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08/30/2008

VIP
VACTIONS

VIP VACATIONS

Vip_01_031_2 DESTINATION: CALIFORNIA

In our new column, we ask celebrities to reveal their most memorable holiday. This week it's TV presenter NICK KNOWLES on star-spotting in the USA

"Driving on a Harley-Davidson through the California desert, I watched the sun set over the red rocks as I sped through a narrow gap in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Back in May 2006 I'd been filming the BBC travel show Departure Lounge in Los Angeles, but before we'd even left the city for our next stop in Palm Springs, I'd lost the rest of the crew… along with my wallet and mobile phone.

I was travelling by motorbike and for five hours I'd been cruising alone in the 49 degree C heat in my leathers, without a cent for fuel or water.

In the distance was a wind farm – the massive windmills were used in Mission: Impossible III – and in the magic of the moment, I wouldn't have wished myself anywhere else.

By the time I reached Palm Springs, I was so hot, I jumped straight into the pool of the Coral Sands Inn in all my biking gear. When I got out, one guy came over, introduced himself as Frankie, and offered me a drink.

He kept asking if I liked his wine, until I began to think he was angling for me to buy the next round. It wasn't until he handed me the bottle that I glanced at the label and saw the name – Francis Ford Coppola. The Oscar-winning director was sharing a bottle of wine from his own vineyard with me!

I spent the rest of the evening entertaining him with impressions of Russell Crowe in Gladiator. I still didn't get offered a part in one of his movies though!"

Coral Sands Inn has seven themed suites, including The Liberace Suite and The Yippy Ky Yo Ky Yay Rodeo Suite. Rooms cost from £67 per night, or you can take over the whole resort for £537. Visit Coralsandspalmsprings.com.

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