The movies are screened. The deliberations are over. It’s time to experience Palm Springs proper-like.
Which means that this morning, I accompanied fellow juror Gregory Valens to breakfast at the International House of Pancakes, which was something he’d wanted to do ever since we arrived.
Ah, IHOP. One forgets the allure of the unlimited buttermilk pancakes and the never-empty coffee urn. But one quickly remembers the strawberry syrup, which looks and pours like some sort of synthetic plasma.
After that, we rejoined the rest of our party for an afternoon at wrangler Ken’s house in nearby Palm Desert, where we were treated to some very nice red wine (cultivated, as it turned out, by his son).
And in the evening, Ken accompanied me and Gregory in a wander through Palm Springs’ weekly street festival. Called the VillageFest, it covers about six city blocks with a very entertaining mixture of artisans, entertainers, produce vendors and concession stands — roasted corn, handmade fudge, fresh dates, exquisite Belgian hot chocolate.
Best of all, there were dogs, lots of dogs — all of them wandering along the asphalt, instead of the sidewalk, sharing furtive looks, like they knew they were getting away with something.
I’m off to another party in half an hour (it’s a hard life, this jury duty), and then I’ll hopefully get a good night’s sleep before Kate arrives tomorrow, the better to put the “vacation” back into “working vacation”.
That’ll be nice, too.