Friday, April 6, 2018

Partly Cloudy Palm Springs

Trip date: March 2018

I'm just back from my 6th annual Palm Springs trip! I've stayed in 3 different houses with the group I've been going with, and this may well be the last time in the Contempo Oasis as it was recently sold so we're not sure if it will continue as a rental or not.
This year I flew in a bit later in the day than most of the others, on the direct SEA to PSP Alaska Air flight. Flights were pretty expensive so I used miles for one-way and got a really well-priced flight on the return, both in Premium class. Although on the flight down we had so much turbulence that they only did one drink services so not a lot gained there! ha!

I got rained on a bit as I took a taxi to the rental house. WTF?  And then was only greeted by this very sad bar, leftovers from last year, as everyone was out doing the tough work; the shopping.
I turned up the hot tub, changed into my suit and waited for the others to get back. Once the shoppers were back, we did some drinks in the hot tub before having our traditional first evening dinner of Costco roast chicken and steamed artichokes.

I was only down for four full days this time so I chose not to work like I normally do (minus a quick check of email daily). My morning walks looked quite a bit different as the valley had had cool drizzly weather recently. There were lots of flowers blooming and the river bed was full of vegetation and even had some water running over its dam.
One night Lauren, Paul, Steve, Dave, Mary and I went out for drinks and dinner. We started with cocktails at Truss & Twine and while the drinks were all fine, the space is really dark, bare, and cavernous. It doesn't scream "hang out and have a couple". Hell, it doesn't even whisper it!
I probably wouldn't choose to go back here but seeing that is owned and connected to Workshop Kitchen, where we were having dinner, it was a fine stop.

Workshop has been around for years, but we had yet to go. I was very much looking forward to it, more so after walking into the prettily lit courtyard!
We checked in, about 10 minutes early for our reservation, and ordered drinks from the bar to sip on outside. The bar here is really great and I would absolutely recommend a drink here even if you aren't dining.

Long story short, the restaurant didn't seat us for 30 minutes past our reservation time even though there was another table set for six who were running late. We spoke to the hostess and manager multiple times and they didn't seem to really have a clue how to fix things. It was frustrating and we were all quite hungry by this time.

However once seated we had fantastic service, the manager sent out some complimentary small dishes (the roasted Brussels sprouts, caramel fish sauce, lap cheong, and crispy shallots were a huge hit and I'm not particular to them in general) and glasses of pink champagne. Every single thing we ordered, a mix of shared plates and an entree each, was fantastic. Excellent flavors, presentation, and execution. So even though we got off to a rocky start it ended up being one of the best dining experiences I've had in Palm Springs. Although you can safely skip dessert.
My last day was partly cloudy, such a difference from in years past, but our pool was warm and it was a great and lazy day spent floating, drinking mimosas and rosé out of my glass with my hanging Chad glass marker that Mary had brought us!

And on my last night our friend Shirley arrived just in time for my favorite meal- all the tasty things bought at the Mexican market; tamales, refried beans, carnitas, strip steaks, chicarrones, salsa, crema!!!! Followed by a very competitive game of Exploding Kittens!
The next day Mary, Lauren, Carolyn, and Shirley dropped me off at the airport on their way to the tennis matches in Indian Wells.

Too short of a trip, but better than no Palm Springs trip!
Palm Spring phots here.

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