Tag Archives: Palm Springs

California Dreams

Forgive me blog, for I have been having a torrid love affair with both my iPad and Kindle Fire since they romanced their ways into my life over a month ago. The lack of an actual keyboard on both devices are my invalid excuse for not posting as frequently as I promised that I would this year.  It’s not that a lot hasn’t happened in life either!  Instead of posting one summarized account of my best friend’s wedding, losing my virginity to Coachella, visiting Cheri in L.A. and so forth, I will dedicate individualized posts to each Facebook Timeline-worthy event starting with L.A. and Coachella…

My dear friend Neil called me up from St. Louis Chicago around February of this year  to proclaim that he we were going to the Coachella Arts & Music Festival in Indio, California this year.  Here’s the thing with Neil: when he wants to do something, he does it… and almost always, he demands company.  Not that I would not go anywhere to hang out with him, it’s just the process in how I usually land in those situations that’s amusing.  Sample example from last year:

Neil:  Okie, where is there great cajun food in Tampa to eat?
Me:  Cajun food?  Here in Tampa?  Um, I cannot think of anything.
Neil:  Really?  There’s nothing here?  Hmmm…  What are you doing tomorrow?  Any plans?
Me:  Tomorrow?  No plans except that I have to be at a work meeting at 11am.

(10 minutes later)

Neil:  Hey, pack your bags.  We leave to New Orleans in a few hours.  I just booked our flights and hotel rooms.  We’ll land at 9pm tonight, enough time to eat at my favorite cajun restaurant in the French Quarter.  You can can go back to the hotel to sleep afterwards.  Your flight is at 7am tomorrow morning, enough time to make your 11am meeting.  So get ready!
Me:  You seriously just booked flights to New Orleans after you flew to Tampa from St. Louis Chicago just because you were craving cajun food?  I’m flying to New Orleans for 10 hours for your craving?
Neil:  Pack your bags!

God I love Neil!   So my first experience at Coachella was set for Weekend 1 of the music fest.  I have been dying to attend for years, but never put actual motion to any plans.  I was flying into L.A. on the Thursday night prior to see my friend Cheri and Ryan, going to The Abbey in West Hollywood that evening with them and then driving to Palm Springs early Friday morning to begin Operation: Coachella immersification.

Neil booked lodging at the SLS Beverly Hills which was pure ridiculous in how ornately posh the entire hotel decor was, and dinner at Gyu-Kaku was even more ridiculously amazing.  If I did not have plans to go directly out after dinner, you can place all of your money on the truth that I would have devoured that place dry of food.  Actually, I would have worn stretch pants and TOMS® to dinner, and then devoured that place dry of food.  It was that good!  Although my time with Cheri & Mike, Ryan and the city of Los Angeles was very brief, it was still worth every pounding sensation of the Mojito-migraine the very next morning.

I have been to California numerous times, actually lived there for a very brief time when I was in diapers, but I had never been to Palm Springs.  Palm Springs is one of those places that I would become a resident when I’m in my 50’s, rolling in money and have nothing better to do in life than delegate jobs to a full-time staff consisting of a maid, personal chef, masseuse, gardener and interior decorator.  Being in the California desert and surrounded by mountains every which way you turn was a refreshing change in scenery from that of Florida.

View from the hotel room at the Agua Caliente Casino Resport Spa in Palm Springs, CA

Anyone who knows me knows that music is my religion.  For the opportunity to attend the Daddy Mack (or Mack Daddy based on your personal Kris Kross preference) of Music Festivals was heaven sent.  I stalked the Coachella website online, downloaded the Coachella phone app, obsessed over the line-up and attempted envisioning how the whole weekend would play out.

Sample pre-Coachella obsessions:  “How much of AVICII’s set in the Sahara Tent will I be able to enjoy before having to migrate over to the main stage to see Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?” … “Will there be a defribillator nearby to revive me when I pass out if Madonna makes a surprise appearance like she did at ULTRA?”  Everything that I thought Coachella would be turned out to be completely wrong…  Coachella was even more!

Miike Snow and Feed Me weren’t on my original itinerary, and both turned out to be the two surprise sets that were my everything

Seeing Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing together was my middle school dream come true.  Imagine how loud the place erupted when they performed “California Love”?  And YES, I did see the Tupac hologram.  One of my friends in the industry gave me a heads up that his friends in the industry had been working on it for quite some time, so it came as no surprise.  YES, it looked life-life in person.  I only wish that I had not known about it prior to the show so that I could truly be surprised.

Other highlights:  Rihanna surprising the crowd during Calvin Harris’s DJ set for “We Found Love,” seeing Mazzy Star perform “Fade Into You,” just arriving at the outdoor stage to catch the last notes of Florence + the Machine’s “Only If For A Night,” the celebrity sightings galore, witnessing Kaskade literally set the Sahara Tent ablaze with his set, the sensory overload of Swedish House Mafia closing out night one, seeing Radiohead perform “Karma Police” and most importantly, spending time with my very dear and close friend Neil.

Everything about that weekend and my time at Coachella was just right.  The weather (not scorching hot like I was previously hearing.)  The drinks.  The food. (A poutine food truck, seriously?)  The people.  The atmosphere.  The location.  The music.  The world.  I cannot think of a better time had than with 150,000 other lovers of music and art in that Californian desert.

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