I previously posted about Richard’s and my joint pre-birthday celebration last month, before we left for holidays. Below is how I spent the actual day in Palm Desert. Come and join me. I’ll give you a quick look-see!
Back in the day, Hollywood’s ‘two-hour rule’ meant that celebrities (who were on contract with their studios) were required to remain within a two-hour drive of Hollywood. This made Palm Springs an ideal home-away-from-home for many stars. When in the Palm Springs area, you can seek out and find many of these homes on your own. Or, for a reasonable fee, you can leave the research (and the driving) to the folks at Celebrity Tours. This is exactly what we did, and we loved it! Below is a small glimpse at three of the homes (out of approximately 50) that we saw. All photos below were taken with my iPhone…showing just how close we were (sometimes) able to get.
Elvis and Priscilla’s Honeymoon Hideaway
Elvis never owned this home but leased it for $21,000 for the year in 1967. He intended to wed Priscilla here…until a gossip columnist found out about this and foiled his plan. Elvis and his bride then snuck out the back door and were flown (by Danny Kaye) in a private plane to Las Vegas.
This 5000 square foot, five bedroom, five bathroom home was dubbed “House of Tomorrow” by Look Magazine. It has been for sale each year since 2014. The 2014 listing price was 9.5 million. For any bargain hunters out there, the asking price of this home is now a mere 3.26 million. Hurry while it lasts! You can take a peek at the interior here.
Piazza de Liberace
While living here (beginning in 1967), Liberace turned what was originally a 32 room hotel into a private home with grand theme rooms. There was a ‘Valentino Room’ with a sleigh bed and a ‘Persian Tent Room’ near the pool. The house also included an extensive master bedroom (understatement), numerous chandeliers, and a shrine to St. Anthony. The original mailbox, in the shape of a baby grand piano, still stands today.
Liberace reportedly died in this home in 1987. According to public records, this house was last sold in 2010 for $1,260,000. Its estimated value is currently $3,340,563.00.
Previous Home of Dean Martin
Dean Martin purchased this home for $56,000 in 1957. He lived here with his second wife, Jeanne, in the 60s and 70s. Zillow now lists the estimated value of this four bedroom, three bathroom home at $1,195,000 (less than the median listing price for homes in that neighbourhood). The home is currently under renovation so a change in listing status, price, or both could be imminent.
Adding a more somber fact, Dean Martin’s eldest son, Captain Dean Paul Martin, was killed in 1987 when his plane crashed into the side of nearby Mt. San Gorgonio. A plane crash at the same mountain took the life of Frank Sinatra’s mother, Dolly, in 1977.
If you would like a closer look at this home, some YouTubers have provided a more detailed peek which you can easily Google. (I did not link to their sites so that I did not inadvertently become an accomplice to trespassing)!
Happy Hour with Friends
The best part of any special day is spending it with loved ones. Thank you to Aliza and Jack for hosting appetizers and Happy Hour at their place. Thank you to Kathy and Thom for joining in and to Richard for the cake and champagne. It was truly lovely!
Evening with Willie Nelson
Two Octobers ago, in Coachella Valley, Richard and I attended Desert Trip. Paul McCartney performed on my actual birthday, with his encore being ‘Today is your Birthday.’ How do you top that? I’m not sure that you can…unless you can find another music icon performing on your special day…and get box seats! Enter Willie Nelson, and perform he did. His voice sounded the same as always. Willie sang straight through, without an intermission. He regularly threw his bandana into the front row, and then pulled out a brand new one to wear. At the end of his performance, he did a brief autograph signing, but no encore. At 85 years of age, the audience was more than willing to forgive him for that. He played many old-time favourites. He also shared some of his more recent songs, including,’Vote ‘Em Out.’ Makes sense to me.
Turning Sixty Wasn’t All That Bad…
Actually…it was pretty wonderful! Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this birthday such a happy one. From the thoughtful messages, to those who jumped in and helped organize, those who celebrated with me ahead of time on Vancouver Island, those who joined in on the actual day, and those who sent their love across the miles…all were incredibly appreciated. I’m sending warm thoughts and wishes back your way!
Feature Photo: Rawpixel, Unsplash.