I had breakfast with everyone that morning, but then I felt like I still needed some alone time. I set out for a drive around the desert toward the older part of Palm Springs, pulling my car over every once in a while to snap some pictures.
I visited the giant Marilyn statue in downtown Palm Springs, the Ace hotel (again) and The Parker. Holy Pete, The Parker was fancy. Any place that has parking attendants who say "yeah, just back your car up right next to that Porsche..."? This is not the kind of place my provincial little ass is used to.
Thoughts on The Parker:
Much smaller than I imagined from all the pictures I've ever seen.
Much more lush in terms of vegetation than I expected (the hedges are SO high--I'm glad I didn't have to walk back to my room in the dark in that place).
And, full disclosure, Saturday was not a good day for me. I took the drive to clear my head because I still felt bogged down, but quickly found I should have done that before getting into a moving machine. Even though I thought I was being a careful driver and I was literally doing NOTHING else at the time (not even listening to music), I got so lost in thought on my way downtown that I ran a red light. And there was a man already going through the intersection, and I didn't realize until I was already too far in to stop. I almost got T-boned, and it was totally my fault. Luckily he noticed before I did and slammed on the breaks and swerved, just barely missing me. I swerved too, I pulled over, had a good cry, and told myself I better cut that shit out, because I had a nine hour drive ahead of me on Sunday. I was spacing out when I was driving, and I couldn't let that happen again. Too much at stake. God, it was awful.
Saturday was my last workshop this quarter with my nonfiction class.
After class we headed across the street for dinner, and we made it back in time to gussy up for the Holiday Party and gift exchange. Why, oh why did I not take a picture of my wrap job? I'm kicking myself... I bought my gift early in the week, but forgot we had to wrap it. By the time I headed over to the office to get tape, it was locked. So in my room in a fit of necessity, I dove into the first-aid kid for something to hold the paper together. That's right. I wrapped my present in photocopied pages from a lecture and Band-Aids.
The Holiday Party was great (and I did my one party trick: the Single Ladies dance), but I didn't last too late into the night. I had to pack to drive home the next day after fiction workshop.