Joshua Tree, Ca

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Earlier this month my husband and I took a quick trip to the left coast for some sun, sun, sun. And to see these wonderful and weird trees that only grow in this one small part of the world; Joshua Tree. We booked a small homestead cabin close to the National Park through Airbnb and planned to stay a few nights. And you know, sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan it and so you have to come up with a plan B, and sometimes plan B is just totally awesome and you don’t even care that plan A failed. And you also think to yourself, “I’m glad I married a guy who can come up with a plan B like it ain’t no thang”…

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The cabin had it all; a fire pit outside, a telescope for stargazing, a little kitchen, a record player, games, movies. We went to the local Walmart to pick up some necessary groceries for grilling hotdogs and hamburgers and making s’mores. It was looking like a few relaxing desert days were headed our way. A small hiccup in our trip though was the fact that I came down with a pretty bad head cold just HOURS before we boarded our plane out west. So although I was happy and excited to be on vacation, I could barely breathe and my sinuses were so congested that my head was pounding and I couldn’t hear right from the change in pressure on the flight. Not ideal for a vacation. We got to our little cabin and you guys, it was HOT. Hot. So I turned on the swamp cooler (the desert version of AC) and we gave it a few minutes. No cool air. We gave it a few hours. No cool air. We had sweat rolling off our backs. We joked about it. Then we didn’t joke about it anymore. Sweltering heat mixed with the already impaired ability to breathe is freaking THE WORST. So we packed our bags, left the groceries, and high-tailed it to a Best Western, the AC holy land, and hoped for a refund.

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It was beyond worth it to find AC. I was able to rest and feel a tad bit better and we even went back to our Mecca (Walmart) to buy some cheap bathing suits to lounge by the pool in the afternoon heat. We ended up meeting a group of older German men at the pool who were renting Harleys and riding across the US. Once the sun started to dip a bit, we jumped in the car and headed to Joshua Tree National Park. We are huge National Park fans. I really think there’s nothing better than renting a car, loading it up with snacks, turning on some music, and driving through some of America’s greatest landscapes. As soon as we got into the park we pulled over and started taking some photos, when all of a sudden we saw a quail and her chicks rushing past us! They were incredibly fast and CUTE! Baby quails, who knew? We chased them around a bit and then hopped back in the car.

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The desert is magic. It felt like being on a completely different planet. Its hard to capture the feel of Joshua Tree through a single set of photographs, and I suspect it would be just as hard on film. Its simply a place you have to go and see with your own eyes to experience the true beauty of it. But that didn’t stop me from trying.  I think really the best time to go is sunset or sunrise. It changes everything. The colors morph from glaringly bright to warm and ethereal.

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We came back the next day to do some further exploring. Tyson was very set on finding a rattlesnake. And I was very set on not. So he climbed the rocks in search of one and I stood far, far away, ears peeled for that rattling noise. All around you can see holes dug into the ground by different desert animals. And occasionally we would see lizards running across our path but, alas, no snakes (hooray!).

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We ended up getting a refund on our little cabin and staying the rest of the time at the Best Western (which is definitely nicer out west then on the east coast, let me just say). We decided to drive to Palm Springs and stay there for our last night in California. We had just enough time to eat dinner at Kings Highway Diner, which is part of the Ace Hotel. Turns out it was restaurant week so we really had the most incredible dinner to end out our trip. I don’t know if we’ll ever find ourselves back in Joshua Tree again, but it was really the perfect trip to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, and we definitely became hooked on the West Coast, so you never know…

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