My folks joined JD and I in Palm Springs on Christmas Day and when we left they stayed on to escape the winter in North Dakota...their first winter out of the state.
Most winters since their retirement they've passed their days going to morning gym classes and the rest of the time spent by my dad shoveling their driveway (and the driveway of at least a couple neighbors) and by my mom cooking. They'd take a long weekend each year in Laughlin, NV. A charter plane would take them directly from Fargo to Laughlin where they would be expected to spend the weekend in the casinos. That's not really their thing, so at least one day of the trip they would spend in a rental car driving around and "looking at stuff". One of those day trips included going to open houses after which they started talking about getting a place...in Laughlin, NV.
I have no reason to poo-poo Laughlin, since I've never been there. But from the stories I heard upon their return it sounds like a relatively small town with not much to do other than to go to the casino and gamble, eat, see a show and whatever else it is that casinos have to offer. If that would make them happy, then I would be happy, but I couldn't help but feel their admiration of Laughlin was because it was one of the few places they've been that was somewhat "south".
When JD and I started talking about getting a place in Palm Springs, we mentioned that it would be great for them to spend some time there in the winter to get a break from the cold. After we closed and they visited with their Jeep full of housewares I was thrilled that they seemed open to the idea and astonished when they took us up on the offer of being there in January and February, since the place would be empty during that time.
They seem to have really enjoyed it. If it's above 70 degrees (which is has been almost every day) they spend part of the afternoon in the pool. They've made friends with our neighbors, which is more than we've had the opportunity to do. They've visited the casino down the street a couple times and made a killing on both trips. They went to a country club for lunch with one of our neighbors and went to a music club to see a 60's band. (I can't remember the last time they've mentioned going out to anything close to a club, other than the VFW for a wedding of a shirt-tail relative.)
I'm genuinely thrilled that they've enjoyed it so much and secretly (or maybe not so) hope they're considering getting a place of their own in Palm Springs. Having them close to us in at least one part of country would be great. I guess that kind of stuff is becoming more important as they age and honestly there's probably some guilt because I've moved around the country for the past 15 years visiting them once or maybe twice a year, while my two brothers are in town or within driving distance. In my defense, I NEVER miss a Sunday phone call.
So, this is their last week. One week from now they'll be packing their bags and getting ready for their flight the next morning back to Fargo. I've told them that for $75 each they could change their return date and wait until JD is due back at the end of the month, but it sounds like they've resolved themselves to the fact that it's time to go back.
Having them there and that they've enjoyed it so much has been the best part of owning the condo in Palm Springs so far. Thank you Palm Springs.