Yesterday at about noon my business partner, David Oxstein, said, “It’s raining in LA all weekend, do you want to go to Palm Springs and work out of The Lucy House instead?
The Lucy House is where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz would stay every weekend. After a week of shooting the I Love Lucy TV show they would pack up the kids and head to Palm Springs for a little rest and relaxation every Friday afternoon.
Since my momma didn’t raise no fool, I instantly said, “Yes!” So there began my Weekend at Lucy’s. It’s not quite as exciting as the Weekend at Bernie’s, but still contains some story-worthy moments.
After working until almost 9pm, David and I began our drive to Palm Springs. Despite the stimulating conversation and occasional tunage from artists like Rob Zombie (David is deep into metal,) I could hardly keep my eyes open.
The night before I had attended a pre-party for Ignite Boulder, the splendor of smart geeky presentations at Ignite Boulder and then dancing very late at the post-Ignite party including birthday celebrations for Redhead Writing. (Ironically apropos for a post on staying at Lucille Ball’s house, no?)
It was a very late night or extremely early morning depending on how you look at it and I was up before 5:30am to catch the plane to Los Angeles. After arriving in Los Angeles, I worked and was in meetings from 11am until 9pm.
So by the time we arrived at The Lucy House I was a dead man walking. About 5 minutes after we entered the premises an insanely loud alarm went off. It was wet and cold outside and loud and dark inside. …and the two knuckleheads (us) staying there forgot to get the alarm code.
While I fumbled in the dark in a half-awake stupor looking for the alarm pad David tried to find some light brighter than an iPhone LED to read the information about the house to find the alarm code. A few minutes later the phone rang.
I was relieved because I assumed it was the alarm company and I was secretly hoping they would rush to the scene to end the screeching siren call that was about to make my ears bleed. No such luck.
The alarm company couldn’t turn it off. I continued to search for the keypad. For some reason the the alarm was directly above the keypad which was around two corners, down a hall and on the other side of the kitchen from the front door.
This was not fun to search for in the pitch black of the house with modern dimmer light switches not located where my brain expected to find them.
Upon discovering the keypad, and with my fingers plugging my ears, I frantically began trying the code for the gate in hopes that it could liberate me from the hell that was alarm central.
Again, no such luck. But wait, as I walked away the beauty of silence descended her warmth upon us.
We regained our composure, began to bring our bags in, David began to give me the tour, and …of course, the alarm suddenly cackled back on screaming at us with full force again.
Why did it go off? Why did it come back on? How could my auditory nemesis be silenced once and for all? It seemed as if all hope for warmth and sleep had been lost.
This tragic comedy continued to unfold for almost an hour in an unheated house in the desert in the Fall. Since blog posts aren’t supposed to be too long, but my writing tends to be, I’ll wrap it up.
After finally reaching the owner, a good friend of Davids, we were given the code. Apparently a new property management had just taken over management of the house and decided to change the code …though we didn’t have the old one either so we still would have been SOL.
Before I fell asleep I did tour the beautiful property. I was so tired that I couldn’t find the soap in the bathroom of my casita, didn’t think it had central heating (but found it this morning after a cold night,) forgot to move a towel close to the shower before getting out into the self-induced cold, sprayed myself with cold water trying to figure out the hand held shower thing while not realizing a giant shower head was also directly above my head, and decided that the ghost of Lucille Ball clearly did not want guests without a sense of humor staying at her house.
If you can’t handle being exposed to antics similar to what Lucy went through on the assembly line, at the chocolate liqueur factory with Ethel Mertz or delivering a live television infomercial on vitameatavegamin, then you don’t deserve the pleasurable rewards that come from staying at her house, right? Well, that may be extreme and you will probably get only the pleasure when you visit here.
I actually have a true story involving a bed in breakfast in Kauai with a naked vacuuming house cleaner that is a better sitcom story than this one, but we’ll save it for another day.
The whole experience last night reminded me of what I love about Lucy and actually made the stay here much more complete. It now ranks up there with my visit to Industrial Light and Magic and the Skywalker Ranch in the 90′s. Go ahead, call me a geek.
If you have a chance to visit Palm Springs I highly recommend staying at The Lucy House for the architecture, nostalgia, relaxing environment (after you turn off the alarm,) and the slight possibility that you too may have some ‘splainin’ to do after finding yourself in unexpectedly tragically comic situations.