Posts Tagged ‘Coachella Valley’

INDIO, Calif.— It’s not the standard Christmas set-up, but put on some Perry Como or Mannheim Steamroller and plug in the icicle lights, and even the plainest aluminum camper takes on a holiday sheen.

Snowbirds throughout the Coachella Valley are decking the dashboard of the Tiffin and trimming the hitches of the Airstream. They’re roasting prime rib and honey-baked hams in convection microwaves.

And on the big day, they’ll be Skyping with the grandkids in Missouri and Pennsylvania.

The RV community is by definition a nomadic one, but that doesn’t mean that Christmas traditions get left behind along with the heavy furniture and the permanent address. But there is definitely some scaling back that comes with the cruising lifestyle.

“I’ve always had 25 to 30 people at my house,” Sandy Gotwalt said.

“Worked our butts off,” interrupted her husband, Brian.

“This is what retirement is all about,” she finished the thought, shaking her silver Frosty earrings.

Every winter, retirees like the Gotwalts leave colder climes for the desert’s warmth. Their wheeled homes fill RV parks from Palm Springs to Coachella.

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It’s that time of year again when California’s Coachella Valley says goodbye to the tens of thousands of people who call our Valley their second home: Snowbirds, as they’re called, are heading off.

“We’re getting ready to go home so it’s very hectic and very busy right now,” said Marianne Thomsen, a Canadian visitor.

The Thomsens are about to join thousands of others who have already left the Coachella Valley. The couple heads back home to Canada on Friday.

“It’s very sad because we’re leaving some very nice friends behind. You know, you hope everything is going to be fine when you come back down again, but every year we always lose somebody. So, it’s emotional at times when we say goodbye to everybody,” said Thomsen.

Up until a few weeks ago, the Indian Wells RV Resort in Indio where the Thomsens stay was packed with about 320 RV spots taken.

“Today, it looks rather empty. There’s about 20 RV sites occupied,” said General Manager Terry Wenck.

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