Ed and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful spring happenings going on by visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens for a beautiful evening.
We weren't disappointed.
Blooming cacti make my dislike of cactuses much less pronounced.
It worked out perfectly, as we got there around 5:30, which meant we could put our names in for dinner at Gertrudes, the yummy dinner spot, and walk around for about 20 minutes before we sat down to our meal.
We've definitely appreciated how drastically spring seems to show itself here, compared to the bay area. Trees are lit it by yellow blooms.
I may be more open to getting some prickly pear cacti at some point. Their flowers are lovely.
While the wildflowers aren't quite the same as wildflowers on Mt. Tam with views of the ocean, they're still pretty special.
We were particularly struck with the flowers intertwined with the agaves and actually used it as inspiration for our own front garden.
After about 20 minutes (and an embarrassing amount of pictures later), we were ready to eat.
Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn't as ready as us. A good 25 minutes later, we finally grabbed a waitress and let her know we were dying of thirst and would really appreciate someone coming over.
Long story short, our waiter was horrible (that wasn't the only time he abandoned us), but the food and ambiance? Perfect.
And you couldn't beat the company.
I had a super yummy cilantro and jalapeño margarita, which was fabulous.
To start, I got a kale, asparagus, melon and parsnip salad, which was refreshing.
And, of course, a meal here wouldn't be complete without a fun wildlife sighting. A very cute road-runner ran across the stone and was a very fun sight.
And my main course? Fabulous. Striped sea bass with homemade bacon, green bean, green onion oil and tangerine jus, plus potatoes. Mmmm... it was spectacular.
Even better, though, was the ambiance. Sitting outside, not just on this date, but on so many occasions recently, we have felt so thankful to live in a place where, for months, you can sit outside and enjoy a beautiful, perfectly temperatured evening.
It was pure loveliness.
Afterwards, we walked the gardens, practically alone out there in the night desert air. A concert was going on, so we headed towards it and got to enjoy the jazz tunes spilling into the gardens. Sitting close enough to enjoy the concert, we sat and relaxed.
As the closing time began approaching, we headed out toward the exit.