Sunday, August 20, 2006

DAY 104

E and I are just back from our weekend at the fabulous Ballantine's Hotel in sunny Palm Springs, California. While Ballantine's may not be the swanky resort that say Marriott Desert Springs is, Ballantine's is unmatched for privacy and that home-away-from-home feel (assuming your home is kind of like a mid-century hotel in the desert, of course). That pool is about five degrees cooler than the warm night air which makes for a strange but truly wonderful sunbathing-at-night experience. We went with three other couples and really felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. So relaxing.

On the way back I insisted that we stop at a road side attraction. I don't know what my problem is but if I find out that the word's biggest ball of twine is one mile off the highway -- I can't resist! And this one was way way better than twine, right? It's gigantic dinosaurs for Pete's sake! In the middle of the damn desert! Come on. They are very very cool. It looked like you could actually go in the dinosaurs through a door in the back and maybe climb around in them a bit. I didn't want to spoil the mystery for myself so I passed. I did, however, want to know more about these supercrazyfantastic dinos once I got home. And I learned from my friends at Google that the dinos are in fact privately owned structures originally built in the 1960's by Mr. Claude Bell who was inspired by a boyhood trip to see Lucy, the giant elephant, in Margate, New Jersey (something I have yet to see myself but am really looking forward to doing!)

Mr. Bell spent twenty years and $300,000 building Rex and Dinney. Dinney, the brontosaurus, is 150 tons,150 feet long, and reputedly built from left-over construction materials from I-10. Rex weighs a mere 100 tons. While no contractors or construction companies were used to build Dinney and Rex, they are both habitable buildings and Mr. Bell lived in the upper rooms of Dinney for a period. Mr. Bell died at right old age of 91 in 1988. Thank you so much, Mr. Bell, for your fabulous kitsch.

UPDATE: After reading this, E goes: "Did you used to have a job writing brochures or something?" He really is the best, n'cest pas?

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