Driven to Distraction By Liz & Lisa

IMGP0950 We knew we needed to get crackin' on finishing our second book and let's just say that it's been incredibly challenging to stay on track when you throw in distractions like wedding planning, shmoving and day jobs into the mix. So, we did what any self-respecting writers who feared the public humiliation of not meeting their December deadline would do. We planned a weekend away from all those distractions! 48 hours where we'd bury our noses in our laptops and barely come up for food or water.  Lisa had set a lofty word count goal of 25,000 and was ready to do just about anything to ensure we hit it . (Don't worry, we did!)

Knowing that Liz is a self-professed hotel snob, (Let's just say if the sheets are less than 500 thread count she's outta there!) Lisa saddled her with the task of booking somewhere nice and quiet for what they decided to call their writer's retreat.

Well at least she got the nice part right.

When we pulled up to The Parker Palm Springs, Lisa, an obsessive Bravo reality TV show junkie (is there anything better than The Real Housewives of Whatever or Top Chef ?)  exclaimed, "This is where they shot that reality show!"

"Oh yeah," Liz replied. "That's right... Well, I'm sure it will still be low key."

When we walked through the jumbo double orange doors and walked inside, it looked like 1975 threw up all over it (in the retro chic-est "anti-Brady Bunch" kind of way). And when we approached the front desk, Lisa almost peed her pants when Oscar, who starred in the reality show, greeted them.

As they crossed the beautiful grounds and caught a glimpse of all the sexy people lounging pool side that they were sure had to be famous, Liz looked at Lisa and pleaded, "I brought my suit. Maybe we could take a quick dip?"

Lisa, definitely in the role of drill sargent for the weekend, turned to Liz and said, "Sorry, we have a deal, absolutely no distractions!" Then, seeing the pained expression on Liz's face, added, "But if you write 5,000 words by lunch, I'll let you take five minutes and spy on that wedding I know you want to crash later!"

Well, we may have hit our word count goal (yeah! ) but admittedly, there were distractions all around us that even the drill sargent couldn't resist!

Beware of hot men with accents Hey, they might have been wearing tight peach pants and were barely understandable as they talked about the boys club they were going to hit later, but we chose to ignore those minor details because, they were muy caliente! And when Liz suggested we go write by the lobby, Lisa suspected she had an ulterior motive but she said yes anyway. Let's just say hot men + romantic accents = majuh writing inspiration!

Lisa will never know I'm secretly on Facebook!

Free wireless isn't always an advantage Between Liz's secret status updates to Lisa's search for long lost loves (she found one!), it was very easy to get distracted from the task at hand!

Don't book the boom boom room When Oscar was telling us about our suite, we  heard the part about the beautiful view of the valley. I guess we weren't paying attention when he told us the that from our vantage point, there would be not one, but two weddings going on each night. Hey, maybe our room did physically thump all night, but at least Lisa got her entire wedding playlist handled. A big thank you to whatever DJ was in love with Bell Biv Devoe, Rob Base and Kriss Kross.


Make sure Mac Macbook is up for the trip. Um, so maybe it wasn't the smartest thing to take a laptop on its last gigabyte to a writing retreat. And next time Mac begs her to take him to the Genius bar, she promises she'll listen. We'd like to take a moment to say thanks so much to the front desk staff that didn't bat an eye  (or fear we were about to commit a crime) when we asked for duct tape and a knife. Way to keep your hospitality game faces on guys!

Bring your dancing shoes It's always good to be prepared. You never know when a 100K wedding will be going on, just begging you to crash it and grab a Grey Goose at the bar and chat up the Best Man.  No one ever remembers their third cousin's name, right?  But considering the fact that the dressiest thing we brought was a taco sauce stained juicy sweat suit, we decided that maybe we should pass.

Makes sure you tip your Bell Boy Tank of gas to get to Palm Springs: $65.  Two large pots of coffee to stay awake via room service: $30 Look on Liz & Lisa's faces when they arrived back in Long Beach and realized THEIR LUGGAGE WAS STILL AT THE PARKER: Priceless!

And the fact that Liz's husband jumped in the car and drove four hours roundtrip to retrieve Liz's makeup and Lisa's Snuggie: Worth a million dollars!  Thanks MF!  We hope the combo burrito and chocolate shake we drove a quarter of a mile to get for you made your TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY MILE drive WAS worth it! Xoxo