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My friend Ruth is the oldest person I know, but her lively spirit keeps her young and she has trouble finding anyone her age (87) to keep up with her. I go out to see her in Palm Springs whenever I can, and we always try to go to a new place so she can have a new experience. This time we went to the Palm Springs national Golf and Country Club, near the Indian Canyons. She loves the view from the clubhouse and the staff seems to all know her by name.

Ruth is a very picky eater and the only thing she wanted was a fresh fruit salad with cottage cheese. The plate was so big (at least 12″ diameter) that she could only eat about half of it before packing the rest to go.

I tried the daily special of blackened chicken breast on top of a romaine, tomato, red onion, and roasted corn salad, dressed in a green goddess dressing. The chicken was moist and spicy without being overbearing and the salad was nicely crisp and not overly dressed.

Both our entrees were under $15 and we had a view of green grass and fountains of water in the desert as we ate, so you could say we paid for lunch and got a priceless view.

Cirque Du Soleil has five shows in Las Vegas and they are adding another one with Criss Angel this September (see earlier post for ticket details/discount). If you haven’t seen Mystere, Zumanity or Ka yet (or want to see them again) Cirque is offering up to 35% off ticket prices through August 31, 2008! I would recommend Mystere for Cirque virgins; it is the quintessential Cirque show with technically difficult and amazing feats. For a different kind of Cirque show for adults only (over 18), go see Zumanity, performed in a smaller cabaret atmosphere with erotic overtones; my favorite act was the water ballet in a huge bowl. KA is grand spectacle with Chinese acrobats and fire; the kind of show that you would expect in Vegas. If you prefer the perfect water show, “O”, or the Beatles music show, Love (my two favorite shows), there are no discounts, but both the Mirage and the Bellagio are offering dinner and show packages for the summer. Just call them at 877-274-6958 or go online to get your tickets with the promo code “AAASummer”.

If you are going to get away to any island, how about planning a trip to Kauai, Hawaii? Wanna play golf for $7? Ok, so it’s only 9 holes, but where else can you find a price like that? The Kukuiolono Golf course is public and offers rates far below the average $150 a day to play at other courses on the island.

Maybe you prefer Maui in Hawaii. How about a free walking art tour in Maui? Just ask the concierge at the Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea for a podcast or if you are there on Friday, sign up for the docent led tour.

If you want to FAR away and want to have your dollar go further than it does anywhere in Europe these days (who wants to pay $6 for an espresso?), how about going to Bali, Indonesia? Although there are beautiful beaches, the people of the island believe the mountains are sacred, so the heart of the island is in the center, in Ubud. This is an artists’ enclave with gold and silver smiths, working among stone and wood carvers. As one of the friendliest and most spiritual places in the world, the best way to stay is at a family run place like the Rumah Roda Homestay. For only $12 per night (yes TWELVE dollars) you get a room in this beautiful family home with garden fresh vegetable meals (from their own garden), and walking distance to a temple. The best part of staying with a family is the family itself; they will explain and include you in their daily routines and temple rituals if you would like to learn about them. To truly know a place and culture, you must meet and get to know the people, so a homestay is the best of all worlds for immersion education.

Whether you go near or far, there are always ways to save your money while expanding your experience.

>Cirque Du Soleil has five shows in Las Vegas and they are adding another one with Criss Angel this September (see earlier post for ticket details/discount). If you haven’t seen Mystere, Zumanity or Ka yet (or want to see them again) Cirque is offering up to 35% off ticket prices through August 31, 2008! I would recommend Mystere for Cirque virgins; it is the quintessential Cirque show with technically difficult and amazing feats. For a different kind of Cirque show for adults only (over 18), go see Zumanity, performed in a smaller cabaret atmosphere with erotic overtones; my favorite act was the water ballet in a huge bowl. KA is grand spectacle with Chinese acrobats and fire; the kind of show that you would expect in Vegas. If you prefer the perfect water show, “O”, or the Beatles music show, Love (my two favorite shows), there are no discounts, but both the Mirage and the Bellagio are offering dinner and show packages for the summer. Just call them at 877-274-6958 or go online to get your tickets with the promo code “AAASummer”.

If you are going to get away to any island, how about planning a trip to Kauai, Hawaii? Wanna play golf for $7? Ok, so it’s only 9 holes, but where else can you find a price like that? The Kukuiolono Golf course is public and offers rates far below the average $150 a day to play at other courses on the island.

Maybe you prefer Maui in Hawaii. How about a free walking art tour in Maui? Just ask the concierge at the Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea for a podcast or if you are there on Friday, sign up for the docent led tour.

If you want to FAR away and want to have your dollar go further than it does anywhere in Europe these days (who wants to pay $6 for an espresso?), how about going to Bali, Indonesia? Although there are beautiful beaches, the people of the island believe the mountains are sacred, so the heart of the island is in the center, in Ubud. This is an artists’ enclave with gold and silver smiths, working among stone and wood carvers. As one of the friendliest and most spiritual places in the world, the best way to stay is at a family run place like the Rumah Roda Homestay. For only $12 per night (yes TWELVE dollars) you get a room in this beautiful family home with garden fresh vegetable meals (from their own garden), and walking distance to a temple. The best part of staying with a family is the family itself; they will explain and include you in their daily routines and temple rituals if you would like to learn about them. To truly know a place and culture, you must meet and get to know the people, so a homestay is the best of all worlds for immersion education.

Whether you go near or far, there are always ways to save your money while expanding your experience.

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