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The Best Moments in Life Are the Ones We Never Planned For

Date Posted: 02/21/2017
Recently, Mila and I traveled to Palm Springs, CA for a business trip. It turned out to be one of those best moments in life I could never have planned for.

Recently, Mila and I traveled to Palm Springs, CA for a business trip. The purpose of the trip was to give a presentation at a client’s annual board meeting about the state-of-the-union on their new website. The trip wasn’t quite as successful for work as I had hoped. But, in the end, turned out to be one of those best moments in life you don’t plan for.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to stay in Palm Springs, my intention was to use the trip to do some networking; hopefully picking up some additional freelance web design client work.

In retrospect, depending on how you look at it, the trip wasn’t quite the success I had planned. Yes, the presentation to the client’s board was productive but not as fruitful as I had hoped. And in the end, only one of the new lead I had been following came to fruition.

Outside of work, nothing about the trip was either what I had expected or planned. Transportation for Mila and I from Orcutt to Palm Springs, then from there to Bakersfield, and finally back to my parents in Orcutt was an adventure, to say the least.

Road Trip Tag Along with a Kiwi

Initially, we had planned to rent a car here and town and drive to Palm Springs and Bakersfield, then returning here to Orcutt/Santa Maria. As it turns out, a new and dear friend from New Zealand, Danny, stopped by Orcutt for a surprise visit during his travels around the US.

While chatting at a local cafe, and managing to twists Danny’s arm a bit, I was able to talk him into letting us tag along with him on the ride since his next stop was Joshua Tree. Albeit, a week earlier than we had planned on leaving.

The ride was enjoyable. Because of the recent, and much needed, rain here in California, the hillsides were covered in snow between here and Palm Springs. Quite an uncommon sight because of the drought we’ve been in the last few years, the snowcapped mountains were a welcome change of scenery. As well, the company on the ride was fantastic.

Unfortunately, because of the rain, Danny’s plan to spend time in Joshua Tree was washed out. Instead, he ended up staying with us at my client’s hotel for a couple of days, giving me an opportunity play tour guide and showing him around Palm Springs.

After Danny had left, it was time to get to work. While staying at the client’s hotel, the Ivy Palm Resort and Spa, at the north end of downtown Palm Springs, the client coincidently had a photo shoot of the hotel scheduled with a photographer by the name of Taso Papadakis. The photos are on their new website I’m working on for the hotel with their general manager, Robert.

Getting to work with Taso on the creative direction of the shoot and getting to spend time with him was wonderful. He’s quite a talented photographer and wonderful soul. I’m grateful for the new friendship and hopefully, we will get to work together again on future projects.

Comfort at the Ivy Palm Resort and Spa

I’m exceedingly grateful to the Ivy Palm Resort and Spa for letting us stay at the hotel while we started work on their website. The general manager, Robert, and his team are so gracious and made the stay their comfortable for both Mila and I. If you’re looking for a comfortable, pet-friendly hotel in Palm Springs, I can’t recommend the Ivy Palm Resort and Spa enough. My personal recommendation, be sure to get a first-level, pool-side, King size room if you’re traveling with a dog. Thanks again to Robert and team for kindness and hospitality. As always, we had a pleasant stay.

Playing Tour Guide in Palm Springs

The next leg of our trip is where things got a little bumpy. Because I opted to ride with Danny to Palm Springs instead of renting a car, I had to get a one-way car rental from Palm Springs to Bakersfield.

I’ve been an Enterprise customer for many years and had not anticipated any roadblocks to getting a rental car. As it turns out, short of giving up your first born child, the extent of documentation, not to mention up-front cost, required to rent a one-way car in Palm Springs (using only a debit card, not a credit card) is practically impossible. As it turns out, Mila and I ended up having to take an Uber from Palm Springs to Bakersfield.

An Unexpected Uber Ride

After calling several drivers, explaining to them, I was traveling all the way to Bakersfield, and with a dog, I was able to reach Al. Thankful for his adventurous spirit, he agreed to drive us all the way to Bakersfield. Al, the Uber driver, was fantastic. Mila and I felt comfortable, very safe, and Al and I enjoyed a splendid conversation the entire trip.

Al, incidentally, the owner of Al’s Locksmith in Palm Springs, has been a resident of the area for many years and knew the best route to Bakersfield, avoiding much of the late afternoon traffic to LA. He drove us north to Victorville and the west to Bakersfield. Even with a few stops, we made the trip in just under 3 hours. The Uber ride was excellent, and Al was very friendly.

The week in Bakersfield was spent couch surfing with a dear friend and his family; Jason, his partner Saul and their wonderful daughters Ellie and Lillie. I must admit, Miss Mila was quite spoiled while at Jason’s house, and she loves the attention from Ellie and Lillie.

As it turns out, Jason is a former client. I helped him with a website redesign for children’s clothing boutique he previously owned in downtown Bakersfield. Such a gracious host, Mila and I had a private room; giving me plenty of privacy and time to get work done.

Our ‘First Friday’ with Friends in Bakersfield

While in Bakersfield, Jason gave me a tour of downtown which included lunch at Brimstone at the famous (and haunted) Padre Hotel. As well, Jason, Saul, and I headed downtown again for my first ever First Friday in downtown Bakersfield, started by the Metro Galleries’ owner, Don Martin to showcase the great local businesses.

If you ever happen to be in downtown Bakersfield the first Friday evening of the month, be sure to head downtown to experience the event. Many local businesses stay open, and there are great street vendors and live music. Each First Friday features a new artist in the gallery, and it’s an excellent opportunity to get to know, and support, the local businesses and meet the featured artist. Thank you so much to Don and Metro Galleries for welcoming us to the event.

The trip round down for Mila and I with a ride back from Bakersfield to Orcutt/Santa Maria in the back seat with Jason and Saul driving. My deepest gratitude for them taking out their Sunday to get us back to my parents and especially Saul for driving. It was a beautiful drive, and we had a wonderful time visiting along the way.

The Best Moments in Life Are the Ones We Never Planned For

Sometimes, the best moments in life are the ones you didn’t plan for. And, it’s in those moments, the surprising things can happen quite unexpectedly. A good rule of thumb on any adventure: expect the best, plan for the worst, and be prepared for surprises along the way. Things will most definitely end up different than you expected and may even be better that way.

This business trip was originally intended to focus on client work and hopefully an opportunity to pick up additional freelance web design client work. As it turns out, the universe had significantly different plans for Mila and I. Turning out to be much better than anything I could have ever imagined.

This trip was really about the connections and meaningful time spent with kind and gracious friends. The experience taught me that, sometimes, even with the best-laid plans, things are not going to go as planned. Sometimes, you just have to give up control and let the journey take you where it will. Being present, mindful, and open to new experiences, you never know what’s around the corner.

This adventure taught me a little something about humility and gratitude for the kindness of both strangers and friend, new and old. The graciousness of everyone on this journey humbles me. It’s a very different journey altogether when you have no choice but to take the back seat and depend on the kindness of others.

Special Thanks: Thank you to everyone on this adventure; especially Danny, Robert, Taso, Al, Jason, Saul, Ellie, and Lillie. Mila and I are so appreciative of your kindness and generosity.

Have you ever traveled and things didn’t go according to plan? How was your experience; was it better than expected? Share your story and thoughts in the comments below.

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The 7-Day #LiveCreative Meditation Experience: The Energy of Intention

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