Friday, September 21, 2007

Palmdale, California

Eric & I decided to go to Valyermo with Ethan last weekend for the Fall Festival at St. Andrews Abbey. Located way out in the desert outside of Palmdale, we - of course - took a wrong turn and drove all over the desert for over an hour before figuring out what we had done.

But finally finding a gas station - or two, we righted ourselves out and made our way to the Abbey. There, we discovered that I was an idiot and that the festival did not occur until next weekend. But fortunately, Palmdale can be an amusing place so our almost-three-hour trip out there was not completely for naught.

Since we had planned to eat lunch at the Abbey, by the time we found out that the festival wasn't on and made our way back to Palmdale, we were pretty hungry. And assessed our choices for fare. We pretty promptly rejected Marisco's.

There's something about a restaurant that sells both Mexican Food and Teriyaki Bowls that arrouses my suspicion. Although you will note that the parking lot was full.

We quickly settled on Charlie Brown Farms.

Yes, those are dinosaurs you see in the parking lot. Something of a local landmark, it's not only famous for it's about a bazillion kinds of milk shakes. It's menu also serves exotic meats.

I was seriously tempted to order an Ostrich Burger, but in the end got a pulled CHicken BBQ Sandwich. Eric had the Hungarian Sausage.

Once lunch was done, shopping was in order. We took a look at the local roadside fruit stands,

and the fruit looked delicious, but they were selling it only by the crate, so it was a no-go. We briefly stopped by the "Village of Gnomes",

But everyone in there was so blue. Ah, yes, I'm getting Gnomes mixed up with Smurfs. They have them there too.

But then we found an Antique Store - that term antique being used very loosely - that appealed to us. For on the drive by, we could not miss the fact that they had a missle parked in front of the store.

The store itself was a disaster... layers of dirt and dust and grime covered everything inside the shed. But I did find a really cool cast iron skillet which I got to bring home for $10. I'll probably blog more on that once I clean and start to use it. Other stores similar in theme to the ones pictured here were also perused for hidden treasures. There weren't many, but we had the opportunity to visit and assess the desert lifestyle. I have to admit that it's a very amusing place to visit, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there.

The good news is that we had a very nice time. The better news is that we are planning to go back to the Abbey next week when the festival is actually on. This is an event that's been held for over 50 years and is quite large and famous. It will be worth a repeat attempt. And since all of Eric's children will be joining us next weekend (the price to get in is free; with just a $5 parking fee), I'm sure we will need to revisit the missle once again. I may pick up another cast iron skillet too.

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