nice as it was today. Tim got his phone replaced and then met us at the pizza restaurant at around 6:00. The restaurant was full, and we got a table smack in the middle of it. Max sat in his car seat for a while, and on my lap for the rest of the time. He was content and happy despite all the noise and distraction of a busy packed Friday night restaurant. Our food was fine. We opted for ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery instead of dessert at the pizza restaurant, and so we got into the van and drove around until we found the ice cream shop — which was in the Westfield Mall. Ice creams all around. Max enjoyed a ride around the mall in his stroller. A quick grocery store stop and then we went home. It was 8:00 here, which means it was 10:00pm back home. Tim and Alex skyped with Tim’s parents — today was Tim’s grandma’s funeral at SMC in Steinbach. Max had fallen asleep in the van and went to bed easily. A bit of TV while Tim finished setting up his new phone. Alex went to bed. Then Sue. Then Tim. Then (after a too long journal update) Rudy.
Woke up and heard Max gurgling in his room. I got up and went in to pick him up — but all he wanted was his soother and he went right back to sleep. So Alex and Sue and I sat in the living room, but no Max — not quite like every other morning here. Max eventually woke up and joined us for breakfast — watching us eat our bacon and eggs.
The girls went for a long walk in the morning while the boys played with Max. Sue and I left for a 12:15 appointment to see our real estate agent. She showed us a home that we are considering for the month of March. Not bad, but it sure was cold inside the house. And the patio faced North. We’ll see what else is out there before deciding.
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We got back to the house and Alex had made us lunch. So we ate out on the patio. Then it was time for Alex to take Tim and me to the Rancho Las Palmas Golf Club, where we had a 1:58 tee time booked. Got a bit turned around by the GPS and showed up late — but still too early. The course was busy. Eventually we got going but it the parties ahead of us were slow. Still, we had some fine shots and had a good time. It was 5:50 when we finished the 16th hole — dark, but not bad for as late as we started and as slow as we played. Called Alex to come pick us up. When we got home Max we learned that Max had been busy all afternoon and had barely slept at all. So I played with Max during our happy hour snacks, until he really was ready for bed. Tim barbecued some cheeseburgers (how would you like your burger?) and Sue and Alex made potatoes and vegetables for our supper. And then there was an “Eagles” special on TV. We watched most of that and then started watching a special on Johnny Carson. At around 10:00 Alex had had enough fun for one day and went to bed. Tim was still packing but he too was off to bed by 11:00. I stayed up to write my journal. Tomorrow we need to get out of the house by 8:00am to get the kids to the airport for their 10:00am flight back home. It’s been a great 10 days. We’ll miss them very much.
By 7:00am we were having breakfast. Max was his usual cheery self — he slept almost 8 hours in a stretch after going to sleep just before 8 last night. Tim and Alex were busy packing and by 8:00 we were in the van on the way to the airport. The weather at home is supposed to be not so good by the time their plane lands mid-afternoon. (Sara and James are picking them up at the airport.) We got to the Palm Springs airport by 8:30. Of course, Max was fast asleep from the half-hour ride. So we had to say our goodbyes to his parents while he snoozed in his stroller.
When we got back home we did a major cleanup of the place — Sue was doing laundry, I vacuumed, we moved ourselves back into the master bedroom. We were all done and had just finished our sandwiches outside on the patio when our next ‘visitors’ arrived. People interested in renting a place for next winter were coming to inspect the house — we had agreed to this request from the landlord. They were also Canadians, from Vancouver. We showed them around. After that I watched a bit of golf on TV and then at around 3:00 we took a drive down to the Somerset area just south of El Paseo to look at a couple of rent options for us for next month. It’s not a country club, so that sort of appeals to us.
We went to the Palme d’Or theatre to see a movie at 4:00 — “Amour”, the subtitled French film nominated for 5 Oscars including best picture. It was okay. Back at home we had supper and watched 60 Minutes. Got an email from Alex — they’re home, the flight was good, Max was great, the ride home was no problem — everything is fine. Did a bit of reading on the internet and went to bed early.
Woke up in our old bedroom. Woke up real early — because I went to bed too early. But I turned over and snoozed on and off for a while before finally rolling out of bed at 6:00am. Skyped with Max and Alex — hey, who says we have to change our morning routine? It is cold and blizzardy at home, and it is just another perfect day here in Palm Desert. After breakfast (back at our little table in the kitchen now that there’s just the two of us) Sue declared it was time for a walk. We got another email from our real estate lady so I looked up one of the listings that wasn’t too far from our place, and that’s where we walked to. Of course the actual complex was gated so all we really got to see was the area and a peek into the backyard. It’s not far from the weekend flea market, which was going strong today, because it’s President’s Day here (it’s Louis Riel Day at home). We got home — the walk was almost 6 miles roundtrip — and it was time for lunch.
After lunch Sue went to sit and read at the pool and I worked on a couple of computer projects for Koop. I did that all afternoon. Sue came home and made supper (spaghetti). After supper we watched our shows on TV. After a few more hours of one eye on the TV and the other on our iPads, it was time for bed. And that’s how you waste away a perfectly nice Monday in Palm Desert.
Skyped with Koop and called MJ at the office before eating my grapefruit (from our trees) for breakfast. Phoned my mom. Read my Neil Young book for a while. Although the forecast was for gale force winds and crappy weather, the ‘lady-niners’ were out in full force all morning, golfing past our patio. And really the wind didn’t show up until later in the afternoon, and when it did, it wasn’t anything like what Sue had predicted. Soon after we finished our lunch we headed out to the Rancho Mirage Country Club for our 2:00 tee time. Hit a few balls on the driving range before getting into our cart and heading off to the first tee. Immediately we were struck by how nice this community looked — houses were larger and nicer than many we’ve seen and the course was really well maintained. The weather was a bit cool, and the groups ahead of us were playing slowly, but that only gave us more time to admire the neighbourhood.
And although Sue hadn’t golfed for nearly 2 weeks, we played okay. Sue had at least one par, and Rudy had a birdie. At one point we scooted around in our cart and replayed a couple of holes because there was no one behind us and too many ahead of us. We finished the 15th hole and called it a day at around 5:30. The sun was down and that made it too dark and too cold to finish. But we know we’ll golf this course again — it was a lot of fun and a great value at $35.
We opted for Chinese takeout for supper — which was great for me. And then we watched our shows and tried hard not to fall asleep in front of the TV. The weather forecast is for lots of wind and some rain overnight — better weather ahead.
Scrambled eggs for breakfast. Then we read most of the morning — I’m starting a new book, The Elephant Whisperer. Jim Peters skyped and we arranged for a hiking date for Friday. After lunch we went for a quick walk around the country club. Then I dropped Sue off at the Westfield mall to do some shopping and I continued on to the movie theatre at The River (another mall) to see the last big film of the Oscar-nominated list: Django Unchained. I expected a nearly 3-hour bloodbath but was pleasantly surprised. I liked the movie — really liked it until the German guy dies; the ending — not so much. I picked up Sue at 5:45 (she had just finished her coffee and was done shopping) and we went home. Had leftover Chinese for supper. Watched our shows. Got an email from our real estate agent — she wants to meet tomorrow afternoon to go house shopping. Sue was already getting all worked up about not hearing from her, but tomorrow afternoon we have a tee time booked at Rancho Mirage! After surfing through all 465 channels and ending up at CNN again, I retired to the bedroom to continue reading my book. Apparently that didn’t last long. I must have fallen asleep at around 9pm. Maybe this country club life is starting to take its toll on me. I’m getting old.
Skyped with Alex and Max for a while this morning. Read my book. It was sunny and nice outside all morning. Called Michele, our real estate agent, back and forth a bit — we were going to visit a house at lunch and another after our afternoon golf game — but now the lunch visit is off because the house is already rented out. The upside is that we got to eat lunch early because we thought we were leaving by 12:15, and eating lunch early is always a good thing. It was clouding over by noon and that meant it got cool. We went to Rancho Mirage and hit a bucket of balls before the start of our game at 2. The course was busy again. We were partnered up with a couple from Seattle — it was their last day of a one week stay at Rancho Las Palmas. Greg was a good golfer who golfed 3 days a week all year. Jeanette was not. And so the four of us had a good time. I started off with a bogey, then a par! Then a couple of triple bogeys. That’s my game! But I finished the front nine with a bogey, birdie!, and a par. Three pars on the front nine. We played 3 more holes (bogeys) before calling it a day and heading off to ‘Victoria Falls’, up in Mission Hills, to view another home. Michele was waiting for us. It’s a big house in a nice neighbourhood. Beth, the woman of the house let us in. Lovely home, decorated Filipino-style by the owners. We met her husband Teddy when he came home just as we were leaving. I think we’ll make this deal. Sue and I stopped at the Vons grocery store across the street from Victoria Falls and bought stuff before heading home. Supper was leftover spaghetti. Watched our shows and then a movie I’d rented at the Redbox at Vons: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Didn’t look that good to me so I read instead, until I got too tired and fell asleep. Went to bed at ten!