Sixty
Aging Well, Travel, Trying New Things

Turning Sixty Wasn’t All That Bad!

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!

Celebrity Tours

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
Ladera Circle, Palm Springs

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
Alejo Road, Palm Springs.

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
Via Monte Vista, Palm Springs.

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!

My next post will be on my much-awaited Bloggers’ Meet Up with Janis from Retirementally Challenged and Kathy from Smart Living 365. I hope to see you there.

 

Feature Photo: Rawpixel, Unsplash.

119 thoughts on “Turning Sixty Wasn’t All That Bad!”

  1. I’m happy you had such a wonderful birthday, Donna. The celebrity tour looks like fun. It’s amazing what some of these houses are worth now. Thanks for sharing your special celebration with us!

    Like

  2. Congrats on getting to be so old, whilst retaining your sense of humor about it. You’re not in the least bit dotty. You know they say, 60 is the new 40, right? Happy Birthday, Donna.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Ally – A sense of humour can be a ‘secret weapon’ for so many things. 🙂
      You didn’t mention if you continued having a difficult time commenting on this post. I am still holding my breath for all of this to get solved. The folks at Askimet and WordPress have been very helpful, especially recently. Fingers crossed!

      Like

  3. Loved having a peek into your birthday celebrations Donna! Plus Elvis’ home –
    I wish I could have heard Willie’s new song ‘Vote ’em Out’ but it’s not available .. I can search further I guess. Have a great week 🙂

    Like

      1. Thanks Donna so much! I just listened to Willie belting it out, plinking on his geet and the pianist tinkling the ivories … He’s ALWAYS been the greatest in my view!

        Like

  4. Welcome to my decade! My next one will make me “officially a senior” lol….you are only as old a you want to feel! Keep active and life is good…
    All the time we have spent there and have never done the tour…but I am pretty sure I have biked by a few!

    Like

  5. Hi Donna! I was honored to celebrate with you on your special day of turning 60! And like I mentioned to you before, the best is yet to come. There is so much misinformation about getting older or hitting a certain age but it is usually such a wonderful surprise to find out that much of that ‘news’ was wrong and that getting older can be pretty awesome. So great spending time with you while you are in my “neck of the woods” and looking forward to more of it while you are still in town. ~Kathy

    Like

    1. HI, Janet – Thanks so much for stopping by. I greatly appreciate it. I think that you would love the Celebrity Tour and the whole Palm Springs area. There are tons of concerts out here that I believe you would really enjoy!

      Like

    1. Thanks, Natalie – We had made the commitment to do this year’s Palm Desert Home Exchange over a year ago. When I later realized that my ‘big’ birthday would happen when I was here, I was originally sad that I would be far away from so many friends and family. What to do? Celebrate for over a month….in numerous places. Totally worked for me! 🙂

      Like

      1. You found a great solution, Donna, and made your birthday extra special by celebrating it for over a month and in numerous places. I look forward to reading your next post on your Bloggers’ Meet-Up #MLSTL

        Like

  6. I’m so glad you had such an amazing birthday down south, Donna! And, that celebrity tour looks like a fun and interesting excursion. If only the public could go inside those mansions, right? Enjoy the rest of your time in Palm Desert and I’m looking forward to your post about the bloggers meeting. 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Liesbet – There are tours inside some of the mansions as well. Richard and I did not join any physical ones, but I did check a few of them out on YouTube.
      Our Bloggers’ Meet Up just ended yesterday. You were greatly missed!

      Like

      1. She dished dirt but they were all old stars long gone. They moved back here over 15 years ago. They went back once to spend the winter but it wasn’t the same. They loved it except for the summers.

        Like

  7. It sounds like you had a great time, friends, parties, and celebrity tours. Personally, I would want to get up REALLY close … maybe rifle through their closets and kitchen cabinets 😉

    Like

    1. Hi, Joanne – I’m pretty sure that would be trespassing. But if you get the urge, and the chance, let me know….I just may join you!

      I am soooo sorry to hear that you are still having difficulties commenting. This particular error on my site seems to currently be specific to you, Ally and Sue. The folks at Jetpack and WordPress have been trying to help but so far, changes on my end have not seemed to fix anything. For the next step, they asked if each of the three of you can take a screenshot of what happens when this error occurs and send it to them at Jetpack (https://jetpack.com/contact-support/) or to me and I will forward it to them. They will then attempt to replicate this error to pinpoint the potential issue. If contacting them directly, please refer to case #1489493-zen.

      Thanks so much for your help. It will be wonderful to finally be rid these commenting issues!

      Like

  8. Hi Donna having multiple celebrations is the perfect way to celebrate 60. Let me tell you that life still gets better. You are such a beautiful soul and deserve all the good wishes you received and more. I wore a similar tiara for my 50th because a little bling is like champagne bubbles it makes you feel special. Xx

    Like

  9. Woohoo, Sue! Your comment is no longer in my trash or moderation folder. One problem solved. Can you take a Screenshot of what happens when you try to login via WordPress and send that to Jetpack or to me? I know that solving both problems is likely too much to ask, but I feel like I am now on a roll!
    Thank you for your kind words about my birthday. Welcome home!!!

    Like

  10. Well it’s certainly been a very pleasant affair turning 60 Donna and you do it so well! It sounds like you had a fabulous time and I’m looking forward to your post on your meet-up (I’m just a little bit envious!)

    Like

      1. I’ll start saving my pennies (or hoping for a Lotto win!) and I popped back to say thanks for linking up at MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM 🙂

        Like

  11. You certainly know how to celebrate a birthday! I tend to hide in a corner and watch the clock until the day is done. Well, by hiding my head in the sand (or the corner) perhaps my new birth year will miss me. But you celebrate the RIGHT way. I love your time in Palm Springs and with Willie and friends. Happy, Happy Birthday.

    Like

  12. Hi, Pam – I definitely encourage you not to hide in the corner on your next birthday. Get out there and celebrate with someone that you love. It can make a world of difference in embracing the next age…at least it did for me!

    Like

  13. Congratulations Donna … it does look as though you had an amazingly interesting birthday – and so interesting to see those homes. I hadn’t realised Palm Springs is only 2 hours from Hollywood … an area of the world I need to visit sometime. Enjoy your 60th year … take care – cheers Hilary

    Like

    1. Hi, Hilary – Thanks so much for stopping by. Palm Desert is definitely an interesting corner of the world….and a short drive away from many cool places. Best of all – we’ve been able to exchange our Vancouver Island home for a home here, three times in the past three years!

      Like

  14. Sounds like a great way to make that passage, Donna. I went to the now closed Liberace museum in Vegas many years ago (located in a strip mall!). It was fascinating, but I’ve always wanted to also see the homes of the stars too. Good on you guys for doing that. Happy birthday!

    Like

    1. Hi, Marty – The Liberace museum would have been cool to see as well. I was surprised how so many of the (previous) homes of movie stars were smack dab in the middle of ungated neighbourhoods. Sadly now, this is mostly a feature of the past. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

      Like

  15. Congratulations on your 60th Birthday. I did mine in a few different ways that were great for me: a high tea with female friends and family, a family lunch for the adults, and a birthday party for the kids. Now, as my husband and I approach 70 we are not telling a soul (!!) and hope to gently role into this next decade….

    Denyse #mlstl

    Like

  16. What a terrific way to spend your birthday… and I’m glad the celebration continued until we got to Palm Desert! I would turn 60 again (I guess that would make me 122 years old) if I could see Willie again! His voice has always sounded like velvet laid over a gravel road to me. I have several of his albums (yes, albums) and CDs. I guess I’ll need to get his latest one too.

    Like

    1. “Velvet laid over gravel” is a perfect description of Willie’s voice. The concert was amazing and a perfect way to welcome in a new decade. It was so wonderful to spend time with you this weekend — that was also a very special birthday gift!

      Like

  17. What fun it was to read your birthday post Donna! I love that you had Paul sing to you on your birthday one year, how amazing is that? And all those grand houses with their history would have been fun to see. What stories they could tell!! As I quickly approach my late 50s, I find I’m not worried anymore about another big 0 number on the end of it. Life is all about living and you and others have shown me there’s so much ahead. Happy days ahead for you 😊#mlstl

    Like

  18. Congratulations and welcome to the Club! Wow, what an interesting birthday. I’d love to snoop around the stars old homes and conjure up writerly stories of the shenanigans that may have gone on there! #MLSTL

    Like

    1. Hi, Johanna – Thank you for your warm welcome to ‘The Club.’ It feels good to be here .There are so many fabulous models all around me which has been very reassuring. Your right that snooping around the Stars old homes can conjure fabulous stories. Wonderful writing inspiration!

      Like

  19. When I was in Palm Springs, I never thought about taking a tour of all those houses, Donna. However, my favourite memory is when we visited Disneyland and we saw the house belonging to The Golden Girls. It’s still one of favourite all-time favourite comedy shows and still make me cry with laughter.

    The house belonging to Liberace reminded me of the movie Behind The Candlestick. It must (and probably still is) be such a glamours place. And what about all the stories that go on behind all those door?

    Looking forward to hearing about your meet up with Janis and Kathy.

    So pleased to hear you had a brilliant birthday and that Paul sang that special opening song just for you.

    Like

    1. Woo hoo! Finally your comment was not trapped by my Spam or Moderation folders. Thank you for all of your help with this. I greatly appreciate it!

      Unfortunately, Liberace’s Palm Desert home was not used as his home in the movie (Behind the Candelabra). The house used for that movie is located at 696 North Via Monte Vista in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs. You can visit the home’s vacation rental/special events venue website at: http://casademontevista.com. Perfect location for an upcoming Blogger’s Bash?!

      Like

      1. lol, where did I get ‘Behind the Candlestick’ from, Donna? It was a wonderful movie, though. Didn’t realise they did not use his real home as the location of the movie. It would have been perfect. And yes, a perfect Bloggers Bash location for a future event, too. Wagons roll to the U.S.A.

        Like

  20. Happy Birthday again. Enjoyed the pics and we will just say that Paul did indeed sing happy birthday to you, he knew you were in the audience.

    Like

    1. Woo Hoo, Dee! Your comment came directly through without visiting my Spam or Moderation Folders. I don’t believe that the ‘Spam Drama’ was caused by you commenting too quickly. For some reason, my site continued to believe that you (and Sue and Hugh) were first time visitors. I was able to change my settings to accommodate for this and voila, here you are!
      Thank you so much for your perseverance, and your kind wishes!

      Like

  21. Hello Donna,

    Your birthday sounds like a blast! And I know now what I am doing next year when I turn 65 and my beloved sister heads down to the desert to celebrate with me. I am going to take that celebrity home tour! Thanks for giving me the inspiration to do that.

    When I turned 60, I celebrated with all my kids and grandkids at a family style Italian joint in San Francisco. We had a blast and I was with the people who mattered most. Alas, my hubby was not able to attend as he was living the good life in the desert while I still slaved away at my job in San Francisco, ha ha. But I grabbed what happiness and gusto I could get.

    What I personally discovered about 60 is that I was met with the stark realization that two-thirds of my life had flown by, and if I lived to be 90, I had only a third of my life left. So it made me think about the passage of time and not to take anything for granted and to live a full life. 50 wasn’t so bad but 60 was an awakening. It’s not necessarily that I was scared of 60 (I am very healthy and live a mindful life); it just gave me pause and made me realize even more sharply just how short life is.

    It’s great to read your stuff and I’ve become a subscriber!

    Your pal in Sun City,

    Susan Grace
    http://www.swooninggrace.com

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s