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The Desert

We set off for the desert from Venice, CA to Landers, for a weekend that would rival any gastronomic getaway from a magazine like Bon Appétit or Food & Wine. The plan was to rent a house in the middle of nowhere, and spend several days wining, dining, and getting zen. There were four of us, two boys, and two girls, and it was my first time staying in the desert.

The house belonged to an artist. We had rented it online, but the photos couldn't do any justice compared to how cool it really was. We had a pool, fire pit, movie projector, full kitchen, outdoor dining table, grill, and art everywhere you looked.

On the drive up we had stocked up on plenty of food and wine, and some games, and upon arrival, quickly uncorked a few bottles and began cooking. After dinner we made sure to hit the hay early, the next morning we had a reservation at The Integratron.

What is The Integratron, you ask? Well, The Integratron is a dome shaped structure that was designed by George Van Tassel. He built this dome following the instructions of space people and believed it to have the powers of rejuvenation, anti-gravity, and time travel. I'm not sure about all of that, but we were there for a sound bath, a kind of meditation during which crystal bowls are played creating whirling tones throughout the room. Whatever you believe about the powers of The Integratron, it's undeniably relaxing.

Post sound bath, one becomes quite hungry, so we headed back to the house to cook something up. Grilled Wings and Pear and Blue Cheese Salad were on the menu, followed by fresh Watermelon Daiquiris and a quick dip in the pool.

No trip to the desert would be complete without a hike into no man's land, hopping over snake and lizard holes while keeping an eye out for scorpions. We managed to make it through safely, this time at least.

That evening, we played a drinking version of Jenga, where the blocks you pull have rules written on them. Take a drink, give a drink, take a dare, play opposite handed, etc., were all possibilities. I got stuck with a dare block and ended up with women's underwear on my head.

We cooked dinner, and then started a bonfire, roasting marshmallows for s'mores, and eventually headed back inside to try out the movie projector before passing out. The next morning we drove back to Venice, and continued our wining and dining, but this time without the fear of finding a scorpion in your shoes, just the possibility of an old bulldog drooling on you.

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