don’t let the sunshine fool you

the hostess with the mostest hotel

Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on May 3, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)


Loaded into the Mercury Grand Marquis, armed with water and sunglasses we headed west to Joshua Tree Park. Past the alien-like windmills of Whitewater and north toward the national park the temperature readout on our dash the size of a park bench dropped with each mile.



A quick pit stop greeted us with 35 mile winds and plunging 51 degree temperatures. Donned in our new matching long sleeved t-shirts shirts from the visitor’s center we hit the trail of the Hidden Valley.


Breathtaking views and rare blooms due to the abundance of winter rain overshadowed our goose bumps. There’s something about a hike in a national treasure to boost one’s appetite. And while Robin and Liz had scouted out a highly recommended vegan restaurant in Joshua Tree, Natural Sisters Cafe, Missy had her sights on another national treasure.

steak and shake

Arguably the best burger in the land (sorry Michael Symon) with by far the best people watching- the In and Out off of Ramon and the 10 is a living billboard for the 2010 census.

Back at the ranch poolside to warm our bones, then while the girls take in a quick shopping spree on El Paseo, I pop into Jensen’s to grab tonight’s tuna and baby bok choy.


Super fresh tuna needs little adornment. A brief marinade in crushed garlic, sherry, vegetable oil and tamari (replacing the usual soy) before searing over hot coals. Lucky for us our cabana boy doubles as a number one grillmeister.

The bok choy stir fry takes just minutes to prepare. Quartered baby bok choy, ribbons of carrot (created by pressing hard on a vegetable peeler), a handful of snow peas are all quickly sautéed. The plate is the epitome Asian fresh.

Robin, Liz and Missy surprised us with a delightful 2010 Grey Stack Sauvignon Blanc and a 2007 Baxter Pinot Noir from Three Corner’s Bistro, one of our favorite places to grab a bite or a bottle.

Grey Stack

One by one as my friends drifted off to bed the stars filled the sky over the Santa Rosa mountains. This trio will forever be my north star, my eternal compass. Embraced by my past I found myself fortified for the future.

The only thing that could break this reverie was the final blow of the horn on the boat as my besties drove off, plans already underway for our 50th birthday getaway.


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