Every year in March my tennis friends and I head down to Palm Desert for the BNP Paribas professional tennis tournament. All the biggies are there; the best of the tennis world. It’s like attending a Grand Slam but only an hour flight from home. Yep, 6 glorious days of sun, fun, food, drinking, shopping, swimming, hot tubbing and of course, tennis.
With work and having 8 animals, I don’t get away too often. So when March rolls around, I get desert fever. But as soon as I pull out my suitcase, my dogs go into moping mode, lying on the bed watching forlornly while I pack.
My mutts are no dummies. They know when I’m leaving so might very well benefit from anti-depressants mixed in with their kibble. Instead, I try to trick them by packing when they’re not around. Now don’t get me wrong; they still seem to sense it. Like I said…they’re no dummies.
Anyway, Annette’s fear of flying means either drugging her into a slightly comatose state then carrying her onboard, or she and Shelley opt to drive for 8 hours. They always choose door number two because nobody wants to throw Annette over their shoulder.
Suzie, Hilary, Ayako and yours truly are not patient people, so we fly down, rent a car, then meet them at the large 4 bedroom, 6 bed, 4 1/2 bath rental house.
These trips are a nice time to relax and let loose a bit, hence the drinking part. I normally reserve my imbibing for just these occasions. And this trip was no exception. Pass the martini please. With 3 olives. Gotta have the olives.
Before heading out for dinner or cooking at home, we sit and gab and have a cocktail while watching tennis on the big screen. Shelley and Hilary make delicious appetizers, as well as awesome dinners, so we wrangle them into the kitchen. That’s the price they pay for being talented cooks.
We sip our cocktails, all except for Hilary who doesn’t drink. She, however, does make an excellent chauffeur. Anyway, since I couldn’t find toothpicks, I had to improvise with my mini teeth flosser (unused, of course). Hey, ya gotta have the olives, remember? And since they didn’t have martini glasses, I used a margarita glass. Somehow it’s just not the same. But trust me, I made do.
Then at Tommy Bahama’s, my favorite restaurant in Palm Desert, Annette ordered me a Key Lime Martini after I’d already had a drink at the house. That may have been a mistake. After that, I found everything to be absolutely funny.
So when one of my so-called friends snapped a photo, it caught me wearing the “ugly cry” face — contorted like I just bit into a lemon but laughing about it, regardless. Apparently that’s my martini laugh. Here, I’ll show you what I mean…
See? I wasn’t lying. Luckily, I ate enough appetizers and a large meal to soak up all that alcohol. And the others? They probably did too. But I was too busy laughing ugly to notice.
Back at the house, Hilary, Shelley and I took a hot tub and watched the beautiful palm trees sway over our heads in the evening breeze. And yes, there were cocktails. (Vacation, remember?)
So now I’m home with a lot less olives in that jar but with plenty of nice memories of good times with 5 friends down in the desert. Now it’s back to reality…which, I have to say, is pretty great too.