Summer Vacation: Palm Springs in July

So, in preface, summer in San Francisco is cold, as you might know or have experienced. Lows in the high 40s are not unheard of. We wear scarves and coats. I saw someone wearing gloves yesterday. In August.

Palm Springs in the summer is a different beast. Highs of 110F or so are considered normal, temperate, expected. That is hotter than I’ve ever experienced. It is really, really hot. “It’s a dry heat” doesn’t really explain it away. Your toaster oven is a dry heat, too.

So getting out of a plane after flying for 90 minutes from SFO to PSP is kind of shocking. (By the next day I’d forgotten about the importance of electrolytes. Don’t make the same mistake.)

I was there because an amazing thing was happening. A group of friends had an idea for an experiment called Yes by Yes Yes, or YxYY. They explained: “The theory was, if you get a group of smart, engaged individuals together in the right place, even in the absence of an organized conference, great things would happen. We winkingly dubbed it Yes by Yes Yes.” (A play on South by Southwest, for the uninitiated.)

Depending on who I was talking to, I said that I was going to a conference, an “un-conference,” a pool party, a vacation with friends. It was all of these, and it was wonderful.

I knew probably 100 people there. The weekend was a blur of hugs, quick chats, long conversations, old friends, new friends. I spent a solid day by the pool, in the crazy heat, wearing a giant hat. (After that I had to sit inside for a while and drink Gatorade. See note on electrolytes, above.) There were also presentations, conference-like talks, a board game tournament, an underwater photobooth, and a karaoke RV.

As a pre-event, I organized a group to go to Joshua Tree National Park. Nate brought his drone. There were hijinks. There were bees. We made it back mostly intact.

Feeling grateful, inspired, and still a bit dehydrated.

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