The Bentleys at the Elephant Car Wash are stacked up around the block.  Folks are back from the four corners of the globe for the season and while the gents get their cars detailed, the ladies are at the Rancho Mirage Florist buying vast quantities of orchids to decorate their manses. Rancho Mirage Restaurants are booked solid by those who believe that mixing a martini is the absolute maximum cooking chore they will endure while on holiday at their second home.  Yet turkey birds are flying out of Bristol Farms by the thousands.  As I write this Reba is massaging one in the kitchen.  As always, she will transform the ungainly foul into the centerpiece of a magnificent family celebration.  Reba announced last week that she intends to give this year’s meal a distinctly Lebanese twist.  Don’t scoff, Reba’s cooking is sublime and besides our eleven dinner guests have all traveled extensively in the Levant and the Middle East and will enjoy every bite as the recount travel tales of their youth.  One of our female guests, as a teen-ager, hitchhiked across Iran and Afghanistan with the son of a prominent Indian Pasha.  How the world has changed!

Our beloved son Max is coming home for the weekend.  He and I have worked up an itinerary that will keep the gang hopping.  We plan to hike Tahquitz Canyon, enjoy a Saturday night dinner in the Wine Room at bluEmber at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, visit The Living Desert on Sunday morn to feed the giraffes – you can do it too every day at 10AM.  Midnight slots at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa may yield a jackpot.  The ladies will go on consignment store safaris and the men will play golf and bocce ball with a fierce level of competition and incompetence.  The main event will be at our home on Thanksgiving evening when Reba’s bird emerges from the oven, the sparkling wine will flow and some of Tulip Hill’s best red wines will be consumed along with the savory Lebanese flavored gobbler.  And then on Sunday we will all gather for one last meal – brunch – on the patio of Acqua Pazza at The River.  It’s a fine way to end a weekend, as the food at Acqua Pazza is scrumptious, the lake and fountains surrounding the restaurant sparkle in the morning light and our beautiful mountain stand sentinel in the distance.

From my desk I can see the magnificent Mount San Jacinto as I write this piece.  The clouds that hooded the peak for three day and night have lifted – blue skies now prevail.  An almost full moon hangs just above the summit which is glistening with the first snow of the season.  Magnificent!  I have much to be thankful for.


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