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Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge

Palm Springs:

Affordable Chic at Summertime

Click to Enlarge (By Linda-Marie Singer with Joanna Cameron)

Palm Springs, California -- Abe Lincoln once observed that people are as happy as they want to be. Surely, then, he would have found happiness at The Ritz-Carlton’s Spa in Rancho Mirage (30 minutes from the Palm Springs airport), where tranquillity in mind and body ease the soul. From the popular Pancho Karma to the Shirodhara scalp renewal and Desert Clay exfoliation, spa director June Taylor will help fashion new and healthy programs to unclutter the tension from our daily lives.

“Say good-bye to those ‘churn and burn’ spas,” Taylor explains. “At the Ritz-Carlton, we’re so service oriented, that my therapists must be creative and kind.”

By the time vacationers hit the road, they’re usually looking for kindness, having been strung out from a fast-paced lifestyle that includes ingesting too much melatonin. But with just one visit to The Ritz-Carlton’s Spa in Rancho Mirage, that jet laggy feeling can be overcome with the Shirodhara or “third eye” treatment. At first, the regimen will feel like Cyclops on a bad hair day, as this ancient Indian custom stimulates the third eye in the middle of the forehead with warm, imported oils that are dispensed in a continual flow.

Go ahead and giggle. We did, especially when the therapist mentioned that we could have colorful dreams the following night and then feel completely rested. Dreams were never dreamier. Note: Summer rates are a real bargain! All that ritz at a no-glitz price. Contact: The Ritz-Carlton 1-800-241-333. Ritz-Carlton Spa - 1-888-748-9772

Hey! - Is that.... Queen Elizabeth!?Picture: Your dreams might well include royalty - even Queen Elizabeth II enjoys Palm Springs! But if you think you see her for real, you might want to look again. Here, look-alike Mary Reynolds opens the Nortel International Palm Springs Film Festival. Her beaming companion is "LIVEWIRE" author Linda-Marie Singer, sharing in the festivities with "Her Majesty."

The Estrella Inn: Dancing with Ann Miller

Ask for Room 106 at The Estrella Inn, and discover a comfortable, spacious home away from home featuring 8X10 glosses of the legendary dancer Ann Miller. The bungalow is equipped with a fireplace, kitchen, ample living room and expansive bedroom. There’s even a private patio where you can sun au naturel.

Look closely at the photos, and you’ll catch one of Miller lounging by The Estrella Inn’s pool, the oldest one in Palm Springs. Nothing much has changed, except that the venue has become more lush and lovely, with colorful gardens and fruit trees facing the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains.

It’s no secret that The Estrella Inn was a serene hideaway for the Hollywood set who didn’t want to be chased by fans or bothered by gossip columnists. So it’s no surprise that Gable first took his bride-to-be Carole Lombard there for a romantic tryst. According to the records dating back to the 1930s, The Estrella Inn also signed in guests ranging from Joan Crawford and Tyrone Power to President Roosevelt!

Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, it’s a perfect getaway for you and the family. Shop and meander along Palm Canyon Drive, but we bet you can’t wait to come back to The Estrella Inn. Contact: The Estrella Inn 1-800-237-3687

No Business Like the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies

Palm Springs FolliesHoward Keel, now in his 70s, is still something to look at. And by the way, can he sing! When he begins “The Girl That I Marry,” and “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning!,” the audience at THE FABULOUS PALM SPRINGS FOLLIES is swept away to a time when American musicals of the 30s and 40s were filled with toe tapping songs, romance, love, and handsome movie stars like Howard Keel.

The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies is in its sixth season with more than 600,000 rallying to see the salute to good music -- an elixir for the soul. But let’s not forget the unique aspect: Performers have to be in their 50s to join the cast. Meanwhile, we watched entertainers in their 80s who can kick higher than we can.

The show glitters and sparkles largely thanks to Riff Markowitz, creator and Master of Ceremonies who projects a patter of good will. “It’s wonderful to look out and see so many old faces,” he deadpans.

And this time around, even Markowitz had to laugh at humorist Dave Barry who tells of the man asking his wife: “If I lost all my money, would you still love me?” “Yes,” she replies, “but I’d miss you.” Don’t miss The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies. Contact: 619-327-0225

Go Take a Hike!

Ancient trails. Canyons and palm Groves. Cactus and desert lavender. Experience all of nature’s wonders with a Desert Safari tour to the Indian Canyons in Palm Springs. This lush arena, nourished by a stream providing moisture for thousands of palms and other plant life, was utilized by the Aqua Caliente Cahuilla Indians when they lived there centuries ago.

Climb and explore. Question and watch. Take it all in. Soon you’ll feel at one with nature. Guides and owners Peter Walsh and Larry Montez provide the history and folklore. You’ll see where hundreds of plants and crops were grown, animals hunted, and how plants and seeds were gathered for food, basketweaving, and medicines.

Sign up for a Moonlight Expedition. Only then will you be bathed in the mystical moonlight. Contact: 1-888-TOSAFARI


Linda-Marie Singer is a regular columnist for Travel Watch.
Joanna Cameron
is president of Cameron Tours with trips to China, Tibet, Egypt, Israel, and the USA. Call for her latest adventures: 1-800-648-4635

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Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

Email: lindamari@aol.com - Web: http://www.i.am/lindamarie  

 

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