This time of year is peak flight season and plane ticket prices reflect this. Avios airmiles seats would have been snapped up ages ago so I had to pay cash for today’s flight. A bus to Palm Springs, at the other end of California, would have involved three changes. The next most economical option was to bus it to nearby San Francisco and fly from there. At the airport my boarding pass was checked by a security officer who was keen to embrace the festive spirit. He cracked a shockingly poor joke about something to do with Santa’s garden. The punchline was, “With his ho, ho, ho!” This may be fine when interacting with children or even old dears but it seemed a bit weird saying it to a fellow young/not quite middle-aged man. I felt obliged to pretend to laugh to ensure passage through the airport.

Palm Springs has an interesting airport. Most of it is outside. The gates are in an open-air setting, as are the restaurants. It obviously doesn’t rain much here, I thought without wishing to tempt fate! It’s also one of those airports where you can walk out of the front door and be right in the city.

Palm Springs is part of a series of cities that make up the Coachella Valley. It’s the same Coachella as where the music festival takes place, although that’s at the other end of the valley. I stayed in Rancho Mirage, just down the road from Palm Springs. There’s an excellent bus service that goes along Highway 111, essentially passing through all of the town and resorts. Palm Springs has a large retired community, who settle here due to the year-round nice climate, again not wishing to tempt fate by talking about the weather! The area seemed an upscale sort of place with golf courses, country clubs and swish shops everywhere. It was noticeable how dark it was tonight. I initially thought that the street lighting wasn’t working but it was. Looking up at the sky, I’ve never seen it so dark.

Open-air Palm Springs Airport
Walk outside the airport, cross the street and you’re at Palm Springs City Hall