I can't believe how cheap it is to fly from Florida to California! 99 dollars for 5 hours flight! The rental car from Los Angeles to Palm Springs was $80! And that's only 2 hrs drive! Wow!
Palm Springs is a town very similar to Boca Raton. A big retirement community. The Palm Springs area hosts Indian Wells tennis tournament and many golf events. It also has lots of country clubs and spas. The winter weather can be cool and sunny. But don't try to be outside for to long during the summer months, it's very hot!!!
During Indian Wells tournament I always stay with a family I have known for 10 years now. Fred and Gail. They are very nice people who have opened their house to many other players beside me. And by doing that lots of players have saved lots of money on hotel and food.
I felt good when I got to the tournament. I thought I started playing better and my energy level was high. I won my first match but then run into "Korean wall." The girl didn't miss anything, doesn't matter if I was hitting the ball or not! Also the chair umpire didn't really help making bad calls and corrections countless amount of times.
We played for 3 hours, good fight, but I lost. It was a disappointing result for me. I knew I should win. I knew that I had to go to the net more and be more aggressive.....I knew all that and didn't do it, so for me it's very upsetting.
Tennis is a sport where you have to be very resilient and mentally strong. Everyone looses, but the secret to win the next one is to be able to bounce back, even after the worst loss ever. And you have to do it fast. So I am trying to stay positive, learn from my mistakes and move on. I have a lot of experience in my sport, but I can still make mistakes, I am human.
I had the whole day before my flight back home, so on my way from Palm Springs to LA I had time to stop at one of the best outlet stores I've ever been to! Where else can you buy a "Crate and Barrel" pendant lamp for $9.95!!!! Last time I looked at it online, the lamp was $129!
That got me in a great mood! The only problem was, how would a carry the huge lamp shade?
When I got to the airport I've decided to check in my tennis bag and make the pendant my carry on. I have to tell you, I got more stares and laughs then someone who forgot to put his pants on leaving the house! Even the flight attendants were pointing at me! OK, how do you explain to people that tennis players don't have that much time to shop. And when they do, it is usually on the road where the next tennis event takes us!
I must say the lamp was not the most bizarre thing I brought back home from a trip. There were curtains from Morocco, china dishes (which I carried in my computer bag) from England,
bed sheets from Italy and many, many, many things from China!
At the airport, standing in line at McDonald's and looking at not so healthy menu, I was thinking how limited my food choices were. The other two choices were: California Pizza Kitchen or some bar that sold mostly chicken wings.
And even though buying a beautiful pendant lamp at the outlets made feel a bit better, I still felt down.
I ordered my food and turned around. Suddenly I almost stepped on something. When I looked down I saw a pair of beautiful green eyes looking at me. I froze for a second, didn't know what to say.
In front of me was a young woman trapped in the girls body, her face was lit with a smile and her eyes were sparkling with joy. "Excuse me"-she said. I nodded, coming to my senses. The girl pushed her cart to the counter and I couldn't help but turn around to watch her.
She was probably 4 feet tall, her long blond hair was nicely tide in a ponytail and run all the way down to her waist. Her legs were skinny and long but her torso was small and crippled, the girl almost didn't have a neck.
"Number 521! Number 521!"-I heard my number being called.
I got my food and set down. "Why am I feeling depressed? God gave me everything I could ever wish for?"-I was thinking. "Look at this girl. She probably gets stares all the time. I can't even imagine how it was for her when she was a child...."
And there are many people like this. I guess when you feel depressed always compare yourself to those who are less fortunate. For me looking at this girl, who was smiling to everyone who looked at her, made me feel ashamed of being sad because of the tennis match I lost! So I took the last look at the girl and decided that life is to short to be sad! If people less fortunate then me find the way to be happy even in the worst situations, so can I, especially in such a small thing as loosing a tennis match.
Next stop- Bogota, Colombia!