A Swinging Time in Palm Springs

Marlene and I had a coolsville New Year's weekend with a Rat Pack Vibe in Southern California.

You all may not know it, but 2006 is going to be a total Rat Pack year. We'll be celebrating Frank, Dino, Sammy and even Joey as we work on our major New Year's Resolution: Have More Fun!

We started out Friday with a trip to the Shag show in Santa Monica and dinner at Schatzi's on Main.

The show was spectacular and runs until January 21st at the Copra/Nason Gallery ... For the first time, all of Shag's prints hung together. Here's the official show print, titled "Well Hung"

Then we drove in our red convertible to the completely Fab Caliente Tropics Motel in Palm Springs.

Completely restored in 2001, its splash-to-guest ratio is the best America's Desert Playground has to offer, servicing a mere 90 rooms and suites. Tipping the scale at over 100,000 gallons, it holds the title of the third largest pool in Palm Springs - no wonder it was a favorite hang-out for Elvis, as well as a very young Nancy Sinatra, and the site of one of the first Miss Hawaiian Tropic contests.

Our clover leaf shaped therapeutic pool seats up to 12 persons and is 3.5 feet deep - deeper than most.

Both pools are original and were completely renovated in 2001, meeting all modern-day filtering and technical specifications, with all-new infrastructures and surfaces.

Swim by the light of the tiki torches, in the same pool where Elvis hung-out and Nancy Sinatra grew-up!

Saturday we window shopped at some really cool mod shops on Palm Canyon Avenue before our tour of the stars. More on that when I get my photos developed ...

It's New Year's Eve night and we crash the party at Las Casuelas Mexican Restaurant on Palm Canyon Ave. It was a fabulous night with much drinking, dancing and even New Year's Eve kissing.

A trip to Palm Springs famous Palm Canyon Drive would not be complete without a visit to Las Casuelas Terraza.

Delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine, in a romantic atmosphere, maginifico margaritas and plenty of entertainment have made it a longtime favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs at 222 South Palm Canyon Drive, award-winning Las Casuelas Terraza is "the spot" for people watching, dining and dancing under the stars.

Sunday morning, after recovery, we started shopping again. I think I'm going to buy myself an egg chair from Room Service.

The Rat Pack print from the top of the post is on display at the Huesso Gallery, along with prints of Marilyn, Elvis and others. Very cool store.

After I spent my dough, Marlene wanted to spend hers at the poker table, so we headed to the Morongo Casino, a 20 minute drive from Palm Springs. She won a couple of pots and we headed back to town.

Next stop at the new Matchbox Pizza for flatbread/pizza. They are open every night late, and have a second happy hour from 11pm - 1 am for the night owls.