Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Day 2 and 3 and 4

The Colony Palms is a beautiful boutique hotel in downtown Palm Springs. The bed was outstanding, our room was very private with a small patio at the entrance and a huge old-fashioned claw footed bathtub. We slept well the first night and were making our way down the steps of the patio to the large stone walkway to the restaurant for breakfast. Michael was just ahead of me. Suddenly, I fell. Hard. Apparently, there was a lip on one of the large stones and my sandal front caught it. BOOM! I rolled over and knew I had broken my knee, which also had a gash.

Michael looked shocked. I told him I thought I broke my kneecap and to get help. The manager returned with him, put a pillow under my head, covered me in a blanket then chatted with me so by the time the hunky firemen arrive, I was calm. She was amazing.

They did a quick assessment, got me on my feet and suggested that we find our own way to the hospital, just two blocks away, instead of going by ambulance. My favorite quote of the day was when one of them said, "You look like you're in pretty good shape." Thank you very much!

Michael, realizing that our new/old car would be too small to get in and out of, asked the manager if her car was close by. She handed over the keys. Can you believe that? We drove the two blocks and were greeted by a fantastic man, who wheeled me into the immediate care instead of ER. Smart. No waiting. X-rays were taken and nothing was broken. That alone was good news. For a woman my age who also has been on prednisone twelve years, I was really surprised that I came away with just a very swollen knee with a gash that will heal.

While waiting to be released, we were trying to meet the lunch reservation time with Anna and Doug, who had just arrive to the hotel for the night. We drove back to the hotel, jumped into their car and made our way through the valley to Palm Desert, the Beverly Hills of the region. The rooftop Tommy Bahama's restaurant was perfect! Michael and Anna talked about their dad over cocktails while I was able to begin to relax. Taking a hard fall was so jarring. Afterward, we stopped by the Spa Casino, just two blocks from the hotel in the other direction from the hospital, and gambled for an hour. I limped through it and came away with an extra $11.00!

After a couple of hours rest, we had dinner right downtown Palm Springs at Lulu's. It is a mid-century modern designed restaurant and a hit with Anna and Doug. I fell into bed early.

We all met and had breakfast together poolside at the Purple Plum. Very high end food. Delicious. Anna and I hung out around the pool while the boys took off to check out a baseball card store for Doug. By noon, they headed back to their home just 90-minutes away with a vow to return again next January.

Michael and I thought that we would just split a Cuban Sandwich with pork belly at the hotel restaurant as we were looking forward to our early dinner at Le Vallauris, a classic French restaurant. While waiting for our lunch, a young man appeared with an adorable boxer, Peaches. Michael began chatting with him  then invited him to join us. He had the day off but was eating lunch at the hotel restaurant, where he was the sous chef. After an hour, the executive chef appeared at our table and that began a two-hour conversation, primarily about food. These two had their chops. After hearing where we were going to dinner, they begged us to switch and eat dinner at their restaurant. Two restaurants with totally different food concepts. We decided to go to the classic, fancy French restaurant but only order salads and appetizers. Michael is pointing to their board while we were enjoying the open courtyard surrounded by twinkling lights and very fancy people. We loved their beet salad, Blue Crab salad, house-cured salmon and seared duck foie gras. Perfectly plated then presented and delicious.

We drove back to the hotel, arrived to the restaurant and asked the waiter to let Chef Nick Fall know we were there. He came to our table, told us what he wanted us to order and the magic began. It was one heck of a night.

He sent over an amuse bouche of Osaka Style Crab Fritters with nori, bonito, sesame, spicy mayo. Hello! The chosen appetizers began with the best octopus I have ever eaten. The texture was key, soft yet grilled. It was built on a Peruvian inspired potato base, caperberries then just a bit of heat with a green sauce called aji verde.

Poached Duck Egg. Yes, you read the right. It was served with a soft yolk on a bed of gigante beans, braised mustard greens, lamb bacon, pickled fresno and shallots. He served it with the most amazing bread that was oiled and lightly grilled so it was just a bit smoky. Michael ate it all and refused to share it with me!

I loved the Wagyu Beef Cheeks Dumplings with shimeji mushrooms, ginger, black rice vinegar. He also made us Michael's favorite of the night - Charred Brussel Sprouts with roasted garlic, toasted cashews and honey.

Did I mention dessert? Yes, Nick also makes his own desserts. He sent a Creme Brûlée Cheesecake with guava and dots of a caramel sauce. OMG! After the meal, Nick joined us at our table (the sous chef had the night off) and we talked food, work and kids.

What an amazing day.

The next day, the rains began. We left the hotel early and drove through some flooding but arrived home safe and sound.

What a trip, thanks to our son. William's birthday was yesterday so we had a nice phone conversation with him. He is on tour until the end of February, primarily in the USA. I told him that he created a monster because we now needed to return to Palm Springs and to this fantastic hotel. He liked that.

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