Oh, the desert. Why do people go there?
In our case, we went for a professional development thingie, which was quite wonderful.
But we weren't alone. No! Our conference coincided with an event called American Heat, drawing motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the state to sunny PS. Loud. Interesting. Scary.
Three of our meals came from a place called Sherman's Deli. Visiting there reminded me of my days as a diner waitress. Unlike my diner, the food at Sherman's was outstanding. This was our first view, as we picked up breakfast:
I ruined the first photo by getting a reflection of the palm trees and mountain behind me in the shot, then decided that it was kinda awesome.
The workshop was great, if sweat-inducing. I wielded a HEPA vacuum and brushed dirt off of hand-woven rugs all day. I truly felt I'd earned my dinner later.
In the morning we went back to Sherman's. This is my giant pile of matzobrei.
Turns out that motorcycle gangs like breakfast, too. Groups of men and women, dressed in their regalia, politely waited their turns to be seated at Sherman's, along with groups of cops. Truly a varied crowd. I very badly wanted to know more about the flair on the vests of the motorcycle dudes. The motorcycle club that we saw in the largest numbers was the Mongols.
After breakfast we spent the rest of the day looking at every thrift shop we could find. During the drive I gleaned what I could about Mongol flair, its meaning, and how those patches are earned. Purple wings. Wow. Look it up.
We got back into town and most of the Mongols had left town. I was sad, because I really wanted to put my newfound knowledge to use. The only Mongol we saw that day had very little patch action (a novitiate?), and was sweetly romantic with his girlfriend. Not playing to stereotype.
Later that night we went to a private event at the Sunnylands event center. A modernist paradise, with fun company and yummy dishes. We found what we thought was the quietest table and it turned to be in the direct path between the kitchen and the appetizer tables. Unintended bonus: we got everything as fresh as it could be.
Then we went to the children's museum and pulled the same move inadvertently -- we looked for what we thought was going to be the farthest and quietest table, which then turned out to be front and center for a darling performance of traditional Mexican music and folklorico dance, performed by kids from an after school program. Their pure joy could not have made me happier.
The only other thing worth mentioning is that we were treated to an amazing dinner at Workshop Kitchen and Bar. Amazing, both in the fact that we were dining with super interesting colleagues and that the food was so incredibly tasty. This is one of my best meals ever. Because we were a large party we had some of everything: octopus, octopus salad, an oxtail shepherd's pie that was *insanely* flavorful, olive oil cake, panna cotta, rib-eye, redfish...
We all walked home past a large vintage automobile dealership and told stories about the ones that got away.