November 2, 2007

With my trusty companion, Shane, at my side, we landed in the midst of the heaviest smog/fog/smoke I’ve ever seen over LA. (‘There’s a fog upon LA’ George Harrison warbles in Blue Jay Way, and that was the song in my head as we descended through a murky brown soup onto the runways of LAX.) California had been battling its heaviest wildfires in years and I began wheezing before the plane hit the ground.

With some dire directives from LA native and fellow-Haworth orphan Max T Pierce (The Master of Seacliffe) about leaving town as early as possible on (any) Friday afternoon, we managed to pick up our rental car and head out to Palm Springs within half an hour of landing. Still, what should have been a two-hour drive took three-and-a-half hours in the slow moving traffic.

It was 5:30 by the time we reached our charming accommodations in the Yucca Valley, half an hour outside Palm Springs. (We stayed there rather than in town for economic reasons—it cost half the price—but it was still beautiful.) We drove to town in time to see fireworks exploding over the city. Shane’s friend Chris and his boyfriend Andrew happened to be in Palm Springs at the same time. We met up with them at the Warm Sands Villas (ooh, yah, very posh, mates!) where they were very good hosts and got us drunk. Later we got our bearings for the morning, had a bite, and went back to the hotel to sleep.

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