Palm Springs Preseason Getaway

Mavs/Nash Trip #8
October 9th-11th, 2010

Going to Palm Springs for a preseason game. Can I believe that I'm taking a trip to a preseason game? Yes and No. Do you know when was the last time I paid to go to a preseason game? Never. However, this is an outdoor game featuring the Suns and Mavs and the NBA announced on my birthday that this was going to happen.

(NBA, you want a marketing plan that works. Do something for a woman on her birthday. Don't give her a percentage off pink, sparkly merchandise. Give her a ticket to a game or free food, and she will reward you with her presence and maybe bring her family or friends along, too. I'm proof that emotional marketing works. I'm flying to a preseason game for heaven sakes. That "heaven sakes" was aimed at me not you.)

Since there may be a lockout on the horizon, I thought getting two games in this season would be acceptable - a little preemptive strike, and it might open up an opportunity for me to back to Europe. And being that it's preseason game, I don't care who wins just no one get hurt.

I invited my friend Amber to go with me. I have known her since middle school (a very long, long time ago). We are a part of a group of four girls that Amber's husband calls the United Colors of Benetton who have known each other for at least 20 years. Amber likes sports. Both Susan and Joanna would happily tolerate going to a basketball game with me as good friends would do, but Amber is a Mavs fan and loves the Cowboys. I feel like I wouldn't beat her down talking about off-season moves and such. Plus, we both like mid-century modern architecture, and Palm Springs has plenty of it.


Prepare yourself people for the Michelle Travel Mistakes to top all travel mistakes except for the Switzerland bag mishap. Here's a math word problem. Michelle tells Amber that their flight leaves at 2p. Michelle arrives at Amber's house at 12p. Amber then informs Michelle that their flight actually leaves at 1p. The two need to be checked in at the airport for their flight at 12:30. How many minutes do they have to get to the airport from 75 and Mockingbird. That's correct... 30 minutes.

Did we make it in 30 minutes? No, but Amber and Juan, who also needed to go to the airport, managed to do some sweet talking to a very nice agent and we got our tickets for our 1pm that ironically ended up leaving at 2pm due to mechanical issues. Oh Gods, you are both smiling on me and laughing at me at the same time. 

As soon as you exit the Palm Springs airplane terminal, you're outdoors even before you get your bags. A couple weeks ago the temperatures were still in the 100-110s. Now thankfully they're at least down to the mid and upper nineties. 

We are staying at the Ace Hotel. It's known as a hipster hotel mainly because of the people walking around in the fedoras and listening to indie music by the pool. A quick bite to eat and then we are on our way to the game.

The start of another NBA season, one that I fear might end up turning into Gossip Girl (B says S gave up last year in the playoffs. S says B never cared about him to begin with. Who will end up this year's winner? Only time will tell XOXO). Ugh.

Glad that Dirk is back. 

Dirk and Jason Terry were both sitting out this game. I don't necessarily agree with star players not playing road exhibition games. I'll get to see Dirk play a few times this year, but to someone who lives here and never gets to see him play I empathize with you. It's like that time when I bought tickets to see Boris Becker play a tennis match in Dallas, and he withdrew due to a back injury. I won't get that chance back again, and I had watched him on TV since the age of 9.

It was a wonderful night outside to watch the game in the open air. It looked as if the Mavs were on vacation a bit, too. Steve seems ready for the season. Amber and I were trying to figure out who all the new guys were. I told Amber the Mavs had two new French guys as I pointed to one on the court. "That guy," she said. "He's not French. I can tell by looking at him." A couple of plays later she questioned, "He's French?" I replied, "Not that guy (Novak), the other tall black one (Mahinmi)." Cut to Amber, "Oh, yeah. He's definitely French." Apparently, she has very good French-dar.

The next morning we headed to Desert Hot Springs to go to the Pueblo House. Amber found information about a man who built a house out of reclaimed materials. The house was interesting, but the story about the man, Cabot Yerxa, was fascinating. As a kid he and his family lived with an Indian tribe, during his teen years he traveled across America setting up various businesses and he went to France to study art. When he finally settled in Desert Hot Springs at an older age, his property happened to be on opposite sides of the San Andreas fault allowing him to have access to hot and cold water. At the age of 60, he meet the love of his life and began to built this house with her in mind. An artistic architect who believed that all people should be treated equally, liked to travel and was into recycling? Even I might have moved to the desert for you or at least thought about it. How did you handle all those hot summers? They probably don't call it Desert Hot Springs for nothing.

Later in the day, Joanna came to visit us from Los Angeles. We walked around the downtown area, saw Easy A at the movies (very funny) and had dinner at the Tropicale. So great to see her again. It's been a while. 

Last day in Palm Springs. We rode on the ariel tram 9,000 feet up in the mountains. The tram rotates round, so you get 360 degree views of Coachella Valley. Amber braved the heights. For that she was rewarded with 60 degree weather. 

If you go to Palm Springs, do not purchase the Modern Architecture Map. It contained neighborhoods that either didn't allow is to see the houses for their gates or didn't permit us to drive on private roads. BBC Sirus Radio channel, I will miss you. Clap your hands if you're working too hard.  (Also, try Happiness.)

Such a nice three-day break. Thanks to Amber for coming along. Here's to less clapping and more having fun.

Palm Springs Playlist

Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance) - The Contours
Making Out - No Doubt
Where Do I Begin - The Chemical Brothers
Train in Vain - The Clash
Faces - Yeah Yeah Yeahs